Birch Ridge Golf Report: Mother nature in control

Posted: Friday, May 16, 2008

Mother's Day was this past Sunday (belated best wishes to all the mothers out there)! Evidently Mother Nature still wants some attention, though. Or maybe she's just unhappy with golfers like me who hack our way out of the rough destroying her handiwork. Whatever the reason, the weather has put a damper on some of the planned events for this past week, but certainly not on the golfing spirit at Birch Ridge.

The 35th Anniversary Par 3 Tournament scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed until Saturday, May 31, in the hope that the course will dry out, allowing motorized carts. So be sure and sign up by 6 p.m. on Friday, May 30. This is a very fun tournament with every hole set up as a Par 3. In addition to the first-place prize, there will be four 'closest-to-the-hole' prizes awarded. The format is a four-person, handicapped scramble, so you must have an established USGA Handicap to play. Sign up individually or by team. Tee off is at 3 p.m. Cost is $35 per person, and includes a barbecue following the tournament.

The weather isn't bad enough to start building an ark, but you would think that was the case last Wednesday night when only two men showed up to play Men's Night and again on Tuesday morning when only two ladies showed up to play with the Ladies group. I would say 'hats off' to Paul Zimmerman and Dave Keating, and to Jan Stenga and Jane Tongen for showing up to play, but I don't want to get my hair wet!

Ten people came out two-by-two this week, though, for the Tuesday Night Couples. They played a "Rosie Odd-Even" game. In a two-person team format, each person played their own game, using the lowest net score on the odd numbered holes and the lowest gross score on the even numbered holes, adding the nine scores together for the team score. Everyone played from the rose colored tees. Jamie and Jana Query took first place with a score of 34. Del and Sally Hoagland came in second, posting a 35. Sounds like everyone had a great time even though a few rain drops tried to break up the small amount of sunshine. Thanks to the Herrings (Jerry and Kathy) for taking on the role of Couple-in-Charge this week. As usual, the seniors put the rest of us to shame (at least the male seniors did -- still no ladies have shown up on Monday morning). Eleven brave guys came out this week with the skies threatening overhead. Gary Effenbeck had the lowest net score with a 32. George McDowell made the longest putt and Chuck Obendorf was the closest to the hole on No. 8. No one made the green on hole No. 6 this week. I think the senior ladies need to come out in force next Monday morning and challenge these guys.

The Thursday Night Ladies of the Evening group is planning a meeting this Thursday at the Clubhouse to make plans for the season and hopefully play if weather permits. Come on out and join this fun group of ladies at 6:30 p.m. Call Dee Richards or Sharon Keating if you have any questions.

Attention Parents ... It's time to sign up your kids for the Junior Golf Clinic scheduled for June 9-13 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Not only do the kids learn the fundamentals of golf, but also some fundamentals of life -- integrity, humility, patience, courtesy and self-confidence, to name just a few. What other sport or activity can we learn as kids, play throughout our lifetime and still enjoy in our later years? Cost is $60 for one child and $90 for two children in the same family. So, call the pro shop at 262-5270 and give your kids the opportunity to learn this wonderful game we call golf.

TOM'S TIP FOR THE WEEK: If you're having difficulty deciding what to practice and for how long, consider the following schedule and "Practice by the Clock." Try to practice equally on all facets of your game, neglecting none. One, begin with the shortest club, hit with a half swing (to loosen up) and increase to a full swing. Then work up from the shortest to the longest club, hitting each about 10 times. Next, go to the practice green and practice pitches and pitch and run shots for 20 to 25 minutes. After that, practice putting from different positions and distances. Make a game out of it and practice for about an hour.

SHARON'S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Okay, so I guess I'm a fair-weathered golfer (also known as a 'wimp'). Maybe it's because we just got back from golfing in Palm Springs (where I often complained because it was too hot). But I promised myself I was going to golf more this season, so I'm just going to dig out my rain gear and cool weather goodies because there's no place I'd rather golf than Birch Ridge. Problem is, I think I left my golf game in California.

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