U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell can pretty much get a tee time wherever he wants, but many of his favorite spots are open to the public. The PGA star picks the top courses anyone can play – no club I.D. required.
TPC Harding Park
Since every man is allowed to love two cities (his own and San Francisco), McDowell can be forgiven for passing over Pebble Beach, the site of his own US Open title, and choosing the more urban TPC Harding Park. "San Francisco is a great city," McDowell said. "I love the vibe." And Harding Park offers a great test of golf as well as stunning views of the City by the Bay. "I love the sight," he said of panoramic vista offered from many of the holes. "It's very unique."
The course was named for President Warren Harding, a golfer who died in San Francisco, and was designed along Lake Merced by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting, who also laid out San Francisco’s famed, private Olympic Club. Harding Park opened in 1925 and quickly became one of golf's premier facilities and a regular stop on the professional tour. But the PGA abandoned Harding as a venue after the 1969 season and the course fell into extreme disrepair for more than 30 years. The fairways were used as a parking lot for Olympic’s 1998 US Open.
In 2002, the city broke ground on major renovations and re-opened the longer, modern circuit in August, 2003. Harding has since hosted a slew of professional events, most recently the 2013 Charles Schwab Tour Championship. [Weekend round run from $175]
Credit: Courtesy TPC