Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 16
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 16
The 335-yard 16th hole at Lake Merced Golf Club is a great short par 4 where the green is hidden from view below a hill. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 17
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 17
The 17th hole at Lake Merced Golf Club sweeps down a steep hill before climbing up again to the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 18
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 18
Lydia Ko birdied the par-5 18th hole at Lake Merced Golf Club to win the 2014 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 2
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 2
The second hole at Lake Merced Golf Club doglegs right, the opposite direction of the first hole. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 3
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 3
The downhill par-3 third hole is a beautiful spot at Lake Merced Golf Club, host of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 4
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 4
Even Lydia Ko, 2014 champion of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, considers the fourth hole the toughest at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 5
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 5
The fifth hole at Lake Merced Golf Club doglegs left to reveal this green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 10
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 10
Trees and bunkers frame the par-4 10th hole at the Lake Merced Golf Club near San Francisco. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 12
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 12
The 197-yard 12th hole at Lake Merced Golf Club is a stout par 3 over a valley. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 13
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Lake Merced Golf Club - hole 13
A gaping bunker guards the right side of the 13th green at the Lake Merced Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Lydia Ko
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Lydia Ko
Lydia Ko has a special connection with Lake Merced Golf Club. The 2014 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic was her first victory on the LPGA Tour as a pro. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Lake Merced Golf Club: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic host delivers a timeless test near San Francisco

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.

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.

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Lake Merced Golf Club: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic host delivers a timeless test near San Francisco
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