MY PERSONAL GOLFING GUIDE
One man's opinion on the courses and the customs of San Francisco
Joe Passov is GOLF MAGAZINE'S Senior Editor (Travel and Course Rankings). His Top 100 Courses You Can Play will appear in the September issue.
I had to pass inspection by the general manager of Olympic Club—at the club's downtown location and in advance of the day I hoped to play. Permission granted, I holed a 25-footer on the 2nd hole, chipped in for par at 10 and jarred a 110-yard nine-iron for birdie on the par-5 16th—and still shot 92. Olympic then, as now, was the picture of a championship test (although a little redundant) and undeniably a bucket-list attraction.
What's scarier than Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, shot at Bodega Bay? The first five holes of the wee town's golf course. Bodega Harbour opens with four uphill holes squeezed between houses, then a bizarre z-shaped par-5 where you have to lay up off the tee and then have a blind second that skirts a cattle ranch. When you get to the 16th, you leave the cart behind and hoof it through a two-hole protected environmental area. Despite—or because of—all this, I love the unpretentiousness, slick greens and ocean views.