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Rec and Park Commission approves new contract for Gleneagles Golf Course

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Nathaniel Y. Downes/Special to The S.F. Examiner
The Recreation and Park Commission has approved a new nine-year lease contract with Gleneagles Golf Course manager Tom Hsieh

The Recreation and Park Commission unanimously approved a new contract Thursday with Tom Hsieh, who has managed the nine-hole golf course at McLaren Park since 2004. The new lease contract comes after months of uncertainty for the course beginning when Hsieh's previous lease expired in November and he operated on a month-to-month basis before giving his 30-day notice to vacate the property by July 31.

A day before he was to vacate, however, the Recreation and Park Department announced that it and Hsieh had agreed to extend the existing lease until Aug. 31 while continuing to negotiate a new one.

Per the new nine-year contract, which still has to be approved by the Board of Supervisors, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will pay for half of the course's water use, or up to 12,500 units — about 8.9 million gallons — annually. Rising water costs was the main reason Hsieh said he could no longer afford to operate the course.

The new deal also calls for Gleneagles to team up with the Laborers Community Training Foundation to recruit and train youths from the community in basic golf maintenance, such as tree work, integrated pest management and construction trades work “in an effort to rehabilitate the golf course while helping the young people work toward a path and career in this line of work,” Hsieh said.

The course manager said he was pleased and relieved after the commission approved the new contract, though he declined to discuss details of the negotiations.

“There was a lot of give and take,” Hsieh said. “It was a compromise.”

Gleneagles Golf Course opened as McLaren Park Golf Course in 1962, and was given its current name by Erik de Lambert, who ran the golf course for 25 years until retiring in 2003.

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