By BRUCE MEADOWS
Sonoma County Open coming up . . .
The 2022 Sonoma County Open is not that far off, this year’s tournament scheduled May14-15 at Foxtail GC in Rohnert Park.
Format will be 36-hole stroke play and there is something for everybody with six flights offered: Championship (gross only, black tees); Men’s (gross and net, blue tees); Women’s (gross only, white tees), Senior (gross and net, ages 55-64, blue/white tee combo), and Super Senior (ages 65 and over, gross and net, blue/white combo tees).
Entry fee is $200, Player’s Club $180 and Unlimited Members $99.
Entry fee includes green fee and cart fee, tee gifts, prizes, snack stations on the course Saturday and Sunday.
Pre-tournament cookout and reception on Friday, May 13, 7-9 p.m. Special practice rounds Friday, May 13 ($30 with cart). Call Matt Anderson at 707-584-7766.
Also on the menu at Foxtail . . .
Feb. 13, Big Game Shotgun, starts 8:30 a.m.
$85 per person, $75 for Players Club members, $20 for annual members.
According to General Manager Chris Gay, this is not a tournament, “just a fun way to play with friends before the BIG GAME!”
Each round of golf includes a cart, warm-up bucket of range balls, a sleeve of golf balls and one drink from the pub or beverage cart.
Register online or at the golf shop or call 707-584-7766.
April 2, Junior Golf Orientation, 10:30 a.m.
Learn about Foxtail’s Junior Programs and Classes for 2022.
Free orientation will discuss various youth programs, including US Kids Camp, PGA Junior Leagues and North Bay League.
Snacks and sodas will be provided. This is an orientation only and kids are not required to sign up for any of the programs.
The return of Saturday Clinics
PGA teaching pro Jessica Reese Quayle is back with her popular Saturday clinics, being offered at Santa Rosa G&CC.
“It has been a long time since I have done clinics and I am really looking forward to introducing them back into my schedule,” says Jessica. Clinics will take place on Saturdays from 11-12:00 at Santa Rosa Country Club.
“Please sign up on my website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to join. Cost is $50 per session. Limit 8 people. Topics include:
She has also announced new lesson prices for 2022.
From the range to the golf course…
LPGA pro Rebecka Heinmert and Jessica Reese Quayle used to run a teaching academy at the Oakmont East executive course – OK, now it’s Valley of the Moon Sugarloaf Course — before she headed to Vallejo to continue giving golf instruction at Blue Rock Springs.
She recently wrote an article with suggestions about what she feels is important when taking your golf game from the practice range to the golf course – winter or whenever — and I wanted to pass that along to you.
Rebecka Heinmert on the range at Blue Rock Springs
“Are you ready to go from the range to the course? Here’s what can help you make it less intimidating:
“First of all, I’m so excited that you are reading this and starting to think about transitioning to play golf on the golf course! It’s so much more fun than going to the driving range, but the first few times can be really challenging. Because of that, I’ve made a list of things you can do.
“Starting to play golf on the actual course is different than going to the driving range. You have to put all the skills together you learned about in the clinics: driving, fairway shots, irons, pitching, chipping and putting. Your ball might even end up in the sand bunker! This is why golf is more challenging than bowling because for each shot everything changes and you have to make a new decision on what club to use and where to try to hit to.
“When I talk to new golfers, they say they feel pressure to perform because there are other people around who they perceive are watching them. I don’t know how true that is — in my experience most golfers are very much concerned about their own game. I don’t have a lot to offer apart from that the more times you play, it will get better. Remember that everyone had to get started somewhere!
Here are a few ways you can make your first experience on the course a little easier on yourself.
#1 Ask a friend to ride along.
“If you have never set foot on a course before and you have friends who play, ask if you can ride or walk along to observe. It might be a small fee to be in a cart, but you will learn a lot about how an actual game is played. Watching expert players on TV will not give you this experience!
#2 Make sure your skills are up for the challenge.
“Lots of people ask me how they will know when they are ready to play. I think that if you can hit the ball about 100 yards (with roll) on the driving range you are ready to test your skills on the course.
#3 Lower your expectations.
“If you hit it one way on the driving range, expect to hit it a little worse on the course. Why?
“There are lots of distractions on the course (where to go, who’s turn it is to hit, where the next hole is etc.)
“There will be other golfers playing ahead and behind you
“The ground is not level most of the time and you have to deal with bunkers and penalty areas
“You also have to deal with lots of decisions (what club to hit and where to aim)
“For your first time, I suggest your only goal is to experience the game and how it’s played, rather than focusing on performance.
#4 Reduce the amount of clubs you bring.
“If you have a set of 10-14 clubs, take half out of the bag. Keep the putter, SW (or PW), 9-iron, 7-iron, a hybrid and driver. That way you have fewer options and will have less “decision fatigue” at the end of the round.
#5 Play a shorter course.
“These shorter courses are usually called Par 3 courses or Executive courses. Fairgrounds GC in Santa Rosa is a good example.
#6 If you don’t have access to a shorter course, here’s a few ideas to avoid frustration and actually finish a few holes:
“Start every hole (except Par 3s) from the fairway about 50, 75 or 100 yards away from the green depending on your confidence level. You will be able to improve your skills so much faster starting closer and moving further away as you improve.
“Tee off and if you don’t hit it as far as your friends, pick up your ball and play from where your friend is hitting a second (or even third) shot. That way it won’t be such a slog to get to the green on the longer holes.
“Most holes have a post or rock that is 150 yards away from the middle of the green. Start from there on every hole except the par 3s.
“If you are taking your kid for the first time, have them start from 25 yards. That way they are hitting the same club and the same yardage each time.
#7 Play in the late afternoon.
“The rate is lower, there’s usually fewer players on the course and the pace of play is generally slower. I used to play in the late afternoon/evenings all the time after my dad came home from work . . . it was the best.”
Rebecka adds, “I’m rooting for you and if I can help in any way, please let me know.”
If you’d like to contact Rebecka, here are the details:
Rebecka Heinmert Colonna
Performance Golf Coach
LPGA and PGA Member
Call or text 408-616-0226 or
Let’s hear from you . . .
Thanks for your comments, questions, suggestions. I appreciate 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, let me know and I’ll make some inquiries.
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@example.com