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Gleneagles COVID-19 Relief Fund

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I took over the groundlease at Gleneagles GC 16 years ago to save a public golf course. Had I not stepped in,  it would have been shuttered. As a native San Franciscan and longtime golfer, I believed Jack Fleming's Gleneagles was worth saving.

I have invested over $400,000 in capital and right now we have no revenue to meet the ongoing expenses. 

These past 16 years have been an odyssey of byzantine lease provisions, capital investments, golf economic tumult and historic drought. It's been less a business than a passion project. But I still want the job!

Our Improvements:
-replaced all the greens to bentgrass,
-removed tons of historic debris,
-opened up vistas and thinned dead trees,
-repaired an aging irrigation system,
-rebuilt an original first green (Old Number One) a
-groomed the course daily in a manner that is befitting this special land.

On March 15th the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department gave us four hours to shutter Gleneagles GC due to COVID-19.  

At this time, it appears we will not open until May, and possibly well beyond into the summer. That's 10 weeks of no revenues to offset ongoing and fixed expenses.  We are not San Francisco  City employees. Gleneagles is leased to me and I must use personal loans to finance its operation.  The City continues to maintain its five other municipal  golf courses with tax payer funded employees, equipment and funds. 

All but two of our seven person staff have been laid off.  A skeletal crew is maintaining Gleneagles in hopes of a return to normalcy.  However, that may not be possible due to the newest extended shelter-in-place order by The City.

I am quickly draining cash reserves to stay minimally operational and the season to water the property is upon me.  SF PUC water prices have increased by 800% since I started in 2004 and water now eclipses payroll as the single largest item on the P/L. 

The City owns and operates five golf courses however, Gleneagles GC is the only property to be wholly leased out to us as an independent, locally owned operation.  That means The City maintains their other golf courses with tax payer purchased turf  equipment and employees, and supplies water for the other four courses.  At Gleneagles, the operator is wholly responsible for those same obligations.

I am requesting financial assistance from the golf community to help me make it through this crisis.  I have paused for two weeks in hopes that we could open again,  doing my part in solidarity with small business owners who face certain closure due to this crisis.  

It appears that without financial assistance, I will not be able to continue operating Gleneagles nor will I be able to maintain is, even minimally in the coming weeks or months.

So if you have a soft spot for public golf like no other,  and hope to one day play another round at a community based golf course,  please help.  I know there are many more urgent causes out there and I urge you to support them first.  If you have any more capacity then please point it towards Gleneagles.

The funds will be used to keep a small crew working on the grounds, watering the property properly through May and helping us meet other fixed financial obligations.  I cannot guarantee that even with your support we will make it to the end but it will give us a fighting chance.

Your support will mean a great deal to me and the hundreds, if not thousands of people who think a place like Gleneagles is worth preserving.

I'm an optimistic person,  you have to be to run a golf course. Thank you for your consideration and keep yourselves and family healthy.  I I know we will get through this together.

For Golf in The City,

Tom Hsieh
Gleneagles GC at McLaren Park

Golf Magazine Story About Gleneagles and COVID-19, March 23, 2020, Josh Sens


  • joe Moriarty
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Golf Guide
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Nance McGee
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Maria Espiritu
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Elizabeth L. Hobson
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs


Tom Hsieh
San Francisco, CA

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