Like many a year, this year's golf season is no different than last. We start off with challenges and much work: getting the course back in shape, getting reacquainted with our clubs which hibernated the winter, perfecting our swing, and working on the ever important putt.
This past winter was rough on golf courses, not only here in the central Kenai Peninsula but throughout Southcentral Alaska. The ice damaged greens and dampened the spirit of some golfers.
While we are challenged by the elements presented by Mother Nature and firm greens, we are fortunate that we are able to play. The grounds crew at Birch Ridge is working diligently to get the greens back in shape. And with a little help from the golf gods, things should be looking up in a few weeks.
The junior program will kick off on June 11. Tom Walsh, Birch Ridge's Head Pro, will direct and supervise the junior program. For details on the sessions, cost, and skill levels contact Tom at 262-5270.
Please accept apologies for last week's memory lapse as we forgot to report the previous week's highlights.
On May 15, the game of the day was low net and not really surprisingly, Chiya Bazan took the first-place honors with Pat Cowan coming in second. Closest to the pin on both the sixth and eighth holes was Pat Cowan while Gordon Briscoe captured longest putt.
On May 21, 14 masters participants showed up to conquer Birch Ridge. Out of the four prizes awarded, only two were captured. Closest to the pin on No. 6 went unclaimed, as did the longest putt on No. 7.
Lynn Jones claimed the closest to the pin on hole No. 8 and Chuck Ryder won in the game of the day -- even holes only. The prizes that went unclaimed will be carried over to the next round.
In honor on Memorial Day, the master senior golfers relaxed on Monday and played Tuesday.
John Horwath and Clair Schadle took all the honors with John having low score and nearest to the pin on No. 6 while Clair captured longest putt and pin honors on No. 8.
Games played by the master golfers change each week. As one player noted, "With such a congenial group of folks, we have a great time whether we win or lose."
Come join the play of the peninsula's senior masters on Monday mornings.
Tuesday Morning Glories
Following the Memorial Day weekend, Tuesday was a busy day at Birch Ridge. The Tuesday Morning Glories and Seniors shared the course. For the Morning Glories, Jan Stenga was joined by Pat Bird, Paula Hite, and Kathy Nielson to grab course honors for the day with a sizzling 43, beating Lynne Reynolds, Myrna Cowan, Jo Briscoe, and Louise Schadle. Louise was not to be completely overshadowed as she edged her way in for closest-to-the-pin honors.
As the weather improves and the days grow longer the numbers of players continue to increase.
The team of Ron Carlson, Steve Hammerstrom, John Tongen and Nolan Rose carded a 3-under par to win last Wednesday night. Tony Azzara successfully outdrove others to win long drive on hole No. 2.
Besides being on the winning team, Nolan Rose garnered closest to the pin on No. 6 while Steve Dexheimer took closest-to honors on No. 8.
Ladies' Birch Ridge Cup
Last year's champions of the Ladies Birch Ridge Cup, Jan Stenga and Myrna Cowan, had a large gathering at the kick off meeting last week. Stay tuned for status reports on how match play goes for these incredible golfers.
Men's Birch Ridge Cup
Play begins this week. For those who have signed up, stop by the Pro Shop to pick up team rosters and schedules.
Couples night kicks off this Saturday. Call Rhonda and the other professionals at the Pro Shop to sign up and for further details.
The busy tournament season will kick off with the June Scramble on June 16, sponsored by the Birch Ridge Golf Association. This will be followed on June 23 by the Best/Rotary Midnight Scramble.
Contact the Pro Shop at 262-5270 to sign up or for further details.
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