Village Greens 5th Annual Par 3 Challenge is now less than 2 weeks away!
Getting to know your Competitor
by Chelbi Park
July 24, 2023
We are officially less than two weeks away from our 5th Annual Par 3 Challenge and we can't wait to see you out there!
We convert our course to a Par 54 layout and offer up some of the most unique and challenging Par 3 holes in the county. We will have handicap and non-handicap divisions available for men, women, juniors, and seniors. There will be multiple Closet-to-the-Pin prizes, so don't miss out on your shot for some fun!!!
You can sign up while you're at the Pro Shop or call us at (360) 871-1222 to get registered. There is a $25 entry plus green fees to participate; the entry fee will go towards the winning pot.
The last two years our Par 3 Challenge was won by Ryan Hinrichsen, who answered all my questions so thoroughly that he basically wrote his piece on himself for me. You will find that he is not only an avid golfer, but humbly finds his peace within the game. His responses had me so taken back that I can't possibly change them to read from a third party perspective, or shorten it. I hope you enjoy reading his story as my much as I did.
"I was born in Tacoma in 1985 and moved to Bremerton around 6 months old. I grew up in Bremerton and after living in other places and I really love it here. I lived here from 1985 until 2008 when I moved to South Carolina for 2 years to attend a golf academy. In 2010 I moved to the Portland, Oregon area and lived there from 2010-2015 while going to college. In 2015 my wife and I moved back to Bremerton expecting our first child.
I did not start golfing until I was about 14 years old. We were on a family trip to Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia and expecting lots of outdoor activities, but it rained the entire time we were there. We were stuck in the hotel room a lot of the time. My dad was a huge golf fan and I had always thought golf was silly and boring. Since we were stuck at the hotel my dad was watching golf on TV. This was the weekend of the PGA Championship at Medina when Tiger Woods won. I watched the whole weekend with my dad and Tiger Woods totally changed my outlook on golf by making golf exciting. After our trip I asked my dad for clubs and he happily obliged. I will never forget those clubs. It was an all in one set of Golden Bear clubs from Costco. He added me to his membership and I played as often as I could.
My favorite golf memory has to be my first hole in one. (I have 5 total). This was in 2008, playing with my two best buddies at Gold Mountain. I hit a 7 iron from about 165 yards and it never left the flag. The ball took two hops and rolled up to the hole and dropped in.
I typically play 3-4 rounds a week during the playing season which I consider March-October. During the off months I play 4-5 times a month depending on the weather. I try to find a covered range or a simulator during the off months to keep my game in the best shape it can be.
My favorite course to play has to be Chambers Bay. I love a real challenge and Chambers Bay is one tough place to play from any tee. The greens are really fun to try and navigate. Every shot has dozens of different ways to play it so it really gets you thinking.
I have played at Village Greens off and on for 20 years. There are a few holes out there that I really enjoy, but hole 9 has to be my favorite. The tee shot is demanding. Trees right and the road left. The green is very tough and all the added stress of the clubhouse being behind the green would grab anyone's attention.
The Par 3 Challenge is very enjoyable. I love how the community comes together through sponsors and donors to bring attention to the small businesses in the area. The tournament is also fun because it's all par 3's. Each shot requires your full attention and with any misstep it could be a bogey or worse. I always meet really nice people and have fun at the same time. This will be my third year playing the par 3 challenge. I actually won the last two years in a row so I am hoping for a 3 peat this year. My buddy Bill lives near Village Greens and mentioned the tournament to me a couple years ago. I thought it would be a ton of fun so we joined it together.
There were numerous things that helped me win last year. There wasn't really one thing that stood out to me. I was able to manage the tee shots, hit the green or close to the green on a fair amount of the holes, and when I did miss I was able to chip or pitch it pretty close to the hole. I think the most important part if I had to say is my short game. You could hit every green on the course, but if you aren't making putts you won't score.
My current handicap is +0.5. To be considered a scratch golfer you must maintain a handicap of zero or below. Below zero is when you get to a "plus" handicap. All things considered I am a scratch golfer or technically a +1.
Last year I did in fact shoot a 58 on the par 54 layout. I definitely left a few shots out there. If I had a number to shoot for it will always be par or better. I will go out on a limb and hope to shoot 54 this year. That would really make my day win or lose. Golf is a challenging sport and the biggest challenge is always with yourself. Over the last year I have been spending extra time practicing putting. You get to a point where you're hitting fairways and greens, but the only way to improve your score is to make more putts. I think that goes for any skill level. By far, putting is the most important part of playing golf."
I can't wait to see what this year's Challenge holds. Whether it be Ryan winning his hoped for 3-peat or a new face experiencing the victory. At the end of the day, it's all about having fun playing the game.
We would like to give a big thank our sponsors for their donations because without them there would be no Par 3 Challenge. Please be sure to give them a hello. This year our proud sponsors are:
Fred Needham VFW Post 2669 and Joe Bilyeau
The Phil King Family
Scott Mcleandon's Ace Hardware
Westbay "Napa" Auto Parts
Port Orchard Pub
Everybody's American Cookhouse
Al Carbon Mexican Steakhouse (Newly Opened in Manchester)
That Other Place Diner
Damn Fine Pizza
Uncle Dave's Cafe
Village Greens Golf Club
Royal St, Stephan Golf Equipment