Review for Lake Merced

Reviewer Score:


Course has been remodelled several times since it’s inception in 1922, most recently by Rees Jones in 1997, a major redo of the green and tees with some fairway shaping. The poor 4th green and 8th greens were recently renovated and completed in February of 2018. LMGC plays from 5000 from the front tees to nearly 6800 yards from the tips. Currently hosts the LPGA Mediheal Championship and having recently hosted a 3-year run of the Swinging Skirts.

Conditioning is superb, much firmer and faster than San Francisco, Olympic or Cal Club (I have played extensively at all of these courses). Had read the previou review on the multiple grasses in the fairways, and this is not true. I’m a member and should know. Fairways and approaches play tight and the conditioning for divots is very good. Super came from LA Country Club, and it shows.

Unlike Harding and some other local tracks, the greens are made to repel approach shots and balls not well struck skip off greens or end up in bunkers. Plays easier in the morning, when the greens are slower due to morning moisture. Generally windy, cold and foggy, but this is the same conditions you would get at Harding Park, SFGC, Olympic or Cal Club(sunnier but windier). Plays much shorter than Harding or Olympic Lake but even with Cal and SFGC for ball flight and shot difficulty.

Shot selection forces right-left and left-right off the tees if you want to place the tee ball in the ideal position in the fairway. Approach shot placement is key for shorter putts (sorry, obvious, but read on). However, front pins here are death, making for downhill putts or tighter misses to green side bunkers.

Greens are kept at 11, 11.5-12.5 for tournament play (LPGA, amateur or club). Smaller in scale but larger than Pebble or SFGC generally. rough is kept to 1.5” ex tournaments, when it’s raised to 2.5-3”.

Bonus? Some of the best private club food in the State.

Date: April 28, 2018

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