Since when did golf become a water sport? Since association members decided that staying dry wasn't nearly as much fun as playing in the Combined Tournament between the Birch Ridge Golf Association and the Kenai Golf Association for the honor of displaying the trophy and being declared the winning team.
So, despite the torrential rains that poured down on the Kenai Golf Course this past Saturday, members of both associations piled on the rain gear and played their hearts out. I, for one, would not have missed it for the world. Because, in spite of the weather and playing conditions, having the opportunity to play for our association made it all worthwhile. Plus I had the opportunity to play with some really great ladies.
I think Sue Stein expressed it best. As we were driving through a cart path covered in at least six inches of rain, she began singing ... "Row, row, row your cart, gently 'round the course, merrily, merrily" ... you get the idea. Needless to say, we laughed a lot. It was either that or cry, and we sure didn't need any more wet stuff. The Combined Tournament was introduced back in the mid-90s by Don and Carol Morgan as a way to build camaraderie between the two courses. In 2000, the Kenai Association established the scoring system that we still use, which rewards net scores (after applying the player's handicap) versus gross scores.
I'm happy to report that at the end of play at Birch Ridge on Sunday, the Birch Ridge Association was able to bring home the trophy with a final score of 60-10.
After two days of play, Brennan Jackson of Birch Ridge scored both the low gross (155) as well as the low net (147), scoring nine points for his association. Other contributors to the Birch Ridge win in the Championship Division were George Stein in second place with a net 148 for six points, and Aaron Andrus in fourth place with a net 153 for three points.
Jerry Herring took the low net in the Men's First Flight Division with a 144, adding another seven points for Birch Ridge. Other Birch Ridge players adding to our victory were Paul Zimmerman with a 151 and six points, Gary Effenbeck with a 154 for three points and Mike Edwards with a 155 and two points.
The Birch Ridge ladies swept their division adding a total of 24 points. First place went to Pat Bird with an impressive 143. In second place (with a 146) was Rhonda Dettmer. Taking the low gross for the ladies and third place net was Kathy Herring. Kathy also had the longest drive for the ladies on Sunday at Birch Ridge. Sue Stein took fourth place as well as keeping me laughing while I barely held on to take fifth place. I would also like to thank the Kenai ladies for playing and helping to make it a fun event, in spite of the rain.
Other notable performances were from Paul Zimmerman who had the longest drive for the men at Birch Ridge on Sunday. Todd Eskelin, representing Kenai, was closest to the hole on Nos. 6 and 15. And then there was George Stein who managed to beat out his wife Sue for the closest to the hole on Nos. 8 and 17. Shame on you, George!
A special thanks to everyone from both associations who contributed to making the Combined Tournament another success under extremely difficult conditions. Here's hoping it continues to be the kind of tournament that Don Morgan first envisioned, and continues to build camaraderie between all of the local golf courses in the future. Let's just see if we can't order up some sunshine next year. I really don't think golf was intended to be a water sport. Don't forget to sign up for the Cold Weather Class, Sept. 29! Attention Birch Ridge Cup Ladies ... don't forget our end-of-season banquet scheduled for Sept. 21 at Mykels. If you haven't already called Ardie Crawford or Jessica Sundberg to confirm, please do. I know they have a fun night planned for us,
Reports for the Wednesday Night Men and the Monday Morning Seniors will be in next week's report.
The Tuesday Night Couples are still going strong, but I'm sad to report that Dave and I were not one of the 15 couples that played this week. Reports are that everyone had a great time and I would expect nothing less, with John and Jane Tongen in charge. They played a two-person "shamble." Each person hit their drive, chose the best of the two and then played their own ball from that point into the hole. The "twist" was that if anyone made a "poley" (a putt longer than the flag pole), they both were able to hit their drive on the next hole from the most forward tee box.
With a four-way tie for first place, another "card-off" determined the winners as follows: first place Marv and Jan St. Clair; second place Steve and Sally Tachick; third place Tom and Tanya Boedeker; and fourth place John and Linda Dahlgren. John also was the closest to the hole on No. 6.
Time's running out, so don't be left high and dry and miss out on the last few couples' nights we have left.
We bid a sad but fond farewell for the season to Bill Engberg who leaves us next Tuesday for warmer (and dryer) places. Tom Walsh would like to express his appreciation to Bill for all of his hard work on the course, with the Juniors and Ladies clinics, with tournaments and everything else that he does. And on behalf of the association, I would certainly second that!
SHARON'S THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: After playing in the Combined Tournament on Saturday in Kenai, I announced to those standing nearby that I needed to remove the three layers I was wearing under my rain gear and wring out my underwear. The immediate response was, "Please don't." So I went home (and did)!
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