Playing a quick round of nine holes of golf on a foggy morning near enough to the ocean beach to hear the waves is why I love the Golden Gate Parks Golf Course. This is a short par three course, but the holes are beautifully laid out through a cypress and pine forest in the dunes. This little gem of a golf course is public, meaning play is relaxed and without fuss. It has a welcoming feel for all levels of players and if you get paired with a couple of the old regulars you will definitely hear a story or two about how “San Francisco used to be”.
My favourite time to play here is early morning when it is almost 100% guaranteed to be foggy. The fog gives the course an intimate feel, particularly when, as can often happen, you are the lone player out in the early morning. Holes 4, 7 and 9 are long enough to test any player’s skill, as long as you don’t get distracted by the sound of the mile rock fog horn. If you are playing on weekdays, you can often just walk on, but Fridays, weekends and evenings, you’ll need to make a reservation through the city’s reservation system.