Vote likely ends the long political fight over the future of Alister MacKenzie's Sharp Park Golf Course

SAN FRANCISCO - Eight long years of legal and political battles to save the historic Sharp Park Golf Course appear to be over for the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance.

By a 9-1 vote on Feb. 28, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors certified a Final Environmental Report for a Sharp Park Restoration Plan that recognizes the historical significance of the 85-year old links designed by Alister MacKenzie, one of world's most famous golf course architects. According to the press release by the SFPGA, the supervisors voted the following:

  • Approved the continued operation of the 18-hole public course, owned by San Francisco but located in its beachside suburb of Pacifica;
  • Designated the seaside links as "Historic Resource Property" under the California Environmental Quality Act;
  • Allowed modification of three holes along the margins of Laguna Salada, a freshwater marsh in the center of the course, to enhance habitat for the endangered San Francisco garter snake and the protected California red-legged frog, on condition that the changes be consistent with the golf course's historic architectural character.

The 6,382-yard course along the Pacific Ocean has been embroiled in a decade-long dispute involving environmentalists -- including the San Francisco Chapter of the Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Wild Equity Institute -- who wanted to close the course to protect the frogs and snakes.

Like most municipal courses, Sharp Park struggles with conditioning and poor pace of play, but its affordability, location on the Pacific Ocean and MacKenzie pedigree has made this long journey worthwhile for SFPGA co-founders Richard Harris and Bo Links.

"There's still a lot of work to be done to restore MacKenzie's masterpiece at Sharp Park," Links says, "but now the wind is at our back."

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
0 Comments
More from the author
3 Min Read
October 14, 2021
The wild and wavy North Course complements the Australian Sandbelt look of the acclaimed South Course near Oakland's airport.
4 Min Read
October 14, 2021
Comfort stations have become the new norm at exclusive private clubs like The Summit, which makes its PGA Tour debut this weekend.
5 Min Read
October 6, 2021
Kauai has fewer than half the courses of Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, but the quality is top notch.
3 Min Read
October 4, 2021
The number of publicly accessible tournament venues will shrink during the 2021-22 PGA Tour schedule as the majors move to private clubs.
5 Min Read
October 4, 2021
Golf courses in California's Coachella Valley and Phoenix-Scottsdale are hotbeds of overseeding, but it's a common, and sometimes controversial, practice throughout the southern United States.
7 Min Read
September 30, 2021
From the largest elevation drop to the wildest greens and deepest bunker, all these U.S. courses take the game to the edge.
Popular
12 Images
October 11, 2021
This Albuquerque gem is one of the tournament capitals of collegiate golf.
21 Images
September 30, 2021
This collection of photos sent in by reviewers might be the best we've ever seen.
3 Min Read
October 4, 2021
America's largest golf resort, and one of its smallest, are expanding to enhance the guest experience.
9 Min Read
September 23, 2021
We've crafted a Dream 18 from the most exciting holes in American public golf.
Load More
Now Reading
Vote likely ends the long political fight over the future of Alister MacKenzie's Sharp Park Golf Course