It's not over 'til it's over

Birch Ridge Golf Report

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2007

It ain't over 'til it's over. You hear it a lot, especially in sports and certainly on the golf course. So, I'm here to remind you once again. It ain't over 'til it's over. Even though our official golf season is over, it isn't really over until the snow flies or the frost settles in for good or the darkness takes over, whichever comes first. So hang in there Birch Ridge golfers. Take advantage of the continuing nice weather and the beautiful condition of the course, grab your golf clubs and come on out to get in as many strokes as you can. OK, let me rephrase that. Take every opportunity you can to continue to reduce your number of strokes. Call to check on play times since they are subject to change daily.

Maybe it's time to consider a different name for our year-end golf tournament, affectionately known as the "Cold Weather Classic." This past Saturday was anything but "cold." One thing it was for sure, though ... a lot of fun for the 21 couples who played the Scotch Twosome-format.

One of the biggest challenges for many of us was to not get too "hot." For me, that meant I had mistakenly dressed for 'cold weather.' For my beloved husband and partner, Dave, it meant keeping his "cool" when I put his perfectly-placed drive perfectly into the woods. We figured out early on that we weren't going to be among the winners and decided to just have a great time ... which we did. Others managed to keep cool, have fun and still win. Scoring the low gross on the day with a 77 was Zac and Jennifer Cowan. Second low gross went to Tom and Judy-Keck Walsh with an 84. Tom and Judy also tied with four other couples for the low net of 65. Given the choice of accepting second-place low gross or participating in the chip-off for first-place low net, they wisely opted for the second-place low gross. In the chip-off for low net, it was tough to get much closer than Al Dettmer without putting the ball in the hole. So Al and Rhonda took the low net honor and Greg and Elaine Anderson came in second place with the next closest chip. The two other couples attempting to beat out the Dettmers were Ken Schaeffer and Carolyn Turkington and Pat and Myrna Cowan.

Had Tom and Judy elected to compete in the chip-off and won, two other couples would have tied for second-place low gross. Dan and Linda Murphy and Pat and Myrna Cowan each had a gross 85. Whew! Just goes to show that the handicap system is alive and well at Birch Ridge. Other notable performances were from Jerry Herring with the longest drive for men and Paula Crowley, longest drive for women. Closest to the hole on hole Nos. 6 and 15 was Tom Walsh. On Nos. 8 and 17, Zac Cowen was closest to the hole. Even after all that golf, it still wasn't over. There was all that food, drink and merriment to top off the day. Thank you once again, Pat and Myrna. Our seniors are the first to tell you that it isn't over yet. On Sept. 24, 19 players came out and played a scramble with a party and food following golf. The winning team was Darell Jelsma, Ray Hamby, Chiya Bazan and Don McGhee. Closest to the hole was Steve Hammarstrom on No. 6 and Dave Johnsrud on No. 8. The team with the longest putt was Judi Arlan, Shirley Johnsrud, Steve Tachick and Paul Zimmerman. This week, 13 seniors knew it wasn't over yet. Gordon Briscoe posted the low net (31) and made the longest putt. Closest to the hole on No. 6 was Pat McElroy and on No. 8 it was Ray Hamby. I guess the seniors will let us know when it's over. A huge thank you goes out to Gary Effenbeck for leading the way with not only the seniors, but also for the Wednesday Night Men's League. Sadly, Tuesday Night Couples are over. Twelve couples showed up on Sept. 25 to make the final week memorable. The Tongens didn't disappoint, challenging everyone with the infamous two-person, string-scramble format. The combined handicap of each couple determined how much string they could use to advance the ball without counting it as a stroke.

Winners were Pat and Myrna Cowan (first), Darell and Susan Jelsma (second) Jerry and Kathy Herring (third) and George and Sue Stein (fourth). Tom Walsh was closest to the hole on both No. 6 and No. 8, and everyone partied! More thank yous: Kathy Herring, who did a great job with the Tuesday Morning Ladies; Jim McWilliams and John Tongen, for helping out immensely around the course; Mike Chenault, once again, for the use of equipment; the ground crew for doing a great job on the course; the entire staff for being so wonderful at doing what they do; and the Birch Ridge Golf Association for all of their support.

SHARON'S FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE SEASON: I usually try to end with a touch of humor, but the thought of the season ending makes me sad. So, instead, I will reflect on a few reasons why I love golf, beginning with all of the wonderful people I have met at Birch Ridge that I have come to know and love. On any given day, you can go out to play, have fun, relieve some stress, get your exercise, build a relationship, form a new friendship or strengthen an existing one. How many places can you do all of that, and see a group of teenagers ahead of you, a group of senior citizens behind you and a family in the fairway next to you, all doing the same thing. Is it really over?

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