The Cal Club socks you in the mouth with its audacious routing, wide open style of play coupled with crazy bunkering, Cal Club stands supreme in my eyes as the best golf course in San Francisco.
The opening par 5 gives you a sense of everything you will experience on the day. A blind tee shot with wild bunkers looming on the horizon leading to an amazing green complex which you can approach either in the air or a bump and run (I chose bump and run with a 5 wood and made par).
You then go up and down over hill and dale. The routing cuts its way between hills allowing for a variety of shots and with superb conditioning and green complex giving you all you could ask for. The course wends its way up to the standout 6th hole.
Not only is it an amazing par 3 but it gives you $1,000,000 views of the entire course. It is a blessed spot.
One of the best things about the course is how it uses the hillsides to create slopes and playing angles. The second hole shows how a straight shot will play but also fades and draws could use the slopes to get you to the promised land.
Speaking of slopes, the cape hole at Cal Club is outrageous. Aim as far left as possible or if you could bomb it like the assistant pro I was playing with, you go for the green.
The backside is just as interesting as the front side, giving you tough par 3s (including the quintessential downhill San Francisco par 3) and cool blind shots.
The course ends with a fascinating par 4 where you hit over the hill to gain the speed slot but still have a long iron into a green surrounded by an amphitheater. You can just imagine being a member at Cal Club at a Member-Member tourney with the whole club watching you as the match goes the distance to 18.
If you couldn't tell, I really enjoyed my time at Cal Club. I have yet to play Olympic or Harding but I can't imagine them knocking Cal Club off the top perch in San Francisco. Considering the pedigree of the other courses in NorCal this is high praise indeed. Cal Club, if you get a chance to play it, you MUST.
For more info on Cal Club check out this link: http://www.calclub.org/