Birch Ridge Golf Report: 'Hook a Kid on Golf' program attracts several youngsters to Birch Ridge

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010

After a week of "Hook a Kid on Golf," we've now got more than 40 kids participating in the Junior Golf Clinic. The junior golfers are fortunate to have not only course pros Tom Walsh and Bill Engberg providing guidance, but also former Birch Ridge Junior Golfer Aaron Dexheimer. Aaron holds a few records on Alaska golf courses, including the course record at Birch Ridge and winning the Alaska State Amateur in 2000. Aaron is now a touring pro playing in pro golf tournaments in Alaska, California and the Pacific Northwest.

* The annual Birch Ridge Golf Association's Junior Golf Tournament is next week. On Thursday, June 17, the juniors will tee off starting at 8:30 a.m. with check in at 8 a.m. There will be three divisions: 8-and-9-year-olds will play six holes; 10-to-12-year-olds will play nine holes from the red tees; and 13-to-17-year-olds will play nine holes from the white tees. To register, call the pro shop (262-5270) by 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 16.

* The 32nd annual June Scramble will be this Saturday. There will be two divisions with teams placed in the division based upon the total team handicap. Tee off is at 8 a.m. and immediately following the tournament will be an awards banquet. Last year the winning team shot a 14-under-par 56. It will be interesting to see if this year's winning team can beat that sizzling score.

* Senior League had great weather for the 22 seniors that came out to play. It was sunny and not too hot but Pat McElroy was on fire. Pat led the way with a net 29 and first birdie of the year. Pat captured not only the birdie but also picked up closest to the pin on No. 8, putting his tee shot within 46 inches of the hole. Bruce King captured No. 6, putting his ball 9 feet, 2 inches out. The long putt of the day went to John Tongen with a fantastic putt of 15 feet, 2 inches.

Seniors will once again meet at 9 a.m. on Monday's until further notice.

* Tuesday Morning Ladies League was sunny but a bit cool for the 14 ladies that turned out to play a mixed bag of games. The cool weather didn't deter a number of birdies from flying all over the course. Myrna Cowan and Kathy Herring picked up birdies on No. 17 while Rita Geller picked up her birdie on No. 16. Myrna also had a fantastic chip in.

Team prize were for low team putts and low team gross. Kathy Herring, Denise Cox and Janet St.Clair had hot putters and Beth Rosenberry, Diane Mersch and Rita Geller put together an all-around great game to have the low team gross. Best poker hands of the day were Cheryl Hammarstrom and Janet St.Clair.

* Tuesday Couples Night engaged in a five-four split. Fifteen couples played their own game and at the end of the evening took the five lowest net scores for the man combined with the four lowest net scores for the woman to get the team score. However, as with every week, there is usually a twist. Last week's twist was that on one of the nine holes each person had to use "a wood" to putt the hole out.

Janet and Marv St.Clair had a fantastic round, beating the second-place team of Susan and Darell Jelsma by three strokes. Third through fifth place was decided in a card off as four teams tied. Teri and Gene Diamond secured third, Sally and Del Hoagland fourth and Val Ischi and Gary Dawkins cornered fifth place.

If you and your significant other enjoy golfing, turning out for Tuesday Night Couples has to be on the bucket list.

* There are still a few spots left for free golf lessons. If you are a beginner or novice and would like to sign up for the June 24 to July 8 series, contact the pro shop at 262-5270. These classes are offered by the course pros Tom Walsh and Bill Engberg.

* Last week we saw 24 youths participate in the Birch Ridge Golf Association's "Hook a Kid on Golf." Thank you to the association and to those who helped the pros put this fantastic clinic on. Bob Sizemore, Jane Stein and Dave Stein thank you, thank you, thank you. Besides helping with "Hook a Kid on Golf," I've seen a lot more kids taking their parents out to golf. What a great way to spend some quality time together and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

* Tip of the Week: compliments of Erin Bell, PGA assistant pro, Big Spring Golf Course.

Uphill Lies: "Winning has always meant much to me, but winning friends has meant the most" -- Babe Didrikson Zaharias

* Take one more club than you would normally select from that distance

* Place the ball in the front of your stance after taking a practice swing to find the "bottom" of your swing

* Set up your shoulders to "match" the hillside

* Swing with a steady motion and good balance

* Finish with your weight centered on the foot closest to your target

* This Week's Events (please check in at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown below): Monday's -- Senior League, 9 a.m.; Tuesday's -- Tuesday Morning Ladies League, 10 a.m.; Tuesday's -- Couple's Night, 6 p.m.; Wednesday's -- Men's Night, 6 p.m.; Thursday's -- Ladies Night, 6 p.m.

* Upcoming Events: Saturday -- June Scramble; Thursday, June 17 -- Birch Ridge Golf Association Junior Golf Tournament (Ages 8 -17); Sunday, June 27 -- Pink Ribbon Rally for Breast Cancer; Monday, July 12 -- Pro-Am Tournament with All Alaskan Pro's; Monday, July 12 -- BRGA All Alaskan Pro Skins Game; Friday, July 16 -- 27th Annual Peninsula Seniors Championship - Day 1; Saturday, July 17 -- 27th Annual Peninsula Seniors Championship - Day 2; Saturday, July 24 -- Seward Seahawks Athletic Booster Club Tournament; Saturday, July 31 -- 38th Annual Peninsula Amateur Tournament - Day 1; Sunday, August 1 -- 38th Annual Peninsula Amateur Tournament - Day 2

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

Birch Ridge Golf Report: 'Hook a Kid on Golf' program attracts several youngsters to Birch Ridge

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