October Newsletter – Read Now!

Stay up to date with all our events, classes, tips, and tournaments at Fairgrounds Golf Course by reading our monthly newsletters.

Our October Newsletter is available now!

Feel free to check out our website at Fairgroundsgolfcourse.com for more information, news, & upcoming events!

Ryder Cup 2018: Jim Furyk’s greatest challenge will be letting his stars down easy

Team USA is full to the gunwales with talent, but there’s something a little strange about how that talent is currently performing. It turns out, through a fluke of bad luck, that three of the biggest American stars from the last two Ryder Cups happen to be showing the worst form of anybody on the 2018 team. That presents a problem, and it’s a thorny one for U.S. captain Jim Furyk.

Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, and Jordan Spieth were three of the top five points-earners in the 2016 victory at Hazeltine, and three of the top four at Gleneagles two years earlier. Spieth and Reed weren’t around at Medinah in 2012, but Mickelson was, and he was once again one of the team’s stars, netting three points in a dynamic pairing with Keegan Bradley. It just so happens that as the Americans get ready to do battle in Paris, hoping to win their first Ryder Cup on foreign soil in 25 years, these three U.S. stalwarts are playing some pretty rough golf. Along with Bubba Watson, they are—without a doubt—slumping in a way that the other eight players are not.

 

 

 

It had to be strange for Jim Furyk to see the bottom of the leaderboard at last weekend’s Tour Championship, where positions 28-30 in the 30-man field looked like this:

Patrick Reed: +9

Bubba Watson: +10

Phil Mickelson: +13

Spieth, whose troubles this year are well-chronicled, wasn’t even there—he’s made exactly one top ten since the Masters, and he didn’t qualify for the Tour Championship.

To add to the conundrum, Spieth and Reed are a famously strong pairing, having amassed a 4-1-2 record over the last two competitions. To break them up would be a dramatic, almost reactionary move, but keeping two ice-cold golfers together runs even greater risks. If they can’t re-discover their magic together, it’s like handing a free point to the Europeans.

As if the situation wasn’t tricky enough on its own, Thomas Bjorn made a very smart move by deciding to play four-ball in the Friday morning session. That means the alternate shot pairings will happen in the afternoon, and the last thing you want to do if you’re Jim Furyk is stick a struggling golfer out there in alternate shot, where he can’t be rescued by a hot partner and could potentially submarine an entire match.

This puts the stress squarely on Furyk’s shoulders. Assuming he’s trying to avoid playing his four coldest players in afternoon foursomes, it leaves two choices: He can either play Bubba, Phil, Spieth, and Reed in the morning, or sit them out for an entire day.

He can’t sit them for an entire day. It’s just not plausible, even if it’s arguably the smarter move on paper. As such, you can expect to see all four golfers on Friday morning. Judging by the Tuesday practice groups, Furyk may be planning to break up the band and have Spieth and Reed play with different partners—it may be that Spieth doesn’t want to play with him anymore, considering the “interesting” comments Reed has made this year, from the denied drop at Bay Hill (“I guess my name needs to be Jordan Spieth”) to the trash talk at the WGC-Match Play (“my back still hurts” from carrying Spieth at the Ryder Cup), all of which preceded Reed beating a frustrated Spieth at that WGC. Or maybe they’re completely fine. In any case, it’s easy to imagine Furyk seeing the benefit in giving himself other options if the two aren’t playing well on Friday morning.

But those other options carry a price, and that’s where diplomacy comes in. Patrick Reed wants to play all five sessions. The last time Phil Mickelson had an issue with playing time, he instigated a full mutiny and threw his captain to the wolves. Jordan Spieth is an immensely popular figure, to both his teammates and fans, and any attempt by Furyk to sideline him comes with risks. Of the four, only Bubba Watson—not a very popular figure, relatively speaking—is easily cast aside. Davis Love III felt no compunction at leaving him off the team in 2016, and Furyk can bench him without worrying about the consequences. Bubba even showed at Hazeltine in his vice captain role that he can be a team player under adverse circumstances.

When it comes to the other three, Furyk’s job gets tough. How do you manage those extremely large personalities? How do you disappoint them, in service of winning, and not risk a PR nightmare inside and outside the team room?

