Birch Ridge Golf Report: Course greening up at Birch Ridge

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010

While the temperatures have yet to warm up, things sure have been greening up. The rains have been beneficial with everything looking fantastic. Work crews just completed plugging and seeding the greens. I expect to see these in fine shape in a few short weeks.

Birch Ridge Golf Association recently elected officers: Linda Murphy, president; Kathy Herring, vice president and president-elect; Elaine Anderson, secretary; Sharon Keating, treasurer; and board members Darell Jelsma, Steve Dexheimer, and Steve Tachick. The Golf Association is very active in sponsoring events and putting on numerous tournaments throughout the year. In addition to managing and directing tournaments, it also manges and directs the handicap system with the USGA and Alaska Golf Association. Over the years, the Birch Ridge Golf Association has done a tremendous amount. Thank you.

Senior League had 17 seniors brave the greens with the grass growing in spots, but they all report it is getting better. Overall, the scores were higher with only seven net scores in the 30s. Gary Tanghe led the way with a net 34. Paul Zimmerman was hot on the par threes with tee shots that were 20 feet, 1/2 inch on No. 6 and 18 feet, eight inches on No. 8. Rounding out the winners was Steve Hammarstrom with a downhill banana shot that measured 30 feet, 10 inches in a straight line, not the course Steve's ball had to travel. The weather is getting better so hope to see more golfers next week.

Tuesday Morning Ladies League had a dramatic improvement in weather conditions, which is why 11 happy ladies showed up to golf. The weather was great and the golf course is starting to cooperate. Georgia Bentley was the winner of "bingo, bango, bongo," pocketing 13 ticks. Sally Hoagland took the honors of closest to the pin on No. 8 while low gross winners of the "mystery hole" went to Myrna Cowan and Shirley Jonsrud. Next week is the monthly "potluck," a day popular with everyone who is around the pro shop.

Tuesday Couples Night started May 11 with six couples braving the very cold and windy weather. The game was a two-person "shamble" where each player tees off then you pick the best drive to use. From the best drive, each player plays their own ball to the hole. The special twist for the night was if either member of the team makes a "Poley" (putt longer than the flag stick) then you both get to tee off from the most forward tee box on the next hole. Last week's "shamble" honors went to Sally and Steve Tachick with a net 30 followed by Val Ischi and Roy Bird at net 35. There was a card off using the score from No. 3 between the team of Lore and Charlie Weimer and Linda and Dan Murphy for third place with the Murphys pocketing the winnings.

Sign up before June 3 for free golf lessons. These are being offered by course pro's Tom Walsh and Bill Engberg. Three lessons for 12 beginners or novices will be each Thursday evening from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Juniors or adults if you are interested call the pro shop.

This Saturday will be the 37th Annual Par 3 Tournament with tee off at 3 p.m. followed by a barbecue. This 18-hole event is a great way to start off the year and a wonderful opportunity to work on your short game. You can either pick your own team or sign up individually and join with other individuals to form a team. Since this is a handicapped scramble every team has a chance to capture first place and bragging rights. For the lowest handicap team member, they will get 50 percent of their handicap with the remaining three players receiving 10 percent.

* A couple of corrections -- Hook a Kid on Golf will be May 31 through June 4. 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 be June 7 through June 11. The week-long course will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. For further details, call Birch Ridge Golf Course at 262-5270.

* Tip of the Week: Erin Bell, PGA assistant pro at Big Spring Golf Course in Louisville, Ky., has developed a weekly tip card. While the tip card was developed for the Big Spring Ladies Nine-Hole League, the tips are applicable for all golfers.

Tips for Quality Practice:

* Always have a target picked out when you practice

* Know how far each of your clubs travel

* Practice a pre-shot routine to use for every shot you hit

* Spend 80 percent of your practice on your short game

* Practice with a friend or using a music player to make sessions more fun

* Weekly Events (please check in at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown below): Mondays -- Senior League, 10 a.m.; Tuesdays -- Tuesday Morning Ladies League, 10 a.m.; Tuesdays -- Couple's Night, 6 p.m.; Wednesdays -- Men's Night, 6 p.m.; Thursdays -- Ladies Night, 6 p.m.

* Upcoming Events: Friday -- Hospice Auction & Putting Contest; Saturday -- Par 3 Tournament; Saturday, June 12 -- June Scramble; Thursday, June 17 -- Birch Ridge Golf Association Junior Golf Tournament (ages 8 -17); Saturday, June 19 -- Best - 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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