Overview: The Olympic Club


The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in May 2015 will be the 10th USGA championship contested at The Olympic Club. The stroke-play qualifying rounds will utilize both the Lake and Ocean Courses, with match play solely on the Lake Course.

Several decades before golf became part of the fabric for its membership, The Olympic Club was an athletic club. Founded in 1860, The Olympic Club is America’s oldest athletic club, and has been the home to many regional, national and international champions, some of whom have gone on to success in the Olympic Games. In 1924, the club sent 23 of its Olympians to the Games in Paris, the largest single delegation from any U.S. club. Currently, members compete in 19 sports, including skiing, snowboarding, squash, triathlon and rough-water swimming.

In 1922, the club acquired enough land to replace its original golf course with two 18-hole layouts. Willie Watson and course superintendent Sam Whiting designed the Lake and Ocean Courses in 1924, but storm damage forced Whiting to redesign both layouts three years later.

The Lake Course has long been considered one of the country’s most challenging venues, having hosted five U.S. Opens, most recently in 2012 when Webb Simpson won by a stroke over Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson, who also was the runner-up to Colt Knost in the 2007 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club. Jack Fleck (1955), Billy Casper (1966), Scott Simpson (1987) and Lee Janzen (1998) won the other U.S. Opens contested on the Lake Course. Local standout Nathaniel Crosby won the 1981 U.S. Amateur at The Olympic Club.

The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in May 2015 will be the 10th USGA championship contested at The Olympic Club. The stroke-play qualifying rounds will utilize both the Lake and Ocean Courses, with match play solely on the Lake Course.

The Lake Course has undergone several renovations over the years, most notably by Robert Trent Jones Sr. prior to the 1955 U.S. Open. Many of the fairways slope to the left or right, often in the opposite direction of the hole routing.

Prior to the 2012 U.S. Open, the club redesigned the par-3 eighth hole, turning a short hole into one that can measure 200-plus yards. The club also converted the putting surfaces from poa annua to bentgrass.

The Ocean Course has been remodeled several times due to heavy storm damage. Some of the original holes were routed along the adjacent Pacific Ocean, but Tom Weiskopf completely redesigned the course in 1996. The Ocean Course was the companion stroke-play qualifying venue for the 2007 U.S. Amateur.

The club also features a nine-hole, par-3 Cliffs Course designed by Weiskopf and Jay Morrish in 1994 which offers views of the Pacific Ocean.

Both the Lake and Ocean Courses feature tree-lined fairways with views of nearby Golden Gate Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, which can be seen from the tee at the par-3 third hole on the Lake Course.

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