Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way


PGA pro David Sutherland gives a golf clinic Friday at El Macero Golf Course. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

From page B1 | July 27, 2014 |

Every time a golfer turns around these past few months, it seems there’s more news emanating from El Macero Country Club.

First came the El Macero Classic featuring the UC Davis and Nevada men’s teams and some of the best West Coast collegians. At about the same time, it was announced that not only would that tournament return next April, later in 2015 the Big West Conference women’s finals also would be held at the local layout.

The country club recently elevated links pro David Knox to general manager when former boss Rich Riffle announced he was headed to another Troon Golf property in Florida.

A new short-game facility has been constructed for El Macero members and Aggie golfers (it will officially open within the next couple months), while Bruce Summerhays Jr. takes over for Knox next month as the course’s professional.

And this month we learned that former PGA veteran David Sutherland has hooked up with El Macero as “club ambassador.”

Meanwhile, Knox has embarked on a program that he hopes will make his club even more family-friendly while reaching out to the community — providing some public access to the 53-year-old facility.

While trying to keep up with the happenings at El Macero, I spent some time talking to men’s and women’s club members at Wildhorse and Davis golf courses.

I also sat down with Bryan O’Malley, GM at Wildhorse. I discovered he and head golf pro Wade Meneley and assistant Michael Paul had clinics aplenty, nifty teaching programs and a terrific idea for a three-course club championship (which Knox immediately got behind and thought it could be a relevant fundraiser for the Aggies, Davis High and all local junior programs).

At Davis Golf Course, Mark Hansen and Jerry Lilliedoll are chockablock with stories of days gone by, booked solid with tournaments and have a junior set-up second to none. Instruction is top-notch and their 18 holes continue to receive lots of TLC.

All this moved my boss, Sports Editor Chris Saur, to put in motion what we hope will be a welcome addition to The Enterprise — a regular golf column.

Saur and I concur that this effort is long overdue and we’re looking forward to making it not only a catch-all for tournament results, holes in one and announcement of clinics, but also a feature in which the pros at the various courses will provide tips, share some of those funny stories and alert us to the myriad functions on each facility’s calendars.

Saur expects the column to begin early next month. The honor of doing the writing (twice a month at first) rests with yours truly. It’s targeted for Tuesday publication dates.

We couldn’t be more excited. Maybe through reading my own writing, I’ll learn how not to rush my swing. One thing is for sure … The Davis golf community should have some fun with this new feature.

While I Have You Here: Sutherland, who is the director of golf for Sacramento State and coaches the Hornets’ women’s team, gave the first of his series of clinics for El Macero members Friday afternoon.

Despite oven-worthy temperatures pushing 100 degrees, almost 60 people attended the session. Sutherland was engaging and generous with his time while providing an easy-to-follow example of how to better chip a golf ball …

* Get the club angle right before gripping your wedge.

* Put the ball back in your stance; it helps avoid top spin that might get your ball running across the green.

* Hands should be neutral; don’t attack or reach for the ball.

* Practice chipping as much as one practices off the tee (and with the new El Macero short-game range, that will be a snap).

If I could follow what Sutherland explained, the real golfers in the crowd just got better overnight.

“I would encourage (anyone) to become a student of the short game, understanding exactly what’s going on (mechanically) with the golf club,”  Sutherland told his audience. “And as you do that, you’re going to get more confidence.”

He continued:

“If you’re a good putter, it’s going to make you a good chipper because you don’t have to chip as close to make a good putt. If you’re a good chipper, it’s going to make you a better iron player because you don’t have to hit it so close to make a par.

“If you’re a good iron player, it’s going to make you a better driver because you don’t have to hit it perfect every time. Being a good driver of the ball doesn’t help you at all at being a good putter.”

I got it. All these years, I needed to work backwards from the hole to improve.

“Then before you know it, you’ll start seeing better scores. Your handicap will go down. Of course, you’ll have more trouble making money from your friends when that happens,” Sutherland said with a laugh.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at or 530-320-4456.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    Per Capita Davis: What to think

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

    International Festival moves to park for fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Essay contest underway

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    $12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

    By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7





    Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

    Young Devil harriers carry the day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8



    Students get into the act with Shakespeare

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Street-smart tips for safe cycling

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    What’s happening, Sept. 18

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery



    Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery





    Jean Botelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6