May 2018

By Bruce Meadows



What are your golfing favorites?

From time to time, when I wrote a weekly golf column for the Press Democrat, I would ask readers to take part in a very unofficial survey.

I wanted to know – and wanted our readers to have some knowledge – about what local players like or don’t like about golf in our area.

I would get some really interesting and revealing results, but it’s been a while since I did this survey, so I figured I would toss it out to readers of my online column, GOLF 707.

I would like to know what you think, and local golf courses and golf-related businesses would no doubt like to have some idea what local golfers think, too. Those courses and business who get good reviews can continue to do what they’re doing, and those that do not show up on our survey might want to take a look at how they can do things a little better.
So check out the following list and let me know your thoughts. I would prefer an email to so I can compile a list and keep a running vote total.

And while you are handing out praise, feel free to take a shot at golf courses, businesses or pros or whatever you feel need some improvement.

I would appreciate your name and city with your email if possible. And if there is a category you feel I missed, feel free to create one. Respond to the categories that interest you, but respond to all of them if you wish.

Here’s the list:
Best Par 3
Best Par 4
Best Par 5
Best 18-hole Course
Best 9-hole Course
Best Greens
Best 19th Hole
Best Pro Shop
Friendliest, most helpful pro shop staff
Best Golf Instructor
Best Junior Program
Best Women’s Program
Best Senior Program
Best Golf Course Food, Drink
Best Driving Range
Best “Bang for your Buck”
Best Practice Facility (putting green, chipping green, etc.)
Best Golf Shop (well-stocked, sales, etc.)
Best Golf Repair
Best Maintained Course

Matt Anderson takes over at Foxtail

Foxtail’s new golf director Matt Anderson

          Matt Anderson is a new face at Foxtail Golf Course, but hardly a new face to the area.

          Matt, who has taken over as head of golf operations at Foxtail, is a Sonoma County native who graduated from Casa Grande High in Petaluma.

He was the No. 2 player on the golf team at Santa Rosa JC his only year there, then moved to Sonoma State, where he eared his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.

Matt has worked at Adobe Creek Peacock Gap as first assistant pro and Healdsburg’s Tayman Park, where he was head pro, before moving to Foxtail as Golf Operations Manager.

“I love to teach and I definitely have a passion for the game of golf,” says Matt, who is married (Kiki) with a 2-year-old son (Parker).

Taylor Battaglia, who played golf at Casa Grande High and Santa Rosa JC, is the new pro at Fairgrounds Golf Course.

If you have any “new faces” at your golf course, send me the details and also a photo if you have one.

Demo Day set at Rooster Run

Rooster Run GC in Petaluma is hosting a Callaway Demo Day Sunday, April 29, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Golfers will be able to try out the complete 2018 line of Callaway clubs and Odyssey putters.

You can schedule an appointment to compare your clubs with the Callaway equipment using Trackman. Cost to use the Trackman fitting is $25. To set up an appointment, contact Mary Jo Hodgen at or call 415-613-5929.

Some thoughts on golf instruction . . .

Over the years, I have observed a lot of instructors – some credentialed, some not – giving lessons to aspiring, sometimes struggling, players.

I occasionally ask players questions such as “how did the lesson go?” or “what did you get out of today’s instruction?

As in any business, there are good instructors, some really outstanding ones as well as those who appear to be in it for the money and not overly concerned about the progress of a golfer.

Golf lessons are not cheap, as you know if you have signed up for one or a series.

They of course can be well worth the investment . . . sometimes one or two simple bits of advice can help turn your game around, at least for a while until another problem pops up . . . and you know they will !!!

I would like to hear from you as to what you expect when you sign up for a lesson, and whether you have generally been satisfied with what you have learned and how you have been able to apply it.

For pros, I would like to know your thinking about students who are more or less “teachable.”

I’ve seen instructors  work with students who, because of possibly age or simple lack of ability, and it’s apparent this person is not going to get appreciably better.

So, are you honest with your student, providing a thoughtful assessment of his or her abilities, or is it a matter of taking the check or cash and moving on ???

Have you ever simply thanked a student for giving it a try but suggested golf may not be the game for them???