The answer comes down to personal management, of course, and there’s no way for anyone besides Jim Furyk to know exactly what notes to sing. Yet it’s an incredibly vital part of his job.

Paul McGinley had a terrific system in Gleneagles, when he paired Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell with rookies Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson, respectively, and cast the veterans as sherpas whose role was to win foursomes points with their young charges. It worked, but it may not be the perfect model for Furyk, because Mickelson and Bubba are not playing well, and Bubba in particular is not well suited to being anyone’s guide. It looks like he might try out the shepherd strategy with Mickelson and Finau, but it would likely have to come in morning four-ball. The ideal situation is that they win, sit for the afternoon, and play again on Saturday morning, but that assumes that Finau doesn’t crack under the Ryder Cup pressure, and that Mickelson is happy with playing just one session per day.

As for Reed and Spieth, Furyk is mostly reduced to hoping for the best. If they struggle, he’ll have to deliver the bitter news and hope they’re both mature enough to accept an unlikely demotion.

Furyk is the rare golfer who thinks deeply about every question he’s asked, and brings a curious mind to his sport. Journalists love him, players respect him. He’ll be the same as captain, and you can bet he’ll have considered almost every angle on the course. His greatest challenge, though, will be managing expectations and personalities off the course, particularly when his team hits the inevitable patch of adversity. If he can’t prepare his struggling stars for the prospect of sitting out a crucial session—or perhaps an entire Saturday—he’s in trouble. He must discover how to make them accept his decisions with equanimity while remaining supportive of the team and staying inspired for Sunday singles. Otherwise, his exacting preparation will crumble around him.

There are extremely strong players on Team USA, and they need to be playing in the crucial moments. Identifying them is the easy part. Keeping everyone happy while making the tough choice is where the road gets rocky, and Furyk’s ability to solve this riddle could define the outcome of the Paris Ryder Cup.

 

Source: golfdigest.com

Hang in there: Here are 11 reasons why you aren’t getting any better at golf (but should still have hope)

Golf is like sex. Some people do it for years and never improve. But why? With input from GOLF Magazine Top 100 instructor Jon Tattersall, we’ve drawn up a list of the 11 reasons why you may not be getting better at life’s (second) most enjoyable pursuit.

1. You never practice

You know that whole 10 thousand hours thing? How it takes at least that long to master a skill? Do the math. Ten minutes once a month isn’t going to get you there.

2. You practice unproductively

Smacking drivers on the range until you’re blue in the face might give you a backache. But it’s not going to get you where you want to go. What you need to do is practice with a purpose. “Go to the range to get better at one thing, posture for example,” Tattersall says.  “Once you’ve spent 30 minutes working on that and incorporating into your swing, leave the range.”

3. Your equipment isn’t optimized

“That includes your golf ball,” says Tattersall, who recommends getting your entire arsenal checked at least once a year.

4. You’ve got the wrong mix of clubs

News flash. You’ve got no business carrying a two-iron. You’re also probably not good enough to have more wedges than hybrids in your bag.

5. You don’t track your stats

You think you’re a great putter, and a middling driver. But are you really? Without knowing for sure, you can’t maximize your practice time, much less devise an optimal on-course strategy.

6. You’re not as good as you think you are

Two-twenty over water is not in your wheelhouse, but you always try it, because, well, your weakness is your fondness for the hero shot.

7. You’re too hard on yourself

On approach shots from 150 yards, the average Tour pro leave is 23 feet from the pin. But you somehow believe you should be knocking down the flagstick, so you berate yourself every time you don’t.

8. You ride a cart

You think you’re saving energy. What you’re really doing is losing touch with the natural rhythms of the game.

9. You think there’s a quick-fix

In a world filled with swing tips, you believe there’s a magic one that will solve all your problems. So you search, and search. You might as well be trying to track down Sasquatch, Tattersall says. “The tough news is it comes down to working on good principles long enough for them to become habits.”

10. You’re don’t hit it far enough

Sorry, but size matters. A good way to get better is to swing the club the faster to hit the ball longer. “Any good coach can correct crooked,” Tattersall says. “Getting the ball to go farther is a tougher task.”

