SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Jan. 5, 2009) -- Known simply as "The City" to residents of the Bay Area, the nation's oldest and most popular municipal tournament will begin qualifying next month.
The San Francisco City Championship, which will be held over consecutive weekends from Feb. 7 - March 8. There are five different flights, all with different qualifying and match play dates, for a full look at these dates, or to register, click here.
Get your entries in ASAP, because out of the 240 entries received, 96 contestants proceed directly into the Championship flight qualifying based upon the exempt categories or by earliest date entry received. The balance of contestants will have to compete in a one round pre-qualifying competition at Lincoln Park Golf Course on Friday, Feb. 13th. The low 48 qualifiers will advance to the weekend qualifying at Lincoln Park and Harding Park Golf Courses.
Over that weekend, the low 63 scores completing the 36 hole qualifying from the field of 144 contestants will advance to match play at Harding Park along with defending champion Martin Trainer, who is the automatic the No. 1 seed for match play. Individual scores will determine the rest of match play seeding.
To read about last year’s thrilling final match between Trainer and Randy Haag, click here, to view footage from the quarterfinals, click here.
For a bit of history on this event, keep on reading.
The San Francisco City Golf Championship is an annual golf tournament hosted by the City of San Francisco. It is a match play event and boasts one of the largest fields of any tournament in the nation. The field is broken down into four separate divisions: Men's Championship, Men's Senior, Women’s, and Open Division.
The tourney was inaugurated in 1917 and is the country's oldest municipal golf tournament. The Women's division was added in 1958. In its early years, the tournament was hosted by the Sun-Bulletin newspaper and has had numerous presenting sponsors throughout its history including Varner-Ward Leasing, Roos Atkins, Tom Culligan, Pepsi, and Visa.
The field is primarily comprised of Northern California's finest amateur golfers; however, players of national and international heritage occasionally contest for the title simple known as "The City." As a matter of fact, the 1999 field included Mark Murphy of Waterville, Ireland, who made it to the quarterfinals before being ousted in a nail-biter by Gary Vanier. (Vanier eventually lost to Randy Haag in what was called the best final since Ken Venturi beat Harvey Ward in 1956 in front of 12,000 fans.)
Another thing that makes the City Championship a unique event is the inclusion of an "Open" Division, allowing for golfers of varying abilities to compete. The top two flights in the Open Division, named the "Venturi" and "Susko" respectively, are named for two of the tournaments' most popular competitors, Ken Venturi and John Susko, the latter of whom met an untimely death from Crohn's disease in 1983. Susko is remembered as a popular Lincoln Park golfer who won the City Championship in 1978 and 1980, won the Alameda Commuters in 1981, and participated in a number of National amateur events even with a condition that often sidelined him for weeks at a time.
Those familiar with the City Championship will tell you about the tradition of playing the ball as it lies at San Francisco's Lincoln and Harding Park Golf Courses in less than ideal conditions. More than one player has marched in to the tournament office claiming that they will never play again, but their applications usually find their way in the following year. Conditions are the same for everyone; the ability to accept the occasional bad break is paramount to a competitor's success.
Past champions include 1964 US Open Champion Ken Venturi, 1999 US Women's Open Champion Julie Inkster, and 1969 Masters Champion George Archer. More recently, LPGA Tour player Dorothy Delasin* of Daly City (winner of the 1998 US Junior Girls Championship and 1999 US Women's Amateur) claimed the Women's City Championship in 1998.
For a full list of former champions, click here.
ABOUT THE San Francisco City Championship
*An NCGA Points Tournament*
**New Entry Procedure for 2024:
Registration opens for all players on
October 1. There will be 50 spots held for
players under the following
* The past 10 years of the San Francisco City
* 2023 San Francisco City Men’s
Match Play Qualifiers
* Top 20 men’s 2022-2023 NCGA Points
* 2023 NCGA Champions (Amateur, Mid-
* The top 3 finishers in each of the 6 AmateurGolf.com Winter
(Dec 2023-Feb 2024)
Registration for exempt players, and for non-
players with a handicap index
of 6.4 or lower
as of the date of
entry, opens on October 1 and will
open until the field limit (120 players including
reserved for exempt players)
is reached. When the field limit is reached, all
additional registrants will be entered in
pre-qualifier at Presidio Golf Club on Friday,
Once entries close, if there are any unfilled
the Men's Championship (due to
fewer than 50 exempt players registering
or withdrawals), they will be filled by Pre-
registrants in the order in which
Players entering pre-qualifying will pay an
of $165 for the pre-qualifier, and
advancing from the pre-qualifier will pay the
remainder of the entry fee (must be paid
prior to playing).
The 36-hole match play qualifier will be held
9-10, 2024, with
18 holes played at TPC Harding Park and 18
Course for a combined 36-hole qualifying
There will be 156 players in the qualifying
64 players advancing to match play. When all
qualifying has been completed, the Men’s
Championship Flight will consist of 64
In the event of a playoff to qualify for
player must be present in order to retain his
to participate in the playoff.
Match play will begin on March 16, 2024. All
match play for the Championship Flight (Mar
23-24) will be held
at TPC Harding Park.
A schedule of all dates of
play can be found on the tournament website
WITHDRAWALS AND REFUND
Players needing to withdraw should do so by
out the form at sfgolfchampionship.com/contact/
the entry deadline of February 19
refund of their entry fee minus
$50. There will be no refunds after the
The use of carts is prohibited for players and
in the Men’s Championship Flight (Appendix I
SPECIAL OFFER TO SF CITY PLAYERS:
players get 50% off Strackaline Yardage Books! CLICK HERE for
ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO CITY
The oldest municipal tournament in the USA.
play event with scratch men's, senior men’s,
women's, senior women’s, and open flight
Past champions include Ken Venturi, Harvie
Juli Inkster, Bob Rosburg, George Archer, and
Dorothy Delasin. Some of the “non winners”
Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. Click the
for more about this wonderful event.
View Complete Tournament Information