Birch Ridge Golf Report: Birch Ridge golfers have formed tight bonds over the past 2 decades

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010

After moving to Soldotna from Anchorage almost 20 years ago, my husband and I started golfing at Birch Ridge Golf Course. Over the years, the people and friends we have made have become part of our family. Unfortunately, we lost of member of our family recently, Marge Smith. Marge was the wife of Tom Smith, who is the founder, architect and builder of Birch Ridge Golf Course. We are blessed to have known Marge and thankful for her contributions to our lives and the community. To Tom Smith and his children, Ward, Jennifer, Curtis and Bart, thank you for giving our community such a wonderful gift.

* The Par 3 tournament on Saturday was fantastic with great golf, great weather and good friends. Sally and Steve Tachick teamed up with Val Ishi and Rita Geller to take first place low net while the First Fairway team of Jane and Dave Stein along with Linda and Dan Murphy had the second low net. Mick Wikes, Mick Reeves, Dan Murphy and Steve Tachick picked up "pure" birdies. The two Micks also had closest to with Wikes getting close on No. 3 and Reeves almost holing it out on No. 14. Ray Hamby had the honors on No. 7 while on No. 15 Lisa Parker landed it close to the pin. Par 3 tournaments are great fun and provide great practice for the short game.

* Senior League had fantastic weather and a tremendous showing. Twenty-two players braved the sunny, warm weather Monday with John Davis shooting a great game winning with a net 29. Nice round John. Chuck Rider put the ball within 10 feet, 2 inches on No. 6 and Chuck Obendorf took No. 8 at 8 feet, 1 inch. Paul Zimmerman had the long putt on No. 9 with 64 inches.

* Next Monday is Memorial Day so seniors will play on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

* Tuesday Morning Ladies League saw 14 ladies turn out for "Potluck Tuesday." In addition to great food, there were a lot of wildlife sightings with rabbits and eagles galore. There is an over population of snow shoe hares on the course this year so chances are you are bound to see at least one per round.

Weekly winners included the team of Val Ishi, Sally Hoagland and Jane Tongen, knocking down first place with Georgia Bentley, Rita Geller and Jana Query snagging second.

Jana Query had her first birdie of the year for Tuesday Morning Ladies on No. 4. Rita Geller put her tee shot close on No. 6 with Dee Richards and Sally Hoogland having the least putts.

* Tuesday Couples Night had another great game last week with 11 couples taking on a two-person "Best Ball 3-6-9." Everyone played their own game then took the best net score for each hole, except the twist. On Nos. 3, 6 and 9, each team had to use both net scores added together for the score for that hole. Final scores found Susan and Darell Jelsma capturing first place with Dan and Linda Murphy taking second. The Murphys are definitely in the zone this season. Janet and Marv St. Clair took third with Lisa Parker and Steve Horn squeezing out fourth.

* There are a number of people that help make Birch Ridge Golf Course a great place. Besides the regulars -- Tom Walsh, Bill Engberg, Mike Rose, Rita Geller and Nolan Rose, to name a few -- there are a host of others who chip in and help out. Thank you to Mike Chenault for loaning us the equipment to build the new tee box and to Jimmy McWiliams for helping out whenever asked to run equipment to welding and helping haul equipment.

* Sign up before June 3 for free golf lessons. These are being offered by the course pros 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.

* Twenty-four kids will be participating beginning Monday in the week-long Hook a Kid on Golf. Next week look for highlights on how these golfers are progressing.

* Junior Golf clinics will be June 7-11. The week-long course will be from 8-10:30 a.m. For further details, call Birch Ridge Golf Course at 262-5270.

* Tip of the Week compliments of Erin Bell, PGA Assistant Pro.

Punch Shots: A low flying shot -- good to use under trees or in conditions when the wind is in your face

* Take two extra clubs than normal

* Place the ball in the back of your stance and place your hands ahead of the ball

* Take a 3/4 swing and swing with normal force

* Be sure to not "peek" to see your shot

* This Week's Events (please check in at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown below):

Tuesday -- Senior League at 9 a.m. (this week only due to the Monday, Memorial Day holiday); Tuesdays -- Tuesday Morning Ladies League, 10 a.m.; Tuesday's -- Couple's Night, 6 p.m.; Wednesdays -- Men's Night, 6 p.m.; Thursdays -- Ladies Night, 6 p.m.

* Upcoming Events: Saturday, June 12 -- June Scramble; Thursday, June 17 -- Birch Ridge Golf Association Junior Golf Tournament (Ages 8 -17); Sunday, June 27 -- Pink Ribbon Rally for Breast Cancer.

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

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