Muni Mission Interviews John "JJ" Jackson

“JJ” is easy to root for. A good putter and a dedicated golf enthusiast, he’s a pillar of the Lincoln Park Golf Club. You’ll find him in attendance at most club events, or casually strolling the fairways after work with his partner-in-crime Jim Waggoner. Whether you need someone to make an important 8 footer for par, or someone to have a pint with at the clubhouse, “JJ” is your man.

Muni Mission: How long have you been playing golf at Lincoln Park Golf Course? 

Jackson: About 12 years, I think.

Muni Mission: Over that time, what has changed most, if anything at all, about the golf course?

Jackson: The golf course has been about the same.  Sometimes in better shape and sometimes in worse shape.

MM: Your Lowest Career Round at Lincoln Park GC?

Jackson: 75, playoff match for 12-man team.  Only time I have eagled #13.

MM: Your Favorite Hole to play at Lincoln Park GC?

Jackson: Interesting question!   I think #4 is the most interesting to play.  You have options off the tee and I think it’s one of the trickiest greens on the course

MM: Your Least Favorite Hole to play at Lincoln Park GC?

Jackson: Easy question. #12.   I don’t like the tee shot, I don’t like the inevitable chip shot and I don’t like the green.

MM: What do you wish was different about Lincoln Park GC?

Jackson: I would love to see two things happen. First, improve the course condition. Secondly, add a bunker along the the left side of 18 fairway so that shots don’t roll OB.   It would be a half-stroke penalty versus out-of-bounds and re-teeing. Since I don’t see either of those happening I would settle for LPGC speeding up our pace play!!!

MM: To me, Lincoln Park Golf Course is very unique and unlike any municipal golf course out there.  To someone that has never been to San Francisco, what elements at Lincoln Park give it a unique Bay Area vibe?

Jackson: Where to start? The most obvious are the stunning views of the beach, the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. There is no mistaking you are in San Francisco.  There is also the parade of characters that often wander the course. I have seen picnics and weddings in the middle of the 17th fairway. The old guys shuffling up #7 on their daily stroll. You can always count on someone who is not a golfer to be wandering about.

MM: Harding Park and Lincoln Park are completely different golf courses, but they are both part of the city and just a few miles apart.  In what ways are they the same?

Jackson: They both have strong ties to the City and both have dedicated golfers who call the courses home. They both also have trees that will eat a golf ball.

MM: I’ve always thought the Food and Beverage offerings at Lincoln Park have such unrealized potential.  The Local Brewing Company offerings from SOMA are a good start, but what food item do you wish the Lincoln bar and grill would add to their menu?

Jackson: I’m ok with the menu but I would like to see a refresh of the facility.  I think if the facilities were nicer then the food is fine.

MM: What can the Lincoln Park Golf Club do to attract new players?

Jackson: At the very least get some advertising in the pro shop.   Seems like the best target audience are people who already play the course occasionally and might appreciate playing in our tournaments.

MM: What characteristic do you have that serves you best on the golf course during a competitive round? 

Jackson: Forgiveness. I have learned to forgive myself for the bad shots and accept that I am going to have them.  The sooner I can let it go and not beat myself up, the sooner I can get back to a positive mind set. Making a couple putts helps, too.

MM: In general, I feel that many golfers don’t drink enough water or consume enough food/snacks while they play.  Do you have a favorite food item to carry with you in your golf bag?

Jackson: I agree, especially on the water. I bring a water bottle and make sure I take a drink at least every couple of holes. I have experimented with energy bars, fruit, peanuts etc. My current go to is a PB&J sandwich.

MM: Lastly, give us your most treasured piece of advice that you take with you each time you play golf.

Jackson: Remember that you have a handicap which means you are going to hit some good shots, some mediocre shots, and some really bad shots.    It’s okay. Let it go and have fun. Getting pissed off doesn’t help your game and makes you kind of unpleasant to play with.  If I can stick to this 50% of the round I feel pretty good.