TPC Harding Park lives in an exclusive golf neighborhood in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 2020 PGA Championship host, TPC Harding Park lives in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in golf.

Three prestigious private clubs -- The Olympic Club, San Francisco Golf Club and Lake Merced Golf Club -- are all located within a three-mile radius.

Dating to 1925, Harding Park has always been a terrific venue for tournament golf. It hosted world-class players as far back as the 1940s when Byron Nelson won back-to-back San Francisco Opens in 1944-45. The Lucky International in the 1960s attracted winners such as Gary Player (1961), Gene Littler (1962), Jackie Burke Jr. (1963), Ken Venturi (1966) and Billy Casper (1968).

It wasn't until a $16-million renovation in 2002-03 that lengthened Harding Park that the course returned to the public spotlight. In 2005, Tiger Woods won the World Golf Championship-Match Play Championship, an event Rory McIlroy dominated in its return to Harding Park in 2015. Fred Couples captained the 2009 American team to victory at the Presidents Cup, a feat the Stars and Stripes hope to repeat in 2025 when the biennial team competition returns. And let's not forget the Champions Tour's Charles Schwab Cup Championship from 2010-12 won by John Cook, Jay Don Blake and Tom Lehman, respectively. The pinnacle of Harding Park's tournament heritage comes in 2020 with its first major, the PGA Championship.

Harding Park is a rare major championship venue that's friendly for any handicap. There's really no water to contend with, just a steady dose of doglegs through spectacular trees. Hitting the fairway and avoiding sticky rough is paramount to playing well. The back nine, beginning at 13, follows Lake Merced for a special stretch of holes. No. 18 climaxes with a 468-yard par 4 wrapping around the lake. Anyone who makes par will feel like a champion.

Oct 19, 2015

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 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 Twitter at @WorldGolfer.