Really great to see Harding getting the recognition it deserves. Kind of hard to believe since it largely ignored for a couple decades. I great up playing a lot of golf at Harding with my grandpa and I played in several City tournaments, my uncle actually won it in '82. My great uncle was the head pro there during the late 60's- early 70's and my dad started working for him when he was 13, so lots of family history.
On Wednesday from the steps of San Francisco's City Hall, the news became official -- TPC Harding Park will host the 2015 World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship, the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2025 Presidents Cup.
That announcement may well be unprecedented in the history of any golf course in America. In a single moment, TPC Harding Park became the venue for three of the biggest tournaments on any PGA TOUR calendar.
Think golf fans in the Bay Area were smiling on Wednesday?
To get your familiar with a course that will be in the news for at least the next 10 years, here's all you need to know about TPC Harding Park.
KEY MOMENTS IN TPC HARDING PARK HISTORY
• Harding Park opens for play in 1925 after a design by noted architects Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also oversaw the construction of the nearby Olympic Club. Watson and Whiting charged the city $300 for their services, with construction costs coming in just under $300,000.
• Officials named the course in the southwest corner of the city alongside Lake Merced after President Warren G. Harding. The 29th President of the United States was an avid golfer who died at the Palace Hotel on Aug. 2, 1923, during a visit to San Francisco.
• The course became immediately popular and gained national notoriety when the United States Golf Association selected the course to host the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 1937.
• In 1944, professional golf arrived at Harding Park, with Byron Nelson outlasting Harold “Jug” McSpaden to win the San Francisco Victory Open.
• The PGA TOUR made Harding Park a TOUR stop in 1961 when it added the Lucky International to its tournament schedule. The Lucky International was played from 1961 to 1968 (there was no tournament in 1967).
• While its signature event was the San Francisco City Championship, which attracted the best amateurs from California, a slow deterioration of the course began as it went from a jewel in the Bay Area to nothing more than what some described as a clover patch by the 1980s. A San Francisco Chronicle story described the course: “Weeds, clusters of daisies and splotches of dirt came to characterize this once-pristine layout.”
• Frank “Sandy” Tatum, a former USGA president who had played in the San Francisco City Championship while attending Stanford University, became instrumental in turning around Harding Park’s fortunes. As part of the renovation process, Tatum eventually turned to the PGA TOUR and the International Federation of PGA Tours, the governing body for the World Golf Championships, and the course was named host to an WGC event. In advance of the event, Harding Park underwent a 15-month renovation project that expanded the course from 6,743 yards to around 7,200 yards.
• The course reopened on Aug. 22, 2003, with the World Golf Championships event held there in October 2005, with Tiger Woods defeating John Daly in a playoff.
• The Presidents Cup, a biennial competition between U.S. players and players from all countries outside of Europe, is held at Harding Park in October 2009, with the American team winning.
• Harding Park is added to the PGA TOUR’s prestigious TPC Network of clubs in November 2010. Entering a partnership between the PGA TOUR and the City of San Francisco, TPC Harding Park operates under no management fees, thus allowing both the city and the TOUR to give back to local communities through charitable donations.
• TPC Harding Park host the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2011 and 2012, the decisive event on the Champions Tour that determines the Charles Schwab Cup champion.