Sunday, February 26, 2012

Warm-Up #5: Stinkin Lincoln

Jill took me to a neighborhood bar for a couple of beers during our Christmas visit to San Francisco. We walked about a 1/2 mile to the “Dirty Trix Saloon” on Clement street where we could enjoy their large selection of beer. It was the Christmas season, so it was not difficult finding a seat with only the bartender and two other patrons in the bar. It was quite natural to strike up a conversation with the bartender as we sat at the bar. After hearing some remarks from Jill about Frisbee golf he expressed his opinion that throwing a Frisbee is not “real” golf. The conversation turned to a discussion of San Francisco’s golf courses, a subject that drew my interest since I was considering where I might play on New Year’s Day. Based on his comments, I kicked off 2012 with a round of golf at the Presidio golf course.

Dirty Trix Saloon

Our conversation that evening also included a discussion of a public golf course in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. The bartender stated the Lincoln Golf Course would provide the best scenic views of Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco, but would also provide the worst playing conditions. It’s location on the bay produces heavy fog that can roll in at a moment’s notice, restricting visibility of both the holes and your ball. The course is not well maintained nor well drained so muddy conditions are normal. For these reasons, he referred to the course as “Stinkin Lincoln”.
San Francisco’s weather the past few days has been unusually warm & sunny. Julie & Jill were strongly suggesting I needed to get out of the house and play some golf. I was not going to argue with their logic. I headed out to play the Lincoln Golf course. 

Round: Warm-Up #5

Location: San Francisco, CA
Golf Digest Best-In-State Rank: Not ranked
Date: 22 Feb, tee off at 9:20 AM
Conditions: sunny, 5 MPH wind, 57 degrees
Yardage: 4,948
Lost balls: 0
Score: 75 on a par 68
Another single player was warming up as I approached the first tee. I asked if I could join him and we teed off together. Joe was a 57 year old single man who worked in the service parts area of the San Francisco’s mass transit system maintenance department. He had recently completed a night school program that would enable him to qualify as an electronic technician for vehicle maintenance and was hoping to move into a new position within the department. Joe lived in his mother’s home on Point Lobos Avenue, an area walking distance from Lincoln Park where the price of a home would run from $600K to $1.2M. His 85-year old widowed mother spent her winters in Florida and summers in San Francisco. Since he has played golf at Lincoln Park for many years I was glad he provided his insights on how to approach the tee shot on each hole. 


The “golf gods” were good to me - - - I enjoyed a good swing through the round (a reference to Buddhism where they seemingly have a different god to honor for everything in life). Public courses usually offer fewer sand traps, shorter grass in the rough and slower greens to putt on which is what I encountered at Lincoln. My best moments were a downhill drive on the short 260 yard par 4 hole #11 that finished rolling to within 8 yards of the green. A chip shot and one putt gave yielded a birdie. A drive onto the green and a 20 foot one putt also yielded a birdie on the long 229 yard par 3 hole #16. The course was short on distance but demanded accuracy, factors that  help me since my game is not strong on distance; I carded 1 double bogey, 7 bogeys, 8 pars, and 2 birdies. It was unusual to play a par 68 course. The average golf course has four par 3’s, four par 5’s and ten par 4’s; by contrast Lincoln had five par 3‘s and only one par 5.  

260 yard par 4 hole #11 

486 yard par 5 hole #13

230 yard par 3 hole #17

The weather really helped the scenic views from the course. I could not have picked a better day to capture some great clear pictures of the Golden Gate bridge.

Palace of the Legion of Honor (as viewed from hole #11 tee)

Golden Gate Bridge (as viewed from hole #17 tee)

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