Olympic Club San Francisco: Oldest U.S. Athletic Club Overview


The Olympic Club in San Francisco, established in 1860, is the oldest athletic club in the United States. With a rich history spanning over 160 years, the club has been a beacon for sports enthusiasts and a significant contributor to the athletic community in the Bay Area. The Olympic Club offers a wide range of world-class facilities and programs, catering to both amateur and professional athletes across various disciplines.

Key Points

  • The Olympic Club, founded in 1860, is the oldest athletic club in the United States.
  • The club boasts top-notch facilities for golf, swimming, fitness, and other sports.
  • It actively supports amateur sports, youth programs, and elite athlete development.

Historical Significance and Evolution

The Olympic Club’s journey began in 1860 when a group of 23 charter members came together with a shared vision of promoting amateur athletics in San Francisco. Over the years, the club has witnessed significant milestones and expansions. In 1918, the club acquired the Lakeside Golf Club, which is now known as the Lake Course. The Olympic Club has been the venue for numerous prestigious golf tournaments, including five U.S. Opens.

Throughout its history, the Olympic Club has been home to many notable members and has celebrated countless athletic achievements. From Olympic medalists to professional sports stars, the club has nurtured and supported the growth of exceptional athletes.

Comprehensive Overview of Sports Facilities

The Olympic Club takes pride in its state-of-the-art sports facilities that cater to a wide range of interests. Here’s a closer look at some of the key amenities:

Golf Courses: The club features three championship golf courses – the Lake Course, the Ocean Course, and the Cliffs Course. These courses offer stunning views and challenging layouts that attract golfers of all skill levels.

Swimming Facilities: Members can enjoy both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, along with a variety of aquatic programs for all ages. The club’s swimming facilities have been the training ground for many successful swimmers.

Fitness and Training: The Olympic Club houses well-equipped gym facilities, offering members access to modern exercise equipment, personal training services, and specialty fitness classes. Whether you’re looking to build strength, improve endurance, or enhance overall fitness, the club has you covered.

Athletic Programs and Activities

The Olympic Club is committed to supporting and developing athletes at all levels. Here are some of the key athletic programs and activities offered:

Amateur Sports Support: The club actively supports various amateur sports by providing training facilities, coaching, and opportunities for competition. From track and field to tennis and beyond, the Olympic Club nurtures talent across multiple disciplines.

Youth Programs: Recognizing the importance of early athletic development, the club offers a range of youth programs designed to introduce children to sports and foster their skills. These programs provide a fun and supportive environment for young athletes to grow and excel.

Elite Athlete Development: The Olympic Club has a proven track record of producing top-tier athletes who have gone on to achieve success at the national and international levels. The club’s elite training programs and expert coaching staff help athletes reach their full potential.

Community Engagement and Impact

Beyond its commitment to athletics, the Olympic Club is dedicated to making a positive impact on the local community. The club actively engages in various community initiatives and partnerships:

Local Partnerships: The Olympic Club collaborates with local schools and organizations to promote sports and wellness. Through these partnerships, the club shares its resources and expertise to support the development of young athletes in the community.

Charity Events and Philanthropy: The club hosts numerous charity events throughout the year, using its platform to raise funds and awareness for important causes. Members actively participate in these events, demonstrating their commitment to giving back to the community.

Membership and Inclusivity

The Olympic Club offers various membership categories to cater to different needs and interests. Whether you’re a golf enthusiast, a fitness buff, or a competitive athlete, there’s a membership option that suits you. The club strives to create an inclusive environment where members from diverse backgrounds can come together and enjoy the benefits of a world-class athletic facility.

Events and Competitions

The Olympic Club is renowned for hosting a wide range of events and competitions throughout the year. From annual club championships to member-exclusive tournaments, there’s always something exciting happening at the club. The club has also had the privilege of hosting several national and international sporting events, showcasing its exceptional facilities and organizational capabilities.

Olympic Club in the Broader San Francisco Sports Scene

The Olympic Club holds a special place in the San Francisco sports landscape. As one of the most prestigious and historic athletic clubs in the city, it has played a significant role in shaping the local sports culture. The club’s influence extends beyond its own walls, as it collaborates with other organizations and contributes to the overall development of sports in the region.


What are the eligibility criteria for membership at the Olympic Club?

Membership at the Olympic Club is by invitation only. Prospective members must be sponsored by current members and undergo a thorough application process. The club seeks individuals who share its values of sportsmanship, integrity, and community involvement.

Can non-members participate in any programs or events at the Olympic Club?

While most programs and events are exclusive to members, the Olympic Club occasionally opens its doors to the public for special events or charitable causes. Non-members may also have the opportunity to experience the club’s facilities through member-sponsored guest visits.

What are the most popular sports at the Olympic Club?

Golf and swimming are among the most popular sports at the Olympic Club, given the club’s exceptional facilities in these areas. However, the club offers a wide range of sports and activities, including tennis, squash, handball, basketball, and more, catering to diverse interests.

How does the Olympic Club contribute to local community development?

The Olympic Club actively contributes to local community development through various initiatives. It partners with schools and organizations to promote sports and wellness, hosts charity events to raise funds for important causes, and supports the growth of amateur athletics in the region.

Are there any historical landmarks at the Olympic Club that can be visited by the public?

While most of the Olympic Club’s facilities are exclusively accessible to members, there are certain areas that hold historical significance. The club’s Lake Course, for example, has hosted several U.S. Opens and is considered a golfing landmark. However, public access to these areas is limited and subject to the club’s policies.


About the author

Jyssica Schwartz is a prolific author and avid explorer who is captivated by San Francisco’s vibrant dining scene, scenic hiking trails, and rich cultural heritage. She finds endless inspiration in the city’s unique blend of islands, breweries, and cultural festivals, always eager to discover new trip ideas that showcase its distinctive spirit. From tasting the best craft beers to finding hidden gems among the city’s renowned restaurants, Jyssica loves immersing herself in San Francisco’s diverse offerings.