Going to San Fran next Spring or Summer, haven’t decided. But was seeing what courses people have played that would recommend. I’m possibly getting on Olympic Club but seeing what others I should look into.
Get on Cal Club. You won’t be sorry.
I was in the south bay area this spring in Santa Clara/San Jose. Rather than play any of the public courses there, took a 40 minute Uber to Santa Cruz to play Pasatiempo. Highly recommend if you’re south of SF.
I would recommend even if you are in SF. Around 1:30 for great golf that is accessible is a bargain.
Pasa is a must. If you can get on at Cal Club that is a must as well.
Pasatiempo is my happy place. Play there. O Club is great as well. Play there if you have the connect…
In in a close second tier, I’d say Harding Park is a personal favorite in the proper Bay Area. Just a good quality golf course with good pace of play. There’s no doubt it’s a top 5 US Muni track. Make sure you take a push cart!
Presidio is a fun, short track that will test you if you don’t find the fairway. I’d say play in afternoon on a Tuesday/Wednesday around 2 or 3. It won’t be that crowded, you’ll play with a cool local or two, they give you two free beers, and the fog will roll in on the back nine. It’s a cool vibe. Oh, and it’s cheap!
Sharp Park is easy to get to in Pacifica and has the McKenzie ‘bones.’ Front nine is pretty cool, back nine is very gimmicky…Because of the upcoming restoration, it may be worth playing, so you have the before and after perspective when all the snooty architecture lovers (like Tron) start freaking out about what
Some other options:
Half moon Bay Ocean Course is a lot of fun, and you can get a decent twilight rate if you play in the afternoon. It looks like Scotland out there. It’s a fun track from start to finish, and it could be a great spot for nice date with your wife after the round (bag pipes and fire pits at night).
Silverado up in Napa is a PGA track that I enjoyed, but while you’re on the west coast, I’d probably prioritize the scenic stuff over this place.
Bodega Bay Golf Club is a poor man’s pebble beach about 1:30 North of SF. Unreal views and ocean holes, but tight OB with houses + gnarly wind off the coast make scoring almost comical!
Cinnabar down South of San Jose is a great track you could play on your way back from Pasatiempo.
Cal Club and Meadow Club up north has always been on my bucket list…
Played Harding Park last summer. PGA is going to be there in 2020 I believe. Was a really fun course to play, walk it or use a push cart. The carts don’t let you go hardly anywhere on the course and it becomes more of a pain than walking. You can tell it gets a lot of play but its worth it.
If you’re going south towards Pasa, Poppy Hills is a killer track - it’s part of the Pebble courses but, about 1/4 of the price.
If you have local connex, check out Claremont CC in Oakland - MacKenzie course that’s always in stunning shape (if you go, bring pants - no shorts allowed.)
Tons of great golf around here, you’re gonna have a great trip.