Birch Ridge Report: Driving range improves

Posted: Thursday, July 03, 2003

OK, so one slight clarification from last week. The fade, draw, blah, blah? For those who are right-handed, the direction of the ball is opposite. Confused? Good. Read it again and just keep aiming for the middle of the fairway and call it what you will.

Lots o' happenings going on at Birch Ridge with even more in the works. What you really must acquaint yourselves with right this minute, however, is the new and highly improved driving range. Special thanks on the 150-foot, continuous driving mat goes to Mike Chenault for heavy equipment usage, Mike Azzara and Davis Block for aggregate material and 4D Carpet One Interiors for mat material. All the better to improve your swing-drive-lie, no?

Tuesday Morning Ladies group did another bang-up job on the course the week before last. First-place, low gross winner Lynne Reynolds was definitely beaming, along with first-place, low net winner Kathy Herring. Closest-to winner on No. 6 was Wendy Boyle; on No. 8, Chiya Bazan.

This last week's winning team included Lynne Reynolds, Dee Richards, Jan Stenga and Marilyn Kirkham. Sandy McDaniel won the coveted fewest putts award, while longest putt prize went to Marilyn Kirkham. Long drive kudos to Lynne Reynolds. Next Tuesday begins with a shotgun start scramble at 8:30 a.m., accompanied by the Monday morning seniors and a potluck.

A record was set at last Wednesday's Men's Night: The winning team of Dave Keating, Bob Sizemore, Rob Smithwick and Charles Simons won with 7-under from the blue tees! What a dynamic duo ... times two. Not that the second-place winners are slouches, with Mo-wow and what-a-drive-Redford, Todd Eskelin, Tom Maloney and Gerald Winkler. Mike Hollingsworth was in there with a pure birdie on No. 4. Gerald Winkler showed them what the longest drive looks like, while Bob Sizemore and Roger Jones were closest to the pin on Nos. 6 and 8, respectively.

Couples afternoon this last Saturday was another winner. My mate and I played; only humility prevents me from putting our names on the winners' roster ... not! Jenny and Rob Smithwick were our first-place winners with a score of 30 (can you believe that?) Just how many of Jenny's drives did you use, Rob? Mary Jo and John Davis proudly took second place. Ten couples, good food, good weather, not too many arguments ... hey, it was fun.

Last, but certainly never least, Monday Morning Seniors came through again. George Collum made the list with first place, followed by Darrell Jelsma for second. Closest-to on No. 6 was Chuck Rider, while the same on No. 8 was achieved by George Collum. Gary Effenbeck came shining through with the longest putt on No. 5.

Just a reminder: the second Tuesday of every month pits the Seniors and Tuesday Morning Ladies together for golf (a handicapped scramble) and a potluck. Make sure you possess a USGA handicap or you can't play. Check-in no later than 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. tee off.

Don't forget July 14. The Wells Fargo-sponsored all-Alaskan Pro-Am tournament here at Birch Ridge will start at 11 a.m. Afterward, Wells Fargo hosts a barbecue for all players and observers, immediately followed by the Alaska Pro Skins Game. Two-year consecutive winner Billy Bomar joins our own Tom Walsh and three winners of the morning's pro-am for nine. Get out here and enjoy this event with the rest of us.

The fifth annual Birch Ridge Golf Association Junior Golf Tournament is the place to be July 17. Those 8 to 12 will play nine holes from the red tees; 13- and 14-year-olds will play 18 holes from the white; and 15- to 17-year-olds will play 18 from the blue. Sign-up is definitely no later than 8 a.m. on the day of the tournament, with a tee-off scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Fees are $20. An awards banquet for all the players, parents and sponsors will follow. (If you want to be humbled in your dotage, come watch these youths!)

July 19 and 20 are the dates for our Peninsula Amateur Tournament. This is not only Birch Ridge's 30th anniversary, but the same anniversary for this tourney, the longest continuous open on the peninsula. We've dwindled it down from three days to two so that those of you who work won't have to take sick leave to play ... oh, you didn't?

Flighted by handicaps, you'll be playing scratch in your flight. (That means you don't get to use that long drive someone else made.) Call the pro shop to sign up and get a tee time for Saturday; the latest available tee time is 1 p.m. You'll be called and informed of your Sunday tee time. Good luck.

Well, the sun is out; no, wait, it's raining; no ... sun's out ... no. Oh, for Pete's sake, just go play golf.

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