San Francisco's Presidio Golf Course turned into public park while the course remains closed to golfers
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San Francisco’s Presidio Golf Course turned into public park while the course remains closed to golfers

Golf courses aren't open in the San Francisco area right now, the product of shelter-in-place orders in the city and the six surrounding counties. Even PGA Championship host TPC Harding Park isn't able to welcome golfers.

So, these spaces, with hundreds of open acres in a crowded city, look like a paradise in a time when people are clamoring to get outside but do so in a responsible way. One golf course in particular, Presidio Golf Course, has decided to allow the public to use a space typically reserved for its players, creating a huge picnic space in the fairways.

Zach Klein, who owns an architecture and design website called Dwell, shared these images over the weekend.

The golf course has previously allowed the public to spend time on the course before Klein's post, but his tweet garnered attention from people in the Bay Area and around the world. Author Malcolm Gladwell, who has a bias against golf and thinks it should be banned because he believes the sport to be elitist despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, tweeted that he hopes the course, which is located in a national park named the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, would become a park.

Klein suggested the same thing in a narrow-minded tweet as part of a thread.

Ultimately, Klein, whose business sells overpriced furniture, received a variety of replies from golfers and golf supporters critical of his messaging, suggesting a well-taken-care-of golf course could suddenly become a public park despite more than 1,000 acres in Golden Gate Park, just a six-minute drive from Presidio.

Klein didn't seem to have considered that the space looked so great because public golfers pay for it to be maintained through green fees paid to the course. Despite his coarse response toward golf, we actually agree that it would be great for more people to enjoy open spaces that operate as golf courses. Government-run golf courses, in particular, would do well to create spaces and opportunities to bring in non-golfers to have picnics, enjoy concerts and host other events without having to give up the use of the golf facilities. It could be a win-win, and it would help golf's perception among the uninitiated.

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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