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Who Wants To Re-grass Harding Park's Greens!?

As if the old regime at PGA Tour Design Service's bloated renovation price tag ($23 million) wasn't already tragic enough, conversations are taking place about Harding Park's greens needing re-grassing in advance of a 2016 "playoff" event at the San Francisco muni.

Ron Kroichick reports.

The project, if it happens, figures to occur after next year’s Schwab Cup. That still would allow time for the new greens to round into shape before Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Co. come to Harding in ’16.

City officials also must find a way to pay for any renovation of the greens, no small obstacle given ever-present budget constraints.

“Resources are always going to be an issue, so we need to figure out the smartest way to do it,” Ginsburg said.

Considering that the city is struggling to fend off suggestions that the other city courses be closed due to budget constraints and that $23 million bought an uninspired design that in a more ideal economy should be renovated, maybe the PGA Tour can pick up the tab on this one since it's their precious members who have to have things absolutely perfect? 

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Reader Comments (26)

This is getting out of hand....the pampering of Tour players with their fondness for "perfect" playing conditions. Perfect doesn't exist in nature fellas and it never will. Get over yourselves.

Just once I would like to see a course setup with hard/true greens that stimp-out at a max of 7.5 or 8.0...lets see em try to adapt, they're supposed to be professionals.

To think how many junior golfers that money could've helped to gain access to local courses makes me sad for the future of golf.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Totally unnecessary, but since this is my home course, I would always take better greens. They can make those greens roll fast and true for 1 week a year.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenter@walpoleporkers
I hope a city official takes your stance. The Tour should absolutely pay. If the city and its citizens pick up the tab then I hope to see MJ and a cigar out there soon! Does the city get back at least $24 mill in rev when the The Timmy Show comes to town?
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmen Coroner
A lot of people talk about the superior putting skills of the pga pros compared to LPGA. one thing that isn't factored is that lpga players play on really nice greens, but in no way are the extremely perfect in roll and definitely not consistent speed from week to week.

the money being wasted to get pga greens from great to unbelievably perfect is out of hand and becoming disgusting especially when the average fan reads articles like this during times of natural disaster and a worsening economy. if anything, these articles along with players playing for 10 millions dollar paydays at the end of these season turn people off to golf.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
$23 million??????

You should be able to build four courses for that....unless you are the Donald.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
The city should simply tell the PGA to pay or forget it, with forget it being preferred.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Well, the $23 million will be to reengineer all of the greens to make them nice and flat so they reward hits just like a practice range, which seems to a pro golfer's mental model for the perfect golf course.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
People, come on now, dig a little!! By all appearances a large portion of the readership here, doesn't actually read.

The $23,000,000 was already spent to redo the whole place, including the new clubhouse. Thes new greens would be an extra, and as far as I can tell unyet quantified, amount.

How much would "regrassing" really cost? I will guarantee you these greens will not be dug up and reconstructed -- at least not on the
taxpayers dime.

"Regrassing", we will see who pays for that...

...dollars to donuts the city signed a contract with the PGA Tour that includes a clause on this specific situation, and I highly doubt that said clause points to the Tour as the source of funds.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
" including the new clubhouse"

Oh well, at least they got the most important part of the course.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric
Normally I would not ask the PGA to pay but in this case they should. Why, they are the architects for the renovation (PGA Tour architectural services) and the architect named Chris Gray is god awful. They should have figured it out from the start.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJSS
JSS, you might want to double check that. I'm pretty sure the PGA Tour was not involved in the initial renovation. (but I could be wrong)

Hey, a lot of us believe the Tour administration is evil, but greens do not last forever. How long has it been since the top-to-bottom redo, 8-9 years? I bet when the Tour signed the operating agreement in 2010 this was a specific item they addressed as a "to-do" in the future....

....public never likes finding out after the fact they were put on the hook for something -- and especially not the frog loving greater SF area public!!
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Eric, I'm certainly not defending the $23 million budget, or the clubhouse, just pointing out that both are old news. If you've never seen it, clubhouse is ugly, and way too big....what else is new!
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
And JFTR, I too believe the PGA Tour should write the check to "re-grass" the greens!

How much does "re-grassing" cost?

Is Chambers Bay also re-grassing?
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Golf Course Renovation - $ 10,898,837
Maintenance Facility - 2,473,500
Parking Lot - 1,953,508
Clubhouse - 8,285,612
Total - $ 23,611,457

$3.4 million was privately donated for the Clubhouse

Open Space Fund (Prop C) was used for $13mm, which City residents approved in a landslide and is being paid back with course revenue. No idea about the other $6.6mm, but at least the course is a tangible benefit that can be used by anyone in a city that has experienced tons of wasteful spending with nothing to show for it in the last decade.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNRH
DTF, PGA Tour Design Services, with lead architect Chris Gray, was the architect of the "renovation".
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
Thx Kevin.

What year did that take place?
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Chris Gray was indeed involved. To say he wasn't involved is simply wrong
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDr. Strangelove
How about BMW kick in for the regrassing and anything that follows? That's the tournament headed there in 2016.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolden Bell
Dr. S, I never mentioned Chris Gray by name, and in response to JSS said I might be wrong about the involvement of the PGA Tour in the initial renovation. And Kevin corrected it, which is good. That OK with you? If you start reading at the top it can be helpful.

Again, what year did the PGA Tour undertake the renovation, anyone?

How much does "re-grassing" cost?
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF: course was closed in 2002 and reopened in August 2003.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin part deux
If the greens have decent soil and drain properly , the renovation shouldn't cost a lot. It sounds like an on-going maint. problem , more than a grass problem. A good superintendent can produce exceptable bent/ poa mix greens.......even for PGA tour events. The Europeon tour plays on that type of surface almost every week! :-)
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom
Thanks Kevin.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
DTF, my snark wasn't aimed at you. This whole story is old news, it just never ceases to amaze how well our society wastes money.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric
I believe this is more of a maintenance issue than design issue. I have heard that SF has work rules that prevent hiring the maintenance crews with the experience to do the job correctly. They have to hire "gardeners" who have little experience in golf maintenance. For every big event, they bring in crews at the last minute to get things in shape, however the day to day maintenance suffers in between. Thus the greens now have Poa and the bunkers suffer.

Overall, I enjoy the golf course, but always leave a bit more sadded that they can't maintain it the way it should be.
11.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpiegs
Played there the week of U.S. OPEN, layout was fantastic, greens were course common Poe-Anna.! The greens rolled as true as the Torrey Pines parking lot.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGoat Ranch
I am the same way Spiegs...........I play so many courses where i know i could do a better job with the maint.. Its very frustrating, and I hope Harding park can find some way to get a good "grass guy" in there. Re-grassing the greens will help in the short term, but if they don't get a good super, the greens will suffer.
11.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

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