Sep 30 / admin

The Olympic Club (Ocean) in October 2009

Golf at the Olympic Club

If there is ever to be a country club that I will join it will be the Olympic Club.  There are two spectacular 18 hole courses, the Lake and Ocean, as well as one of the finest par 3 courses in the world, the Cliffs Course, which sits atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific.  There’s also a great Athletic Club in downtown San Francisco with multiple pools, a full gym, locker room, and much more.

The day I played in October 2009 was uncharacteristically sunny and warm.  The club is actually situated on the edge of Daly City, just south of San Francisco, and the weather is usually gray and a bit damp.  As you can see from the photos, it’s one of the most unique places in the world to play golf.  I believe the trees have a lot to do with it, because you just don’t see trees like this outside of the bay area.  I used to play Torrey Pines down in San Diego a lot and it’s the only course I can think of that has a similar feel to courses like Olympic, Lake Merced, Harding Park, and others in the area that I haven’t had the privilege of playing yet.

Golf Progress at the Olympic Club

I may have played the best round of my life that day, and the great weather certainly didn’t hurt.  I played with a client of mine who is a ‘downtown’ member, also known as MNHGP, short for Member not holding golf priveleges, meaning that they can’t take guests onto the historic Lake course, only the Ocean.  I’ve played the Lake once and the Ocean course a handful of times.  I find the Ocean to be quite a bit easier but at my level it’s more enjoyable.  The Lake course beat me up and will again when I play there next Sunday.  We decided to tee off from the Black tees which I think are rated over 74 with a slope in the high 130’s.  My 85 came out to a +9 on my GHIN report so that would be the first time I’ve reported a score single digits over true par.

Drive for Dough

In this video I’m hitting a drive on one of the magnificent par 4’s on the back nine.  I’m clearly struggling to make a complete turn, but I’m hitting the ball about as well as you can with my arms dropping inside the way they are, I hit a few drives over 270 when I typically drive the ball in the 240-250 range.  Firm fairways and no wind helped.  There was a tough par 4 on the back that played over 460 from the back and I managed to find the green in two with about a 10 footer for birdie, which I did not make, but I’m not someone who has ever reached holes in two of that length.  A number of people comment to me that I hit driver a lot in these videos.  It’s true- and mainly because the tee is the only time I can usually get my playing partner, who is not accustomed to shooting video, to capture the footage.  But there’s another reason: Driving the ball is a crucial part of the game for the mid handicapper trying to get into single digits.  The drive sets up most of the holes and a longish straight drive will put a mid or short iron in my hand on most holes, wedge on plenty, and a fairway wood at the worst on the day I played Olympic Ocean from the tips and shot an 85, my best round eva.

Olympic Club Links:

Go here to do some learnin’ on this historic golf club:

Olympic Club on Wikipedia

Olympic Club on Yelp: The course is rated by a few Yelpers and so far it’s at 4.5 out of 5

Olympic Club on GolfCourseGurus: A short review of the essentials about the Lake course and some nice photos.

Olympic Club (Ocean) Photos

The course photographs terribly well, the greens and blue sky pop off my iMac and in real life it’s quite a spectacular property to spend an afternoon touring.  I’m new to taking photos on the course, I’ve only done it a few times.  I’ll work on getting hole numbers up in future posts.