Hello and happy golf season, golfers. It's our favorite time of year again - gardening, fishing, and fun, fun, fun at the Kenai Golf Course. The course is looking great and the greens are filling in very well, and the nets are up at the driving range. My better half and I have already managed to squeeze in a couple of rounds on the course plus time on the driving range I wish I could say that my game had improved, like fine wine, from resting over the winter but sadly that would not be the case. It was great to be back and see so many familiar smiling faces. It was also great to hear that yours truly was the recipient of the early bird drawing for a season pass from the KGC. I'm not sure who was more excited, me or Gordon.
Ron Goecke and Lara, Debbie and Gordon Griffin will be hosting the Pro Shop again this year. These wonderful people always have a ready smile and welcoming attitude. Rich Lundahl has returned for another year as the KGC Golf Pro, welcome back Rich.
Speaking of lessons, there are Junior and Ladies clinics already on the slate. There is a lot of information at www.kenaigolfcourse.com or call 283-7500. The first Ladies Clinic is scheduled for next week, May 24-26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Whether you are a beginner or just needing a tune up after the long winter, this clinic is for you. Class size is limited so get your name on the list. Don't worry, though, if these dates don't work for you, there is another clinic for the ladies scheduled for June. All clinics cost $50.
The first Junior Clinic will be held June 21-23 from 10 a.m. to noon. The junior clinics are open to all boys and girls, ages eight to 17. Class size is limited so be sure to sign up early.
For the personal touch, book a private lesson with Rich Lundahl. You can get 30 or 60 minutes of personalized instruction for a reasonable fee. Who wouldn't benefit from that?
Jerry Norris, thank you for your continued efforts and hard work on the course and for organizing the Men's Senior League. Thanks, also, to Bob Sizemore for running Men's Night again this year. Once again, Atigun is sponsoring the season's point race this year; a big thank-you to them for making the "Atigun Cup" possible. Thanks to Dave Ramsey for fixing the electrical problem with the well and to Ron Goecke for his plumbing know how. How many leaks did you fix, Ron and re-fix? Thanks to Charlie Black for his help with the plumbing and to Keith Stuart for the first class lost and found box he made for the Pro Shop.
If you have been out on the course, you know that a lot of work has been going on - wood has been cut and stacked in several different areas. Mark Griffin, did you really get a chain saw stuck in a tree?
Charlie Waguespack will be back this year and manning a mower. For those of you who may not know, Charlie has a long term contract as Santa and he says with a smile that he has to "keep his beard and continue to get fat," but it is to be hoped that he will still fit on the mower. And to Derek Kaufman, "To pick or not, that is the question."
* A Birdie Told Me -- There was a lot of winter golfing happening down south while the rest of us were impatiently waiting for the snow to melt. Andy Anderson had a hole in one while vacationing in Florida. Charlie Kahakauwila shot his personal best at The Ledges Golf Course in St. George, Utah, during which he had a hole in one and an eagle on back to back holes. Roy Wells is also the proud possessor of a hole in one while vacationing outside. Back at home, Chris Murray had a great chip on No. 13. What a great start to the golf season.
* General Manager's Report -- Welcome to another golf season. Over the winter months, Mark Griffin and Chris Murray did a lot of work on the course. You will notice a big difference around holes Nos. 2 and 6 as well as No. 11. Thank you for a job well done. Dusty and Willy did an excellent job around No. 7. What a big difference all this hard work has made.
We have two new people working for us this year. Chris Kimball will be in charge of our new practice area making sure that it is maintained and developed professionally. John Reagan will be our new golf cart mechanic. Both Chris and John are outstanding individuals that take great pride in their work. Welcome aboard.
Chris Murray will also be working this year mowing the tee boxes. Thank you, Chris.
It is always exciting when the snow starts to go away and the first thing you do is run out to check the grass on the greens. Funny, I never thought grass would mean so much to me. In short, the greens wintered well. All the greens have plenty of grass and are starting to green up. We just took the ground temperature on our practice green - 39 degrees - which means the frost is not yet gone and it will be a week or more before we are able to get the equipment on the greens to start working them. Bring on the sunshine.
Thank you to Mark and Lara Griffin and Ron Goecke for all their help in the preparing the golf course for opening this season.
-- Gordon Griffin
* The Kenai Golf Association -- The Kenai Golf Course Opening Tournament was held on Saturday. Keith Stasek took first place with a net score of 32. Second place with 35 went to Clayton Dolan while Dwight Kramer came in third with 36. Rich Edwards took fourth place in a card back with 37 while Chris Kimball settled for fifth. Congratulations to these winners and to all the golfers who participated in the first tournament of the year.
* Seniors will play on Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m. and Men's Night will be held on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. Big Thursdays will continue as before on the last Thursday of each month. The first Men's Night will be next week. Big Thursdays begin on May 27. No word from the ladies or mixed couples yet, any interest out there? Please call the Pro Shop and let them know if you would be interested in participating in any of these events.
* There are a lot of tournaments coming up - the Dick and Shirley Morgan Kickoff Tournament is Saturday, May 29, and is the first of the tournaments for the Atigun Cup. The Masonic is on Saturday, June 12 and the KGA Monthly Event is on Sunday, June 13. The Boys and Girls Club will be held on Friday, June 18 and the Elks on Saturday, June 19. The Brown Bears Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 26 and the Ladies' EZPZ Tournament on Sunday the 27.
This is a busy time of year, but you need to make plenty of time for golfing at the Kenai Golf Course. Clinics, private lessons, tournaments, great gear and clothing, and good times with great people - there's something for everyone. I will see you on the course.
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