Academy Update February

Golf Academy and Redwood Canyon Update

It looks like the rain is beginning to taper off. Hopefully this will be the end and we won’t have to worry about water until the Spring runoff.


Redwood Canyon was hit pretty hard by the storms. The San Leandro reservoir above the course overfilled and released a tremendous amount of water all over the course. In some places the course was under as much as two feet of water. The flow was so strong that 17 of the 21 bridges crossing the San Leandro creek were damaged or washed downstream.

The waters have receded, but the ground is still saturated and not playable. It looks like the course will be closed for at least a few more weeks while repairs get underway and the fairways dry out. Until the fairways dry out there is no way to even know how all the silt deposited on the fairways will impact the grass.

The course’s goal is to get 9 holes open as soon as possible. Probably to just walkers at first, and probably just the back nine. But at least playable. Touchstone has been meeting with East Bay Parks (who own the land) and requests for aid have been sent to FEMA. Construction companies are already submitting bids to rebuild the bridges. Justin and the grounds crew have done an amazing job limiting the damage and hauling away all the downed trees and uprooted brush. Jake Stewart the GM is doing an awesome job coordinating all the repairs while still keeping the range and dining facilities open.

SILVER LINING: On-Course Lessons

Despite all the damage there may be a silver lining. Even though one nine will be closed to regular play there are a couple of holes that dry out faster and will be playable. The Academy has secured permission to use golf holes on the unopened nine for on-course lessons, and we think it will be a great opportunity.

From now until the course reopens our junior Academy students will have the chance to spend nearly all their sessions on the course. We’ll be teaching course navigation strategies, angles, and ball position. We’ll also be able to focus on hitting different shots from the fairway, like punch shots and 3/4-swings. We can set up recovery situations like hitting out of trees or fairway bunkers. We’ll also be able to get live practice on all the shots around the green: chips, pitches and lob shots. We’ll even be able to have lessons in the bunkers. There’s nothing like being able to practice real shots under real conditions to help with scoring. We think this will be an excellent chance to work on all the parts of the game you don’t normally get to on the range – the parts that contribute the most to scoring.


As you start focusing on the coming golf season you may be giving some thought to the training aids you want to use for practice and training. I’ve put together a section on the web site dedicated to training aids. The training aids are organized by full swing, short game and putting. If you see a training aid you’d like to pick up, use the link from the site to make a direct purchase. In most cases I’ve been able to negotiate a discount for you so you’ll pay less than retail. A small portion goes back to the Academy, so by using the links you’ll be helping fund Academy operations. The manufacturers will drop-ship products directly to your address.

PS – Everybody should have a couple of alignment rods in their bag. If you don’t have them yet click on Alignment Rods to get them for just $3.99. Compare that to $16.00-$20.00 at normal retail. You should have at least two in your bag all the time.


We’ll be launching the 2nd annual Biggest Loser Golf Contest on April 2nd. Registration is now open! We are limited to 12 players so please let us know if you are interested as soon as you can so we can get you on the list.

Last year’s contest was a huge success. The idea of the contest is to see who can lose the most strokes in just 12 weeks. We have practice sessions twice a week, and Andy and I serve as your personal trainers. The 2016 winner – Sam Chee – dropped nearly 14 strokes. He also picked up a check for $1,000.00.


Volvik is supporting the contest again, so all participants get free Volvik gear. You can read more and register on the website at