A Great Weekend
First of all, I would like to apologize to John for the delay in getting this out. I had the chance to spend the day with John 2 weeks ago and what a day it was. I got into San Francisco at midnight and then drove to Benicia to spend the weekend up there. Stayed in a wonderful, old bed and breakfast in downtown Benicia called the Union Hotel. It was an old historic building and a very cool place to stay. Luckily, before I arrived at the hotel, I found a store to grab a few beers to wind down from my 23-hour day.
Got up early and walked downtown Benicia. Again, a cool place to visit. I met up with John at a great breakfast joint across the street from the Union Hotel and had a nice conversation for about 1-½ hours. From there, I went to John’s house and got a first hand view of the deck and the canyon. How beautiful!!! On the deck, John helped me out with some things.
• It looks like you have a long left thumb. Why? More control of the club head (look at Mr. Hogan’s grip). So I decided to change my grip.
• What is your setup? John’s setup was a fairly straight right leg and a bent left leg set to the 4:30 line. Why? This is where you are going on the backswing so why not start there (look at Moe Norman’s setup). So I decided to change my setup.
Next, John and I drive about one and a half hours to Bodega Harbor golf course. I get to pick his brain some more and we have a really good talk. At the course, John proceeds to shoot 71 (par 70) on some very slow, just aerated greens. I shoot 85 playing Macgregor irons from 1960 that I just had flattened and had never hit, my old Macgregor persimmon driver from my college days and an old Wilson 8802 putter that I had never used. Besides all of that, I decide to use a new grip and stance. Having not played for 5 months with all of this new stuff going on, I played OK. Doubled the last hole after hitting a 260 to 280 yard drive to the dead center of the fairway. All considered I am happy with my game considering my short game was terrible (new wedges also).
We have a long ride back talking about how inhumane the human race is. John is a really good guy. He really cares about the students that he teaches and the state of the world. We go out to dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant in downtown Benicia and had a very, very good dinner. I dropped him off at his house at around 10pm.
The next day I ventured out to Mare Island and got paired up with 3 guys. The looked in amazement as I hit my persimmon driver 30 to 40 yards by them and playing the back tees to their playing the white tees. I shoot 81 making 3 doubles and missing 4 footers for par the last 2 holes (par 70). Again, not bad. I called John up and told him I got up and down from 2 traps with my new found sand game that John taught me the day before.
I drove down to San Francisco and flew out to San Diego to meet up with my wonderful wife and some friends. I proceeded to drink more beer and bourbon the next week and had another wonderful time. Thus, my delay in getting this out to all of you.
If you ever have a chance to get out to the San Fran area and can spend some time with John, I would highly recommend it. He is a great guy and I had a better than great time. We are in very good hands.