Olympic Club (Lake)

  • 26
    Golf Digest ranking:
  • 30
    Golf Magazine ranking:

Olympic Club (Lake)

Architect: Sam Whiting
Year: 1879

524 Post Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 587-8338

Course Access: Private

driving range available
motorized golf carts and caddies available

U.S. Open - 1955, 1966, 1987, 1998, 2012


Tee Yardage Par Rating / Slope

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A true test of golf, Olympic Club’s Lake Course is widely considered one of the toughest challenges in championship golf . . . which doesn’t bode well for the average amateur player.  Built on a hillside that is heavily populated with trees, scoring well on this course requires golfers to drive the ball with perfection and to match that perfection with their irons and short game.

Local Knowledge: Two words . . . Burger Dog

Read more about the Olympic Club (Lake) Experience

The Itinerant Golfer

The Olympic Club (Lake)

The Olympic Club was founded in 1860 under the name San Francisco Olympic Club and is recognized as the oldest athletic club in the U.S. At the time of inception the club focused on physical fitness as golf hadn’t yet made it across the pond. In 1918 The Olympic Club took over the struggling Lakeside Golf Club and introduced golf to its members at a new location on Lake Merced separate from the downtown clubhouse. Almost immediately the club decided to replace its one golf course with two, so land was acquired and Willie Watson was hired to do the layout of the new courses. In 1924 the Lake and Ocean Courses were opened. Three years later in 1927 Sam Whiting remodeled and rebuilt the courses after they sustain significant damage from a landslide. A third course was added in 1994 which is a par 3 nine hole course designed by Tom Weiskopt and Jay Morrish called the Cliffs Course. Over the years The Olympic Club has had a rich championship tradition with the USGA choosing to contest four U.S. Opens over the Lake Course and another one coming in 2012. The previous U.S. Opens have all been quite the story of underdog triumph. In 1955 Jack Fleck defeated Ben Hogan in an 18 hole playoff. Again in 1966 a playoff decided the outcome where Billy Casper edged out Arnold Palmer. In the 1987 U.S. Open Scott Simpson managed to knock off Tom Watson by just one stroke and finally,… More >