Sharp Park Golf Course Description
Sharp Park Golf Course is located in Pacifica, California 15 minutes south of San Francisco along the Pacific Ocean. The course was built in 1932 by Alister MacKenzie and is one the few public courses that the great designer built. In recent times the course has had to deal with a long lasting California drought and environment issues affecting the wetlands around the westerly ends of the course. I was on my way to play Pasatiempo when I saw a sign on the road saying Sharp Park Golf Course, I’ve heard of it and did a little research on but it wasn’t on my list of courses I was playing in Cal but I thought what the heck I’m here why not play it. I got to the course around 6pm and was surprised it was only $16 to play at that time, I grabbed my clubs and headed to the first tee. The first thing you notice standing on the first tee is the tall Cyprus trees that line the fairways. The course overall is shorter than today’s standard courses but that’s a good thing as I believe it helps the majority of golfers to have fun and enjoy the game. As I hurriedly walked my first MacKenzie course I thought t myself this course is a hidden gem and if it was restored to its former glory or even with the addition of some of MacKenzie’s famous other California golf course features it would be an incredible course. There has been a great interest is saving the course and several prominent architects have offered their services to restore Sharp Park to its former glory, what a great compliment to Alister MacKenzie, it shows you how his art forms have stood the test of time and how even today’s golf course designers respect and want to preserve his work. Imagine 16 bucks to play a Alister MacKenzie design.
1st Hole 356 yds Par 4
As you walk out to the first tee you’ll notice a couple of things firstly being the large Cyprus trees that line the fairway and secondly the sounds of the ocean in the distance. The first few holes aren’t overly long and I doubt many of the holes have changed all that much over the years. The first fairway is generous in size and you can let it rip here. The challenge comes on the second shot where you hit to a smallish round green. There is one bunker short of the green that doesn’t really come into play. I can many possibilities in adding some of those famous MacKenzie bunkers to this hole along with a new green would make it a great opening hole.
2nd Hole 332 yds Par 4
Another short par 4 here, there is not much happening here just keep your drive in the fairway and you’ll have a short shot into the green. You can see the contours around the green that have been flattened over time and a worn out bunker, I bet this hole will look good with a restoration to MacKenzie’s green complex and bunkering standards.
3rd Hole 360 yds Par 4
The third short in series of short par 3 before you cross the road. This hole’s main objective it to keep it between trees. The left side is OB here and the bunkers here if brought back to their original shapes could make the hole a very challenging one.
4th Hole 453 yds Par 5
This is a short par 5 by today’s standards the fairway here is generously wide give you an opportunity to go for the green. The challenge of this hole lies around the green, there is a pesky little tree in your way if you go too far left that you’ll have to play over. There are a couple of bunkers on the right that will catch your ball too. It will be an interesting hole after the reno, I wonder if they’ll move the green back more and remove some trees to open the green area more.
5th Hole 193 yds Par 3
The next three hole scream Augusta National although this hole when restored may look like the uphill par 3 3rd or 5th hole at Pasatiempo. Its a nice uphill par 3 surrounded by large trees and bushes with a very amphitheater feel and look. Again this hole as tonnes of potential already built in its just waiting for a restoration.
6th Hole 408 yds Par 4
This hole looks reminds me of second shot on the 13th at August, down the left side there is a small creek that runs the length of the hole. The closer you can get to the creek the better angle you’ll have on your second shot. Again with a little love and tender care this hole will be great once its redone. I would only change the shapes of the bunkers and add more green surface and contouring to the right making that second shot a little tougher.
7th Hole 405 yds Par 4
When I first saw this hole I wondered if the good Dr pattered a couple of hole at Augusta after this hole. Its striking similar in the fact there is wide open fairway like #9 at August and like Augusta its all about the shot into the green. Keeping with the Augusta theme I see this being a bunker-less hole, the green and surrounding mounding would be the real defense on this hole.
8th Hole 97 yds Par 3
This short little par 3 is not much to look at in its current state, but if its in the plan to keep it this could be a very fun short hole. Image if the green was smaller and was surrounded by those cloud shaped bunkers the good Dr is famous for.
9th Hole 481 yds Par 5
The last hole on the front side is the longest on the front side, this par 5 has a slight dogleg right at there is OB to the left past the giant cypress tree that guard this side. The aim point here is at the 2 tree stumps on the right side of the fairway. There are no bunkers in the fairway here so any drive that stays out of the trees will work here. At under 500 yds you can go for the green just avoid the left side, there is one bunker at the green that can come into play on the right side. The green is more or less round in shape here.
10th Hole 414 yds Par 4
This is the start of some fairly stern golf holes at Sharp Park golf course. This hole gently doglegs to the left and a tee shot down the left side is favorable but any shot finding the fairway here is also good. The fairway is surrounded by giant cypress trees so if you ball heads towards them cross your fingers on the lie. The second shot into the green is open on the right side with a small bunker on the left. This green is for the most part round in shape.
11th Hole 413 yds Par 4
This hole is a little easier on the eye off the tee than the 10th hole. The fairway is wider and not as many trees line this fairway. A shot anywhere in the fairway here will leave you with a opportunity to reach the green. Staying left here is the key, the pesky bunker on the right does come into play. This hole still has the remnants of some mounding and fun hole to play.
12th Hole 205 yds Par 4
The longest par 3 at Sharp Park Golf Course – this was directly into the sun when I played it. This hole can play directly into the ocean breeze on a windy day and the green surface itself rather small and round like most other greens on the course. Its best to be short here if you miss the green giving you the best chance at par.
13th Hole 551 yds Par 5
The longest hole at Sharp Park golf course at 551 yds its a stern test for all golfers. There is a hazard down the left side all the way to the green here. A couple of shots down the right side will set you up with a good approach and a chance at a birdie. There are 3 bunkers guarding this green so take care on your third shot.
14th Hole 383 yds Par 4
This hole runs along the swamp down the left hand side, your angle of approach here is down the left side giving you a good angle at the hole and a shorter shot. The fairway is generous so you can be aggressive if you want. The second shot into the hole is wide open with one bunker on the far left of the green.
15th Hole 142 yds Par 3
This is another short hole par 3 unfortunately from the tee the shot is blind as a result of the giant reeds in the swampland. The green has a couple of bunkers on it that come into play from the teeing angle. It will be interesting to see what happens to this hole and if they can recover the site lines to the hole.
16th Hole 373 yds Par 4
The wind can be a big factor here depending on which way it blows. This straight away hole isn’t overly long and keeping it between the cart path and ocean wall is all you need here. The second shot is slightly up hill to a green sitting on top of the hill. The green is fairly large an not much around the green to cause any trouble.
17th Hole 352 yds Par 4
This is another wide open short hole, the best line is at the bunker on the right side of the green giving you a good look at the entire green. You can use an iron off the tee if your driver is not working. The second shot requires a deft touch to avoid the bunkers surrounding this green. The bunker placements here are in the shapes of Dr Mackenzie design, the original fairway used to come from an angle closer to the swamp area that’s why the green is angled funny here.
18th Hole 491 yds Par 5
Your round finishes with a long par 5, there is OB down the left side of the fairway here but ample room off the tee to get your ball in the fairway, favor the right side here as it will cut off some of the distance to the hole, your second shot here is must be played between the cypress trees, pick a favorite distance for your third shot and get to that distance for your second. The green is has no bunkers around it so if you can get it close to the green you chances of making a par are good. You can see some of the small mounds around the green here and how they have flattened it must have been quite the green complex back in the day.