With the help of locals, such as members from the San Francisco Horseshoe Pitching Club, the pits at Golden Gate Park have experienced a transformation in the past couple of years. Gone are the felled trees, wayward bushes, overgrown vines, and excess dirt that once covered the stakes. Thanks to volunteers and club members, the courts continue to stay maintained, where a variety of annual events are held for pitchers of all levels.
Construction of the horseshoe court dates back to 1926 with attractive touches, such as the concrete bas-relief “The Horseshoe Pitcher” made by Jesse S. “Vet” Anderson – who was a member of the Golden Gate Horseshoe Club. Anderson also created a sculpture of an eye-catching horse that sits to the side of the courts. Settled into the earth, the aging creature overlooks the pits.
To play horseshoes in Golden Gate Park, drivers should park on Conservatory Drive and walk up the stone steps, which lead to the pits. There are 16 pits at the park – all located in the northeast corner where the Pan Handle begins (on the corner of Fulton Street and Stanyan Street).
Events and Activities at Horseshoe Court
At Golden Gate Park, horseshoe club events are held throughout the week during the day and night. Activities are subject to cancellation if the weather and court conditions are poor. One moment, a local could benefit from the wisdom of a veteran horseshoe pitcher on a weekday afternoon, while the weekends fill with pick-up matches and round robin tournaments for anyone that shows up. Additional information on the courts and upcoming tournaments are found on the San Francisco Horseshoe Pitching Club website: http://www.sfhorseshoepitching.com
2011 Dates to Remember
April 2 (Sat) – First Saturday of the Month Challenge Tournament
A Challenge Tournament and BBQ takes place on the first Saturday of the month. At noon, enter your name into a hat, and teams are randomly drawn for a single elimination tournament. The cost of entry for the event is contributing money for the BBQ and beverages. This event is from noon to 4 p.m.
May 14 (Sat) – Cal Poly SLO Alumni Tournament & BBQ
The first annual horseshoe pitching tournament and BBQ organized by the SFHPC and the Cal Poly Alumni Association will take place on this date. All players are welcome, as this is a charity open doubles tournament to support the CPAA scholarship program.
Sept 10 (Sat) – 3rd Annual Guardsmen SF Horseshoe Tournament & BBQ
Oct 22 (Sat) – NCHPA Return to Golden Gate Park Horseshoe Tournament
It’s been two decades, but the Northern California Horseshoe Pitching Association will host its first full, sanctioned tournament in 20 years. Hosted by the Half Moon Bay Horseshoe Club and the SFHPC, this tournament will only register pitchers with a qualified ringer percentage rating. There will be plenty of opportunities for SFHPC members to join the NCHPA, and toss 100 horseshoes in order to create an initial ringer percentage. In the tournament, matches are arranged by ringer percentage.