11. You focus more on words than feel

You’ve gotten a lot of verbal instruction. But, Tattersall says, “Words don’t translate as well to performance.” Pay more attention to images and feels. It will free up your mind. And your swing.

Source: www.golf.com

Hello, September! 🏌️

Stay up to date with all our events, classes, tips, and tournaments at Fairgrounds Golf Course by reading our monthly newsletters.

Our September Newsletter is available now!

Feel free to check out our website at Fairgroundsgolfcourse.com for more information, news, & upcoming events!

Fall Golf Classes

WELCOME BACK, GOLFERS.

FALL GOLF CLASSES!

Now that the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Golf Course is back open for business, that means Fall Golf Classes are on the horizon! If you are interested in taking a Golf Class to have fun and improve your game, now is your chance to get signed up! Our Head Golf Professional Taylor Battaglia will be offering multiple Golf Classes for all ages and skill levels! So if you are interested in taking a Golf Class this Fall season to improve your game, make sure to email Taylor as soon as possible to reserve your spot!

Fall Junior Golf League

Wednesdays 4pm – 5:30pm
September 26th – November 14th
$200 per junior for the 8 week class

Interested in signing up your junior for a fun after school Golf League? Here is your chance! Our Head Golf Professional Taylor Battaglia will teach the league. Each week juniors will go over different skills of the game and get to play competitively on the golf course in a learning atmosphere. They will learn to keep score in an electric format on an official score sheet, as well as learn new rules and strategies. For more information or to get your junior signed up please email Taylor by clicking the link below!

Ladies Fall Golf Class

Wednesdays 5:45 – 6:45pm
September 26th – October 24th
$100 per person for the 5 week class

Looking for a fun Fall Golf Class to help improve your game? Here’s your chance! Our Head Golf Professional Taylor Battaglia will teach the class. Each class ladies will go over a golf rule and a golf skill. It’s a great environment for beginners as well as intermediate players that are looking to get their game back into shape! For more information or to get signed up, please email Taylor by clicking the link below!

Fall Adult Golf Class

Thursdays 5:30 – 6:30pm
September 27th – October 25th
$100 per person for the 5 week class

If you are interested in taking a golf class to sharpen up your skills, then this is the class for you! Our Head Golf Professional Taylor Battaglia will teach the class, where each week we will cover a different area of the game as well as different rules that you may not be familiar with. This class is for everyone, and it’s a great environment for beginners and even intermediate players looking to take their game to the next level! For more information or to get signed up please email Taylor by clicking the link below.

Visit our website at Fairgroundsgolfcourse.com for more information, news, & upcoming events!

We’re Hiring – Outside Services!

FAIRGROUNDS GOLFERS,

If you are interested in joining our team, we are looking for someone to work part time Outside Services here at the Fairgrounds Golf Course.
The job position and duties include driving the range picker to collect and clean range balls each night, as well as keeping the Driving Range and facility clean and presentable for our customers. The Job comes with golf privileges and a fun working environment, at a beautiful 9 hole golf course in Sonoma County. If you are interested in joining our team please contact our Head Golf Professional Taylor Battaglia at tbattaglia@fairgroundsgolfcourse.com or call us at 707-284-3520.

Visit our website at Fairgroundsgolfcourse.com for more information, news, & upcoming events!

We are Open!

WELCOME BACK, GOLFERS.

WE ARE OPEN, AGAIN!

After being closed 2 weeks due to the fair, we are happy to say we are open again! Skip the hassle of calling. Save time by booking online! Click below to book.

Visit our website at Fairgroundsgolfcourse.com for more information, news, & upcoming events!

Does the PGA Championship produce the worst major winners? An investigation

ST. LOUIS — It produces a hodgepodge of winners. That’s the stigma associated with the PGA Championship. Compared to other majors’ ignominies—like the weather predicating who captures the claret jug or USGA officials unnecessarily intervening at the U.S. Open—the PGA’s alleged stain is relatively innocuous. But that belief is real, and Golf Digest’s own Brian Wacker set off a firestorm for reflecting that sentiment in a recent column, one that drew blowback from some past champions.

