Although Phil Mickelson apologized during his press conference at Torrey Pines this week for remarks he made about his tax status, following his final round at the Humana Challenge tournament last Sunday, maybe his remarks were worthy. Afterall, California is clearly a high tax state that for years has been characterized as unfriendly toward business. Most of the ensuing media firestorm directed at Mickelson was due to his estimated multi-million annual earnings. However, the pervasive high tax environment does not necessarily bode well to still struggling golf course operators up and down the state. The fact that Mickelson is wealthy and famous made him an easy target, but his message deserves to be heard by state legislators.
The Sacramento region lost local ownership of a golf course recently. Darkhorse, in Auburn, originally developed by locals Ed and Chad Fralick, has been sold to a Chinese investment firm based in Irvine. Although, if the new ownership can complete the course facilities, it will turn out to be a positive for the local golf landscape.
The Sacramento area is fortunate that tour players Kevin Sutherland and Spencer Levine have chosen to continue to reside here. Many tour players upon achieving success move to low or non-tax states such as Texas, Florida and Nevada. Some European tour players also relocate to low tax countries so the practice does not just occur in America.
Next week's Superbowl Sunday is a typically a big day for morning tournaments with shotgun starts. Check individual golf course websites for tournament specials. If you don't want to stay local, consider bodegaharbourgolf.com. Bodega Harbour is promoting a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start tournament for $60, plus golfers get an automatic "square" in the Superbowl pool. You can play Saturday and Sunday for $100.
If you would rather play on Monday, check out Catta Verdera's Maniac Monday promotion, cost is $50 per player to be a member for the day at the country club.
Sacramento's Cameron Champ is the sixth-ranked junior boys golfer in America, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Corey Pereira is at number 14.
Vince Mastracco, former Host/Producer of the Golf Talk Radio Show for nearly 19 years, covers the Sacramento regional golf scene for Examiner.com. Want to keep up with all of Vince's articles? Just click on the subscribe button on this page.