Birch Ridge Golf Report: Hook a Kid program a success again

  • By Bill Engberg
  • Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:55pm
  • Sports

The weekend weather forecast is beautiful sun and rain. So we decided to tempt fate and have me write the article and see if we can get the sun out for each of the days. Now if it does shower during the course of your rounds, feel free to blame my lovely wife who flies back home from California this week. She has big shoulders and loves to play golf on sunny days just like most of us.

Today we graduate our 2016 Hook a Kid students. The barbecue and program is sponsored by the Birch Ridge Golf Association. During the last nine years, we have grown the number of junior golfers on the peninsula by a large amount. Bob Sizemore has championed this wonderful program at both our course as well as Kenai Golf Course. Thank you from myself and the many other golf professionals that have taught through the starter course at Birch Ridge.

Tom Walsh was instrumental getting this off the ground and a huge part of the program the year we won the national award for best Hook a Kid program in the country. Nolan Rose taught most of the nine years and was a kids’ favorite year in and year out. Rich Lundahl has helped many times and we got quite the show Monday from him and his two children.

Our grounds crew pitched in to instruct between mowing and weed whacking. Thanks to C.J. Henley, Danica Schmidt and Jake Eubank. Our newest stars to instruction were the Richards sisters (five junior state championships between them). Both former Hook a Kid graduates now giving back to the game. Thanks Anika and Katelin!

Bob wanted me to mention the putting greens of Birch Ridge being the “ Best in Alaska” for the seventh straight year. A bit early for that but we will know soon during the July Pro-Am voting.

The regular junior instruction camp week starts Monday. Sign-up ends at noon Saturday. We are not completely filled yet but spots are limited. We want to kids ready to go early with check-in each day as class goes between 8 and 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Our new general manager and PGA Class A member Zac Cowan heads our teaching staff moving toward our junior week. Again, thanks go to the Birch Ridge Golf Association in their support of our future golfers’ advancement.

Pat and Myrna Cowan have made it possible for me and the other golf professionals to bring this game to the kids. So I will happily weed out Myrna’s many gardens on the golf course as payback.

Club Results

Senior Monday

Low net was a tie with 34s, going to Steve Tachick and Earl Matthis. Somehow, Steve Tachick won the closest to the pin at the sixth with a shot 75 feet away! No one hit the green at the eighth and no one made any putts of any length. However, the weather was less than desirable.

Ladies Tuesday

Nine ladies came out to play on a lovely Tuesday morning. Rita Geller was the champion of the day, winning fewest putts and low net. She also made a birdie at the eighth, covering up Kathy Herring on the skin (her Birch Ridge Cup partner, by the way). Delaine Richards got the mystery hole.

Couples Night Tuesday

Our first couples night went well, with four couples coming out to compete. Our winners were Tom and Tanya Boedeker, with a net score of 35 in Scotch doubles format. Richard Poe hit the best shot on No. 6, and Dan Murphy took the prize on No. 8. We have a birdie pot, but no one made one, so the pot carries over to next week.

Men’s Night Wednesday

We had almost twice the turnout this week, with seventeen golfers taking time to join us on the course. We had three teams tie with 33s, one of which was a three-man team. Long drive went to Greg Stein (only name on the sign, nice). Our own Dr. Tim Bowser hit it to 11 feet, 1 inch, on No. 8, and made the putt! But his pure birdie was beat out by our No. 6 closest to the pin winner Aaron Cooper, who also birdied the fourth all by himself. Thanks all to came out!

Thank you to all the members that come out and play in our competitions! There will be one more that will take place on Thursday, and it will be for a junior team! More details to come.

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