Birch Ridge Report: Course set for June Scramble

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2002

Saturday Birch Ridge will be hosting the annual June Scramble. Rumors circulating around Southcentral Alaska golf courses say there are two "tough" teams assembled to take away the crown from last year's champions from Birch Ridge Golf Course.

Two members of last year's team, Nolan and Mike Rose, won't be able to play this year as Nolan is completing his studies in Washington State. However, the other two team members, Steve Dexheimer and Nick Horn, will be returning to retain their title.

Senior League

As I'm writing this the rain is coming down in buckets. At least the seniors' escapades were dry this morning with 15 participants. The group is growing by the week, and we still are expecting more as the weather improves.

Again, the game played was low net. First place goes to Chiya Bazan coming in with a low net of 30.5. Second place was Chuck Rider with a 33.5 score. Weekly closest to the pin holes were No. 6, recorded by Chuck Obendorf, and No. 8, recorded by Don McKendry.

The longest putt this week was on the fifth hole, taken by Tom Olendorf. Great putt, Tom. Great to see some new players on the Monday morning games. Hopefully, as the month goes along, we will see more new players coming out.

Suggestions for a variety of games are most welcome. The course has received some much-needed rain and is really looking great. Check-in time remains at approximately 8:15 a.m. with the matches beginning around 9 a.m. Come one, come all. What a great way to begin the week. See you on the course!!

Men's League

Twenty-four men ventured out last Wednesday night. As in the previous week, Tony Azzara and Richard Atuk were on the winning team, again carding a 6-under for the round. Teamed with Tony and Richard were Don McGee and Don McKendry.

With a couple of teams coming in at 4-under, a chip-off was needed to determine who would capture second place. This was won by the team of Ray Hamby, Roy Stuckey, Richard Martin and Dan Murphy.

Taking home the honors on long drive for the evening was Jeff Sinz, while Joe Riddle put it in closest on No. 6 and Pat McElroy had the right stuff on No. 8 to take home the glory. Men's League continues every Wednesday night with check-in at 6 p.m.

Morning Ladies League

Morning Ladies League played Tuesday, and as was conveyed to us, "eight women, on this slightly damp morning -- with the smell of bear in the air" took to the course. This week the ladies game was based on handicaps and, as happened the week before, both teams tied.

While there was no long drive, Dee Richards had closest to the pin on No. 6 and, for the third week in a row, Pat Bird was the lady of the hour on No. 8. I'd watch out for Pat this weekend at the June Scramble and would sure love it if she were on my team with the luck she's had the last three weeks.

Congratulations, Pat! Morning Ladies League play continues every Tuesday with check-in at 9:30 a.m. and tee off at 10 a.m.

Birch Ridge Cup

Birch Ridge Cup play for both the men and ladies continues from now through the end of August. For those of you playing Men's Birch Ridge Cup the schedules are available at the pro shop for you to pick up. For those of you that have questions about the Men's Cup call George Stein and for the Women's Cup call either Myrna Cowan or Jan Stenga.

Junior Golf

Junior Golf clinics began Monday. Twenty-six beginning junior golfers, ages 8 to 11, signed up for the first week of Junior Golf clinics. Under the direction of Tom Walsh, these youngsters are learning rules of golf as well as spending time at the driving range, chipping and putting. This week Tom has been assisted by a couple of the older junior golfers who play in the Alaska Junior Golf Association tournaments.

Intermediate Junior Golf clinics start Monday and run through June 21. This will be for junior golfers, age 12 and up, who have completed the Beginners Clinic. The primary focus will be to advance skill development along with additional course play.

Upon completion of this session the juniors will be given the opportunity to qualify to compete in the state competitions. Additionally, upon satisfactory completion, the junior golfers will be allowed to play on the golf course without parental supervision. To sign up either contact Tom at the pro shop (262-5270) or stop by the golf course.

The Alaska Junior Golf Association's first tournament of the year was Monday in Palmer and was won by Soldotna's Tony Azzara. Tony had a great round, shooting a blistering 75. Tony also is the reigning State Junior Amateur champ.

Other local golfers included Nick Horn taking fourth with an 82 and Josh Lansing carding a 97.

The next junior tournament will be played at Settlers Bay Golf Course Monday followed by a two-day tournament at Eagleglen on June 24 and 25. For additional details on the Alaska Junior Golf Association tournaments, either visit the web site at or contact the pro shop.

Tournament Results

The Kenai Peninsula Charity Golf Tournament was held at Birch Ridge this past weekend. The net proceeds from the tournament, along with mulligan fees, are paid out to the charity as designated by the first- and last-place teams.

Coming in first place and donating their winnings to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank was the Dick's Drywall & Painting team of Dick Cockroft, Dan Murphy, Linda Murphy and Steve Rich with a 64. In second place, shooting a 65, was the Peak Oilfield Service Company team of Larry Grant, Dana Bassel, Cal Larson and Tom Vincent.

The Edward Jones team of Jeri Braxling, Linda Lewis, Jim Hobbs and Steve Manley garnered third place. There were two opportunities for long drive on the second and fourth holes and Jim Hobbs took longest drive on both holes. Closest to the pin on No. 8 went to Linda Murphy and Paul Mettille had it up closest on No. 6.

Sounds like a great tournament and thanks to the sponsors -- Dick's Drywall, Peak, Edward Jones, Blazy Construction, Club Driver, Ambiental Options and MIAC Materials. Jonathan Thorpe with Altman, Rogers & Co. organized the tournament.

Upcoming Tournaments

Upcoming Tournaments, besides the June Scramble on Saturday, include the Best/Rotary Midnight Sun Scramble on June 22. This is a great tournament with lots of good food and great prizes. Contact the pro shop at 262-5270 for details.

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