Golf courses California San Francisco Olympic Club, Lake Course

Olympic Club, Lake Course

599 Skyline Blvd, San Francisco, California, 94132
Type: Private
No. Holes: 18
(415) 404-4300
Architect: Willie Watson (9)
                       Sam Whiting (6)
                       Robert Trent Jones Sr. (185)
                      
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About Olympic Club, Lake Course

Olympic Club, The -Lake, is a Private, 18 hole golf course located in San Francisco, California.

The Olympic Club is a San Francisco, California-based athletic club with three golf courses located at San Francisco's border with Daly City, California. The club's main "City Clubhouse" is located in downtown San Francisco. The club's "Lakeside Clubhouse" is located just north of the city's border with Daly City. The two clubhouses are separated by about 10 miles.

The three courses at the Olympic Club are the Cliffs, Lake and Ocean courses. The Lake and Ocean are eighteen hole par 71 courses, and the Cliffs is a nine-hole par-3 course that is on the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean. All three courses are lined with many trees (almost 40,000 on the Lake course) and offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The United States Golf Association recognizes the Olympic Club as one of the first 100 golf clubs established in the United States.

The OLympic Club is the oldest athletic club in the United States. The Olympic Club was established on May 6, 1860.

The Lake Course has been recognized by Golf Magazine in its list of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S. It has also been recognized in Golf Week's category of "America's 100 Best Classical Courses." In Golf Digest's list of the U.S. 100 Greatest Courses for 2007-2008, the Lake Course was ranked 23. The course sits almost entirely within the borders of San Francisco.

In 1918, The Olympic Club took over the Lakeside Golf Club, which had opened in 1917 but was struggling financially. Lakeside was an 18-hole golf course designed by Wilfrid Reid. The Olympic Club decided to build a "new" Lakeside course in 1924. The course was designed by Willie Watson and built by Sam Whiting. The course was completely redesigned and rebuilt by Whiting in 1927. Whiting stayed on as golf course superintendent until 1954. In 1953, the Lake course was modified by Robert Trent Jones in preparation for the 1955 U.S. Open.

The regular yardage of the Lake Course is 7,060 yards from the new championship tees, with a course rating of 74.9 and a slope rating of 140. From the next set of tees forward, the course measures 6,529 yards, and has a course rating of 72.3 and a slope rating of 132. From the next set of tees forward, the course measures 6,235 yards, and has a course rating of 70.9 and a slope rating of 129. From the front tees, the course measures 5,593 yards, and has a course rating of 68.6 and a slope rating of 122.

The Lake Course has been lengthened in recent years to prepare for the 2007 U.S. Amateur and 2012 U.S. Open. New tees have added significant length to the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 12th. In addition, drastic changes were made to the par-4 seventh and par-3 eighth holes. A new two-tiered green at the seventh replaces the old three-level green constructed in the 1970s. This green is located approximately 20 yards behind the old one. The most dramatic alterations were made at the 8th. Previously just a short uphill pitch, a completely new hole has been built with a teeing area well back and to the right of the original, changing the angle of approach and pushing the length of the hole back to 200 yards. A new green has also been built at the par-3 15th, and the controversial 18th green has also been changed further.

This course has been ranked 7 times
Golf Course ranker Photo, Ron Brown
Los Osos, CA

Guest (cart included), played on Wednesday, July 2015 at 4:00 PM

Amazing place! It is a very private club - I played it as a guest (twice), so some of the questions don't apply for me. (Additionally, the greens had been punched/sanded this week, so can't evaluate the greens from yesterday's round - three weeks earlier, they were excellent, although did not hold as well as I had expected.) This is a phenomenal course. We played (as guests) in the late afternoon - and nearly had the course to ourselves. We played in a cart - as it would be a difficult walk with so much elevation change. Even from the white tees, it is about 6300 yards and rated at 72.2 and 128 - and plays much longer than 6300 yards because it is so lush. The white tees were more than enough golf course to be a challenge. At 75 years old (long for my age, but not long on any absolute standards), I had lots of long irons and hybrids for second shots. There are no water holes, only a couple of places where one could go out-of-bounds, and only one or two fairway bunkers. Don't let that make you think this course should be easy. Fairways are generous but tree-lined (often with overhanging canopies that have to be avoided), but you have to be precise for decent second shots to holes - often with big elevation changes to small, well-bunkered greens. Visually, this course is amazing. Most courses that one considers beautiful are such because of the surrounding views - oceans, lakes, mountains, or whatever. This course is beautiful because of the course itself, the shapes of the holes, the elevation changes, the huge trees lining fairways, the lush green fairways, and the thick and juicy rough (yes, keep the ball in the fairway). Would I play it again? Without doubt - any time I get the chance.

