The course at Lake Merced is defined by natural beauty, enhanced by dramatic elevation changes carved into tree-lined, manicured fairways. It is nationally recognized as a tough but fair test of golf. The course, like the club itself, has undergone many changes in its lifetime. The original course was designed by Willie Lock in 1923, opened for play on what was once coastal sand dunes to the west of San Francisco.
In 1929, Dr. Alister MacKenzie, famous architect of Augusta National, was retained to improve the bunkers and areas around the greens. Dr. MacKenzie’s work improved upon what was already considered one of Northern California’s greatest golf course design achievements. By the 60’s, the course and the property had evolved and matured into a tree-lined parkland layout. When the construction of Interstate 280 encroached upon the course, renowned architect Robert Muir Graves re-routed the course beautifully, and the result is the foundation of the current layout. Evidence of the elite caliber of the course can be found in the numerous championships Lake Merced have proudly hosted. These championships include many NCGA Championships and U.S. Open sectional qualifiers. Lake Merced Golf Club also has the distinction of the being the site of Tiger Woods’ USGA championship debut, when he competed in the 1990 U.S. Junior Amateur.
In 1996, the latest architectural revision of the golf course was completed when Rees Jones was brought in to update the course as the club concurrently upgraded the course’s drainage. Today, Lake Merced Golf Club stretches out to a Par 72 that covers 6,925 yards, featuring six sets of tees for members and guests of all abilities to enjoy.