Birch Ridge Report

Rain, Rain go away!

Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006

Someone told me that when it starts raining on the golf course, it's God’s way of telling us we’re playing too slow. OK, God, if we promise to pick up our pace of play, would you please make it stop?

Have you ever noticed that when it starts pouring down rain, you’re having the game of your life? Bob Hope once said, “If I’m on the golf course when lightning starts, I get inside fast. I figure if God wants to play through, I’ll let him.” But Lee Trevino offers this bit of advice, “If you get caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, just hold up a 1-iron ...not even God can hit a 1-iron.”

All I know is, if we wait for the sun to shine, we may not be doing much more golfing this season, so a little rain may not be so bad.

Based on the reports from the different leagues this past week, the rain has challenged even the most hard core golfers among us.

On Monday, 11 seniors proved just what a hardy bunch they are when they showed up to play in the drizzle. And with the low net of the day, Don McGhee was certainly not too bothered by the little drops of wet stuff. Evidently, neither were Darell Jelsma (who had the longest putt and was closest to the hole on number 6) and Jerry Norris (closest to the hole on number 8).

The 9 golfers who came out for the Wednesday Night Men’s League on Aug. 9 evidently weren’t bothered by the weather, either. Just ask Gary Effenbeck, Paul Zimmerman and Steve Payment who made up the winning team. Not only was Paul on the winning team, he was the closest to the hole on number 6 and had a pure birdie. Phil Christensen also had a pure birdie and was the closest to the hole on number 8. And I wonder if Darell Jelsma’s ball was high and dry when he made the longest drive?

Unfortunately the Tuesday Morning Ladies did cancel due to the weather. But five truly hard core couples competed not only for the winning spot but also who could get the wettest for the Tuesday Night Couples this week. Not letting the liquid stuff falling from the skies put a damper on our good time, we followed the lead of our wet and wild couple in charge, John and Jane Tongen.

The Murphys (Dan & Linda), the Hammarstroms (Steve & Cheryl), the Cowans (Pat & Myrna) and yes, the Keatings (my husband Dave and I) were all crazy enough to play in the rain with the Tongens and then drip all over the clubhouse afterward. I’m happy to report that the team of the Murphys and the Keatings won the top spot. As for who was the wettest, I think there was a five-way couple tie for that honor!

So, all you fun-loving couples, get out the rain gear and/or the warm clothes and meet us next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to tee off at 6. Just call the pro-shop (262-5270) and get your names on the list. Who knows, maybe we’ll be in shorts and sunshine.

We sadly bid a fond farewell to Mike Vasilie (who has taken such good care of us in the clubhouse every Tuesday night) as he heads back to Chicago, but we look forward to Katy Coyle taking over that role since we all know how well she can handle us!

Dave Stein reports that the Men's Birch Ridge Cup regular season is over. The winner of the Red Division is the team of Bob Sizemore and Caleb Sizemore and the Blue Division winning team is George Stein and Dave Stein. Playoffs are now in progress with 4 teams from each division. Monday will be the final night and playoff final match.

Rain or shine, the BASSACKWARDS Tournament this Saturday is guaranteed to be a lot of fun. So if you haven’t already signed up, it’s not too late. For only $40, you will have a good time, play some golf (good or otherwise), be fed a great steak dinner put on by the association and have a chance to win some great prizes. Shotgun start is at 5 p.m.


Golf etiquette refers to the conduct of a player on the golf course. It is the obligation of every golfer, regardless of playing ability, to learn early certain practices and customs that help to make the game pleasurable for all players.

Unfortunately acceptable golf etiquette is not practiced by all golfers, largely because many have not had the opportunity to learn the do’s and don’ts of golf etiquette. Ignorance, however, does not excuse improper acts on the golf course. It is in the best interest of everyone associated with golf to practice proper etiquette and to help others who may not be aware of expected behaviors.

Beginning golfers should place a higher priority on golf etiquette than learning to swing a club, for many reasons. It will help maintain the good condition of the golf course, it will help keep play moving at a constant tempo and it will help to make the game pleasurable for all who play. Learning where to stand, when to be quiet, how to repair divots and ball marks, and how to play at a reasonable rate of speed are all important when it comes time to attack the golf course.

Certain practices are expected of golfers. Taking care of the course is important since a well-kept golf course is a pleasure to play. On the other hand, a course with many divot marks, unkept bunkers, and ball marks not repaired on the greens is not fun to play.

As a teaching professional and golf course superintendent, I have a great deal of control over the condition of the course, but the players can influence the general condition through their actions (or lack of). All golfers should be diligent in taking care of the course thru the following practices:

Replace all divots

Repair all ball marks

Keep carts away from greens (30’) and clubs off greens

Smooth all traps and bunkers

Your fellow golfers will thank you.


On the subject of golf etiquette (sort of), Birch Ridge is a great place to meet new people, but I wouldn’t recommend picking up the wrong ball to do so.

And it’s probably not a good idea to pick up “lost” balls while they’re still rolling.

When I think my shot will hit the foursome on the green up ahead, I can never decide if I should shank a lay up or wait until the green is clear to top the ball halfway there.

I know the rake by the sand trap is there to smooth out the sand trap after hitting out of it, but I think it’s also there to help ease our guilt about playing golf instead of doing our yard work.

And I’m especially impressed by a golfer who rarely helps out around the house, but always replaces a divot, repairs a ball mark and rakes the sand trap!

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