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Birch Ridge Report

A little time left

Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2006

Forget the rain (if that’s possible) and check out the condition of the course, especially the greens and tee boxes. It’s fall in Alaska and the trees and bushes are starting to turn color and the course is more beautiful than ever. Even the roughs are starting to change, making it easier to find those errant shots. You know the ones I mean, right? I agree with the person who suggested the following rule change: there should be no such thing as a lost ball, since the ball will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, making it a stolen ball and the player should not make the felony worse by taking a penalty stroke.

Makes sense to me.

Fall is a great time to play golf, but it also means that time is running out to get in those last rounds of the season. And it’s not too early to sign up for the last tournament of the year — the “Cold Weather Classic” (another one of my favorites). Don’t let the name scare you off! Just do what Alaskans do best: layer your clothing so you’re prepared for anything (I think I remember playing in shorts one year). It’s scheduled for Sept. 23, with tee-off at approximately 11 a.m. Awards banquet to follow play. Format is a man/woman Scotch twosome. Each player hits their drive; one drive is chosen and then players alternate shots into the hole. Trophies go to the 1st place low gross and 1st place low net teams with prizes awarded to 1st and 2nd place low gross and 1st and 2nd place low net teams.

Some of my favorite golf memories are from past Cold Weather Classic tournaments. For instance, take the year that my husband Dave captured on camera Myrna Cowan hitting husband Pat’s drive out of a tree on hole 4 by standing on top of the golf cart! I think that picture is still in the clubhouse. And I

believe Myrna and Pat have been known to provide comic relief on other occasions — hitting the ball backwards on number 2, taking a 13 on number 5 (hey, I know how to do that all by myself!).

This will be the 18th anniversary of the tournament and we would love to see golfers from all over come play and help us make some fun new memories. No matter what the weather, we’re sure to have a great time — we always do!

Unfortunately, time did run out for our Birch Ridge golfers this past weekend when they played Kenai in the Combined Tournament. Having fewer players from Birch Ridge made it even more challenging to defend the trophy from last year. Next year we need to get more Birch Ridge golfers out to play and better our chances of bringing the trophy back home. Congratulations to all the winners!

Final results are in from the Ladies Cup playoff in the 3-way tie for 2nd place. The team of Lisa Parker and Paula Crowley won out over the team of Tanna Chenault/Nan Weaver and the team of Jana Query/Sally Hoagland. Congratulations Lisa and Paula — you were up against some tough competition, I know.

There’s been a change in the date for the Ladies Cup end of season banquet from Sept. 22 to Sept. 29. So, ladies, mark your calendars for the 29th and let Linda Murphy or myself know as soon as possible if you can attend.

The rain was responsible for canceling the Wednesday Men’s Night on the 30th and the Seniors on Monday (I think the rain was the overall winner this season).

Next Monday, the Seniors will tee off at 10 a.m. (check-in by 9:30). Since this will be the last official day for the seniors, they’ve planned a pizza/chicken feed after play. All seniors who have played during the year are invited to participate. The seniors will continue to play (unofficially) until time runs out and the snow starts falling.

I think the Tuesday Night Couples scared the rain away this week (or maybe it was the threat of another John Tongen infamous joke!). Whatever the reason, the seven couples that came out to play were very grateful — so we will continue to “fall” for John’s jokes. And once again, John and Jane managed to challenge us with a new format. Teams made up of one couple played their own game, taking the best net score for each hole, scoring a 4 for an eagle, a 3 for a birdie, a 2 for a par, a 1 for a bogey and a 0 for others. Steve Horn and Lisa Parker were the 1st place winning team and my husband, Dave, and I “fell behind” (again), coming in 2nd.

Next week the Tuesday Night Couples will meet at 5 p.m. and tee off at 5:30 since the days are getting shorter (that “fall” thing again). So, couples, time’s running out to be a part of this fun group. Call the pro-shop (262-5270) and get your names on the list for next week.

TOM’S TIP FOR THE WEEK: It amazes me the number of times I witness amateurs reading greens from the wrong position. When I say “wrong,” I am referring to the belief that golfers can read the slope of the green by standing 2-3 paces from the ball. Most players see much more being back 6, 7 or more paces and some even prefer standing off the green for the best view. It’s easier standing farther away to read the slope angles near the hole.

Begin making it a habit to start reading the green before you step on it. Know if you are more apt to read the green better from the ball to the hole or visa versa. Start paying attention to what your best green-reading position is, understanding that you cannot make proper reads from just one position. Go halfway between the ball and the hole, as well as a few paces off the target line. Look to see if the putt is more uphill, downhill or level. This position relates to speed and good speed makes more putts.

SHARON’S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I’ve heard it said many times that the most important inches in golf are the ones between your ears. Personally, I think the most important inches are the ones between your ball and the hole as you’re making your fourth putt.

Which brings me to another rule change I’d like to propose: if a putt passes over a hole without dropping in, it should be deemed to have dropped in since the law of gravity supercedes the rules of golf.



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