PEBBLE BEACH -Jason Schmuhl, PGA Head Professional at Windsor Golf Club, claimed the 2015 NCPGA Match Play Championship Wednesday.
Good news came from different sources for the Sonoma State University men’s and women’s golf teams this week.
The women, who had already been scheduled to host the NCAA Division II West Regional, found out Monday they had been selected to play in the event May 4-6 at Foxtail GC in Rohnert Park. The Seawolves enter the three-day event ranked eighth in the nine-team field.
A big part of golf is ego.
You tee it up on a par-3 hole and maybe recall once hitting a 7-iron to get there. You figure if you hit another “career shot” you can do it again. But you push it right and short, into a bunker or a grove of trees.
Or there is a creek in the middle of the fairway on a par-4 hole. You actually cleared it once although you don’t know how you did it. But hey, maybe you can do it one more time.
But no, you end up short and the ball trickles down the bank and into the water.
One of the best links-style golf courses in the country is quite possibly one you’ve never had a chance to play.
Sea Ranch Golf Links, located on the rugged North Coast close to the town of Gualala, is a unique, scenic 18-hole challenge, designed by Robert Muir Graves, its front and back nine built 22 years apart.
There are golf stories that can make you laugh, make you cry, evoke all sorts of feelings and responses.
Recently I was fortunate enough to meet Robert Walls and his father, Neal, and I came away thinking that in a world so often punctuated with anger, hatred, fear and distrust, there are still some really uplifting stories that simply make you smile and feel good and maybe a little more hopeful.
It no doubt depends on your ability as a player. A tough shot for a touring pro, for example, would not necessarily be the same as the most difficult shot for a high-handicap amateur.
Personally, the most difficult shot for me has always been anything out of the sand. I have played pretty well over the years, but like to pretend there are no bunkers on the golf course . . . when I get in one, I usually draw a blank.
With the skies blue, with nary a cloud in sight, and the temperature often flirting with 70 degrees, it may be tough to talk about “winter golf,” but we indeed are in the middle of winter, with rain possible this week, so I wanted to find out from some golfers what they feel is the best way to play golf in the winter weather and how to maintain your game.
Tom Isaak, who operates highly successful CourseCo, which includes Sea Ranch and Foxtail as well as 25 other courses in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas, says to “hit balls between showers . . . and putt.”
He said to find courses that drain well and have good maintenance programs that assure golfers a decent round, even during the rainy season. If the course isn’t playable, it’s not really worth the time and money spent.
You want your son or daughter to learn about playing golf, to just maybe become as interested as you are in the game that, obviously, you can play for a lifetime.
But the question many of you have is: At what age to you start them off and what kind of equipment is best for them.
I connected with a number of golfers in our community — and would like to hear from more — regarding the best way to deal with aspiring young players.
Windsor pro Jason Schmuhl, himself an outstanding performer on the golf course for Analy High, thinks high school and junior golf has fallen off recently.
With that in mind, he is hoping to revive something similar to the GEL (Golf at the Elementary Level) made popular and nationally recognized by former Piner-Olivet Elementary School teacher Paul Nikol.
Nikol started a program that enlisted the help of local pros in an effort to bring golf to a lot of youngsters who might otherwise never get the chance to play the game. He and volunteer area pros provided instruction and equipment. Some of those kids continued to play and are still playing today.
A lot of good young athletes compete in golf in our community — at the prep level and at the junior golf level.
A number of these young athletes move on to play at the community college or four-year-college level, some receiving scholarships. Some are talented enough to advance to playing professionally.