Birch Ridge Golf Report

Ups and downs

Posted: Thursday, August 02, 2007

As in life, golf certainly has its ups and downs. When you think about it, that really is what golf is all about ... getting the ball up so that it can get back down and into the hole. And the more ups we need to finally get the ball down and in the hole can effect how we feel about our game. My particular golf game seems to bring me down a lot because of all the ups (and oops) I have. But I did have a particularly good round (for me) this last week. When I told my husband, Dave, what my score was, he responded with, "That's great. What hole did you stop on?" Of course, the next time out, my score was up several strokes ... so there's no chance my handicap is coming down any time soon.

Although I haven't received an official report for the annual Seward High School Booster Club Tournament held this past Saturday at Birch Ridge Golf Course, the indications are that the numbers were up (referring to funds raised, not the scores), making it the best one they've held so far. What a great event to raise funds for the Seward High School athletic programs. Way to go, Seward!

If you belong to a group that needs to raise funds, why not consider sponsoring a golf tournament at Birch Ridge? Many organizations do and have a lot of fun in the process.

On the subject of fun, it's time to mark your calendar for the Bassackwards Tournament scheduled for Aug. 18. Sponsored by the Birch Ridge Golf Association to benefit the Junior Golf Program, this tournament is one of the most fun events of the year. If you've never experienced the challenge of playing the course backwards, you really don't know what you're missing. And if you have, you know that getting up and down in the opposite direction is even more challenging than playing the course normally. Call the pro shop at 262-5270 to get your name on the list and set yourself up for a great time.

Wednesday Night Men's League on July 25 was surely an "up" night for winner, Chuck Obendorf, with his net score down to 33. Gary Effenbeck, Pat McElroy and Nick Karnos made up the low net team with a 25. Closest to the hole on No. 6 was Gary Effenbeck. Roy Bird was closest to the hole on No. 8 and also had the longest drive.

Seniors may be up in years, but they sure know how to get their scores down. Just ask George Collum who posted the low net Monday with a 29. Closest to the hole on No. 6 was Ray Hamby and on No. 8, Darell Jelsma was closest to the hole. Dave Stein had the longest putt.

The Tuesday Morning Ladies this week did a little scrambling and a lot of potlucking. Dottye Muhs, Kathy McArthur, Jan Stenga and Kathy Herring made up the first place team. The second place team was Cheryl Hammarstrom, Elaine Anderson and Myrna Cowan. Don't forget that next week is the end-of-the-year party, so bring your best game and a salad or dessert and be ready to have a great time. How can the year be up so soon? The Tuesday Night Couples are always "up," but our usually upbeat couple-in-charge, John and Jane Tongen, were missed this week with John being "down" in his back. Hope John is up and at it again soon and that they are back with us next week.

In the meantime, we were in good hands with Dan and Linda Murphy who came up with an incredibly unique format that Linda named, "Dan's Nightmare." Playing a two-person scramble we used a driver or 1-iron on hole No. 1 for our drive, a 2-wood or 2-iron for our drive on No. 2, a 3-wood or 3-iron on No. 3 and so on ending with a 9-wood or 9-iron for our drive on No. 9. Surprisingly, some of us learned that we could hit a 7-iron nearly as far as a driver and that the forgotten clubs in our bag actually have a purpose. What really was nice is that we didn't have to think about which club to use. It made for a fun night, especially for Ray and Roni Hamby who took first place after a three-way 'card-off.' Continuing the 'card-off' determined the Keatings (Dave & Sharon) for second place with Gary Dawkins and Cindy Hall coming in third. Thanks to Dan and Linda for doing such a great job filling in. John and Jane, we missed you both, and we really missed John's joke!

TOM'S TIP FOR THE WEEK: "A big help for those who have trouble either hitting the ball too high or too low is to simply focus on a spot either higher or lower than your primary target. For example, when hitting a shot into a green with a tight pin, pick your target well above the pin (a cloud in the sky or the top of a tree behind the green) and then make your swing, keeping that spot in mind. You will notice how much higher the ball will fly than normal.

The reverse is true for those who hit the ball too high. Pick a spot on the ground below the pin (an area on the fairway short of the flag, for instance), then try to drive the ball right into that spot. In both cases, use the club you would normally use. With a little practice on the driving range, you will see how this works. Trust your swing and see the difference in the launch angle of the two shots."

SHARON'S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: A good golfer can get "up and down" on a regular basis (getting the ball in the hole from off the green in two stokes — a chip and a putt). But for me, it's more like "up, over, beyond, around, back across and next to before ever getting down."

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