This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
missed the lawsuit against Sharp Park in December of 2012, citing a biological study from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that concluded the course’s maintenance practices were “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the California red-legged frog or San Francisco garter snake.” “We’ve got a long way to


go,” Links says. “We’re on about the seventh hole, and we’re 1-up.”


The course is still up and


running, but ultimately, the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance and the recently- formed Alister MacKenzie Foundation hope to restore Sharp Park’s original design qualities, as well as update its crumbling infrastructure and clubhouse. Sharp Park did lose four


eryone. (Sacramento was also bestowed the gift of a MacKenzie municipal in Haggin Oaks—one that is still thriving today.) “Sharp Park was built by MacKenzie for the public golfer as part of a broader movement to extend golf to the working class,” says Bo Links, a co-founder of the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance. “Most of MacK- enzie’s work was for private clubs. So when you find one of his works that’s a public course, let alone by the ocean, holy smokes.” Sharp Park has been open for more than 80 years now, but the last four have been under siege. Environmentalist


organizations led by the


Center for Biological Diver- sity, the Sierra Club and the Wild Equity Institute brought suit in Federal Court to close Sharp Park, alleging its maintenance practices threatened the existence of the California red-legged frog and the endangered San Francisco garter snake. But as Sharp Park


became endangered, the golf and historic preserva- tion communities rose to its defense. The San Francisco Public Golf Al- liance formed to protect this MacKenzie gem while promoting sustainable, eco-friendly golf. It was co-founded by attorneys Links and Richard Harris, along with Tom Hsieh, the


general manager of another San Francisco public golf institution, Gleneagles Golf Club at McLaren Park. “These environmental-


ist groups were operating under mistaken assumptions that golf is an elitist pastime of affluent, white males who wouldn’t care enough to fight for their course,” Links said. “They never appreci- ated the kind of people who play at Sharp Park, or how much the golfers care. “This is a place for com-


mon people from very, very diverse backgrounds, who have nowhere else to play, who love this place, and who now are united in the cause to save it.” U.S. District Court


Judge Susan Illston dis-


strand holes when a seawall was erected in 1941 to shield the course from the batter- ing of the Pacific Ocean. Jack Fleming— the construction foreman at Cypress Point and Sharp Park —created four new holes across the Pacific Coast Highway in 1942, eight years after MacKenzie’s death. But Sharp Park main-


tains much of its MacKen- zian charm—including 14 original fairways and 12 of his famously distinct green complexes. “The municipal courses


in San Francisco are far superior to most municipal courses,” wrote MacKenzie in the Spirit of St. Andrews, a lost manuscript outlining his design philosophies that was published more than 60 years after his death in 1995. “The newest, which we con- structed at Sharp Park, was made on land reclaimed from the sea. The course now has a great resemblance to real links land.” In short, MacKenzie,


SPRING 2013 / NCGA.ORG / 45


PHOTO: JOANN DOST


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  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84