Let’s travel back in time. It’s 1973, which marks the first year that Birch Ridge Golf Course was open for business under the leadership of Tom and Gail Smith, my maternal grandparents.
Move forward a bit to 1988, my birth year, and enter Pat and Myrna Cowan, the new partners with Tom Smith in the running and improving of Birch Ridge. The Cowans are my paternal grandparents.
Give this pairing five years until 1993, when Pat and Myrna Cowan take full control of the golf course for the next 24 years.
It’s now 2017 and once again the gavel has been passed from one generation to another to myself, my lovely wife, Anna, and our two boys, Joshua and Ethan.
It has been a great and amazing journey to get to this point, and now my grandparents can finally semi-retire, because let’s face it, if you’ve met them, you know they don’t slow down.
For all of those who grew up here and had the pleasure of meeting them, I think I can safely assume it was an experience that improved your life. Under their amazing tutelage, I have been able to make my way home and continue the legacy that they so graciously held on to long enough for me to get here.
I invite all of you to our 2017 Preseason Party on Saturday from 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to say hi, have some free food and help me in thanking Papa Pat and Grandma Myrna for their amazing contribution to this great town as well as usher in a new era for the golf course and the town of Soldotna.
The party also will feature a sale, a last chance to get an early bird discount on season passes, a chance to hit range balls and an opportunity to talk with other hibernating golfers and generally get in the golfing mood.
As for the condition of the course, the snow is going fast. We are hoping to open the range to the public by next weekend, with the course possibly opening on temporary greens by then, as well.