By BRUCE MEADOWS
Old and new at Bennett Valley . . .
Bennett Valley GC, which opened in 1969, the only city-owned 18-hole public golf facility in Santa Rosa, is under new management.
Longtime Director of Golf Bob Borowicz, a local legend, and much of his staff are no longer there.
BV faced a recent challenge by those who would turn the facility into something other than a golf course, but the effort was unsuccessful.
Now Touchstone Golf has taken over the operation, under the guidance of a guy no stranger to Sonoma County, Greg Anderson, who is the General Manager for Touchstone.
For anyone not familiar with Greg, he is a Cardinal Newman grad and has been a golf pro and golf director for various golf operations in Sonoma County and elsewhere, including Hawaii, and now also runs Next Level Golf Fitness.
We touched base with Greg last week and he had some thoughts on his latest endeavor.
“Yes, there is a lot going on at the club.
“ As we opened up the restaurant on 10/1/2022 with a simple menu and a very active Holiday Banquet Season, we are looking to rebrand it with the name of ‘Iron & Vine,’ Effective 2/1/2023, we will have a new menu, and will be offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the facility. We are excited about the new concept — want to be recognized as a restaurant and evening dining facility with an award-winning banquet service in a spectacular building and venue. All patrons, golfers and restaurant guests, will be served with multiple dining options and welcoming customer service.
“The golf course was recently saturated with the over 30 inches of rain. We look forward to the sunny days ahead. Because we aerated the fairways in the fall (first time in 20+ years), the course has taken on the water pretty well. We are getting the mowers out to certain areas and doing the best we can to mow as much as we can before it gets out of hand.
“ We had a fee increase after six years of no increases. We are still the most reasonably priced course in the area, and want to considered the best valued course in Sonoma County.
“We are not pursuing Resident/Non-Resident rates at this time, but are looking into that in the future. The other thing that is new is the Annual Membership good for 365-days, and not the calendar year as in the past. We believe that this approach will lead to more membership opportunities.
“Touchstone Golf did sign a 3-year agreement with the City of Santa Rosa. We plan on everything going well and the City and Touchstone Golf will have a long-term relationship. So far, everything has been great!
At Valley of the Moon . . .
Operation 36 . . .
Youth on Course . . .
Youth on Course, the non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of young people through opportunities on and off the golf course – has announced its latest initiative, YOC Athlete. Youth on Course (YOC) has recruited eighteen exceptional high school and collegiate athletes/YOC members and alumni from across the country to use their platforms to highlight the importance of affordable access to golf for young people and encourage families/juniors to sign up for YOC membership.
To enhance the impact, Youth on Course has partnered with industry leader to create Opendorse the largest NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) deal in golf. “YOC Athlete is what NIL is all about,” said Opendorse CEO Blake Lawrence. “We’re incredibly proud to help Youth on Course further its core purpose by working alongside its current and former athlete members. Any mission-driven brand can look to this campaign to see how authenticity and scale can create impact in the NIL era.”
As the climate of college athletics has evolved over the past few years, the opportunity to partner with various athletes presented via Opendorse will allow the YOC message and experience to reach an even wider audience with the intent to help with both membership and alumni network growth. These athletes come from various backgrounds and experiences while competing at the highest levels, all with the shared experience of being/have been a YOC member and now an integral part of YOC’s growing alumni base.
“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome these tremendous young men and women as our first group of YOC Athletes,” says Moe Melhart, YOC’s Director of Alumni Relations. “Their platform as college student athletes allows them to share so much about their experience as former YOC members and now their journey as YOC Alumni. I know their impact will be significant as we continue to build our culture of alumni within Youth on Course.”
The first group of YOC Athletes is composed of both men and women competing at the Division I, II and III levels in ten different conferences including the Big Ten Conference, the Pac-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Athletes will support the YOC message through a variety of different modes such as social media, web presence and both live and virtual events. These athletes must be in good academic and team standing and align with the core purpose of YOC. Over the course of the coming months, YOC Athletes will be hard at work balancing their academic and athletic schedules as well as sharing about their lives and their journey. To learn more about YOC Athlete, contact Moe Melhart at moe@youthoncourse,org
YOC Athletes 2023
- Daniela Andrade – California State University Los Angeles, Women’s Golf*
- Owen Avrit – University of Oregon, Men’s Golf
- Kaila Bonawitz – University of Puget Sound, Women’s Golf
- JT Byrne – University of California, Berkeley, Football
- Jack Deaner – California State University Monterey Bay, Men’s Golf
- Jayden Ford – Pinehurst, North Carolina, Women’s Golf
- Maleyna Gregorio – University of California, Riverside, Women’s Golf
- Matthew Kress – University of Florida, Men’s Golf
- Antonia Malate – San Jose State University, Women’s Golf
- Graham Moody – University of Wisconsin, Men’s Golf
- Anton Ouyang – Stanford University, Men’s Golf
- Brenna Preap – Grand Canyon University, Women’s Golf
- Kaleyia Romero – Pepperdine, Women’s Golf
- Kiara Romero – University of Oregon, Women’s Golf
- Kyreece Romero – University of Oregon, Men’s Golf
- Elizabeth Scholtes – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Women’s Golf
- Brady Siravo – Pepperdine, Men’s Golf
- Caleb Shetler – San Jose State University, Men’s Golf
About Youth on Course
The core purpose of Youth on Course is to help young people grow and succeed both on and off the course by providing opportunities to play, learn, grow, and build relationships through affordable, inclusive access to play. More than 140,000 members play nearly 2,000 golf courses for $5 or less, benefit from career opportunities through the caddie and internship program and receive college scholarships. More than 300 students have been awarded college scholarships to date totaling over $2 million. Headquartered in Monterey, CA, Youth on Course is a 501(c)3 organization that began as the charitable arm of the Northern California Golf Association. Since 2006, YOC members have played more than two million subsidized rounds of golf while the organization has helped generate more than $8 million in tee-time revenue reimbursed back to individual golf courses.
Opendorse is the leading athlete marketplace and NIL technology company. More than 90,000 professional and college student-athletes around the world use Opendorse to understand, build, protect, and monetize their brands with support from partners including the PGA TOUR, NHL, NFLPA, MLBPA, WNBPA and LPGA. Opendorse serves the full lifecycle of supporting athletes: educating, assessing, planning, sharing, creating, measuring, tracking, disclosing, regulating, listing, browsing, booking, and more.
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