When eager students haul their clubs onto the grounds at San Bruno Golf Center, they may find themselves pulled in more than one direction. Their first inclination may be toward the grass practice area; at 20,000 square feet it almost has its own gravitational pull. Or they might be drawn to the center’s 65 mat hitting stations. These are spread across an open-air upper deck and covered lower deck that protects players from the rain or any tears that fall from the upper deck. The short game area, meanwhile, spreads across two acres and features two chipping greens, a putting green, three bunkers, and a 75-yard tee box shot. When golfers have worn themselves out with divot digging and perfecting the arc of a gentle draw, they can recline on the clubhouse’s redwood deck and look out over their fellow clubbers.
Mark Emmons calls upon a lifelong passion for the game and more than 15 years of experience as a golf instructor during group and semiprivate lessons at San Bruno Golf Center. Over the course of his career, Mark has proffered insight to students at all levels of play. Students can opt for semi-private instruction with Mark for more focused development of technique and consistency. Semiprivate lessons also often employ the use of video analysis, breaking down swings frame-by-frame and providing instant feedback.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: One-hour lesson
Pro Tip: Bring a smile and a happy attitude
What makes your business stand out?
I have been a Golf Teaching Professional since 1997, and have taught PGA, LPGA, scratch handicappers as well as beginners to help them achieve their maximum potential.
What inspired you or the owner (if that’s not you) to start or run this business?
I have taken many lessons from the top instructors in the USA and realized that I have much knowledge to share with others about the game I am so passionate about.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
"Thank you for making this game so enjoyable, I have struggled with the information from others but you have made my learning process simple and easy to enjoy."
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Watching students from not being able to make consistent contact with the ball and in a few hours being able to hit quality shots that bring a smile to their faces.
Named as a favorite golf range in 2009 by Golf Digest, Mariners Point offers 64 well-manicured practice stalls, including natural grass and a challenging 9-hole, par 3 course. The double-decker driving range features on-site professionals, high-quality range balls, and power tees that automatically tee up the ball. Use the range card to purchase driving ammunition in small ($7 for 60 balls), medium ($11 for 105 balls), or large ($13 for 165 balls) baskets. Golfers receive 10 additional balls for visiting the range before 11 a.m. on weekdays. Clearly defined target greens and easy-to-read yardage markers make for far easier practice than aiming for the blowholes of passing belugas. When it’s game time, players can hit the course for a round of golf. Drivers, putters, and severely confused baseball players are treated to breathtaking San Francisco Bay views from each of the nine greens.
While idly discussing the prospect of creating a miniature-golf course festooned with elaborate art installations, Michael Taft realized that he couldn?t think of a single putt-putt course in the Bay Area. Fast-forwarding to his retirement plan of owning a small business, Taft snapped up an abandoned video store and enlisted artistic friends and local craftspeople to make his dream a reality. Subpar Miniature Golf?s map of handcrafted holes has players putting their way through Bay Area landmarks, including an Altamont Pass windmill and the Golden Gate Bridge, tricked out with loop-the-loops. A sprawling, hand-drawn mural wraps its way around the room, depicting scenes of NoCal life and tricking gullible coyotes into trying to sprint through the walls.
Subpar Miniature Golf?s ever-growing arcade area keeps button-smashers busy with vintage pinball machines and a pair of air-hockey tables, contributing to Taft's dream of turning the space into a family institution and community fixture. As he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Every once in a while, you'll hear a giant cheer in the back by a group that sunk a (great) putt. It makes me feel really good, like 'We did that. That's us.'"