So far, Mother Nature smacks a sweet mulligan

Sunny days are here to stay? Following last summer's weather malaise, golfers asked Mother Nature to hit a mulligan. Fortunately, this spring has been an entirely different story. The sun is shining, the grass is growing, and all is right in the golfing world, unless you're a Tiger Woods fan.

Senior League

Sixteen golfers teed it up for the second week of senior league play on May 16. Despite the number of players, Tim Bowser's surgical play, as you would expect from a veterinarian, picked the golf course apart and took home all the winnings with a net 33, closest to the pin on No. 8 and the long putt on No. 9. Rumor has it you could hear dogs barking in excitement all the way from Bowser's clinic as he rolled in his putt at the ninth. A round of doggy treats on the Doc?

Eleven duffers moseyed in for week three of Birch Ridge's Monday senior league. Pat McElroy's play resembled Rory McIlroy en route to posting a net 31 to take home the winnings. A superb tee shot at the eighth was paramount to Pat's success winding up just 4 feet, 5 inches, from the cup, securing closest to the pin on the treacherous hole.

Birch Ridge legend Don McGhee was able to cut into McElroy's winnings with his tee shot at the sixth, which captured closest to the pin at 10 feet, 1 inch. If McElroy keeps this up we'll have to test him for performance enhancing substances, or in the Irishman's case, too much Guinness!

Tuesday Morning Ladies League

Six lovely ladies of Birch Ridge teed it up under the sun May 17. Chiya Bazan and Elaine Anderson took advantage of the small field taking first-place low net. Dee Richards and Leona Jackson followed the leaders in second place. Bazan also netted closest to the pin at the fifth. Shirley Johnsrud was this week's Bingo-Bango-Bongo winner.

Johnsrud was the hero Tuesday for the Birch Ridge ladies, holing out a 20-foot putt for the first birdie of the year on the par-3 eighth. Johnsrud's approach also netted closest to the pin. Word is that's one more birdie than her husband, Dave Johnsrud, has this spring. Anderson, Cheryl Hammarstrom and Rita Geller tied for fewest putts. The first-place team consisted of Bazan, Hammarstrom, Myrna Cowan and Richards. Bringing up the rear in second was Anderson, Leona Jackson, Geller and Johnsrud.

Tuesday Couples Night

Five couples appeared for the first couples night of the season at Birch Ridge on May 17. This week's format left golfers begging for mercy. The couples played a backward scramble. That means each couple was required to play the worst of two shots on their way to the green! Surely, local marriage counselors came up with this format because business will be booming in Soldotna with any more nights like this one. The dream team of Steve and Sally Tachick took home first place with a net 30.75. Pat and Myrna Cowan came in second with a net score of 32.25.

Eight couples arrived for the second week of Birch Ridge's most popular event. The weather was a little chilly, but that's not a deterrent for our hardy Alaska couples.

This week's format called for couples to post their nine best gross scores. The winner was the couple with the lowest score after their combined handicap was subtracted from their gross total. Darell and Susan Jelsma took home first-place honors with a net 32. Lori Weimer and Greg Stein came in second with Jerry and Kathy Herring following them in third place. As the sun continues to shine and the temperature warms up we expect more and more couples to join in on the fun!

Be sure to sign up for Tuesday's event by calling the pro shop at 262-5270 or emailing the staff at birchridgegolf@msn.com

Birch Ridge Golf Committee's Officially Unofficial World Golf Rankings

1. Luke Donald; 2. Rory McIlroy; 3. Graeme McDowell; 4. Bubba Watson; 5. Phil Mickelson; 6. K.J. Choi; 7. Jason Day; 8. Lee Westwood; 9. Matt Kuchar; 10. Alvaro Quiros.

Rules of Golf Trivia

Q. Larry's ball lies in the rough close to the fairway. Larry is entitled to relief from an immovable obstruction next to his ball. He can drop the ball within one club length of the ball. Within the one club length, Larry is in a position to drop the ball in the rough or on the fairway. Larry, of course, puts a sly smile on his face and drops his ball "at arm length" over the fairway so his ball comes to rest in the fairway and not in the rough where he was lying. Was Larry correct in his action? What is the correct course of action?

A. Check next week's column

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