In memory of Frank McIlheragey

Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2001

It is hard to write about someone who has passed on, who you thought you knew quite well only to find out you did not know them at all.

Our dear friend Frank McIlheragey died earlier this month. These past few years most of us saw Frank in the summer months, when he came home to visit friends, play golf and help us discover more about giving and sharing. We were fortunate; Frank had the extreme gift of giving, sharing and laughing. It was a gift he shared with all that knew him.

Birch Ridge Junior Golf, Birch Ridge Golf Association and the Peninsula Senior Tournament all benefited because Frank gave his heart and soul to these groups. Many a summer Frank was at the golf course bright and early to help teach junior golfers about the pleasures of golf and the gifts of life-giving, sharing and laughing. He will be missed, but not forgotten.

However, Frank also would want to know all the details about what had happened over the winter months, what was planned for the summer ahead and how everyone was doing. He was a planner and a doer. So here are some of the details:

Senior Golf League

May 7 found 12 hearty souls out brushing up on their game after a warm, icy and somewhat unusual winter. For the least amount of putts on nine holes, John Tongen just nudged out Clair Schadle with 15 putts. Don McGee must have been out of state all winter as he won closest to the pin on both hole No. 6 and hole No. 8. If recollection is not too muddled, Don got most of the closest to the pins last year during senior league too. And winning honors for longest putt on whole No. 5 went to Pat Cowan.

When she submitted the senior report, Birch Ridge Golf Course roving reporter Jo Briscoe stated, "Hopefully with the weather getting warmer and the golf course becoming even more enticing, the Senior League will continue to expand. Check in time is 9:30 a.m. each Monday."

Junior Golf

As the days get longer and the school year rapidly approaches an end, it is time to sign up for Junior Golf. Clinics begin on June 11 and last three weeks. Contact the Pro Shop at 262-5270 for details.

Junior golfers interested in the Alaska Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournaments should visit the AJGA web site at

The first AJGA tournament this year is June 11 at Palmer Golf Course. All junior golfers need to have taken the rules and etiquette test prior to receiving any awards at tournaments. Entries are due one week prior to the scheduled tournament date.

Over the past two years, Kenai Peninsula junior golfers have done exceptionally well in AJGA tournaments. This year look for Nick Horn, Matt Matarresse, Tony Azzara, Josh Lansing, Zach Cowan, Brannon Jackson and Tayler Jackson to continue to play in the AJGA tournaments. These young golfers put in many hours of practice and work hard to excel at a game they (and we) love.

When you see them on the course offer encouragement and support to these fine youths.

Men's League

Due to start on May 9, the weather was cold and rainy with only eight men braving Mother Nature. Rumor has it that Ray Hamby conquered Mother Nature and had low net score for the round.

Men's Night is every Wednesday night, with check in at 6 p.m. and play beginning at 6:30.

Women's League and Birch Ridge Cup

Morning Lady League began Tuesday. Results will appear in next week's column.

Women's Birch Ridge Cup and Ladies of the Evening will resume play on May 24. Myrna Cowan and Jan Stenga, winners of last year's Birch Ridge Cup, will be sending out letters to previous participants this week. Women interested in participating in matchup play should contact the pro shop at 262-5270.

Hospice Auction & Putting Contest

Thirty-three individuals took part in a putting competition and auction on Friday to help Hospice of the Central Peninsula. Of the five teams, two tied and following a playoff the competition was won by one stroke. An auction and picnic was held at the pavilion in conjunction with the putting contest.

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