Birch Ridge Golf Report: Early spring is appreciated

  • By Bill Engberg
  • Thursday, May 12, 2016 9:42pm
  • Sports

Golf has returned to the Kenai Peninsula early this spring. We are blessed to have eagles, ducks and robins flying, moose munching the birch trees, leaves and golf carts driving the fairways again.

How far ahead of previous years is the question at hand, maybe 14 days, but at least 10 days earlier than before. Each day we see more and more green grass filling in the putting greens, fairways and tee boxes. With the amazing weather forecasted this weekend, there is no telling how soon we reach midseason form.

As I write this first article of 2016, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Nolan Rose, who set the bar so very high for this weekly recap of golfing news at Birch Ridge. Nolan gave us laughs with many nicknames and a semi-true version of events that transpired on the links.

Unlike Las Vegas, what happens at Birch Ridge doesn’t always stay at Birch Ridge. More like a Kenai River fish story, the truth can be stretched and sometimes torn during the recalling of events.

Speaking of stories that actually happened on the golf course in Soldotna, Rich Lundahl once hit a ball from the wooded area left of the No. 7 fairway through a narrow opening toward the green that rolled up in the hole for an eagle two.

Witnessing such a feat during a skins game the night prior to the big skins game was impressive. Rich is a highly skilled professional, who does a wonderful trick shot/instructional clinic every year for the Palmer Junior clinic prior to the King Crab Tournament in July.

Rich, who moved to Alaska in 2008, joins our golf professional teaching staff for junior camps and adult lessons. Possible demonstrations of Rich’s show might be seen on the Mondays kicking off the Hook a Kid program and Birch Ridge Golf Association junior camp June 6 and 13. The public can attend these events and see something that used to cost $300-plus in Phoenix. The kids would love the support as well.

Now that putting greens have been worked (big thanks to Davis Block for the sand), we are ready to start our weekly groups.

Seniors tee off on Mondays at 9 a.m. in season, but for the next few weeks 10 a.m. to allow for a bit warmer temperatures.

Ladies, our beautiful gals, are golfing Tuesdays through the season with a 9:30 a.m. check-in and 10 a.m. start. The first Tuesday will May 24. The ladies are comfortable with all levels of players. So if you are wondering if you are good enough to join in, you are invited. Couples night is still Tuesday and will kick off in June. Sign-up for the Men’s and Ladies Birch Ridge Cups are underway.

The game of golf is one of the very few sports that can be played by three or four generations in a family at the same time. Learning the game as a youth is ideal but we have many people who take the game up after retirement and enjoy the game for years and years.

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