When it comes to public golf courses on the west coast, there’s really no track that beats the Presidio Golf Course in terms of beauty or history. Located inside of a national park, Presidio Golf Course offers players of all skill levels challenging play as well as beautiful forest views.
If you’re curious about what the Presidio Golf Course is all about, this post is for you. We’ll run through an overview of the history of the course, some of the info and amenities of Presidio Golf Course, and also some of the most iconic holes from San Francisco’s best public golf course.
History of the Presidio Golf Course
Presidio Golf Course is more than just a beautiful place to enjoy golf, it’s also a location with tons of storied history.
Founded in 1895, the Presidio was still a U.S. Army Post and not even a park yet. Colonel William M. Graham, the commander of the Presidio, allowed a group of businessmen to create a nine-hole golf course within the post. At the time, green fees were only 50 cents.
Though the founders hoped that the golf-club would grow quickly, the army did not approve of it and many members ended up leaving for a course nearby. Finally, in 1910, the course was expanded to a full 18 holes.
Since then Presidio golf course has been used by Theodore Roosevelt to review troops, has acted as a refugee camp, and suffered many complications that threatened to destroy it. However, throughout all of this, the club continued to grow with increasing donations from friends and support from the community.
When the Presidio became a national park site, the golf course was also finally fully open to the public (with a new clubhouse being put into place in 1999).
Since its inception, Presidio Golf Course has hosted some of the world’s most famous golfers:
- Babe Ruth
- Bob Hope
- Bing Crosby
- Charles Schulz
- Joe DiMaggio
Info on Presidio Golf Course
Here’s some information about the course that you might find useful:
- Hours of Operation: from dawn to dusk every day
- Yardage (back tees): 6481 yards
- Rating: 72.6
- Slope: 135
- Non-resident rate (walking Monday-Thursday): $90
No golf course is complete without amenities to offer visitors outside of the course itself. Presidio Golf Course is not only iconic in its history but also provides any who visit plenty of things to do outside of just golf.
For starters, Presidio Golf Course has one of the best driving ranges in all of San Francisco. They have a large hitting area and a massive putting and chipping green that are sure to keep your game in tip-top shape (if you use them). All you have to do is call the golf shop to schedule a visit, and range is available to you.
Interested in getting better at the game? Presidio Golf Course also has a team of PGA golf instructors ready to help you out with every part of your golf game from driving, to ball-striking, to the short game. If you’re not interested in attending a formal golf lesson, you can also drop in to one of Presidio’s golf clinics or golf camps.
If you’re feeling hungry in the middle of your round you can also drop by Presidio Café for some coffee, a drink, and some food. The setting is very loungelike and there is a relaxing patio you can sit at if you have more time to spare.
Finally, if you want a little ball mark or a shirt to remember your time at Presidio, you can drop by their top-tier pro shop to pick something up. The staff are all extremely friendly and everyone is keen to help you find what you’re looking for.
Great golf courses like Presidio have great golf holes all around, but there’s always a few that stand out from the rest. Here are some of the most iconic holes from Presidio Golf Course.
Upon first glance, hole 2 may not seem like an overly hard golf hole. At 475 yards from the tips, most long hitters would be thinking about a birdie before even stepping up to the tee. That being said, your second shot will likely be from the deep gulley that catches almost all tee shots (unless they are really errant) and you’ll also be facing a steep uphill slope. Not only that, but hole 2’s green is also severely sloped and guarded by tons of bunkers catching any shots that are hit less than perfect. For this reason, laying up is usually the smarter play.
A beautiful par 4 that doglegs slightly to the left, hole 12 will require the utmost attention from you if you’re to score well. Off the tee shot, you’ll need to avoid the fairway bunker on the left but also not push your shot too far right lest you catch the fescue. What awaits you on your second shot to the green is a mid to long iron into a green with bunker on either side. Don’t miss right as you’ll be on a separate tee box, but don’t miss left as you’ll be down on another hole chipping up to the green.
Though hole 17 doesn’t seem long on the scorecard, it’s sure to test your abilities as a golfer (and likely to make you use many of the clubs in your golf bag). This hole only plays 350 yards from the tips, yet is ranked the number 3 handicap hole on the course… and for good reason. The drive must be struck well and with a left to right fade on it to set yourself up optimally. Then, you’ll need to strike a wedge or short iron well enough to miss the trees on the left, bunkers on the right, and ivy fence long of the green.
Recap: The Presidio Golf Course Review
Visitors of San Francisco already have plenty to look forward to: you can visit the Golden Gate bridge, hop on a ferry to see Alcatraz, and even visit Oracle Park to watch a baseball game. If you’re a golfer, you’ll have yet another item to add to your list: visiting and playing the Presidio Golf Course!
With it’s smooth elevation changes, well kept turf, and beautiful scenery, Presidio Golf Course has decades of history and culture and is sure to provide you with a golfing experience you’ll never forget. If you’re in the Bay area anytime soon, you should definitely pay it a visit!
Jeff is a Harvard 2025 student passionate about making smart financial decisions both in school and in the workplace so that he can spend more time doing what he loves (like playing golf, spending time with family, and travelling). He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys sharing all things personal finance, academic, and golf-related. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.