The central Kenai Peninsula features golf at very affordable prices with features like views of mountain ranges and periodic moose and caribou sightings.
There also is the unique opportunity to, at the peak of summer, finish a round after 11 p.m. And we’re talking about a round at the 18th, and not 19th, hole.
The central peninsula offers two nine-hole courses and an 18-hole course. The three golf courses on the central peninsula are Birch Ridge Golf Course, Kenai Golf Course and Bird Homestead Golf Course.
Each course has tournaments and special events throughout the summer, so it is best to call ahead for a tee time.
The Birch Ridge Golf Course and driving range is on the Sterling Highway just east of Soldotna and offers a full range of amenities, including a pro shop and rental cottages, on its nine-hole layout. Cart and club rentals also are available. The course includes a number of tee and green variations for those wanting to get in a full 18 holes.
For current fees and more information, call 907-262-5270, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.birchridgegolf.com.
The Kenai Golf Course, on Lawton Drive in Kenai adjacent to Coral Seymour Memorial Park, features an 18-hole layout and driving range and pro shop. A short-game practice area also is available.
Cart and club rentals also are available.
For current fees and more information, call 907-283-7500 or visit the website at www.kenaigolfcourse.com.
The Bird Homestead Golf Course is located at Mile 11.8 of Funny River Road. The nine-hole course features a pro shop and a unique driving range. Golfers hit floatable balls into a pond. The balls then blow to shore for collection. Contact the course at 260-4653.
For those interested in an alternative form of golf, Kenai boasts a pair of disc golf courses. Kenai Eagle Disc Golf Course is located in Kenai’s East End Park. The course has 18 par-3 holes. It is best accessed from the entrance to East End Park on Tinker Lane. A new nine-hole disc golf course is located on the Bernie Huss Trail, accessible from Main Street Loop and adjacent to Safeway. It is free to play both courses.
The Kenai Peninsula has a reputation as a summer paradise. Contained therein is the assumption of baseball — lots of baseball.
That baseball comes courtesy of the Peninsula Oilers and plays out on the vibrant green sea of grass and carefully groomed and chalked dirt of Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The park is at the end of Tinker Lane off the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai.
The Oilers play in the Alaska Baseball League, one of the top summer collegiate leagues in the country, and after winning the league in 2011 finished the year as the runners-up at the prestigious National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan. The Oilers tied for second in the ABL in 2012.
Many of baseball’s household names, including Jimmy Key, Frank Viola, John Olerud and J.D. Drew, have played for the Oilers.
The home schedule is traditionally packed with free nights and promotions. For more information on the Peninsula Oilers and the Alaska Baseball League, call 283-7133, stop by the team office at the corner of Cook Avenue and Main Street in Kenai or look up the Oilers on the Web at www.oilersbaseball.com.
After a long summer day of spinning circles around the Kenai Peninsula to soak up all of the possible adventures, Twin Cities Raceway is the perfect place to sit back and let somebody else run circles for a while.
The raceway is located on Shotgun Drive, across from Beaver Loop, at Mile 6.5 of the Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai.
The dirt oval, which is three-eighths of a mile, has Sprint, Late Model, A-Stock, B-Stock and Quarter Midget races. The size and surface of the oval provides fast racing.
There also is a motocross track with plenty of high-flying action.
For a schedule and more information on the circle-track and motocross races, visit www.kprl.net.
Hibernating is overrated. Want proof? Just visit the Kenai River Brown Bears inside their den at the Soldotna Sports Center. Their rumbling checks, catlike saves and laser slap shots bear no hint of somnambulation.
The Brown Bears are a Junior A hockey team of young athletes with collegiate or professional-hockey career aspirations. The Brown Bears play in the North American Hockey League, one of the top Junior A leagues in the country.
The team is now in its fourth season with coach Oliver David leading the Brown Bears in the NAHL’s tough West Division.
General admission ticket prices for the games are $12 for adults, $8 for those 60 and over, and 5 to 17, and free for those 4 and under.
The Brown Bears have regular-season home games scheduled through mid-March. For a complete list of those home games, plus additional information on the team, go to www.kenairiverbrownbears.com.
Visitors and residents of the Kenai Peninsula do a lot of running around during the summer. Sometimes, they call it a race.
The Peninsula has a number of events that allow for a closer look at wonderful areas and allow runners to experience competition and camaraderie.
Some of the bigger races are the Run for the River in Soldotna in early June, the Family Fun Run in the Midnight Sun in Nikiski in late June, the Rotary Unity Run in Soldotna in mid-July, the Everything but the Red Run at Tsalteshi Trails behind Skyview High School in late July, the Kenai Peninsula Run for Women in Kenai in early August and the Kenai River Marathon in Kenai in late September.
The Tri The Kenai triathlon hit the road — and pool, and trails — on June 9, 2013. The event is staged from Skyview School, just outside Soldotna on the Sterling Highway, and includes a 500-yard swim in the Skyview pool, a 10-mile road bicycle course and a 5-kilometer run on Tsalteshi Trails to challenge athlets of all experience levels and ages. There is also a kids race. For more information, visit www.trithekenai.com.