Would travel: 120-300 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again
 
Condition of Course, Pace of Play, Difficulty, Ambiance, Pro Shop, Layout, No Houses on Course, Clubhouse
None worth mentioning
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 027405
Golf Course ranker Photo, Keith Goto
Aiea, HI

Guest (cart included), played on Monday, October 2012 at 10am

Very tough course, but very fair. Small greens and difficult chipping because of rough around the greens. Course in great condition, but plays very long because its all carry and no roll. Enjoyed it and would love to play it again with better preparation.

Would travel: 120-300 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Ranks with the best in this price level, Best course in the area, Bargain priced based on quality and competitive area pricing
 
Condition of Course, Difficulty, Layout, Ambiance, Pace of Play
None worth mentioning
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 019058
Golf Course ranker Photo
Redwood City, CA

Member (cart included), played on Sunday, November 2011 at 6am

Just played yesterday. in getting ready for nest year's US Open, they are toughening up the already difficult course. Now the very small sloped greens are at about 12 and will only get harder and faster as they get closer to next June. By shaving the areas around greens, it is quite difficult to chip and as they keep narrowing the fairways, they become even more difficult to hit. For example, Nick Watney stopped by last week and shot a 79 and said the greens were already the fastest he's played this year. Once the rough is really allowed to grow, I pity any non-professionals trying to play it. That being said, if you can beg, borrow or steal to get on prior to June, do it.

Would travel: 120-300 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Ranks with the best in this price level, Best course in the area
 
Condition of Course, Difficulty, Layout, Ambiance, Pace of Play, Staff, Clubhouse, Pro Shop
None worth mentioning
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 016415
Golf Course ranker Photo
Penn Valley, CA

(cart included), played on Wednesday, September 2006 at 4pm

It was nice to play on a course where they absolutely follow the rules of golf etticate. Beautiful day. I played this course in 1984 but the ranking forms would not let me select that year.

Would travel: 60-120 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Best course in the area
 
Condition of Course, Difficulty, Ambiance, No Houses on Course, Staff, Clubhouse, Pro Shop
Price, Pace of Play
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 015361
Golf Course ranker Photo
Irvine, CA

Guest (cart included), played on Wednesday, May 2009 at 8am

Ladies. Gentlemen. Golfers near and far. THIS is a golf course! If only those trees could talk!!! But no, they just sit there with the dangling moss on those steep hillsides waiting for the next Arnold or Jack or Payne. The thrill of my life? 18th hole when my ball somehow made it to about 4 feet, and I made the birdie putt with a small, gracious gallery up on the veranda of the clubhouse - and they actually clapped. Amazing stuff. I captured a lot of video of this gold day! The marshal we saw twice. The first time he told the member with us to not be on the cell phone. The second time he asked me to please tuck in my shirt in the back where it had come out a little bit. I LOVED IT!!! Thanks to Member John C. for letting my friends and I play that day! One of my friends was a +4 Handicap - and he shot an 81 that day. My 85 as an 8 Handicap won me about $100 bucks, which paid for half of the bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label that served as a gift for our kind host! What a day!!!!! I will never forget it! It would not have surprised me in the least if there were droves of people waving wads of hundreds at the gate just to get into this place ... but there weren't ... and I would never have traded any amount of money for this experience. Something wonderful about making a turn onto a drive with no big signs, banners, balloons that advertise "One of the Best Golf Courses in the World, Turn Right Here." Nope, no sign. No sign at all. Just local knowledge. One amazing thing I learned about the Big O while there is that it was the intention of the Founders of the Olympic Club to NOT have local members, but rather hold a membership of out-of-towners so that the facility would serve as a destination place to do business and vacation. It has pretty much stayed that way. The Member with us lives across the Bay in another City, and has been a Member for over 40 years, yet doesn't really play much golf. What an interesting, gracious man!!!

Would travel: 120-300 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Best course in the area
 
Condition of Course, Difficulty, Layout, Ambiance, Pace of Play, Staff, Clubhouse, Pro Shop
None worth mentioning
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 014088
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Francisco, CA

$41 (cart not included), played on Sunday, April 2009 at 8am

beautiful setting

Would travel: 20-30 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Better than average course for the area
 
Ambiance, No Houses on Course, Pace of Play, Staff
Condition of Course
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 006777
Golf Course ranker Photo
San Bruno, CA

Guest (cart included), played on Wednesday, June 2008 at 8am

I can see why they play the US OPEN here!!

Would travel: 30-60 Miles, Vacation Worthy
Bottom line: I would play again, Ranks with the best in this price level, Best course in the area
 
Condition of Course, Difficulty, Layout, No Houses on Course
Layout/ Challenge
Fairway conditions
Greens conditions
Course ambiance
Pace to play
Overall rating
Value
Rank ID # : 003289
4.6/5
Based on 7 reviews
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