TPC Harding Park - California - USA

TPC Harding Park,
99 Harding Road,
San Francisco,
California (CA) 94132,
USA


  • +1 415 664 4690

  • Tom Smith (Director of Golf)

  • Willie Watson and Sam Whiting

  • Mitch Lowe (Head Pro)


Harding Park Golf Course has a long history that dates back to 1925 when the course was laid out by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting. The names of Watson and Whiting are not naturally associated with the Golden Age of golf course architecture but their Lake course at the nearby Olympic Club is testament to their design ability.

Set to the southwest of downtown San Francisco, adjacent to the State University, Harding Park is framed on three sides by Lake Merced and the course itself is routed on ideal sandy ground. Named after the keen golfer and US President, Warren G. Harding, the city-owned municipal course hosted a number of high profile tournaments before and after the Second World War and became a regular PGA Tour venue during the 1960s.

Sadly, Harding Park fell into near terminal decline and 1998 it was unceremoniously used as a car park when the US Open was hosted at the Olympic Club. Sandy Tatum, a San Francisco attorney, led a contentious mission to return Harding Park to its former glory. A public-funded $16m restoration project began in spring 2002 and the course re-opened in the summer of 2003 to cautious but steady applause.

Tall Monterey Cypress trees frame most holes making the fairways feel extremely narrow. Small, tricky greens make scoring tough and if you have a decent card going you’ll need to focus hard towards the end of the round because Harding Park has a cracking finishing stretch that starts at the short par four 16th and continues on a high bluff before reaching the signature 18th.

The home hole is a spectacular par four with Lake Merced as the backdrop. The hole doglegs hard left on its way back to the final elevated and multi-tiered green which slopes sharply back to the fairway.

The future of Harding Park was cemented after a thrilling finish to the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship, which culminated in Tiger Woods beating John Daly in a sudden-death playoff. Top-flight golf returned to Harding Park in 2009 with the Presidents Cup, which the US team convincingly retained.

In 2010 the City and County of San Francisco passed the management of Harding Park to the Tournament Players Club of California, so the facility is now known as TPC Harding Park. The World Golf Championships - Cadillac Match Play was hosted at TPC Harding Park in 2015. Rory McIlroy claimed the WGC title, beating Gary Woodland 4&2 in the final.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for TPC Harding Park

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Harding Park Golf Course has a long history that dates back to 1925 when the course was laid out by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting. Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 4

I played Harding in May 2015 only a few days after the WGC Match Play that Rory McIlroy won. The course is in good tournament condition and the track that will challenge you on distance and shot making. I did play well that day, so it left a positive vibe. Walking up 18 was fun as the grandstands were still up.

I loved playing through the mature landscape. I admit I am sort of 'old school' when it comes to golf course architecture and Harding fit my eye nicely. It has been a couple of years since I played it and on reflection there are no memorable holes. It is also a little pricey too. But I am glad I played it at least once.

5 / 6
TPC Harding Park
January 05, 2018


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
A fantastic layout, only minutes from the bustling downtown of SF. After the much-needed rebuild, this really is one of the best courses in the Bay Area.A good variety of holes; excellent conditioning. Only major shortfall is the lack of a good practice facility.
5 / 6
TPC Harding Park
December 11, 2013


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Awesome golf course, must hit is straight, fade it and draw it. A shot makers paradise. Beautiful locale with an even better track. One of the best public courses in the world.
5 / 6
TPC Harding Park
October 27, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
On a recent business trip to San Francisco I got lucky and played at Harding Park. The day started with a hearty breakfast in the Cypress Grill (recommended) and then out to a great course located just out of the city. The opening couple of holes are fairly friendly par-4’s but the 3rd was the first to get my full attention; a mid-iron par-3 that plays uphill towards the Pacific. The 4th is special also; close to 600 yards long and dog-legging left about a third of the way down (faders beware!). Harding Park Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe next few holes are all very good and with the beautiful Monterey Cypress Pine Trees all around, this is a very pleasant place to be. My favourite front-nine hole was the 8th; a 200 yard par-3 to a cleverly designed green with a false-front adding to its toughness. The back nine opens with a par-5 that has a great look to it, especially from about 100 yards out – and the holes from the 14th to the 17th play with Lake Merced all along the left side of this stretch. Of these holes I loved the short par-4 16th and at around 320 yards is definite birdie chance. It feels quite rare for a course to have its signature hole at the 18th but at Harding Park this is certainly the case; the lake has to be carried from the tee and avoided all the way down the left-side – add in fairway bunkers, a sloping fairway, probably a long approach to the toughest green on the course and you have a brilliant ending hole. A move back to the Grill for post round drinks with the 18th right in front of you is actually quite dreamy. Harding Park is a public facility, so there is not that exclusive country club feel but that does not dilute the experience – if you have time, warm-up on the Fleming course, a 9-hole par-30 which is pretty good too.
5 / 6
TPC Harding Park
May 31, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review