By Bruce Meadows
He’s back . . .
Choose your cliche’ . . .
It’s hard to keep a good man down . . .
Out of the mud grows a lotus . . .
Down but not out . . .
These could all apply to Greg Anderson, who recently left his position as manager and head pro at Oakmont Golf Course, now known as Valley of the Moon although it will always be Oakmont to me and, I assume, a lot of others.
For a while, Greg, a Cardinal Newman grad and a fixture in the local golfing community and beyond, was wondering what he might be doing after leaving his job at Oakmont, but that situation has changed.
According to Greg, “I am hoping to get started at Windsor GC on Saturday, August 15th. On Sunday the 16th, Jason (head pro Jason Schmuhl) and I are hosting a PXG Demo and Fitting Day.
“The PXG staff will be doing fittings for these spectacular clubs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The clubs have all been reduced in price, and have a new model out that is as good as anything in the market at way below the competition price.
“I am going to create the GolfVino Academy and am currently working on the website and booking engine for lessons, etc. This business will parallel my Golfvino.com tour company.
“I will be specializing in coaching golfers of all abilities, and with the new excitement in golf, I plan on being quite busy.
“I am working as an independent contractor, and will not be employed by Windsor Golf Club. People can contact me for lessons at 707-696-1621 or [email protected]
Greg doesn’t give details on what exactly went on at Oakmont, and I respect his decision to do that.
When new golf course operators take over a facility, they quite often want to install their own people.
Regardless, best of luck to Greg, and I have a feeling he may re-surface at another golf facility before long.
Head Seawolf checks in . . .
Sonoma State golf coach Val Verhunce, like so many college and high school coaches, has been faced with the dilemma of having a team and nowhere to really compete during the pandemic.
Heard from Val the other day:
“As far as how things have affected me and those around me, I have been able to manage to keep some of the normalcy in my everyday life.
“The thing that has changed the most is the university and the uncertainty of how to answer all the questions regarding our upcoming seasons.
“The balance of academics, and athletics has been the mission of Division II Sports. We have always been able to find that balance, but unfortunately we have often assumed one’s health as a given and that no longer can be assumed.
“So the decisions that have been made to learn on-line and postpone fall sports (CCAA) have been the biggest effect on the student-athletes and myself. “
Val has other thoughts that he will share in the next GOLF 707.
If you have your own thoughts, on how the pandemic has affected you as a golfer as well as a human being, please email me at [email protected]
A number of people have either returned to the game of golf or taken it up for the first time during the pandemic. Golf has become one of the few sports that has managed to avoid – at least for now – long shutdowns.
What’s up with Rebecka ???
Rebecka Heimert Colonna, who had teamed up with Jessica Reese Quayle at their Oakmont East teaching location, was also a casualty of sorts of the new ownership at Oakmont.
“I went on maternity leave Aug. 1 of last year and never returned, so I wasn’t part of any drama since I moved to Benecia, and it was just too far to drive with a small baby
“I was just bummed about Oakmont,” she said. “Great people there . . . miss seeing my former students!”
She went on to say, “I wanted to let you know I had a baby girl last August and moved to Benicia.
“I now teach exclusively at Blue Rock Springs Golf Club, which is only about 15 minutes from where I live.
“For three months this Spring I wasn’t allowed to teach and spent my days having an extended maternity leave. It was great, but I missed teaching and connecting with my students as things had just started to get busy when we got shut down.
“Play and driving range usage are definitely up at Blue Rock. I have many new students who want to learn how to play; especially women.
“Because of that, I now offer one clinic for women beginners and one for intermediate players every Saturday. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the maximum number of participants for a clinic is four. That way it is easy to socially distance.
“To schedule a lesson or clinic, please visit www.rebeckaheinmert.com to sign up,” she adds.
That may be of help to some of her Oakmont students who might like to re-connect with Rebecka.
Jessica is currently giving lessons at Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club.
“Santa Rosa has been gracious in allowing me to bring in any clients if they are a club member or not, and the teaching facility is wonderful.
“I hope my Oakmont and Sonoma students will come see me there for lessons . . . if students need to cancel because of the venue change, I completely understand, so please let me know as soon as possible.”
