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who was a consulting architect at St. Andrews and became the first designer to chart its collection of hollows and free-flowing undulations, had brought the Old Course to San Francisco. MacKenzie was espe-

cially proud of original holes Nos. 5 and 10 (Nos. 17 and 14 today), which were ad- aptations of his acclaimed, yet mysterious, Lido Hole. MacKenzie’s career truly launched in 1914 when he won a golf-hole design contest hosted by Country Life Magazine. He was to create the ideal “two-shot hole,” and his drawing of a design with varying degrees of difficulty and risk-reward was selected and used as the blueprint for the finishing hole at MacDonald’s then- private Lido Golf Club on Long Island. “This hole gives one

three different fair greens to play to from the tee, each one to be chosen accord- ing to the player’s ability and according to the wind,” MacDonald wrote in Golf Illustrated. “The fairway is full of bunkers and the second shot must be as accurate as the first. As a finishing hole I know of none that will give a golfer whose opponent has him one down a better chance to retrieve himself at the last hole than this one, un- less it be the eighteenth at the National.” Adding even more

mystique to the Lido Hole is that the course—which was considered on par with National Golf Links—was lost during World War II. But the Lido Hole has been found—twice—in World War II aerials of Sharp Park where MacK- enzie built additional tees on spits in the water and

46 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2013

created island landing areas to tempt the more adven- turous golfers. Remnants of Sharp Park’s two original Lido holes can still be seen at Nos. 14 and 17. “That’s one of the real

treasures about Sharp Park,” Links said. “There were a lot of really good courses but they aren’t here any- more. Sharp is still there on the ground—like an old master painting waiting to be restored.” The San Francisco

Golf Alliance has organized local citizen golfer work days at Sharp Park, and the community has responded, most recently by volunteer- ing to replace ice plant with native vegetation in the area between the 16th green and 17th tee. “Most people will never

get to Augusta or Cypress Point,” Harris said. “Most will never play Pasatiempo. But they can play Sharp for less than the cost of a restaurant meal.” Sharp Park is certainly

scruffier than MacKenzie’s pristine works at Cypress Point and Augusta Na- tional, but it still embodies much of the Spirit of St. Andrews with its classic architecture, natural beauty and inviting accessibility. “A golf course shouldn’t

be perfect, it should be natural,” Links said. “The more natural we can make it, the better it is. These are lessons that go back to MacKenzie. His philosophy was you imitate nature, you take what nature gives you, and you work within that confine. “One of the things we’re

all more sensitive to is to being responsible stewards of the landscape.” Call it, keeping alive the

Spirit of Sharp Park.

Bo Links and Richard Harris Q&A

NCGA Golf had the chance to sit down with San Francisco Public Golf Alliance co-found-

ers Richard Harris and Bo Links in preparation for this article. Harris is a former captain of the Stanford golf team, and attorney with Erskine & Tulley who in 2000 led a successful campaign to save Stanford Golf Course from housing development. Links is a Cal-Berkeley alum, and an attorney and founder of Slote & Links. Links is also an author of three books, including the recently published Golf Poems: The Greatest Game in Rhythm and Rhyme, and is the only two-time winner of the golf architecture contest sponsored by the Alister MacKenzie Society. Harris and Links spoke eloquently and passionately on the virtues of municipal golf and Sharp Park. –SCOTT SEWARD

Why is it important to save Sharp Park? BO LINKS: When you look around at the assets this city has, it’s incredibly blessed. This is a city so rich in architecture and history and public places for people to congregate. When you start looking at the collection of golf

courses, it’s unbelievable. This is a Louvre museum for golf courses. Of all the city courses, the one that’s got the deepest roots is Sharp Park. It’s a public course, built by the sea with clas- sic architecture. If a place like that is in jeopardy, how could any golfer not

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