San Francisco’s Harding Park Set to Re-Open
March 13, 2014
San Francisco’s Harding Park is ready to return to action.
The project, which began Dec.1, involved switching all 18 of the course’s greens, which were previously poa annua (a weed), to an advanced strain of tyee bentgrass. The bentgrass not only will improve playability, but is also more resistant to nematodes, microscopic worms that cut off the ability for grass to root.
During the project, Harding Park used 18 temporary greens and reduced green fees. The renovations also resulted in this year’s annual San Francisco City Championship, which concluded last weekend and is normally hosted by Harding Park, to be shifted to the Presidio Course.
Along with being a boon to local and visiting players, the renovations also fit in with the possibility of Harding Park hosting the Champions Tour Schwab Cup Championship in 2015.
There has also been chatter that the PGA Tour’s Match Play Championship could land at Harding Park in 2015, but that all depends on a sponsor stepping up. Should everything come together, look for the event to be played in March instead of February.
“We painted a rusted car for the Schwab,” Harding Park general manager Tom Smith told the Chronicle in November, shortly after last year’s Schwab and just before the project started. “The damage is still there. You can cover it up for a short period of time … but this is basically ensuring a long-term, premium product. It definitely needs to be done. This is the championship course in the city’s portfolio, so we have to put some money back into it.”
The PGA Tour, which took over operations of the course in 2010 as part of its Tournament Players Club (TPC), helped foot a third ($400,000) of the $1.2 million cost of the project.