Olympic Club

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The Olympic Club is a country club with several golf courses partly located in San Francisco, California. The club's main "City Clubhouse" is located in downtown San Francisco. The courses are on a property that straddles the boundary between San Francisco and Daly City. The club's "Lakeside Clubhouse" is located in Daly City. The two clubhouses are separated by about 10 miles. The three courses at The Olympic Club are the Cliffs, Lake, and Ocean courses. The Lake and Ocean are eighteen hole par 71 courses, and the Cliffs is a nine hole par 3 course that is on the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean. All three courses are lined with many trees (almost 40,000 on the Lake course) and offer views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The United States Golf Association recognizes the Olympic Club as one of the first 100 golf clubs established in the United States.

The City Clubhouse is located at:

524 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
+1 (415) 345-5100

The golf courses are located at:

599 Skyline Boulevard
Daly City, CA 94015
+1 (415) 587-8338

History

The Olympic Club is the oldest athletic club in the United States. The Olympic Club was established on May 6, 1860. James J. Corbett, the heavyweight boxing champion from 1892 to 1897, joined the club in 1884. He later went on to coach boxing at the club for many years. On January 2, 1893 the club opened its first permanent clubhouse on Post Street. That building did not survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In 1909, Olympian and club member Ralph Rose set a world record shot put throw of 51 feet. In 1913, the Olympic Club's top rugby union side held the All Blacks of New Zealand, then (as now) one of the world's top teams in that sport, to a draw. Olympic Club members would later form the core of the US national Rugby Union team that would win gold medals in rugby at the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics, the last two times the sport was part of the Olympic program.

In 1918, the club took over the Lakeside Golf Club, which had just opened in 1917 but was struggling financially. Lakeside had one 18-hole golf course designed by Wilfrid Reid, but following additional land purchases the club decided to replace it with two courses. These were designed by Willie Watson, a well-known Scottish architect, and the Lake and Ocean courses opened in 1924. The Ocean course was shortly thereafter damaged by landslides, and Sam Whiting (who had constructed the two courses, and would remain as superintendent until 1954) remodeled and rebuilt both courses in 1927. In 1953, the Lake course was modified by Robert Trent Jones in preparation for the 1955 U.S. Open. The Ocean course was altered several times over the years, and following heavy storm damage in 1996 was completely redesigned by Tom Weiskopf and reopened in 2000.

In 1915, the club's amateur basketball team won the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU] Basketball Championship. In 1934, club member Fred Apostoli won the National Amateur Middleweight boxing title. In 1937, the Olympic Club track and field team won the Track and Field National Championships. In 1941, club member Hank Luisetti helped lead the Olympic Club basketball team to win the AAU Basketball Championships again. In 1950, Olympic Club member Arthur Larsen won the U.S. Open tennis in Forest Hills, New York. The Olympic Club water polo team won the 1959 Water Polo National Championship.

In 1993, the Club set up the Winged "O" Foundation. Its purpose is to fund youth sports programs for the youth of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Cliffs Course opened in 1994 with Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf as the course architects. Club member Maureen O'Toole won a silver medal in water polo at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Two Olympic Club members have won the Dipsea Race (a 7.1 mile (11.4 km) long race has held annually since 1905, starting in Mill Valley, and finishing at Stinson Beach, in Marin County, California. Since 1983, the race has been held on the second Sunday in June.) They include Norman Bright in 1970 and Shirley Matson in 1993.

The Olympic Club hosted the 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur (won by Sihwan Kim) and the U.S. Amateur in 1958 (won by Charles Coe) and 1981 (won by Nathaniel Crosby, son of Bing Crosby). The Lake and Ocean Courses will be used for the 2007 U.S. Amateur.

The courses

General course information

The greens are aerated at various times of the year and there is no overseeding. There are few bunkers on the course and no water hazards. The greens are bent grass and the fairways are poa annua.

The bunkers also have various symbols in them. On the 2nd green, there are three bunkers in the shape of a face smiling. Just below the 18th green, there are three bunkers shaped saying IOU.

The Lake Course

18th hole at the Lake Course

The Lake Course has been recognized by GOLF Magazine in its list of the Top 100 Courses in the U.S. It has also been recognized in GOLFWEEK's category of "America's 100 Best Classical Courses." In Golf Digest's list of the U.S. 100 Greatest Courses for 2007-2008, the Lake Course was ranked 23.

The regular yardage of the Lake Course is 6,842 yards from the championship tees, with a course rating of 73.9 and a slope rating of 138. From the next set of tees forward, the course measures 6,529 yards, and has a course rating of 72.3 and a slope rating of 132. From the next set of tees forward, the course measures 6,235 yards, and has a course rating of 70.9 and a slope rating of 129. From the front tees, the course measures 5,593 yards, and has a course rating of 68.6 and a slope rating of 122.

The Lake Course has been lengthened in preparation for the 2007 U.S. Amateur. The par 4 2nd hole has added 40 yards. The par 3 3rd is 30 yards longer with a recent construction of another new tee. The par 4 5th, once 457 yards, now plays over 500 yards from the back tee. The par 4 12th is the most recent to be lengthened.

The Ocean Course

The Ocean Course has seen many changes over its history. Winter El Nino storms in 1983, and 1997 caused significant damage, and required major changes to the course and layout. During the mid 1990s, the club built 4 holes west of skyline along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Holes of par 4, par 3, par 5, and par 4 had dramatic views. These holes were lost due to erosion in 1997. The current course was finished in 2000.

The regular yardage for the Ocean Course is 6,925 yards from the championship tees with a course rating of 73.5 and a slope rating of 133. From the next set of tees forward, the course measures 6,496 yards and has a course rating of 71.1 and a slope rating of 129. From the next set of tees forward, the course measures 5,898 yards with a course rating of 68.8 and a slope rating of 121. From the front tees, the course measures 5,386 yards with a course rating of 66.5 and a slope rating of 115.

In preparation for the 2007 U.S. Amateur, the 14th hole has been changed, to allow the 15th hole to be lengthened.

The Cliffs Course

The Cliffs Course is the windiest because it is set on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Though it is short, it is very challenging. Designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf, it is the most scenic of all three courses. It measures 1,800 yards.

The U.S. Opens

The Olympic Club has hosted four U.S. Open Championships in 1955, 1966, 1987, and 1998. It is scheduled to host the U.S. Open again in 2012.

Jack Fleck won the 1955 U.S. Open. He defeated Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff after the two had tied at the end of 72 holes with scores of 287. Billy Casper defeated Arnold Palmer in a playoff to win the 1966 U.S. Open. In 1987, Scott Simpson won the U.S. Open by one stroke over Tom Watson.

Lee Janzen won the most recent U.S. Open at Olympic in 1998 with a score of 280 (even par, as the course played a par 70 for the U.S. Open). In the 1998 U.S. Open, players complained about the pin position at the 18th hole in the second round. The pin was set at the top of a ridge, and, with the U.S. Open's knack for making hard, fast greens, many balls rolled on way past the cup. Kirk Triplett incurred a two-stroke penalty when he used his putter to stop the ball from rolling. Payne Stewart, the runner-up to Janzen, complained as he three-putted the hole. The putting green was flattened around 2000 as a result. The narrow green now is slightly wider at the front, allowing for more pin placements.

See also

References

External links

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