Tuesday, October 6
Harding Park Is Primed for Presidents Cup
Harding Park in black and white, and some of the lucky hackers
who get to play it.
WELCOMING GOLFERS SINCE 1925, Harding Park Golf Course, site of this week’s Presidents Cup, is a dandy municipal track. This week, with the American and International teams in town, the course will measure 7,137 yards and play to a par of 71. That doesn’t sound long—in fact, it’s rather puny by today’s tour standards—but remember: everything plays longer in damp, cool, hilly San Francisco.
I’ve never stepped foot on Harding Park, although I did visit the nearby Olympic Club last summer on a quick trip to the Bay Area. I’d love to, though. Harding Park is on a rolling peninsula, surrounded by Lake Merced. It’s gorgeous. A gem.
As you would expect, the golf course is in prime condition for the Presidents Cup, despite a major greens mishap that occurred two and a half months ago. Nine of Harding Park’s greens were damaged by fertilizer burn due to operator error. Temporary greens were used until repairs could be completed.
“It has been blown out of proportion a little,” said course superintendent Wayne Kappelman.
“It was repaired within a week. All 18 greens are in great shape and the whole course is where it should be.”
The greens are bentgrass Poa annua and are supposed to be rolling at 11 1/2 half on the Stimpmeter when the matches get underway.
In today’s press conference, Fred Couples said the greens were good. And then he said this: “I’ve played two rounds, and if I can make putts, any of those other 24 other guys can surely make them.”
Maybe so. But they might be harder to make on Sunday.
Harding Park Notes
• Named after President Warren G. Harding
• Designed by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting. Design fee: $300
• Began hosting national tournaments in 1937
• Boyhood home course of NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller and former CBS golf analyst Ken Venturi
• Hosted a World Golf Championship event in 2005 won by Tiger Woods
−The Armchair Golfer
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Sources: GCSAA.org, Harding Park, ASAP Sports