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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Your Survival Guide to the USGA's 2012 U.S. Open at SF's Olympic Club

NOTICE: Taking BART to the U.S. Open on Thursday?  READ THIS.

Another big golf event means raking in the tax dollars for the city, but also means headaches for us locals just trying to go on our merry way.

So here's my survival guide to you, the average citizen who doesn't care about golf.

The USGA's 2012 U.S. Open will be held at the Olympic Club, located in the very deep southwest corner of San Francisco and straddles between the borders of San Francisco and Daly City.

The location of the course is surrounded by four major streets/roads: John Muir Drive (North), John Daly Boulevard (South), Lake Merced Boulevard (East), and Skyline Boulevard/Highway 35 (West).  While the Olympic Club is closed to the public as it is a private club for the wealthy, the U.S. Open will make it open to the public with the purchase of a ticket.

The tournament is scheduled to go from Monday, June 11th to Sunday, June 17th with practice rounds on the first few days, and the rest as the tournament.  Crowds and major media attention is likely going to peak during the last final days, especially during the weekend.

Traffic Problems
From what is currently known from the U.S. Open, an article from SFGate, and SFMTA/Muni's websites, there are some key road closures that will definitely put a dent in your commute.

Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35) in the northbound direction will be closed from John Daly Boulevard to John Muir Drive from approximately 5AM to 10PM during every operating day of the U.S. Open.  The southbound direction will have one lane closed between the two streets, but the other lane will remain open.

John Muir Drive, which borders the northern end of the golf course, is closed to traffic.  It is scheduled to close starting at 6AM on Sunday, June 10th and will remain closed until 6AM on June 18th (as per SFgate).  However, contradictory to what the Chronicle is saying, the 18-46th Avenue bus line will still be able to go eastbound on John Muir (as per SFMTA), but is unable to go westbound.

There is also the likely possibility of a traffic jam on the east side of the golf course along Lake Merced Boulevard.  Between John Muir Drive and John Daly Boulevard is the community park and will be the staging area for all taxis and limos as drop-off and pick-up points.

Better alternate routes:

Take 280 and 19th Avenue:

Take Sunset Boulevard which changes to Lake Merced Boulevard, Brotherhood Way, and 280.  UPDATE: This is not a great route, southbound Lake Merced Boulevard can get jammed by heavy traffic all the way from Font, but once you make the turn to Brotherhood, traffic flows fast.  An alternative is to make a left turn onto Winston towards Stonestown and turn right onto 19th Avenue.

Parking Problems
As there will be incompetent people on the road looking for a sweet parking space to go watch golfers stroke their [three] wood and wash their [golf] balls, expect major parking problems in the surrounding areas.

As always, there will be those golf spectator idiots who thinks parking in a private parking lot such as Burger King's or the Westlake Shopping Center is a great idea.  I'll tell you, it's not, and expect a nice tow truck to haul the car away.  They probably have extra security watching over the lots.

Here's a list of areas where parking might get hard, and these are areas where it's "close" to the entrance on John Muir Drive.  BUT in reality, parking in one of these areas means one hell of a long walk.
  • South end of the golf course, such as near Joe's of Westlake (they do make a great Steak a la Bruno).
  • Lake Merced from Winston to Font.
  • SF State and Parkmerced area (most parking is limited to one hour).
  • Merrie Way (Janet Pomoroy Center).

One way to definitely piss-off a lot of people is to park in the SF State garage.  If you have no university related business, stay the hell out.  You seriously don't want to mess with students, faculty, and staff; the lot is for them so they can go to or teach class, or do their jobs as university officials.

UPDATE: Golf spectators with a special permit to park in the SF State garage is permitted to do so.  If you don't have one of those permits, you'll be turned away.  SF State students, staff, and faculty should be prepared to show their campus ID, employee parking permit, or have a legitimate reason to park on-campus.

Public Transit Problems:
There's only two bus lines that runs close to the action: Muni's 18-46th Avenue and Samtrans 122.

Samtrans may encounter traffic, but Muni will feel the pain.  All 18 line service going from Legion of Honor to Stonestown will operate normally.  All 18 line service going from Stonestown to Legion of Honor will have to be re-routed.  See maps below.

This is the normal route the 18-46th Avenue line takes to go from Stonestown to Legion of Honor (via westbound John Muir):

This is the detour the bus must take due to the westbound John Muir closure:

If you are trying to get to the event...
The parking lot is at Candlestick Park.  You think I'm kidding?  No.  There will be luxury shuttle buses transporting people to and from the stadium's lot to the golf course.

For those of you riding BART, take the train to Colma station (NOT DALY CITY) and board a shuttle to the golf course.  Please remember, parking in Colma station to ride the shuttle is a violation of BART parking policy and will be cited and/or towed; it is only for BART passengers.  Park at a different BART station, pay the parking fee (if applicable), and take the train to Colma.  Go to BART's website and get information about parking and how to get a reserved parking space permit.

For more information, please visit:
USGA Spectator Guide (Transportation Info)
SFMTA/Muni 18-46th Avenue affected routes
SFgate article on U.S. Open

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