California Club of San Francisco—South San Francisco
Rankings as of 3/10/2012
-34th best classic U.S. course (Golfweek)
-97th best U.S. course (Golf Magazine)
The Cal Club was originally built in the 1920’s by AV Macan with Alister Mackenzie doing some bunker work a few
years later. Then in 2008, Kyle Phillips renovated the course. But, to be frank, I couldn’t care less about who is
responsible for the course. All I care about is the course that is there now is off the charts fun!!
For starters, the course has all the boxes checked for it to be regarded in the upper echelon of the golfing world.
The course is routed naturally over some very nice and hilly terrain. Natural swales, hills, hallows, dips, twists and
turns are incorporated into the design. This routing also stacks the challenges up in such a way that the
examination of your game is never repetitive and always varied.
Furthermore, the little details of the design don’t go overlooked. The backdrops of the holes incorporate the lands
unique scenery to give the course its own special sense of place. And these little details aren’t forgotten in relation
to the bunkers. The course’s bunkering is beautiful, but more importantly each and every bunker is strategically
The bunker placement requires that you think before you strike the ball, as do the greens. You see, some of the
greens are domed like Pinehurst #2 or Seminole. These types of slopes repel the ball if the appropriate landing
area is not hit. However, some of these greens have undulations and slopes that can be utilized to get the ball to
feed close to the pin. Again, think before you strike the ball as not every green offers the same format in regards to
its challenges and secrets.
Why the Cal Club doesn’t get more respect from the golf course intelligentsia, I’ll never know. But if you like good,
fun, and varied golf, make your way there. You will have a ball!!