TPC Harding Park: Public Golf Course Where Majors Are Played

A group plays a hole during the 2019 Stephen Curry Charity Classic presented by Workday at TPC Harding Park on September 16, 2019 in San Francisco, California.

Noah Graham/Getty Images for PGA of America

 

TPC Harding Park golf course in San Francisco, California, is the only city-owned, public course in the United States managed by the PGA Tour. After being run by the city and county of San Francisco for most of its history, Harding Park became part of the tour's TPC network of golf courses in late 2010.

TPC Harding Park is located in west San Francisco, on the shores of Lake Merced. Directly south, on the opposite shore of the lake, is the Olympic Club. San Francisco Golf Club is to the southeast, San Francisco State University abuts the Lake Merced property on the east. The Golden Gate Bridge is just north of Harding Park.

The Harding Park golf course opened in 1925. In the early 2000s, it underwent a major renovation led by the PGA Tour, and after that it began hosting big professional tournaments. More are on the schedule: The 2020 PGA Championship will be played at TPC Harding Park, as will the 2025 Presidents Cup.

Fast Facts: TPC Harding Park

  • Location: San Francisco, California
  • Type of Course: Municipal. It is owned by San Francisco and open to all
  • Year Opened: 1925
  • Golf Course Architects: Sam Whiting and Willie Watson for the original layout; PGA Tour Design led a renovation and redesign in the early 2000s.
  • Major Events Hosted: Presidents Cup, PGA Championship, multiple PGA Tour tournaments
  • Interesting Fact: The course is named for an avid golfer, President Warren G. Harding. The course opened two years after Harding's death. 

The golf course tips out at 7,169 yards with a par of 72. The championship tees course rating is 74.3 and slope rating 129. Other tees play to yardages of 6,845, 6,405 and 5,875. It is cart-path only year-round. The facility also includes the par-30, 2,165 yard Fleming 9 golf course.

The address is 99 Harding Road, San Francisco, CA 94132, and the contact number for golf information is 415-664-4690.

Can You Play TPC Harding Park?

Yes, you can play Harding Park golf course, any time you can get a tee time. Harding Park is a municipal course, owned by the city and county of San Francisco. That means it is open to anyone who wants to play.

Memberships are not available, but Bay Area locals can purchase a Resident Golf Card. Holders of that card receive reduced rates throughout the year.

TPC Harding Park Tee Times and Rates

It's expensive to play at Harding Park golf course, but perhaps less expensive than many would imagine given the course's location (one of the highest costs-of-living in the U.S.) and the course's pedigree. It's definitely less expensive than many upscale, daily fee courses.

Depending on the time of year and time of day, regular rates (charged to anyone who does not have a resident card) can range from the $50s to around $100 per person; discounts apply when foursomes are booked as a group.

Tee times can be booked from eight to 30 days in advance for groups of two up to groups of 15. There is a non-refundable advance booking fee of $15 for the reservations, which can be made through the TPC Harding Park website. Golfers have the choice to walk or ride.

It's OK to try walking on as a single, and most days you'll get to play if you're willing to wait. Golfers can call 415-664-4690 (extension 0 for golf info) for more information, but expect to be on hold for a while.

Walk-ons are always OK for the nine-hole Fleming Course.

Big Tournaments at TPC Harding Park

The first (and so far only) USGA championships played on Harding Park golf course were the Amateur Public Links Championships in 1937 (Bruce McCormick winner) and 1956 (James Buxbaum). But the PGA Tour soon brought professional tournaments, and in recent years, after the renovation, more big events followed — and they produced an impressive roster of champions.

PGA Tour Tournaments Prior to Renovation

The first big pro tournament at Harding Park was the 1944 San Francisco Victory Open, won by Byron Nelson. The PGA Tour returned from 1961-69 for the Lucky International Open. That event's winners included multiple future Hall-of-Famers: Gary Player, Jack Burke Jr., Chi Chi Rodriguez, Ken Venturi and Billy Casper.

WGG Tournaments Post-Renovation

Following the renovation of Harding Park, the first big pro tournament was the World Golf Championships (WGC) American Express Championship in 2005. That tournament provided a major boost to the golf course's fame when Tiger Woods bested John Daly on the third playoff hole.

In 2015, another huge star, Rory McIlroy, won at Harding Park in the WGC Cadillac Match Play.

Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup, an international match between United States and International teams of male tour professionals, took place at TPC Harding Park in 2009. Captained by Fred Couples, Team USA defeated Greg Norman's Team International by a 19.5 to 14.5 score. Tiger Woods led the Americans with a perfect 5-0-0 record in the matches; Phil Mickelson went 4-0-1.

Charles Schwab Cup Championship

The season-ending tournament on the Champions Tour was played here in 2010, 2011 and 2013. The winners were John Cook, Jay Don Blake and Fred Couples, respectively.