The Olympic Club was formed in San Francico in 1860 as an athletics club, and was the first of it's kind in America.
In 1918 the club purchased The Lakeside Country Club, which had been struggling financially.
The course, designed by Wilfred Reid was originally built on a barren hillside overlooking Lake Merced.
On taking ownership The Olympic Club unveiled plans to build a lavish new clubhouse on the site, and to renovate the course and add another to provide 36 holes of golf for members.
The Lake Course took the bulk of it's holes from the former Lakeside Country Club, but was substantially redesigned by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, re-opening in 1924.
In the process the the Lake course was transformed by the planting of trees framing every fairway.
Upon maturity the trees became a dominant feature on the course.
More recently Gil Hanse was engaged to draw up a Master Plan and oversee renovation going forward.
Upon acquiring the Lakeside Country Club and redeveloping The Lake Course, the club also built The Ocean course (which also opened in 1924).
This course was originally known as Pacific Links.
Unfortunately the ocean clifftop terrain did not prove stable enough- mud slides devastated the course, requiring a major redesign.
The course opened again for play in 1927.
It was redesigned by Tom Weiskopf in 2000.
The Club also has a remarkable par 3 'executive course', named The Cliffs Course.
It covers some remarkable golfing terrain, and is one of THE best short courses anywhere!
All in all, with the magnificent clubhouse and associated facilities, plus three courses, it must be said that Olympic Club members are very well catered for!
The Cliffs Course
The Cliffs Course was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf and opened for play in 1994.
It is a picturesque par 3 course with gorgeous ocean views.
The green complexes and bunkering are artistically shaped, and the whole course is beautifully presented.
The Cliffs Course is one of the very special short courses in the world of golf.
It is a joy to play.
I need to befriend a member!
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