Birch Ridge Golf Report: Taking week off is difficult

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2008

A week in June is not my first choice for being out of Alaska. I don't like missing an opportunity to spend time at Birch Ridge Golf Course doing one of my favorite things -- spending time with friends doing something I love, and, oh yeah, playing some golf. But the chance to meet our newest granddaughter for the first time and visiting her big sister and parents is on the short list of my reasons to leave Alaska during the summer. So, that's what we did and the reason this week's report will cover two weeks of exciting activities and events at Birch Ridge.

The first tournament of the year was held on May 31 and although the weather was cool, those of us who played in the 35th Anniversary Par-3 Tournament had a great time. With the course set up as a Par-3, this handicapped event leveled the playing field in such a way that those with higher handicaps (such as yours truly) could actually be on a winning team. With the help of Dave Stein, his lovely wife, Jane, and my wonderful husband, Dave, we managed to take second place to the team of Tom and Tanya Boedeker, Dee Richards, Jan Stenga and Chuck Obendorf. Four holes were randomly drawn for "closest-to-the-hole" prizes. Those big winners were Mike Rose on No. 5, Josh Lansing (No. 7), Don McGhee (No. 12) and Tanya Boedeker (No. 18).

The Hook-A-Kid-on-Golf Clinic was last week. Sixteen kids who had never played golf attended the free clinic sponsored by the PGA and the Birch Ridge Golf Association. This national program provides each child a set of golf clubs, shirt, hat, balls and tees along with the fundamentals of golf, etiquette and rules. In addition, police officer Marvin Towell spoke to the kids about good citizenship. Special thanks goes to coordinator Bob Sizemore, volunteers Jane Stein and Judy Keck-Walsh and all the parents and volunteers who came out to help with the barbecue on Friday. Thanks also to Birch Ridge Golf Course owners, Pat and Myrna Cowan. And let's not forget our most wonderful golf pros, Tom Walsh and Bill Engberg.

Several kids from Hook-A-Kid are back again this week for the Junior Golf Clinic. With a total enrollment of 48, kids from ages 8 to 17 are learning all about golf and other life lessons. It is amazing to watch how much these kids learn and improve in such a short period of time. Assistant Golf Pro Bill Engberg is quoted as saying, "This is one of the most enthusiastic and potentially talented group of kids I've worked with."

The Junior Golf Tournament is scheduled for Thursday and is open to all kids ages 8 to 17 who have played golf, been through a clinic or taken lessons at Birch Ridge or any other golf course and have a basic understanding of the game of golf -- including rules, etiquette and keeping score. The entry fee of $20 includes greens fees and a barbecue. Prizes will be awarded in each of three age groups -- 8- to 9-year-olds playing from the yellow tees, 10- to 12-year-olds from the red tees and 13 to 17-year-olds from white tees. Call the pro shop at 262-5270 to sign up.

The 31st Annual June Scramble is on Saturday. It's not too late to sign up your team (deadline is today). There will be two divisions, determined by total team handicap. The entry fee is $66.38 plus greens fee ($28.62) for nonseason ticket holders, with prizes awarded at the barbecue following the tournament. Tee-off is at 8 a.m. The Birch Ridge Golf Association will kick off the event with a special barbecue on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. for the players.

Attention ladies of all golf skill levels -- it's time to think PINK for the Third Annual Rally for the Cure golf tournament scheduled for June 22 at 10 a.m. Space is limited, so sign up soon for this very fun, nine-hole, four-person scramble event. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and a portion to our local hospital's oncology department. Ladies from all walks of life will get together for a fun time and chance to win great prizes while building awareness of this life-threatening disease. There's too many exciting things planned this year to mention here but you won't be disappointed. Even if you are unable to play, you can still be a part of this worthwhile event by joining us for lunch at the pavilion for $10 and taking part in the silent auction and raffles. For more information or to donate a prize or be a hole sponsor, call Sharon Keating.

Our seniors have been busy as usual. On June 2, 18 guys played as George Cullum showed the way with the low net (31). Pat Cowan was closest-to-the-hole on No. 6; Don McGhee came closest on No. 8. George McDowell made the longest putt on No. 9. On June 9, 22 seniors played with Gary Effenbeck posting the low net of 31 and Steve Hammarstrom coming in second with a 32. On hole No. 6, Dave Johnsrud came closest-to-the-hole and Mark Hutton took the honor on No. 8. Ed Robinson made the longest putt. Seniors (including ladies) are invited to come out Monday at 9 a.m. to join the fun.

When the ladies golfed June 3, the team of Jane Tongen, Jan Stenga and Tanya Boedeker made up the winning team. Louise Schadle won the most-putts prize, Jan Stenga posted the low net (30) and Tanya Boedeker was closest-to-the-hole on No. 8. On June 10 , Jan Stenga, Kathi Nielson, Cheryl Hammarstom and Myrna Cowan were the winning team. Closest-to-the-hole on both Nos. 6 and 8 was Jane Tongen, who went on to birdie both. Tying for the most putts prize was Jan Stenga and Shirley Johnsrud. Ladies play at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.

The Tuesday Night Couples on June 3 played a "Scotch Double with a Twist of Lime." Eleven couples alternated shots with the men teeing off on odd-numbered holes and ladies on the even. Charlie and Lore Weimer took first place, Pat and Myrna Cowan came in second; third place went to Del and Sally Hoagland and Jerry and Kathy Herring came in fourth. This week, there were 14 couples in two-couple teams playing "Pink Lady" -- one person designated as A-player (playing hole Nos. 1, 5, 9), B-player (Nos. 2, 6), C-player (Nos. 3-7) and D-player (Nos. 4, 8) with the "pink" ball (which this D-player found to be cursed)! The designated-pink-player's score was added to the best score from the other three players for the total team score. The winning team was Al and Rhonda Dettmer and Dave and Shirley Johnsrud with a net 64. The Dan and Linda Murphy and Dave and Jane Stein team came in second. Thanks to couple-in-charge, George and Sue Stein. Couples can join the fun every Tuesday night for a new and different game by calling the pro shop to sign up.

The Wednesday Night Men's League had a "Big Wednesday" on May 28. Information is "sketchy," so my apologizes to the other members of George Stein's team, who won in a chip-off against Dave Keating's team. Dave also won longest drive and closest-to-the-hole on No. 8. Al Dettmer was closest on No. 6. On June 4, the team of Dave Stein, Tim Bowser, Brian Wodarek and Ezra Johnson took first place. Second place went to Kip Leach, Richard Harmon, Paul Zimmerman and Chuck Obendorf. Dave Stein was closest-to-the-hole on No. 6, Jeff Gilman on No. 8, and closest with his second shot on No. 9 was Richard Harmon. Don McGhee had the longest drive. The guys play at 6 p.m. each Wednesday.

The Thursday Night Ladies are still getting organized and are hoping to get more gals out for a fun night of golf. Call Dee Richards for more information.

SHARON'S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: The one good thing about playing as badly as I have been lately is that it's easier to remember the occasional good shot.

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