Course Spy: Harding Park Golf Course

The tough 15th hole at Harding Park.
Joann Dost

Harding Park Golf Course
San Francisco, Calif.
6,845 yards, par 72
Green Fees: $135-$165
harding-park.com
415-664-4690

SERVICE
A friendly starter helped offset the gruff greeting we received at check-in. Kudos, too, for the beverage cart experience: the frequency and personality were both surprisingly solid for such a busy track.

PACE OF PLAY
We got lucky: six weeks before the Presidents Cup came to Harding, tee times had been reduced, allowing us to buzz around. Still, even with rangers on patrol, the cheap green fees for locals mean constant crowds on most days.

QUALITY
The poor man's Olympic Club is undeniably great looking, sitting on a bluff surrounded on three sides by Lake Merced. And it's a strong test. However, soft conditions and too many holes that look and play alike are drawbacks.

VALUE
For residents of the City by the Bay, Harding Park is a great deal at less than $60. For outsiders who have to pay full boat, it's hardly a stickup, but for the mushy fairways and minimal services, it's priced too high for everyday play.

VERDICT
Since we know we're never going to get an invite to play the Olympic Club next door, Harding is definitely the next best thing. Great scenery, an easy walk, and service that is improving make the price tag easier to swallow.

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