We’ll miss you, Bill . . .

Bill Fisher wasn’t afraid to let you know that while he loved the game
of golf, he was not a particularly good golfer.
But John William Fisher was definitely good for golf.

He passed away Nov. 7, just four days shy of his 92 nd birthday.
I first met Bill in the late ‘70s, shortly after my family and I had moved to
Santa Rosa from Klamath Falls, Ore. He was one of the first “golf guys” I
met when I came to work for the Herald and News.
A fixture at Santa Rosa Golf and CC, Bill introduced me to a lot of golf-related
people in the community, not just his own club, and I was always
appreciative of that. And as the years went by, he was always a reliable
source I went to for information when it came to golf in our community.


Bill always knew the score

He started the Santa Golf and CC Junior Team in 1971. The team had 12 active
players at every match, according to his son, Jim. The team played in the Bay
Cities League of Juniors Golfers, made up of 20 or so clubs in the Bay Area,
including Olympic, Marin, Meadow, California Golf Club, Presidio, Green Hills,
Diablo, Crow Canyon, Round Hills, San Jose CC and others.
“He ran the team for 30+ years and it’s still going strong,” says Jim.

The top of the Bay Junior Golf Tournament was a JGANC premier two-day
tournament at Bill’s club and Windsor GC.  He started that event in 1971 and
it ran for 45 years. The tournament drew a lot of talented young players, some
of whom went on to outstanding college, and in some cases, pro careers.
He was a member at the old 9-hole Santa Rosa Golf and CC when it was
located off Los Alamos Road in east Santa Rosa. A land swap resulted in the
club relocating to its present location. Bill lived near the present club since
1963, according to his son
“Dad was never a good golfer but he loved golf,” explained Jim. “He enjoyed
that you can play golf play with your kids, friends, parents, wife, in business
and for charity. He said you can learn a lot about someone playing 18 holes
with them.
“Every round of golf I play,” added Jim, “I owe to my dad!”
Bill, a runner, water and snow skier and hiker, came to Santa Rosa in
1945, competing in track and field at Santa Rosa High and then Santa Rosa
JC — he’s in the Bear Cub Sports Hall of Fame — before moving on to earn a
Business Degree at UC Berkeley.

He ran Culligan Water of Sonoma County, the second of three Fisher
generations to do so
I hadn’t seen Bill for a few years, which I now regret. I think we all have
similar regrets about people we wish we would have stayed in touch with
better than we have.

The night of what would have been Bill’s 92 nd birthday, Jim and other family
members went out to celebrate in his memory.
Bill was admittedly not a real good golfer, but I have to repeat myself . . . he
was good for golf.

Click here to find out more about our great courses!

Turning over a new leaf – or not . . .

(An article of interest from Golf Magazine)
If you play golf in the fall, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the “leaf rule.”
Some use it as a cheerful concession to allow their partner a free drop
when they can’t find their ball just off the fairway. Others invoke it as a
serious justification for taking free relief, passionately claiming the Rules of
Golf support their move.

But is it an official rule? Well, kind of. It takes some explaining.
In everyday use (irrespective of what the official rules dictate), when golfers
lose a ball that clearly came to rest in a pile of leaves, they often take a free
drop rather than incurring a penalty and replaying the previous shot. On the
surface, this “leaf rule” makes logical sense. Why should a golfer who can’t
find their ball in a dense pile of leaves just off the fairway receive the same
penalty as one who just sliced one out-of-bounds?
Yet, the Rules of Golf are not so lenient. Under Rule 18.2, “Your ball is
lost if not found in three minutes after you or your caddie begin to search
for it.” That’s it. And, according to the same rule, when a ball is lost, you
must take stroke-and-distance relief (adding one penalty stroke) and play
from the spot of your previous shot.

So where is this “leaf rule?” Proponents of the free drop may (incorrectly)
cite Rule 16.1, which allows a player to take free relief from a ball not found
when it is “known or virtually certain” that it came to rest in or on an
“abnormal course condition.” That doesn’t solve the issue, though, as
abnormal course conditions are defined as “animal holes, ground under
repair, immovable obstructions or temporary water.” Notably omitted:

In fact, the leaf rule cannot be found in one of the 24 Rules of Golf. Instead,
it’s part of the "Model Local Rules" that a tournament committee or course
staff can choose to implement on a given hole(s) and given day. Here,
under Model Local Rule F-14, we find the leaf rule:
“At certain times of the year, piles of loose impediments such as leaves,
seeds or acorns may make it difficult for a player to find or play his or her
ball. A Committee can choose to treat such piles of loose impediments in
the general area or in a bunker as ground under repair from which free
relief is allowed under Rule 16.1.”
Long story short? Make sure to check with the golf course staff or
tournament committee (if you’re playing in competition) before heading out
for an end-of-the-year round to see if they’re implementing this local rule. If
it’s being used, you’re entitled to free relief from a ball lost in leaves. If not,
you’re out of luck.

And, if you’re one of the passionate defenders of the leaf rule, you now
have your argument for convincing your head pro to adopt the rule for your
nxt member-guest. Or, at least, to point to when your buddies question why
you’re campaigning for a free drop.

First Tee Junior Clinic
Foxtail Golf Club
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2022 AT 10 AM – 12 PM
COVID-19 health and safety requirements:
Perfect for Beginner or New Golfers
Price: $0.00
Location: Foxtail Golf Club
Age: 6 – 14
Clubs provided
Phone: 707-584-7766

Thanksgiving Day Shotgun (North Course)

8:30 a.m. Shotgun. This is not a tournament, but a fun way to spend
some time with family or friends before the Thanksgiving festivities!
Paid player receives: 1 round w/cart on the North Course, range bucket,
sleeve of Srixon balls, breakfast sandwich w/coffee. Cost $300 foursome,
$225 threesome, $150 twosome, $75 single.


Christmas gift idea ???


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2022 AT 8:30 AM – 2 PM

Shotgun start 8:30 a.m. Includes: green fee, cart fee, light breakfast.
Phone: 707-528-3673


Let’s hear from you . . .

Thanks for your comments, questions and 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. Email me at