Mayor Brown leads opening
Saturday, August 23, 2003
©2003 San Francisco Chronicle
Harding Park officially reopened on a gray Friday morning at Lake Merced, and when the ceremony was over, Sandy Tatum was weeping.
Mayor Willie Brown and Supervisor Tony Hall closed the opening ceremonies by unveiling a boulder on the first tee, with a plaque dedicated to Tatum, the 83-year-old San Francisco attorney and former U.S. Golf Association president whom Brown credited with pushing through the $16 million renovation of the city's prized municipal course.
"This never would have happened if Sandy and (former city attorney) Louise (Renne) did not walk into my office and tell me it had to be done," said Brown,
in a gray business suit topped off by a maroon old-styled golf flat cap. "We hope this will be an acknowledgment of your vision, guidance, dedication, patience and tolerance."
The plaque reads "San Francisco honors Frank 'Sandy' Tatum, Jr. for his invaluable gift to The City -- the renaissance of a treasured jewel, Harding Park Golf Course, August, 2003." The plaque was paid for by an anonymous donor.
"I'm trying to hold it together, but I can't," Tatum said. "There's no place else in the world I'd rather have that."
Brown, Tatum and Hall hit the ceremonial first balls, and Brown declared Harding Park "the finest municipal golf course in the land."
One hundred and twenty lottery-selected players played the course Friday. Harding and the nine-hole Fleming Golf Course open entirely to the public today.