TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 18
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 18
The flag on the 18th green can be seen through the trees at TPC Harding Park. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
TPC Harding Park - clubhouse
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TPC Harding Park - clubhouse
The TPC Harding Park clubhouse, adjacent to the 18th fairway, is just steps away from the first and 10th tees. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 1
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 1
The first hole at TPC Harding Park is a rare par 4 less than 400 yards (395). Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course
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TPC Harding Park golf course
TPC Harding Park is one of the best municipal golf courses in the country. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 8
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 8
The par-3 eighth hole at TPC Harding Park can play as long as 230 yards. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 9
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 9
Bunkers bracket the nine hole, the end of a long par 5 at the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 10
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 10
The par-5 10th hole at TPC Harding Park bends left to the green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 11
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 11
A large front bunker gathers balls on the par-3 11th hole at TPC Harding Park, host of the 2020 PGA Championship. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - 14th hole
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TPC Harding Park golf course - 14th hole
The 14th at TPC Harding Park follows Lake Merced. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 15
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 15
The 405-yard 15th at TPC Harding Park bends left after an elevated tee shot. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 17
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TPC Harding Park golf course - hole 17
The 175-yard 17th hole at TPC Harding Park is the easiest handicap on the golf course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park golf course - no. 18
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TPC Harding Park golf course - no. 18
The sheer length makes the approach shot to TPC Harding Park's 18th hole one of the key moments of the round. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
TPC Harding Park G.C.
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TPC Harding Park G.C.
The setting around Lake Merced -- such as off the 18th -- is what makes TPC Harding Park's back nine so good. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

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.

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