Birch Ridge Golf Report: Today is the last day to sign up for Saturday's Phil Turkington Golf Classic

Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010

There's still time to register for the Phil Turkington Golf Classic hosted by the Soldotna Elks. The event will be Saturday with check in at 7 a.m. and an 8 a.m. shotgun start. At the end of play there will be a steak dinner at the Elks Lodge. Register by today by contacting either Birch Ridge Golf Course or call the Elks Lodge at 262-8270 or Gary Brumley at 398-2847. Money raised from this tournament goes to scholarships for local graduating high school seniors. Hope to see you out there sharing stories of Phil and supporting this next year's high school graduates.

* One of the most awesome tournaments of the year is coming up Aug. 21, the Bassackwards Tournament. We play the course backwards, from the ninth green to the eighth green, then eighth green to seventh until you've completed nine holes, backwards. You can put together your own A,B,C,D player team or sign up individually. If you haven't played in the past, you have to give it a try! It's also a good way to pick up some tips for when you play your normal game.

* Last week's Peninsula Amateur was a great event with 26 players -- 15 men and 11 women -- out to try their amateur skills in wet, followed by more wet weather. After recording a victory in the Senior Peninsula Amateur, Ardie Crawford came out to also capture the women's Peninsula Amateur. Ardie won the women's low gross with Margaret Stanley taking second place low gross. The women's low net was won by Kathy Herring with Sue Stein securing second place low net. In the men's division, Beau Forrest won the low gross, topping defending champion Nolan Rose. The men's low net was won by Aaron Andrus with Gary Dawkins having a great round on Saturday to secure second place. Long drive went to Tanna Chenault (women) and Jesse Waltemyer (men). Rita Geller was able to pick up closest to the pin on No. 8 both Friday and Saturday while Pat Cowan took the honors on No. 6 Friday and Nolan Rose on No. 6 Saturday. Following golf on Friday, everyone had the opportunity to enter a putting contest to win a new putter. Don McGhee and Sue Stein were successful and the proud owners of some great new putters! Besides the players, this event would not have been possible without all of the wonderful sponsors and organizers -- thank you for your support!

Many of the golfers playing in the this year's Peninsula Amateur talked about and remembered our friend Robbie "Pizza Boy" Smithwick. Robbie was our friend who always had a smile and a hug to share. He loved the game along with the competition it brought, encouraging the young junior golfers -- Matt, Tony, Josh and Nick, to name a few -- to try their best by betting them a pizza. In the end, the junior golfers and the rest of us were all winners for having known Robbie. We will miss you but we will never forget you!

* Senior League had 16 seniors show up on the first Monday in August to play under cool, cloudy weather. George Collum and Don McGhee tied for low net at 34 and George also took closest to on No. 6 with a tee shot 18 feet, 11 inches from the pin. Chuck Rider was close on No. at 8 feet, 7 inches and Dave Stein took long putt with a 45-inch effort on No. 9. Seniors are reminded not to forget the Elks Tournament this Saturday. Senior play resumes at 9 a.m. Monday's.

* Tuesday Morning Ladies League found 10 ladies enjoying a game of bingo, bango, bongo. Elaine Anderson had the most BBB's with Kathy Herring following her winning ways from the weekend to have a low gross 48. Two players -- Denise Cox and Carol Hussey -- tied for low net at 36. Chiya Bazan had the closest to the pin on No. 5 while the day was missing in birdies and chip-ins. The last "official" Tuesday Morning Ladies will be on Tuesday but the ladies will continue to play as long as the course remains open. Thanks go out to Elaine Anderson for organizing and coordinating this great event each Tuesday morning. You've done a fantastic job. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

* Tuesday Couples Night had some great weather for the 13 couples who turned out to play the two-person "Best 6 Holes." Everyone played their own game then teams choose the best six holes (combined net score) to obtain their score. The twist -- everyone played from the red tees. Carol Hussey along with Earl Matthis had the six best holes with a score of 35 to capture first place with second place determined in, yes once again, a card-off. Myrna and Pat Cowan nosed out Tanya and Tom Boedeker for second place with both teams recording a 37.

* The latest standings from the men's Match Cup play have the team of Mike Azzarra/Mark Azzara leading the Red Division with Jeff Hetrick/Marty Arnoldy and Tom Hodel/Mark Hutton tied for second place. Dan Green/Jay Kriner, Ray Hamby/Gordie Briscoe, and Mick Reeve/Sid Cox are in a three-way tie in the Blue Division with a few matches left to play. The Ladies Birch Ridge Cup standings have Dee Richards/Cheryl Hammarstrom sitting in first place with the remaining nine teams vying for second.

* Alaska Golf Trivia -- There are six golf courses on the Kenai Peninsula -- Soldotna, Funny River, Kenai, Nikiski, Anchor Point and Homer. The oldest course, Birch Ridge Golf Course, opened in 1973 and was designed by Thomas R. Smith.

* Erin's Tip of the Week -- compliments of Erin Bell, PGA assistant pro, Big Spring Golf Course

"You've got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference."

-- Chris Evert

Reading Greens:

* Imagine a bucket of water is spilled between your ball and the hole -- where the water would drain is where the putt will break

* Divide your "line" into three spots a foot in front of your ball, a spot where the break will be at its climax and a spot around the hole

* Use a marker to create a line on your ball

* Use this line to line up to the spot in front of your ball and have confidence in your read

* This Week's Events (Check in at least 15 minutes prior to the time shown below): Monday -- Senior League, 9 a.m.; Tuesday's -- Tuesday Morning Ladies League, 10 a.m.; Tuesday's -- Couple's Night, 6 p.m.; Wednesday -- Men's Night, 6 p.m.; Thursday's -- Ladies Night, 6 p.m.

* Upcoming Events: Saturday -- Phil Turkington Classic (Soldotna Elks Tournament); Saturday, Aug. 21 -- Bassackwards Tournament; Saturday, Aug. 28 -- Ninilchik Native Dissidents Tournament, Day 1; Sunday, Aug. 28 -- Ninilchik Native Dissidents Tournament, Day 2; Sunday, Sept. 12 -- 3rd Annual Bird & Birch Combined Tournament

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

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