Nostalgia abounds at course

Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2009

There has been a lot of nostalgia around the golf course for me these past few weeks. Last week was the Junior Golf Clinic. An amazing 43 juniors turned out to learn from the pros - Tom Walsh, Bill Engberg and Nolan Rose - and pick up some pointers. On Friday I watched the parents as they observed and walked with their junior golfers. It brought back fond memories of the times when I accompanied my junior golfer around the course as he played in various tournaments.

Last week there were 43 juniors in the Junior Golf Clinic and the week prior 24 kids participated in "Hook a Kid on Golf." It is great to see the level of interest from our community and the junior golfers. It shows the importance of having a place where the kids can come out to get fresh air, exercise and make new friends. Golf also teaches essential life skills like sportsmanship, respect, integrity, honesty and self-control. With the clinics over, I look forward to seeing the juniors out on the course and participating in the Ninth Annual Birch Ridge Golf Junior Golf Tournament on June 25.

There is lots of activity these days -- league play for men, women and seniors; match play for the men and women; a tournament almost every weekend; Men's Night; Tuesday Morning Ladies; and the groups that just like to get together and play a round of golf. There is activity around the clock these days and it is great to be a part of it all!

Last Saturday was the 31st Annual June Scramble. Over the past few years we have seen the younger golfers, the kids who previously played in the Junior Golf Tournaments, winning the June Scramble. Saturday was no different -- in Division 1 the team of Justin Herrmann, B. K. Kaiser, Britany Bomar and Steve Dexheimer won with a score of 56. Or, to put it another way, 14 under. That is good golf! Justin played junior golf at Kenai and Britany played junior golf at Settler's Bay. Division 2 was won by the seasoned, experienced team of Eddie Sibolboro, Loren Smagge, Rudy Zaborowski and Mandy Hanson shooting a stellar 63.

The June Scramble saw lots of pure birdies, eleven overall with B.K. Kaiser having four all alone. Eddie Sibolboro and Robbie Smithwick each had two pure birdies while Britany Bomar, Mark Griffin and Lorne Smagge each had one. Closest to the hole was won by Britany Bomar on No. 5/14, Jerry Herring on No. 6/15 and Dave Keating on No. 8/17. Long-drive honors were captured by Jennifer Cowan for the women and Mark Griffin for the men. It was a beautiful day so there wasn't too much complaining. A complete list of the teams and scores can be found at the end of the article.

Senior League continues every Monday morning to just have a blast! This past week Gordon Briscoe and Chuck Rider each carded a score of net 30 -- nice score gentlemen! John Davis had an assortment of honors including being closest to on No. 6 and then making a birdie putt that was in the 12- to 15-foot range. No. 8 saw Grant Fritz put a ball in close. The end-of-year party fund got an extra boost as no one took honors on the long putt hole.

Myrna Cowan and Judy Sudnikovich had a great outing with the Tuesday Morning Ladies. Myrna and Judy were the low net team and then capped that with Myrna getting the "bingo, bango, bongo" prize with Judy putting her ball close to the hole on No. 8. Jane Tongen's putter was working well Tuesday and she garnered the least number of putts.

Couple's Night continues to be extremely popular. Fourteen couples came out on a somewhat overcast night to participate in a two-person, "9 Best Net" event. Jerry and Kathy Herring were successful in acing out the other couples for top honors. Second place was determined in a card-off with Carol and Vic Hussey just nudging Sue and George Stein out of the money. For those couples who golf and have not had the pleasure of participating I would encourage you to come out to play Tuesday nights. George and Sue do a wonderful job of organizing the event followed by great food and conversation.

This Saturday is the Best Rotary Midnight Sun Scramble. This is another event which brings back incredible memories. For many years my son did not play golf but would accompany my husband and I to the course. During these outings he became friends with Sam Best, who until a few years ago was the host of the Midnight Sun Scramble. My son was Sam's assistant helping prepare the food while the rest of us were scrambling around the course hoping to bring in the low score of the night.

The Midnight Sun Scramble will get under way with tee-off at 5 p.m. Saturday; check-in at 4 p.m. For further details talk to a Soldotna Rotary Club member or call Sam Best at 262-7492. You can also call Birch Ridge Golf Course to sign up. Soldotna Rotary puts the money raised from this event back into projects here in the community. It is a great way to spend the longest day of the year.

Rally for the Cure golf tournament is June 28. If you are interested in donating prizes for the auction, being a hole sponsor or playing in the tournament contact Judy Keck-Walsh at 262-1560.

The Birch Ridge Pro Am Tournament is July 6. This is an exciting event as golf pros from around Alaska come in hopes of taking home the top cash prize.

Weekly Events (please check in at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown below):

* Monday's - 9:00 AM - Senior League

* Tuesday's - 10:00 AM - Tuesday Morning Ladies League

* Tuesday's - 6:00 PM - Couple's Night

* Wednesday - 6:00 PM - Men's Night

* Thursday's - 6:00 PM - Ladies Night

Upcoming Events:

* June 20: Best - Rotary Midnight Sun Scramble

* Thursday, June 25th: 9th Annual Birch Ridge Golf Association Junior Golf Tournament (Ages 8 -17)

* Sunday, June 28th: Rally for the Cure. Contact Judy Keck-Walsh @ 262-1650 for further information.

* Monday, July 6: Pro Am Tournament with All Alaska Pro's followed by All Alaskan Pro Skins Game and Barbeque

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

June Scramble

at Birch Ridge, Par 70

Division 1

(Steve Dexheimer, Justin Herrmann, B.K. Kaiser, Britany Bomar), 56; (Gordon Griffin, Mark Griffin, Bob Sizemore, Derek Kaufmann), 58; (Zac Cowan, Aaron Andrus, Taylor Jackson, Nolan Rose), 59; (Rusty Weaver, Alan Weaver, Derrill Weaver, Mike Chenault), 61; (Pat Cowan, Tim Cowan, Jennifer Cowan, Curtis Smith), 61; (John Davis, Barry Brewer, Bea Lashley, Robbie Smithwick), 63.

Division 2

(Rudy Zaborowski, Mandy Hanson, Eddie Sibolboro, Lorne Smagge), 63; (Charles Weimer, Mike Hollingsworth, Jay Kriner, Darrel Jelsma), 64; (Dave Stein, George Stein, Sue Stein, Dave Keating), 66; (Ardie Crawford, Jeff Adamic, Dave Grove, Mike Azzara), 67; (Jerry Herring, Kathy Herring, Rita Geller, Daniel Drake), 67.

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