Olympic Club Photos - Lake Course

01
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 1

A view of the first hole fairway and green at The Olympic Club in San Francisco
Looking down to the first green of the Lake Course at Olympic Club. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Olympic Club is located in San Francisco, Calif., and offers 45 holes of golf adjacent to both Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean. The golf courses of Olympic Club have the names of Lake, Ocean and Cliffs (Cliffs is a 9-holer). All of them boast a hilly setting, tall trees and great views, but the Lake Course is the crown. It has been the site of multiple U.S. Open tournaments, plus other significant professional and amateur events.

The photos in this gallery are of the Lake Course, and browsing through the gallery you'll also read about Olympic Club and some of the course's history.

Above is Hole No. 1 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

The first hole on Olympic Club's Lake Course plays downhill. It has been both a par-5 and par-4 hole in U.S. Open play, a par-5 the first four times. But for the 2012 U.S. Open it was set up as a 520-yard par-4. For members, it's a good start to a difficult course, with a (relatively) short, downhill par-5 offering a chance to get the round under way in a good way.

And on a golf course that offers great views all around, this view golfers see playing to the first green is a pretty good way to start, too.

02
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 2

Olympic Club Hole 2 of Lake Course
A daunting bunker next to the second hole at Olympic Club's Lake Course. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is Hole No. 2 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

That big bunker guards the right-front of the second green on the Lake Course. For the 2012 U.S. Open, this hole played 430 yards and to a par of 4. It's a demanding driving hole, one that might cause many golfers to use a club other than driver. The green slopes downward steeply from front to back, and golfers need to avoid that bunker in the image above. So leaving the ball on the left side of the green and below the flag is key.

03
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 3

Olympic Club Hole 3 of Lake Course
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is Hole No. 3 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

Look in the upper-right quadrant of this photo and you'll spot a couple spires of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The third hole of the Lake Course at Olympic Club is the first par-3 hole on the course, and at its maximum length it stretches to nearly 250 yards (members have shorter options, of course).

04
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 6

Olympic Club Hole 6 of Lake Course
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is Hole No. 6 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

Yardages in use at the 2012 U.S. Open on the Lake Course included 430 yards (par-4) at the fourth hole; 498 yards (par-4) at the fifth hole; and 490 yards (par-4) on the above hole, the sixth.

The sixth hole of the Lake Course has the distinction of being the only hole on the course that has a fairway bunker. There are 62 bunkers on the Lake Course, and 61 of those are next to greens or close to greens complexes. Hole 6 was lengthened as part of renovations prior to the 2012 U.S. Open in order to bring that one, lone fairway bunker into play on drives here.

There's a false front to the No. 6 green, yet golfers need to keep the ball below the hole to have an uphill putt.

A note about the fifth hole: At the 1998 U.S. Open, Lee Janzen began the final round five strokes behind leader Payne Stewart. Janzen then bogied two of the first four holes. On the fifth, his drive disappeared into one of the ubiquitous tall trees at Olympic Club, and didn't come down. It was stuck up there, and Janzen probably felt he was out of it at that point. He began the long walk back to the tee to hit what would be his third. Then a big gust of wind came up, shook the tree and dislodged his ball. It fell into the rough below, and Janzen made par, then went on to chase down Stewart and win the championship.

05
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 8

Olympic Club Hole 8 of Lake Course
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is Hole No. 8 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

After the short (294 yards) par-4 seventh, the Lake Course reaches the second par-3 on the front nine, the 200-yard No. 8. That's the eighth green in the foreground of the image above.

This image gives you a good sense of the overall "feel" of Olympic Club, with its elevation changes and slopes, its general lack of fairway bunkers. While there are views of water from the Lake Course, there is almost no water on the Lake Course. The "lake" in the course's title is Lake Merced, which separates Olympic Club from the public TPC Harding Park golf course.

The "lake" name also hearkens back to the original club on the site of Olympic Club, Lakeside Golf Club. Olympic Club got into the golf game by purchasing the financially struggling Lakeside in 1918, and the clubhouse is still known as Lakeside Clubhouse.

