Jan 28 / admin

Gleanagles GC in San Francisco Sporting Brand New Greens

I was alerted this morning by the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance that Gleneagles Golf Course, located in McLaren Park, has ALL NEW BENTGRASS GREENS as of last month!  I had no idea this was going on but I will be out there soon to check out the finest public golf greens in the city.  Gleneagles is a tight, hilly 9 hole course that faces numerous challenges:

  • No superintendant
  • No turfgrass manager
  • Minimal funding from the City
  • Sketchy neighborhood

A Private Golf Club Coming to the Aid of a Battered Muni

The greens were so far gone that even the turfgrass experts who investigated couldn’t conclude exactly what caused it but all 9 greens had been destroyed, which is clear in the below video.  The golfers stopped coming, but Gleneagles has support of some loyal players, and Tom Bastis, the Super of The California Golf Club of San Francisco, who helped with the rebuilding of the greens and the total cost was only $150,000!  Looking at the video below, I would have expected more like $2 million.  A lot of people contributed their time and expertise to the project.

The course has a rich history, having been designed in 1962 by Jack Fleming, a local golf course architecture legend, a student of MacKenzie.  There’s a story I’ve heard that Trevino made a point of stopping by there in the late 60s to try to break the course record of 69 and couldn’t do it.  The course is super hilly and the greens are severely sloped- this place appeals to the low handicapper who doesn’t mind the lack of turf in some fairways or the sound of gunshots, but there is a cool bar that doubles as the pro shop and starter’s window!  These new greens will surely provide some extremely challenging putts from above the hole.  If they play anything like the new Olympic Club (Lake) greens, they will be rock hard for a number of months or maybe years, so you’ll need to play your approach shots to bounce and run compared to the old poa greens which are much softer. Here are a few articles about the rebuild:

SF Public Golf Alliance Article: New Greens at Gleneagles