Golf season kicks off at Birch Ridge

Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2010

This past weekend was spectacular, absolutely gorgeous. With the golf course fairways and greens in the best shape in recent memory, things were going in the right direction. Then a dose of reality was handed to us and we were reminded that yes, this is Alaska and the weather will change.

If you haven't been out to play yet this summer, you will notice a few changes. The winter winds took down a few trees that have impeded spectacular shots. The new "gold" tee box on No. 9 is open and looks fantastic. The crews are mowing the greens, the fairways are almost completely dry and the frost is moving its way quickly to the surface. Birch Ridge Golf Course is looking great.

Senior League is off to a fantastic start. Last week Tom Boedeker showed the other 10 players how well he improved over the winter with a net 32. Ed Robinson was closest to the No. 6 pin and made birdie. No one hit the No. 8 green and Ray Hamby had the long putt on No. 9. On Monday, 15 players showed up to have Don McGhee show that he, too, had not lost the stellar touch. Don posted a net 31 and on No. 8 put his tee shot 6 feet, 8 inches from the hole. Sid Cox had a beautiful shot on No. 6, putting it within 10 feet. The most impressive shot of the day was Chuck Obendorf's long putt on No. 9 at 30 feet, 5 inches. Nice putt Chuck.

Tuesday Morning Ladies League was greeted with a cool, blustery day but that did not stop three brave Alaskan women. Taking the honors for low gross was Janet St. Clair, while Georgia Bentley picked up closest to the pin on No. 8. Elaine Anderson credits her winter gloves to her excellent putting. Janet said her brilliant chip shot on No. 9 was because she was too cold to take more practice swings. Had the wind not blown the plastic pipe in the way, all three ladies would have had birdies on No. 5.

Tuesday Couples Night started on Tuesday. Look for the recap next week. With George and Sue Stein visiting new grandchildren, couples's night will be under the incredible, imaginary direction of John and Jane Tongen.

Free golf lessons are being offered by the course pro's Tom Walsh and Bill Engberg. They are offering a series of three free lessons for 12 beginners or novices. Lessons will be each Thursday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., beginning today. Men or ladies, if you are interested, call the Pro Shop to sign up or for more information.

* The Annual Par 3 Tournament will be Saturday, May 22.

* Ladies Birch Ridge Cup meets today at the Pro Shop to discuss the upcoming season. For further details or to sign up come to the Pro Shop today or contact the Pro Shop.

* Men's Birch Ridge Cup begins on June 1. The Pro Shop has the registration forms.

* Hook a Kid on Golf will be June 1 through June 5. Getting a kid "hooked" on golf is a great thing and will provide them with skills they can use for a lifetime. Contact the Pro Shop for details.

* Junior Golf clinics will begin on June 8. The week-long course will be from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. For further details on the junior clinics call Birch Ridge Golf Course at 262-5270.

* Weekly Events (please check in at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown below):

Mondays -- Senior League at 10 a.m.; Tuesdays -- Tuesday Morning Ladies League at 10 a.m.; Tuesdays -- Couple's Night at 6 p.m.; Wednesdays -- Men's Night at 6 p.m.; Thursdays -- Ladies Night at 6 p.m.

Upcoming Events:

* Friday, May 21 -- Hospice Auction & Putting Contest

* Saturday, May 22 -- Par 3 Tournament

* Saturday, June 12 -- June Scramble

* Thursday, June 17 -- Birch Ridge Golf Association Junior Golf Tournament (Ages 8 -17)

* Saturday, June 19 -- Rotary Midnight Scramble

Birch Ridge Golf Course can be reached by calling 907-262-5270 or visit the web site at

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