Hole-by-Hole: TPC Harding Park, host of the 2020 PGA Championship

The signature San Francisco municipal golf course is no stranger to tournaments, but this is its first major.
TPC Harding Park is a former Presidents Cup and WGC host and now host the 2020 PGA Championship.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - What a historic major the 2020 PGA Championship will be.

It will be the first major hosted by the TPC Harding Park, a municipal course that's no stranger to tournament golf. It will also be the first major - one of potentially three this year - played without fans. It would have been spectacular to hear the roars ride the wind off of Lake Merced and bellow through the trees, but alas, the pandemic has dashed those dreams for San Francisco Bay Area golf fans.

FROM $457 (USD)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA | Enjoy 4 nights’ accommodations at The Laurel Inn & The Beach House Hotel and 4 rounds of golf at TPC Harding Park, Presidio Golf Course, and Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

The TPC Harding Park - which has hosted two World Golf Championships (2005 and 2015) and the 2009 Presidents Cup - has two defenses: The heavy air off of the ocean that San Francisco is famous for and thick, juicy rough. The tall Monterey Cypress Pines lining the fairways look formidable, although they're only in play after poor shots. The layout - revitalized during a 2002-03 renovation, spearheaded by Sandy Tatum - is fairly straightforward with a few doglegs and fairway bunkers steering pros around the course. Its greens are more subtle than severely sloped.

It really favors no one. A bomber could overpower the course, but just as easily, an accurate plodder who putts well could find himself lifting the Wannamaker Trophy, too.

Here's a hole-by-hole look at TPC Harding Park:

  1. Par 4 | 393 yards
    It's a gentle starting hole at TPC Harding Park unless pros get too aggressive as the fairways narrows closer to the green.

  2. Par 4 | 466 yards
    Once players avoid the two left-side fairway bunkers, the crowned green at No. 2 introduces one of the harder green complexes at TPC Harding Park.

  3. Par 3 | 185 yards
    The third green at TPC Harding Park is elevated and bracketed by bunkers. It shrinks in front and back, featuring multiple sections.

  4. Par 5 | 607 yards
    The key to the longest hole and no. 1 handicap at TPC Harding Park is carving the tee shot right to left around the steep dogleg left. Even after finding the fairway, a laying to set up a scoring approach might be the prudent play.

  5. Par 4 | 436 yards
    Without any bunkers or dogleg, the only defense on the straight fifth hole at TPC Harding Park is a tricky green complex.

  6. Par 4 | 472 yards
    The par-4 six doglegs gently left through a narrow chute of trees. Pros who can work the ball could set up shorter approaches and better scoring chances.

  7. Par 4 | 340 yards
    No. 7 is the second shortest par 4 at TPC Harding Park.

  8. Par 3 | 251 yards
    No. 8, the longest par 3 at TPC Harding Park at 230 yards, could be problematic for players who miss left in a grassy bunker or right in a sand trap.

  9. Par 4 | 515 yards
    The par-5 ninth hole at TPC Harding Park is being converted into a stout par 4 for the PGA Championship.

  10. Par 5 | 562 yards
    The par-5 10th at TPC Harding Park is one of the more dynamic holes on property with a sweeping fairway along Lake Merced ending at a well-bunkered green.

  11. Par 3 | 200 yards
    No. 11 at TPC Harding Park can be sneaky tough with two bunkers smothering misses.

  12. Par 4 | 494 yards
    A 494-yard par 5 during everyday play, No. 12 will be a supersized par 4 with out-of-bounds left along Lake Merced Boulevard for the pros.

  13. Par 4 | 472 yards
    A new back tee adds 44 yards to No. 13 at TPC Harding Park.

  14. Par 4 | 470 yards
    Playing along Lake Merced, the 14th hole at TPC Harding Park requires an uphill approach, often from an uneven lie, to a sloping green.

  15. Par 4 | 401 yards
    There's little reward for challenging the dogleg left on the 15th hole at TPC Harding Park, so most players will hit iron or fairway wood toward the aiming bunker on the right side.

  16. Par 4 | 336 yards
    No. 16 is the shortest par 4 at TPC Harding Park, tempting players to go for it.

  17. Par 3 | 171 yards
    The par-3 17th at TPC Harding Park, a historic San Francisco municipal course that hosted the 2020 PGA Championship

  18. Par 4 | 480 yards
    A new tee on No. 18 at TPC Harding Park adds 12 yards at an angle that brings the right-side bunkers more into play. It's long, tough, scenic and doglegs left along Lake Merced, finishing at an elevated green.

Default User Avatar
Commented on


Commented on

Looks fairly boring for a major.

Default User Avatar
Commented on

While attending SFSU in the 70’s, the course became rundown, most played for free b/c they just never went in clubhouse and they never came out. Wonderful to see what it looks like now. All props to S. Tatum and the SFGC support in bringing a “ beautiful Classic” back to Life.....great memories...

Default User Avatar
Commented on

Amazing to see a course I grew up on, waaaay back in the 1950s. Some of the trees trees were mere saplings then and now look like monsters.

More from the author
2 Min Read
April 15, 2022
Tiger Woods used Full Swing's new KIT model as part of his pre-2022 Masters prep and on the grounds of Augusta National.
4 Min Read
February 28, 2022
A young player architect, a baby llama, new lodging in the Midwest and more highlight this month's column.
1 Min Read
February 24, 2022
Want Rory McIlroy to help you with your golf game? All you have to do is ask.
2 Min Read
January 31, 2022
Overseas travel updates, a resort renovation and plans for a new resort course highlight this month's column.
3 Min Read
January 10, 2022
Find great bang-for-your-buck at these courses.
1 Min Read
January 10, 2022
These courses earned rave reviews from golfers in 2021.
2 Min Read
April 28, 2022
Famous, historic and exclusive clubs are all offering rounds to help with turf research in 2022.
6 Min Read
May 9, 2022
Here's how to play - and stay - where the pros play.
1 Min Read
April 21, 2022
This new heavyweight just might be the king of all golf books.
4 Min Read
April 25, 2022
New offerings from big names and some smaller-brand curiosities abound this month.
Load More
Now Reading
Hole-by-Hole: TPC Harding Park, host of the 2020 PGA Championship