Birch Ridge Report

We'll miss you, Donnie

Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2001

Words are hard to come by to express the sorrow we feel in the unexpected passing of our friend Donnie Morgan.

Donnie was sunshine and laughter, a man who loved life. In a conversation Tuesday at Birch Ridge Golf Course, Pat Cowan said of Donnie, "He was a wonderful competitor. An honorable, honest, genuinely nice man who will be sorely missed."

"When there is sorrow let there be comfort to silence it. When there is pain, let there be strength to surpass it. When there is darkness, let there be love to light your way through."

We will all miss Donnie and are better people for having known him and called him our friend.

State Champions

Birch Ridge Golf Course had two locals win Alaska state titles this year. Aaron Dexheimer, who earlier in the season won the Championship Flight of the Kenai Peninsula Amateur, went on to capture the Alaska State Amateur title in early August. Aaron will be a junior at Cal-Poly this year, but expect to see him back on the peninsula and defending his two titles next year.

Tony Azzara, a sophomore at Soldotna High School, won the Junior State Amateur title in July, defeating 25 other competitors. Birch Ridge offers its congratulations to both of these fine young golfers!

Senior League

Even with the temperatures hovering in the mid-70s to almost 80 degrees, 15 faithful participants showed up to see what kind of a contest we had dreamed up for them the week of Aug. 13. Low net scores won the vote again. It is a fun game and a true test of one's ability as well as endurance.

Scoring an incredible net score of 30, Gordon Briscoe walked off with first place with Chuck Rider trailing by only one stroke with a net 31. Well done to both of you!!

With only a 15-foot putt, Bob Olson came closest to the pin on the sixth hole, with Gordon Briscoe again getting 8 feet from the hole on the No. 8 green.

Longest putt on the fifth hole was an 18-foot putt by Bob Olson.

Aug. 20 again reverted to low net scores with Jerry Norris shooting a sizzling 39, which when adjusted for handicap brought his low net to 30. Second place was only one-half stroke off the pace with Ray Hamby capturing these honors with a spectacular round of 41 (low net 30).

Jerry Norris captured triple-crown honors for the day. Besides low net, he also had longest putt on hole 7 and closest to the pin on No. 6. Ray Hamby picked up closest to honors on No. 8.

We have only one Monday left of regular play, with the annual Senior's picnic scheduled for Monday. However, any Seniors interested in coming out and playing after that date will find others doing likewise. Come join us.

The season went by too fast, and next year's playing season is still a few months off, so come out on Mondays until the snow flies. Both the fairways and greens are in excellent shape and just waiting for some eager souls. Check-in time will remain the same, 8:30 a.m., and play when ready!

Tuesday Morning Glories

Tuesday Morning Glories usually mix things up so the game stays interesting and keeps everyone on their toes. The August 14 outing focused on putting skills with the prize for fewest putts over nine holes being awarded to Lynne Reynolds with 15 putts. That's on average 1.55 putts per hole! Nice putting!

Rounding out the morning was Kathy Herring with the low net of 22 and Jan Stenga getting it close to the pin on No. 8.

As the days get cooler, the course dewier, it is best to check with the Pro Shop to verify times on when the Morning Glories are starting each week.

Men's Night

The past two Wednesday nights have been exceptional for men's night. Not only has there been a lot of great golf but the weather cooperated as well.

On August 8, the guys decided to mix it up a bit and instead of long drive opted for closest to the line. Playing with only three players, the team of Gary Stackhouse, Mike Azzara, and Dave Kerkvliet shot an amazing 6-under to take home team honors.

Dave Kerkvliet put it closest to the pin on No. 8 while Scott Jackson nuzzled the ball up close on No. 6. Putting it close to the line on No. 9 was the retired banker and current oilman Darell Jelsma.

On August 15, 31 men showed up to try their skills at golf and luck. An outstanding number of teams -- four -- tied at 5-under.

Usually when you enter the clubhouse with a score like this you feel pretty confident that you might be in the game.

Following a chip-off, with a spectacular chip by Brian Bixby (within 11 inches of the hole), the team of Bixby, Shane Ferreiera, Rob Smithwick and Joe Patrick prevailed. Out-muscling everyone, once again, with his three wood for long drive was Bob Sizemore. Bob also captured the crown for closest to on hole 6, putting it within 6 feet, 8 inches while Jeff Sinz was within 8 feet, 4 inches on No. 8.

Men's Birch Ridge Cup Standings

As was reported a few weeks ago, the team of Gary Dawkins and John Lansing topped the Red Division while Ron Carlson and Ray Hamby took home honors in the White Division.

However, the final division standings meant little as on Monday the playoffs were held. Coming from the back of the pack to win the cup this year was the team of Phil Turkington and Jerry Maddox while Tom Walsh and Kevin O'Fallon captured second place.

Congratulations Jerry and Phil!

Upcoming Tournaments

This Saturday is the Bassackwards Tournament. Call the Pro Shop at 262-5270 to sign up or find out more about this innovative, exciting tournament.

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