06
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 11

Olympic Club Hole 11 at Lake Course
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is Hole No. 11 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

This photo of the 11th green and its approach provides a great look at Olympic Club's most distinctive hazards - those huge trees through which the Lake Course plays. The trees include pines, California cypress and eucalyptus.

The 10th hole on the Lake Course is a 424-yard par-4; the 11th, a 430-yard par-4; the 12th, a 451-yard par-4 and the 13th a 199-yard par-3. (Yardages are those in use at the 2012 U.S. Open.)

The 11th hole marked the beginning of Arnold Palmer's final demise in the 1966 U.S. Open at Olympic Club. That's the Open where Palmer led Billy Casper by seven strokes with nine holes to play, only to blow that lead and fall into a playoff with Casper. Palmer got out in front in the 18-hole playoff and led by two at the turn, but he bogied No. 11, then bogied 14 and 15 and double-bogied 16, and Casper won the playoff and the championship.

07
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 17

Olympic Club Hole 17 at Lake Course
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is Hole No. 17 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

The 17th hole on Olympic Club's Lake Course plays to 522 yards. It's a par-5 for member play. For the 2012 U.S. Open it played at 505 yards and as a par-4. The holes leading up to 17 include the 419-yard, par-4 14th; the 154-yard, par-3 15th; and the 670-yard, par-5 16th. The shortest hole on the Lake Course (No. 15) is immediately followed by the longest.

As you can tell from the above image, the fairway at No. 17 cants from left to right. The green slopes severely back to front. Missing the green long (already a bad idea because of the green's slope) can result in the ball gathering into a closely mown collection area behind and below the green.

At the 1987 U.S. Open, Scott Simpson made a great par save on this hole that helped him earn the victory over second-place Tom Watson. Simpson hit into a bunker just short of the green, leaving himself with a 70-foot blast out. He pulled it off well, getting the bunker shot to six feet from the hole, then sank the par putt.

08
of 10

Olympic Club Hole 18 Fairway

Olympic Club 18th Hole Fairway
Looking down the 18th fairway of the Lake Course at Olympic Club. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is a fairway view of Hole No. 6 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

The home hole, No. 18, at the Lake Course is a short, narrow par-4. The approach shot into the green is uphill, and up that hill we see the imposing Lakeside clubhouse of Olympic Club (which also has a clubhouse in Downtown San Francisco).

09
of 10

Olympic Club 18th Green

Olympic Club 18th Hole Green on Lake Course
Looking down on the 18th green of the Lake Course at Olympic Club. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is the green on Hole No. 18 on the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

The Lake Course's 18th green is long but narrow, and guarded by bunkers left, right and front. The green sits in a natural amphitheater setting below the Olympic Club clubhouse. This is the smallest green on the Lake Course.

At the 1955 U.S. Open, virtual unknown Jack Fleck beat giant Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff, and the 18th hole was key in both the final round and playoff. In the final round, Fleck birdied the 18th to tie Hogan and force the playoff. Then in the playoff, Hogan slipped when hitting his drive on No. 18, hooking the ball into what was then foot-high rough. Hogan needed three strokes just to get the ball back into the fairway, and Fleck was the champion.

10
of 10

Olympic Club Lakeside Clubhouse

Olympic Club Clubhouse
A view of the imposing clubhouse at Olympic Club. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

This is the clubhouse of the Lake Course at Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif.

And finally, here's another view of the Lakeside Clubhouse at Olympic Club. The clubhouse serves all three of Olympic Club's golf courses (Lake, Ocean and the 9-hole Cliffs).

The clubhouse opened in 1925, seven years after Olympic Club took over the struggling Lakeside Golf Club. The clubhouse was given the name of the previous club that existed on the site. It was designed by architect Arthur Brown, who also designed San Francisco City Hall and the San Francisco opera house. The clubhouse has undergone its own renovations over the years, and includes dining rooms, banquet facilities, exercise center, a swimming pool and spa, locker rooms, and, of course, a golf shop.

Read our Olympic Club profile for more history about the club.