By Bruce Meadows

 October 2018

John Lienhart with his collection

5,245 courses and he’s not done yet . . .

     Santa Rosan John Lienart, an admitted “golf junkie,” comes to Fairgrounds GC pro shop and other shops in the area often to dig through barrels of $1 balls, looking for logo balls from other courses.

John took up golf in the mid-80s and started focusing on collecting balls “because some of the logos were very interesting.”         He has played 631 courses and has 8,000 logo balls from 5,245 difference places. “I have about 20,000 balls in my garage, but have started to pare that number  down somewhat because it drives my wife nuts . . . what can I say?”

John also collects scorecards,, ball markers, pencils, divot tools, bag tags and other “golf stuff.” He has scorecards from 3,337 courses. Not one to expect something for nothing, for every logo ball that John discovers and wants to add to his collection, he donates five good balls to the barrel.

John considers his collection “small potatoes compared to some of the other collectors I trade with” and that he really does it “just for fun.”


Keep your head where ???

“Keep your head down!”

You’ve probably heard that more times than you care to remember, but an article by Sue Powers, co-owner of Nancy Lopez Golf Adventures (and 2013 National Golf Teacher of the Year) might be of some interest.

In the article, Sue claims that keeping your head down “is one of golf’s greatest myths” and I tend to agree with her.

She says some of the better golfers have some head movement, noting that there is often some movement of the head, laterally, away from the ball although not up and down.

“By keeping your head down, you stifle your upper body’s ability to rotate,” says Sue. “And a hindered rotation may cause your hands to flip, your weight may either shift too little, too late or not at all.”

She adds, “your arms may pull up and into your body, causing you to lose spine angle created by your set-up, and you will definitely impact any chance of solid contact with the ball.”

She claims keeping your head down can actually harm you physically, putting stress on your neck, noting “the more you try to keep your head down, the harder it is to turn through the ball.”

Sue writes that you should “encourage your friends to let themselves freely turn through the swing and forget about keeping the head down.” And ask these questions:


  • Do they see the club make contact with the ball?
  • Do they hear the club make contact with the ball?
  • Or do they feel the club make contact with the ball?


“It may take a few swings to answer this question. They will either be a seeing, hearing, or feeling learner. Once you have the answer, you are on your way to becoming a well-informed and successful mentor.

“If your friend sees the club make contact with the ball, simply ask them to “see the contact” before they start to follow the ball to the  target. Likewise, if they hear or feel the contact, they will stay in their posture until after they hear or feel the contact and then follow their ball to the target. By using their sensory system as a trigger, they will keep the head out of the way and make more solid contact with the ball.”

Perhaps a bit complicated, but just some words of advice from a seasoned teaching pro.  Take it for what you feel it’s worth.

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Healdsburg Legion Tournament . . .

Tayman Park GC in Healdsburg will host the Healdsburg American Legion Post 111 Golf Tournament Friday, Oct. 19.

Cost is $75 per golfer, or $300 per foursome. Contests include longest drive, closest to the pin and “Beat the Pro.”

Post 111 “has been a proud part of the community since 1920 . . . we serve Healdsburg, Geyserville and Windsor and give back 100% of monies raised through donations and sponsorships.”

Tee sponsors are available for $250, with golf sponsorships offered at $500 and “Hero Sponsor” spots for $750.  According to tournament coordinator Douglas Newton, “we’d be happy to showcase your business at the event, Tax ID# 94-1377252, for your records.”

Call 433-4275 for details.


Halloween Fun at Foxtail . . .

       Foxtail Golf Course in Rohnert Park is staging a “Halloween Family Fun” night Monday, Oct. 29, from 5-7:30 p.m.

There will be a $100 prize for “best dressed;” Halloween music; face-painting from 5-7 p.m.; special treats, including a cookie station, churros and mud pies, and a night golf putting contest.

There will be a Pirate’s Quest treasure hunt for kids age 3 and under; a “Haunted Forest” for ages 4-7 and a “Lost Treasure of Quetzalcoatl” for ages 7 and over.

Parents must accompany their kids and costumes are optional.  The “Lost Treasure” feature is considered somewhat difficult and parents are encouraged to assist their kids.


For more information, call 584-7766.


SR City deadline looms . . .

           The Santa Rosa City Championships are Oct. 27 and 28 at Bennett Valley and Oakmont golf courses and pro Jess Stimack says “entries are pouring in.”

Deadline to enter is Friday Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.

Format is stroke play over 36 holes and this is an NCGA point event. The number of flights will be determined by the number of entries although the field is limited to a maximum of 100 players in net divisions and 100 players in gross divisions

Entry fee $160, includes green fees and range balls both days. Any cancellation after Wednesday, Oct. 26, will result in forfeiture of entry fee.

First-place trophies will be awarded for the Championship Flight and Senior Division. Gift certificates will be given out for all flights with certificates redeemable at the appropriate pro shop.

Jess says the BV course “is very green . . . the rain was just what the doctor ordered,” adding that the greens are healing from aeration “at probably the quickest rate I’ve seen in 20 years.”

He said having the BV club champ be Don Ballard, the course superintendent, is always a good thing. “Don and his crew are the unsung heroes when it comes to keep the course in great shape.”

For starting times, beginning Thursday, Oct. 27 after 8 a.m., call the BV Pro Shop (528-3673) or Oakmont GC (539-0415).

Entry forms are available online by going to


Jess adds that you can walk 18 holes or ride for $29 Monday through Friday and can walk for $39 or ride for $49 on Sundays through the end of November. Sunday rounds include a free small bucket of balls.


 Let’s hear from you . . .

          We love getting comments, questions and suggestions from golfers — pros and amateur — so if you have information about anything golf-related, including upcoming activities, please let me know.

If you have items of interest or questions about golf courses or golf businesses or anything golf-related, or care to get some details about being a sponsor of GOLF 707, email me at