This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Bay Area golfers have legally protect- able interests in their use and enjoy- ment of Sharp Park, and ruled in favor of SFPGA’s intervention. But the fight continues to this

day, to the extent that San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos, a candidate for mayor, proposed to give away Sharp Park to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The GGNRA has

onships on great golf courses—yet I have always considered Sharp Park to be Dr. MacKenzie’s great gift to the American public golfer.” MacKenzie wrote a book, The

Spirit of St. Andrews, where he discusses Sharp Park and his philosophy of golf course design. “My reputation has been based

I have traveled the world and played in great championships on great golf courses—yet I have always considered Sharp Park to be Dr. MacKenzie’s great gift to the American public golfer. –KEN VENTURI

said it will not operate a golf course at Sharp Park. Ken Venturi grew up in a work-

ing class family in San Francisco and developed his game at Sharp Park, Lincoln and Harding. The 1964 U.S. Open champion at Congressional CC immediately offered his assistance, and was named Honorary Chairman of the SFPGA. “The only access I had to golf as a

child was through San Francisco’s public golf courses,” Venturi writes in his declaration to the court. “Sharp Park is an unpretentious place, with an old-fashioned pub that is open to golf- ers and non-golfers alike. The course is a hub of civic activity in Pacifica, and has been since it opened in 1932. Indeed, Sharp Park connects golfers to the Scottish public course roots of the game in a way that few, if any, courses can duplicate. I have traveled the world and played in great champi-

on the fact that I have endeavored to conserve the existing natural features and, where these were lacking, to create formations in the spirit of nature herself,” MacKenzie

wrote. “This excellence of design is more felt than fully realized by the players, but nevertheless it is constantly exercising a subconscious influence upon him and in course of time he grows to admire such a course as all works of beauty must be eventually felt and admired.”

Those elements are present at Sharp

Park today. His only mistake was to dredge the lagoon. The Laguna Salada on the property was salt water, con- nected to the ocean through an inlet.

MacKenzie closed the inlet, dredged the lagoon, and made it fresh water. Frogs do not like salt water. There

were no frogs at the old Laguna Salada, which was then surrounded by an artichoke farm. But once the water was fresh, frogs jumped in. Snakes followed the frogs, to eat them. And thus began the terrible convergence which could threaten every golf course in America. A study funded by San Francisco found that the first sighting of the frog and snake at Sharp Park was in 1946. It also found that the golfers created a buffer zone from predators like cats and dogs to the endangered species, since the lake is at the center of the course. CBD knew this, but funded its own study. Sharp Park remains one of the only

public golf courses with low green fees ($23-$40) and relatively flat ground, where seniors and juniors have access to the game at a place that should be a national landmark. “Look at the parking lot and you see

a bunch of pickup trucks,” Harris said. “This is a place where Joe Lunchbox plays the game, not a person of wealth or position.” In other words, they’re picking on the wrong guys, in the wrong place.

Ron Salsig is a contributing writer for NCGA Golf and has won three national awards from the GWAA.

46 / NCGA.ORG / SUMMER 2011

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76