Golf tourney could plug up Daly City shopping center

The swarm of 3,000 daily visitors to the renowned Olympic Club, located adjacent to the Westlake district, has residents sweating about parking conditions should any golf fanatics stop in to shop.

The U.S. Amateur Championships teed off Monday at the renowned Olympic Club on Skyline Drive for a weeklong event to crown the best nonprofessional golfer in the country.

United States Golf Association officials estimated the event would draw approximately 3,000 spectators a day to the private club, which sits between Lake Merced and the cliffs of Fort Funston.

While that number pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of fans expected at the Olympic Club for the 2012 U.S. Open, it nevertheless has some business owners concerned about an already-crowded parking situation at the Westlake Shopping Center.

Georgette Sarles, the owner of Georgette’s of Westlake, a beauty salon, applauded the tournament and the extra business the visitors would bring in, but admitted the additional shoppers at Westlake would make parking a “disaster.”

Construction on a new four-level, 486-space parking garage and work on a site near the Walgreens store for a T.J. Maxx clothing store has cramped the center’s 1,800 spaces.

“Our customers are feeling the pinch, and our businesses are feeling the pinch,” said Sarles, who is also the president of the Daly City-Colma Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses are already noticing an increase in regular customer turout thanks to the golfing event, shop owners said.

John Coakes, the day manager at Joe’s of Westlake restaurant, which sits caddy-corner to the shopping center, said the establishment saw “much more” than the usual crowd after the event finished up for the day Monday.

“Around eight o’clock [after the tournament let out], a lot of people came through, ” Coakes said.

Visitors are advised to park at Fort Funston, along John Muir Drive, at the Pacific Rod and Gun Club; on Herbst Street just south of the San Francisco Zoo; and along the Great Highway. Shuttles will service the satellite parking areas. The tournament will run through Sunday.

dsmith@examiner.com

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