(Pictured: Olympic Club’s Lake Course property)
The Olympic Club in San Francisco has hired the firm to help it prepare for upcoming major tournaments that will include the 2028 PGA Championship and 2032 Ryder Cup. Lake Merced GC, in Daly City, Calif., will have its project focus on its 35-year-old irrigation system, bunkers and driving range.
Both the Olympic Club of San Francisco and Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif. have hired Hanse Golf Course Design for renovation projects, TheFriedEgg.com reported.
In an e-mail sent to members, the Olympic Club announced that it will bring in the firm to develop a master plan for its golf facilities, with Principal Gil Hanse meeting with members in the summer and beginning work in the fall of 2020, TheFriedEgg.com reported.
“The master plan is intended to enhance the day-to-day member golf experience for generations to come,” the e-mail reads, “while also ensuring that our iconic courses are positioned to perform and recover as we navigate a busy championship schedule leading up to, and beyond, the 2032 Ryder Cup.”
In December, Jeffrey Pero, President of Lake Merced Golf Club, also informed members of that club via e-mail that its Board of Directors had authorized the hiring of Hanse to prepare a master plan for the golf course and golf-related facilities, TheFriedEgg.com reported. For that project, Hanse will begin visiting the club in the fall of 2020, and members are expected to vote on a final plan in the first half of 2021.
Pero’s e-mail identified Lake Merced’s 35-year-old irrigation system, bunkers, and driving range as potential areas of focus, TheFriedEgg.com reported. It went on to tout Hanse and design partner Jim Wagner’s preference for performing detail work themselves: “They operate the bulldozers and other machinery and personally handcraft bunkers and other landforms, to make sure their vision for the golf course is fulfilled,” Pero wrote.
Both the Olympic Club and Lake Merced hold significant places in the history of San Francisco golf, TheFriedEgg.com reported. Olympic’s Lake Course dates back to 1924. Designed by Willie Watson and built by Sam Whiting, it went on to host five U.S. Opens and three U.S. Amateurs. In addition, the Lake Course is slated to host the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2025 U.S. Amateur, the 2028 PGA Championship, and the 2032 Ryder Cup, and preparing for these tournaments was a key motivating factor in the Olympic Club’s decision to hire Hanse Golf Course Design and move ahead with a master plan.
Lake Merced Golf Club, just down the road from Olympic, was founded in 1922 and had its golf course redesigned by Alister MacKenzie in the late 1920s, TheFriedEgg.com reported. Over the years, because of a highway expansion and numerous renovations by different architects, the course lost its MacKenzie traits. Since 2018, Lake Merced has hosted the LPGA Mediheal Championship. The club was also connected with a Stephen Curry-affiliated PGA Tour event that never materialized.
Recently, Hanse Golf Course Design has emerged as a common choice for tournament golf course restorations and renovations, with Hanse and Wagner doing work at Merion Golf Club, Southern Hills Country Club, Winged Foot Golf Club, The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., among other properties. Currently they are consulting at Baltusrol and Oakland Hills, and they will design the new East Course at PGA Frisco.