Muni Mission Interviews Mike Han

Mike Han is like our bigfoot. Some members claim they “saw him”, while others may spot him in the woods during a round. Mike is a legend in his own right. Like the cargo pants he’s often seen in, he’s multi-functional, and always reliable. Read on to learn more from one of Lincoln Park’s most important members, and why he thinks that playing a round of golf at Lincoln Park just might be the best way to tour the city!

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

Han: I started playing Lincoln around 1990.  Me and a couple of friends would usually play the dawn patrol “back 9”.

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

Han: There used to be way more golfers who played the course.  It was hard to get a tee time and if you showed up at 6:30 am there would be 25 guys hoping to walk on.  As for the course, it had many more trees.  The 18th hole in particular was heavily tree lined and it required a very straight tee shot.  A major windstorm in 1995 took out dozens of trees.  Back then many of the tee boxes were hard pan dirt.  You needed a hammer to get your tee into the ground.

MM: Your Lowest Career Round at Lincoln Park GC?

Han: 71 played from the blue tees during a Director’s Cup round.  I didn’t win that year but that round put me in contention.  I believe I made one birdie, four bogeys and the rest pars.  I got up-and-down at least 7 times to save par.

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

Han: Hole #13.  From the tee box you can see so much of the city.  The reward of hitting it straight and “splitting the uprights” is such a great feeling and hopefully getting a solid bounce leaves you a shot at getting to the green in two.  I’ve eagled the hole twice.  The first time I crushed a drive and hit a 4 iron to 4 feet.  It was a nervy putt for a 3.

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

Han: Number 7 has always given me fits.  I’ve hit many balls into homes off of Clement St. and I’ve also stone cold pulled countless drives dead left.  

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

Han: Of course, I’d love to see the course in better condition.  That said, it’s a truly unique layout with no two holes the same and I like it the way it is.

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?

Han: The views from the course are like taking a tour of San Francisco.  There is, of course, the spectacular view on the 17th tee but there are so many more including views of the Mt. Diablo, Ocean Beach and downtown.  Forget the Hop-on-Hop-off bus - just play a round at Lincoln.

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?

Han: The fog and the trees make both courses feel the same.  

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?

Han: I’d like to see some good sandwich offerings.  Roasted turkey on a fresh wheat roll would be a good start.

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

Han: I think a standing Saturday skins game would bring in some new players.  Attracting new members is a challenge with golf on the decline in general.

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

Han: Being even-tempered helps in golf.  You never want to get too excited if you are striking it pure and making putts as things can go south quickly.  Conversely, if you’ve had a bad hole or two, forget about it.

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?

Han: I like to have 2-3 power bars or energy bars.  

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

Han: I think of each round of golf as a mini-lifetime.  Sometimes you start off and run into a bad stretch just like you might face in life but you have to fight through and make the best of it.  Other times things are going well so enjoy it and keep it going.  At the end of your round, you thank your playing partners and you appreciate the chance to play with them just as you appreciate all the people you meet throughout life.