Sports -- July 05, 2007

Published on Thu, Jul 5, 2007
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by Jack Kintner

Old Birch Bay golf course loses holes, gains respect

“It’s not just a pitch and putt any more,” said Karissa Bland after playing a round on the newly revamped nine-hole Sea Links executive course at Birch Bay. “I played this when I was seven or so, but they’ve done a nice job on it. It’s a decent little short course, and really tests your short game,” she said.

Bland, this year’s 10th place finisher at the state high school golf championships held in May, birdied the 110-yard first hole with a nine iron shot that rolled to a stop inches from the pin. She kept going with her characteristic precision and accuracy until the eighth hole, a well-designed 224-yard par four that features a blind tee shot, when her second shot went over the green into a water-filled ditch.

“I hate it when that happens,” she laughed, “but this is a challenging hole. The whole course really presses you on your short game. I enjoyed it.” The affable Blaine high school graduate, class of 2007, will begin her collegiate golf career in Santa Barbara next fall.

The course overhaul began last August when new owners Homestead Northwest brought in their staff from their Lynden golf course. “We started by haying the course,” said Homestead pro Bill Chrysler, “that is, by cutting and bailing some pretty high-quality rye grass.” Chrysler and his former assistant, now Sea Links head pro Chris Jorgensen, stripped and re-seeded all the greens and then took nine of the holes and converted them into a driving range and a re-vamped number eight and nine.

Jorgensen is a Blaine native, the son of Patricia and Port of Bellingham Commissioner Jim Jorgensen. He won the state golf championship as a Blaine high school senior in 1989 and played professionally for several years before returning to Whatcom County to work for Homestead in Lynden.

“The short game is my favorite part of golf,” Jorgensen said, “and this is a good place to work on it.” Along with assistant pro John Matthysse, Jorgensen will be offering a complete slate of lessons and plans a junior program for next year. They’re currently operating out of the old pro shop, but eventually all golf activities will move east about a quarter mile into a new pro shop as Homestead plans condos and commercial spaces surrounding a village square that will occupy the old parking area.

The course is open daily from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and green fees are $12.50 on weekdays, $15 on weekends. For more information call 371-5400.

Slivers from the bench...

Local skateboarders win in national competition

A touring national skateboard competition known as the Concrete Rodeo came to Mukilteo last Saturday and Blaine riders brought home gold.

Brian Novak of Inversion Snow-n-Skate in Blaine took six riders to the competition, including Jon Lewis, Trevor Allen and Chacho Avena of Blaine, Nick Grant of Ferndale, Hayden Kelly of Point Roberts and Greg DeHart of Adna, Wash., near Chehalis.

Lewis and DeHart both took gold by winning their division, and Hayden Kelly took third in his age group for the bronze.

The free-style competition involves two stages, the first in which each rider has two chances to show what he or she can do in one-minute freestyle rides and a second in which the finalists in a given age group descend into the park in competitive pairs.

“It shows what the riders of Blaine can do outside their element and against other riders,” said Novak.

Skywater Tennis Tournament

Forty-five players competed in the 21st Annual Skywater Tennis Tournament June 22 through 24 at the Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club.

The event was directed by Tennis Pro Eric Cramer, and assisted by Blaine resident Joyce Vanderpol.

Winners/finalists were as follows:
Men’s A Singles: Alex Macheras def. Evan Madill 6-2/6-4
Men’s B Singles: Jouko Paavola def. Wm. Giller 5-7/7-6/6-2
Men’s B Doubles: Vendiola/Salvatierra (round robin)
Women’s B Doubles: Malia VanderVeen/Patty Macheras and Jean Harrington/Daisy Hansen
B Mixed Doubles: Alex Macheras/Patty Macheras (round robin)
C Mixed Doubles: Ed and Barbara Goebel (round robin)