DALY CITY, Calif. -- The Olympic Club isn't the only private club near San Francisco hosting great golf tournaments these days. Lake Merced Golf Club served as an official coming out party for Lydia Ko last year.
The teenage sensation from New Zealand captured the 2014 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic with a Sunday birdie on the par-5 18th hole to secure her first LPGA Tour win as a professional.
The tournament, which is signed through 2016, will once again attract one of the strongest fields in women's golf. The top 10 players in the world are scheduled to compete April 23-26 with live coverage all four days on Golf Channel (6-9 p.m. EST).
Lake Merced, founded in 1923, has a historic pedigree. Dr. Alister Mackenzie was brought in to improve the sand traps and the areas around the greens in 1929. It was the rerouting by Robert Muir Graves in the 1960s that created a dynamic layout still in play. Fairways sweep across steep elevation changes through towering cypress trees. Its doglegs require shaping shots and its canted greens a deft touch.
Ko said an "A game" is needed to solve Lake Merced. "You have to be accurate and make good putts," she says.