California/San Francisco/
Lincoln Park Golf Course
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Lincoln Park Golf Course

300 34th Ave, San Francisco,California,94121
Type: Public
No. Holes: 18
Detailed description

Lincoln Park Golf Course is a Public 18 holes golf course located in San Francisco, California.

Lincoln Park Golf Course first opened for play in 1908. The course was designed by Tom Bendelow.

The land on which Lincoln Park Golf Course now stands was a cemetery in use in the late 1860's and possibly earlier. The parcel was named Potter's Field. Like many cemeteries of that era, it was ethnically divided into various sections. What is presently the eighteenth fairway of the golf course was a burial ground, primarily for the city's Italian community. The area that now constitutes the first and thirteenth fairway was the Chinese section of the cemetery and the high terrain at the fifteen fairway and the thirteenth tee was a Serbian resting place.

John McLaren, San Francisco's steward of public parks in the early century, was approached about the prospect of constructing a municipal golf course on Potter's Field. At the time golf was still considered a game to be played on links land as near to the ocean as possible, and Potter's Field, despite it being an existing cemetery, was considered a good site. By the end of 1902 a three-hole layout was completed on the hilly, windswept, and almost treeless land. These three holes occupied what is presently the first, twelve and thirteenth holes of the modern day course.

The 3-hole links proved to be very popular and for six years it remained a three-hole layout, which was free to the public. During this time Tom McHugh became the first City greens keeper maintaining the grounds that made up the three-hole loop. By 1909 the three-hole loop was no longer satisfactory and more holes were deemed necessary. During 1909 the Board of Supervisors by legislative action approved the complete removal of the cemetery and further construction continued on the public golf course on the Potter's field site.

The name Lincoln Park was designated by the Board of Supervisors in 1909 as a dedication to President Lincoln, and there was no fee to play the, by then, 9-hole course. Lincoln Park was subsequently expanded to ten holes in 1914. It was not until early 1917 that Lincoln Park became a full 18 holes, and it was at this point that the first City golf tournament was played at the Lincoln Park Golf Course.

Lincoln Park existed as the only municipal golf course in San Francisco for a period of twenty-three years. During this period of time, the course underwent no less than six remodels. Tom Bendelow is generally acknowledged as the 18-hole course designer. Jack Fleming redesigned the course in the 1960s.

In 1923 Lincoln Park was chosen as the site for the Legion of Honor Museum, an art museum, philanthropically financed by the Spreckles family. It was built to honor the American soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War, World War I. The construction of the Legion of Honor resulted in further remodeling to the course.

The Lincoln Park Golf Course has always been a relatively short layout, which makes it attractive to golfers of all abilities. Although the course has never measured over 5500 yards, it has always been sporty and scenic.  The undulating fairways add spice to the yardage, and the views throughout the course are breathtaking.  On a clear day, golfers at the apex of the 7th fairway can see downtown San Francisco and all the way to Mt. Diablo in the East Bay; a similar view sparkles from the 13th tee. At the 17th tee, the vista of the Golden Gate Bridge provides an unforgettable memory, no matter one’s score.

From the blues, Lincoln Park measures 5,146 yards, a par 69 with a rating of 66 and a slope of 109.

#1 is 316 yards from the blues, a par 4. Old pine and oak trees line this and most fairways. This fairway is uphill towards the Legion of Honor. The green is relatively flat.

#2, a 257 yard par-4, is one of five holes, which actually ends near the Legion of Honor or its parking lot. Statues and heroic figures sit atop the building. The Legion of Honor is a unique art museum, which is one of the San Francisco's treasures.

#5 is a 359-yard par 4, which runs back up to the Legion of Honor and as you walk up the fairway a large tree hides the pin, which is protected by a sand trap on the right. Beyond that a magnificent statue on horseback gradually becomes apparent.

#6, a 285 yard par-4 parallels the Legion of Honor building. From this hole you can see six full size historical statues standing on the back of the building in a half circle around the roofed dome. Below them in concave areas were another 15 busts of famous people. All of them face the tee.

#16 is a 239-yard par-3 with the green downhill and to the left.

#17 is a 240 yard par-3 and the signature hole. This hole parallels the entance to San Francisco Bay for 240 yards. The fairway turns slightly to the right and drops off towards the water on the left. The green slopes to its edges and is bracketed by sand traps. The view from the 17th includes a full shot of both towers of the Golden Gate Bridge plus the Marin Headlands.

Playing on Lincoln Park off of 38th street, a couple of blocks from busy Geary is like finding a oasis in the middle of the desert.

Par for the course is 69. From the back tees the course plays to 5146 yards. From the forward tees the course measures 4732 yards. The longest hole on the course is # 18, a par-5 that plays to 383 yards. The shortest hole on the course is # 3, a par-3 that plays to 156 yards from the back tees.

Watch out for # 5, a 359 yard par-4 challenge and the #1 handicap hole on the course. The easiest hole at Lincoln Park Golf Course is # 10, a 268 yard par-4.