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The history of the Presidio Golf & Concordia Club

The History of the Presidio Golf & Concordia Club

During the days of the Barbary Coast, San Francisco had a well-earned reputation for being a rough and tumble city. In an effort to be insulated from the unruliness and enjoy a certain level of societal decorum, many citizens of the city banded together to form private clubs. By the 1890’s more than 200 social clubs and benevolent societies had been established.

In 1864, Levi Strauss and some of his young German American Jewish friends formed the Concordia Society which later moved into a newly constructed, Victorian style clubhouse on Van Ness Avenue in 1891. That structure was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, and a beautiful new Beaux-Arts style building was completed three years later in 1894, complete with library, bar, pool and, later, regulation-size basketball court.

In 1895, a group of civilians passionate about the newly popular game of golf were granted permission by the US Army to build a golf course on Fort Winfield Scott in the Presidio. The members built a Tudor style Clubhouse on land directly adjacent to the base which was later purchased by the newly formed Presidio Golf Club in 1905.

Over the years, both Clubs enjoyed storied histories with traditions of sportsmanship, fine dining and comradery. The Concordia Club was well known for its fine dining, athletic endeavors and support of the Jewish community in San Francisco. In 1939 they merged with another club and became known as the Concordia-Argonaut Club. The Presidio Golf Club enjoyed fine competition with top golfers throughout the bay area and was home to Lawson Little, winner of both the British and American amateur championships and famed baseball player Joe DiMaggio.

In 2015, the Concordia Club received an outstanding offer for the purchase of their clubhouse and decided to look for a new home. After scouting locations, a decision was made to merge with the Presidio Golf Club and renovate the clubhouse.

In 2016, The Presidio Golf & Concordia Club opened its doors to members of the newly merged Concordia- Argonaut and Presidio Golf Club. The members look forward to enjoying a state of the art fitness center, all new men’s and women’s locker rooms complete with steam, sauna and Jacuzzi facilities, refreshed main areas and the completion of a library of the upper floor of the building which are to be completed in the fall of 2017.

The Presidio Golf and Concordia Club is indeed a blending of 2 venerable San Francisco clubs, both rich in history and tradition. The merger is a wonderful opportunity for new generations of San Franciscan’s to be part of a legacy in the City by the Bay.


A History of the Presidio Golf Club - 

The private members Presidio Golf & Concordia Club has a long history of more than 110 years. Our story has been intermingled with the US Army at its previous home in the Presidio of San Francisco. For decades, the golf course was part of the Army's base and operations. Today, the Presidio Trust oversees golf course operations and the golf course is open to the public.

Established in 1896, the historic Presidio Golf Course is located minutes from downtown San Francisco on 145 acres in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This grand old course was the original home of the San Francisco Golf Club and offered memberships to civilians and military officers responsible for base operations on which the course was built. In 1995, access to the course opened to the public. Members of the Presidio Golf & Concordia Club maintain their private Club and clubhouse in the tradition of clubs surrounding the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, Scotland.

early Club house

Timeline of the history of the Presidio Golf & Concordia Club

1846 - The Presidio becomes a US post.
1895 - The US Army gives a group of civilians permission to build a nine-hole golf course on Fort Winfield Scott in the Presidio.
1897 - Tudor-style clubhouse is built; it remains in use today.
1905 - The Presidio Golf & Concordia Club is founded, with an initial charter of 31 members.
1908 - The Army approves plans to expand the course to 18 holes.
1913 - The Secretary of War notifies the Presidio Golf & Concordia Club that its members may use the course "so long as the same does not interfere in any way with the military." Responsibility for operating the course is assigned to the United Service Golf Club.
1913 - The Presidio Golf & Concordia Club takes responsibility for the course maintenance, construction, improvements and management.
1920 - The Army grants the PGCC permission to redesign and expand the course once again. The design is by British golf course architects Fowler & Simpson.
1921 - The project to redesign the course is completed on September 9, estimated to cost $25,000, the final tab was $96,000. The PGCC finances the improvements primarily by raising initiation fees from $75 to $200 to $1,100.
1953 - The government formalizes its 40-year agreement that the PGCC operate the course.
1956 - At the request of the PGCC, the Army once again assumes responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the course. The Army funds $125,000 for the installation of a new sprinkler system.
1958 - At the request of the Army, the PGCC and Army personnel share starting times on a one-on-one basis.
1962 - The United Service Golf Club changes its name to the Presidio Army Golf Club.
1972 - Congress creates the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. Legislation also provides for the transfer of the Presidio to the National Park Service when it is no longer needed by the Department of Defense.
1989 - The Army announces that the Presidio will be closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act.
1993 - The National Park Service announces its plans for the Presidio. The golf course is to be open to the public.
2000 - Clubhouse renovation completed
2007-2016 - Long range Golf Course improvements implemented including green and tee renovation, drainage and bunker work. 
2014 - Golf Course hosts 97th San Francisco City Championship Golf Tournament

- PGC and Concordia Argonaut Club agree to merge in upcoming year as Presidio Golf & Concordia Argonaut Club.

2016  - New PGCC begins year long renovation of Clubhouse.

Timeline of the history of the Concordia Arogonaut Club

1864 - The Concordia was founded by Levi Straus and a group of friends
1887 - Concordia aquires property at 1142 Van Ness Avenue
1906 - The earthquake destorys the Club
1909 - The building reopens
1939 - Merger with Argonaut Club
1982 - Fire destroys much of the Concordia 
Mid 1980's - Women are admitted to the Club
1989 - Loma Prieta Earthquake closes the Club for seismic renovation
2004 - Gala Dinner to celebrate the Club's 140 Anniversary
2010 - Worth Magazine names Concordia one of the 10 best Clubs in the nation
2012 - Gala Dinner celebrating 125 years at 1142 Van Ness Avenue
- Gala Dinner celebrating the Club's 150th Anniversary
- Concordia building is sold to the Academy of Art
- Concordia Argonaut and Presidio Golf Clubs agree to merge in upcoming year as Presidio Golf & Concordia Club