For information on lessons, go to golfwithjessica.com
How great was that ???
Hope you had a chance to watch the final round of the PGA at Harding Park Sunday.
I’ve watched a lot of majors and had the opportunity to cover a few of them as well.
But it would be hard to match the drama of what happened Sunday at Harding Park.
A dozen golfers in contention on the back nine, some great individual efforts and some notable flops.
In the end, Cal grad Collin Morikawa came out on top, helped in large part to an incredible tee shot on the driveable par-4 that resulted him making an eagle putt that moved him to 13 under par.
Hard to say whether the 23-year-old will go on to win more majors but his calm demeanor in the face of what had to be considerable pressure tends to make me think he will.
Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Rory McIlroy are the only players to have been just 23 when they won their first major . . . pretty nice company for young Morikawa.
Do you play 9 or 18 ???
Whether to play 9 or 18 holes is a question asked by a lot of golfers. There really is no “right” answer . . . it’s often a matter of personal preference and to some degree, how much time you have.
Golf Magazine offered some ideas recently, and I am re-printing some of them here:
“For most people, golf’s grand introduction came on a 9-hole course. Maybe on a pitch-and-putt, an executive course or a local 9-holer.
“The reason why so many of us gain exposure to golf in this way is because shorter courses with fewer holes are more palatable. But just as you wouldn’t send a first-timer out on a 7,000-yard beast, you probably haven’t returned to play on the courses which served as your introduction to the sport.
“It’s a paradox that raises an interesting question: how many golf holes is the right amount to play in a round? In Golf’s edition of That’s Debatable, we found the answer. On the side of nine holes, it’s senior writer and noted professional golfer Dylan Dethier. On the side of 18 holes, executive editor Alan Bastable.
9 holes (Dethier)
- Affordability — Playing 9 is cheaper than playing 18 holes!
- Accessibility — It’s easier to start off by playing 9 than 18! Playing18 holes takes forever, it’s intimidating if you’re a beginner … play nine!
- Flexibility — You can squeeze in a quick nine in the mornings or the evenings and soak up every minute of it. it’s the best way to maximize limited golf time . . .18 holes is restrictive.
- Freedom — This is America! You wanna play nine holes? Play nine! Keep going if you want! An argument for nine holes is an argument for whichever number of holes you really want to play.
18 holes (Bastable)
- You have an invite to play Pebble, Cypress, Shinny, Pine Valley, National, Sand Hills, Cabot, Bandon, Torrey, Bethpage, Fishers Island … Nine holes sounds good, right? Puh-leaze.
- There’s this notion that golfers don’t want to spend four or five hours on a golf course. I can assure you, when you get to my advanced age — with kids, life responsibilities, only so much time left on Earth — you want to milk the absolute most out of every round. Nine holes is a mere appetizer.
- The challenge of our great game lies in keeping everything together — your swing, your psyche — for 18 holes. What’s next? Four-and-a-half inning baseball games? Thirteen-mile marathons? A bull fight when the bull enters the arena then promptly retreats back down the tunnel?
- Middling golfers — sorry, that’s most of us — play decent golf only in five- or six-hole spurts, and those runs rarely come right out of the gate. We need18 holes to find our best selves.
- Think of all you miss if you quit after nine. The turn. The chance to win back all the skins you lost, or double the skins you’ve already won.
Winner (by judge’s decision)
18 holes! History and normalcy hold weight in our judge’s eyes, as does the value of playing ALL the holes on GOLF’s top 100 courses list.
So what are your thoughts on the relative merits of playing either 9 or 18 holes???
Let’s hear from you . . .
Thanks for your comments, questions and suggestions. I appreciate getting them and would like to get as many as possible. If you have information about anything golf-related, including upcoming clinics, activities, tournaments or sales, let me know. And if you have questions, complaints or compliments about golf in our area, I want to hear them.
If you have a golfer – pro or amateur — you know who you think would make an interesting story, tell me about it and I will take it from there.
Having trouble with your game? Let me know what it is and I’ll try to get an answer for you from a local pro.
We would be proud to include you as one of our sponsors – thanks to Bill Carson at Wine Country Golf for his continued support – so if you care to get some details about being a sponsor of GOLF 707, email me at [email protected]