I do believe that just about anyone is capable of making small improvements, but is it worth spending possibly hundreds of dollars to bring that about ???

I talk to a lot of golfers who have taken lessons . . . some are quite pleased with the results, while some consider it a waste of time.

I often compare selecting a golf instructor similar to finding a doctor or a gardener or whatever that works for you.  You go to five different pros and while they basically tell you the same thing, maybe one of them “connects” with you for any number of reasons.

That doesn’t mean the other four are bad instructors, it simply indicates they may not be right for you.

I do endorse the “trial and error” method of finding a pro that speaks your language. It may be more costly but if you find a pro that really helps you, it can be worth it.

If you have any thoughts on this, email me at and let me know.

Rooster Run golf camps

Junior golf camps are scheduled at Rooster Run, under the instructional guidance of Dave Johnson.

Camp dates are June 11-15, June 25-29, July 16-20 and Aug. 6-10.

Cost is $425 for full-day camps, which include nine holes of golf and run 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Half-day camps are $275 and run 9 a.m. until noon.

          To register, go to or contact him at 707-484-0467.


Here are some reasons Dave thinks your young golfer should attend his camps, or actually just about any reputable camp:

1) Golf is a game, sport and skill that they will use all through their lives.

2) Golf is outdoors in the fresh air; the children are in a positive healthy environment.

3) Golf is a game that abides by “rules, respect and etiquette”

4) Golf camp teaches youngsters to interact in a social environment.

5) Golf teaches us to problem solve and develop self-reliance.

Honors for SSU women

Sonoma State’s Sabrina Virtusio, Samantha Oliva and Cristina Picariello have been named to the 2018 California Collegiate Athletic Association’s inaugural All-Conference team.

Virtusio, who earned two consecutive CCAA Women’s “Golfer of the Week” awards (Sept. 27 and Oct. 31) was named to the All-CCAA First Team for her outstanding efforts this season.

The Antioch-native took two first-place finishes at the Dixie State Fall Invitational and CSUSM Fall Classic, shooting par at the Dixie. The junior also placed top-five in six tournaments this season, taking a third at the inaugural 2018 CCAA Women’s Golf Championship.

Oliva takes home her first All-Conference selection, making the All-CCAA first team with Virtusio. Oliva’s season peaked at the Sonoma State Spring Invitational April 2-3 when she led the Seawolves to a first-place team finish, with her individual first-place finish, going one stroke over par. The junior from San Jose earned a 77.55 scoring average on the season.

Picariello was named to the All-CCAA team as an Honorable Mention. The sophomore shot a scoring average of 79.47 strokes through her 15 rounds this season. Her season highlight came at the Mikuni Sushi Invitational, where she placed second with a 154 through the 36-hole event.

Masterful . . .

I’m not sure about you, but I thought this year’s Masters tournament was one of the most entertaining I’ve seen in a long time.

Most “experts” figured Patrick Reed — reportedly one of the least liked players on the Tour — would fold like a cheap team in the heat of battle, but he played well enough to win, and was a deserving champion.

Would have been nice to see Jordan Speith continue his hot run and force playoff, but those tree limbs are there for a reason !!!

My pick, prior to Sunday, was John Rahm, but the volatile Spaniard slipped off the rails to take himself out of contention.  He WILL contend and win some majors in the future.

My sentimental pick was Rory McElroy, but he pretty much sealed his fate with bad putting, which you just can’t do at Augusta.

It was fun to watch young Cameron Smith work his way up the leaderboard . . . looks like a player to keep an eye on.

And how about the defending champ, Sergio Garcia.  Safe to say his wedge instructional video will not be a big seller . . . difficult to see a quality player like that too stubborn to change clubs at such a critical moment.

If you have any thoughts on this year’s Masters and the other three majors to come in 2018, let me know. And what are your thoughts on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson ???


Let’s hear from you . . .

          We are always eager to hear what you have to say about the game itself, and are also happy to answer any questions you have.

If you have any questions or comments about golf in our area or anywhere, let me know and I will try to address it.

Also, if you have an interest in helping me promote GOLF 707 by being a sponsor, such as Bill Carson of Wine Country Golf Group, let me know and I will provide you with the details.

Once again, thanks for your support and hope to hear from you soon.