Mixing it up

Birch Ridge Report

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006

Golf can be a mixed-up game for sure. Sometimes that’s good and at other times, not so good. Personally, I think it’s my golf ball that’s mixed-up. Why else would it go right when I obviously hit it left or go over the green when it was supposed to go in the hole?

Surely it can’t be the way I hit it, since I always try to follow the advice of Chi Chi Rodgriguez — “Think of a golf ball like a clock. Hit it at 6 o’clock and make it go toward 12 o’clock.” The problem is staying in the right time zone.

But mixing it up can be a good thing, too. Just like this past Saturday. While the Ninilchik Dissidents held their annual tournament at Birch Ridge, several Birch Ridge golfers played in the Bird Homestead Fall Classic. I don’t have any information on the tournament at Birch Ridge, but I do know that those of us who played Funny River had a great time (in the rain, of course!), even though the results were a mixed bag. But I’ll leave that for the Bird Homestead Golf Course to report on, while I cover the happenings at Birch Ridge ...

The Combined Tournament set for this Saturday and Sunday is a great way for Birch Ridge golfers to “mix it up” with the Kenai Golf Course. The last day to sign up at either golf course is today before 6 p.m. Golfers will play one day at Birch Ridge and one day at the Kenai course with an awards banquet at the end of play on Sunday in Kenai. The fee is $90 to play for either golf association.

Ladies Cup results are in (at least most of them). The first-place winners are the team of Ardie Crawford and Jessica Sunberg, which is pretty amazing when you consider that Jessica played most of the season being very pregnant. What a kick it was to watch her try to reach out over that future golfer she’s carrying to hit the golf ball. And since the winners are awarded the opportunity to take charge of the Birch Ridge Ladies Cup next year, Linda and I are happy to pass along the honor. We know we will be in good hands. Way to go, gals!

But we have a 3-way tie for second place. The team of Lisa Parker and Paula Crowley will play the team

of Jana Query/Sally Hoagland and the team of Tanna Chenault/Nan Weaver in a nine-hole match at a time to be determined by the three teams (but no later than Sept. 9). The best team net score will take second place. Good luck to all.

Attention all Ladies Cup members: We have scheduled the end of season banquet for Sept. 22, 6 p.m. at Mykels Restaurant. Please let Linda Murphy or myself know as soon as possible if you will be able to attend. Even though I know we’ll have a great time, I have “mixed” feelings, since that’s our last official get together for the year, and that makes me really sad.

I was a little confused, (aka “mixed-up”) last week when I reported that this would be the last week for Men’s Night. It seems the guys will continue to play until Sept. 13. Evidently there was no confusion on the part of the winning team Aug. 23, as they combined the skills of Phil Christensen, Al Dettmer, Paul Zimmerman and Rick Harmon to post a 4-under par. Scott Kempf was closest to the hole on No. 6, Rick Harmon was closest to the hole on No. 8 and Phil Christensen had the longest drive.

And after all those cool, rainy Mondays they’ve had to play this year, 17 seniors were happy to see the sun shining this week. Gordon Briscoe was really happy, scoring the low net, 32. Paul Zimmerman was even happier being closest to on both No. 6 and No. 8. And I’m sure Chiya Bazan was smiling as she made the longest putt. Next week the seniors will play on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., instead of Monday, due to the Labor Day holiday.

And, of course, our Tuesday Night Couples really know how to mix it up. This week nine couples showed up to see what John and Jane Tongen had planned. And, as always, they did their best to keep everyone confused. The men teed off on the even holes and the women teed off on the odd holes, with alternate shots into the hole. (Hey, Jane, shouldn’t it have been the other way around — men are odd and women get even?) Sorry, guys, I couldn’t resist that one.

The Tongens must have known what they were doing, though, since they took first place, with the Murphys (Dan and Linda) coming in second and the Cowans (Pat and Myrna) taking third. Even though there wasn’t any crying in the beer, everyone was sad, it being Katy Coyle’s last night with us. Whatever will we do without Katy in the clubhouse to take care of us? We will miss you, Katy! But, couples, you don’t want to miss next Tuesday — we don’t have many opportunities left to mix (and golf).

No tips from our favorite tipster, Tom, this week, but we do have something from our illustrious owner, Pat Cowan, that I’m sure you will enjoy:

Ever wonder why golf is growing in popularity and why people who don’t even play, go to tournaments or watch golf on TV? Not intending to offend fans of tennis, basketball, football or baseball, the following truisms may shed some light:

Golf is an honorable game, with the overwhelming majority of players being honorable people who don’t need referees;

Professional golfers get paid in direct relationship to how well they play and don’t hold out for a better contract or demand more money because of another player’s deal;

When golfers make a mistake, there is no one there to cover for them or back them up;

The PGA raises more money for charity in one year than the NFL does in two;

You can watch the best golfers in the world at any major tournament, up close, all day, every day for $25-$30, while a seat in the nose bleed section at the Super Bowl may go for $300-$1,000, if you’re lucky;

In golf, you cannot fail 70 percent of the time and make millions of dollars in a season like the best baseball hitters do with a .300 batting average;

Golf courses don’t ruin neighborhoods; and

You can hear birds chirping on golf courses.

Thanks, Pat!

SHARON’S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: “What better way to spend your Labor Day weekend than to ‘work’ at your golf game at Birch Ridge? So go ‘mix-it-up,’ have a great time and be safe! And here’s a little golf blessing I thought I’d pass along: May your ball lie in green pastures, and not in still waters.”

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