But is it fair? Or more importantly, correct? We know there are a host of names engraved on the Wanamaker Trophy that won’t sniff the Hall of Fame, yet every tournament boasts such a roll call. Which got us thinking: Which major—year in, year out—produces the “best” and “worst” winners?

For our investigation we used OWGR data from 2000 to 2017, giving each major 18 submissions for 72 winners total. Why 2000? That year Titleist’s Pro V1 and Nike’s solid-core Tour Accuracy golf balls were introduced, which from an equipment perspective is viewed as the parcel in how the game was played, and how it is today. Plus, manually charting this test became time-consuming, and 18 and 72 seemed apropos golf numbers.

Mentioned above, we pulled a player’s Official World Golf Ranking the week before their major triumph, giving us a snapshot of their stature in the game pre-victory. OWGR does have its critics, but it’s the best barometer available to illustrate this idea of a player’s standing.

So what does that equation reveal? This century, the Open Championship produces the “worst” winner, with an average OWGR rank of 42.55. The Masters has the highest average OWGR winner at 15.77, followed by the U.S. Open with a 21.83 mark and the PGA at 33.22.

That the Masters is decidedly lower than its major brethren is not a surprise. Only 85 to 90 players tee it up at Augusta National, a limited field compared to the competitions at the other three majors. The green jackets want to ensure a “name” entity join their ranks, and—judging by these numbers—that endeavor’s been a success.

However, there are outliers, so what happens if we subtract the highest OWGR winner from each tournament? Call this the Ben Curtis Corollary, because without his Cinderella story in the mix, the Open Championship jumps the PGA, 21.94 to 25.23. (The Masters remains the lowest at 12.65, the U.S. Open trailing at 18.41.)

There is another part to this equation. Chiefly, how often does a championship cater to the best in the world? Amazingly, the PGA Championship comes out on top, with nine of its last 18 winners—Tiger Woods three times, Rory McIlroy twice, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington and Jason Day—ranking inside the top five in the world. That’s three more than the Masters and the British, and four better than the U.S. Open.

Moreover, only five times has the PGA Championship winner been ranked outside the top 30 this century. That’s equal to the U.S. Open, with six British Open victors outside the top 30 (the Masters has just two such instances: Zach Johnson and Angel Cabrera).

Mentioned above, the OWGR data provides only a glimpse before a player’s win, failing to showcase what followed. For example, Justin Thomas enters Bellerive as the defending PGA champion, ranked No. 2 in the world. A ranking markedly better than his No. 14 standing the week before his Quail Hollow triumph. Conversely, every major battles this issue, which somewhat negates its wrath.

Still, the OWGR numbers give us an idea of the merit of each event’s winner. And, at least this century, the PGA more than meets the standards of a major champion.

 

Source: golfdigest.com

Hello, August!

Stay up to date with all our events, classes, tips, and tournaments at Fairgrounds Golf Course by reading our monthly newsletters.

Our August Newsletter is available now!

Feel free to check out our website at Fairgroundsgolfcourse.com for more information, news, & upcoming events!

GLOW BALL TOURNAMENT!

GLOW BALL TOURNAMENT:  

July 27: 4 Person Scramble

6pm Check In  ·  6:30pm Start ·  $40 per person

18 Holes, 9 in the Sun, 9 in the dark

Come join us at the Fairgrounds for some Summer Glow Ball! Admission fee includes 9 holes of golf, range balls, tee prize, hot dogs, chips, sodas and water.

Check in starts at 6:30pm and we will have a shotgun start for the 9 holes. Food will be served before the round during check in time. The format will be a 4 person scramble (substitute the different format to match the type of event) with prizes going to first, second and third place teams!

Sign Up Now!

To sign up your team or to be paired up with another team please contact us with your name, phone number, and credit card information to reserve your spot.

You can also sign up in our pro shop! Just ask one of our shop attendants!

Schedule

GLOW BALL FORMAT 

April 27: 4 Person Scramble

June 29 2 Person scramble

July 27: 4 Person Scramble

September 28: 2 Person Scramble

October 26: 4 person scramble; Best Costume Contest for this event.