By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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What, you wanted easy breezes and temps higher than 50? Head to Arizona, or the California desert if those are the winter weather playing conditions you seek.
It takes a little more to stick winter out and stay around the North Olympic Peninsula year-round, and the toughest golfers play in winter events such as Port Townsend's Arctic Open, Cedars at Dungeness' Polar Bear Championship and SkyRidge Golf Course's Winter Links Open.
Arctic Open on tap
Port Townsend Golf Club head pro Gabriel Tonan poked his head up from the many tasks he is shouldering now that he is in charge of the course, to let me know that signups are underway for the 28th annual Coors Light Arctic Open presented by Marine View Beverages.
The 36-hole best ball format event is set for a 10 a.m. shotgun start Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8-9.
A practice round to help golfers acclimate to the conditions will be available Friday, Feb. 7.
Entry fee is $200 per team and includes play, lunch served on the course both days, range balls and special hole-in-one prizes.
Daily cash honey pot and skins games are also planned.
This tourney tests your mettle as it will be played in any weather condition: snow, sleet, hail, rain, sub-zero temps (it's possible!) or even sunny and 55 degrees (less possible).
Golfers should bring all-weather gear and be ready to play.
Awards will follow right after play concludes Sunday.
Separate from the Arctic Open, Tonan also wanted to pass along that Port Townsend is still holding weekly skins games.
Nine-hole skins games are set for Thursdays and Saturdays for $10, plus reduced green fees for nonmembers.
Finish play before dark and compete to win.
SkyRidge's Winter Links Open is a four-person, 27-hole event, played from the links-style course's green tee boxes.
An 8:30 a.m. shotgun start is planned for the Saturday, Feb. 1, event at the course in Sequim.
Players should establish a four-person team; divide that team into two person teams for a nine-hole scramble, switch partners and play nine holes of two-person better ball, and switch again to your final partner and play alternating shot for the last nine holes.
Each team will end up with a 54-hole score after 27 holes of golf — after counting and combining each two-man team's nine-hole scores throughout the day.
The four-person teams must have a total handicap of 24 or greater.
Cost is $160 per team and includes golf, food, range balls and a chance at four KP prizes.
An optional honey pot is available for $80 per team.
Carts are $15 per seat.
Phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673 to sign up.
Port Ludlow will host its New Year's Stableford Tournament with a 10 a.m. shotgun start this Saturday.
Signups are due today.
Players can score one point for a bogey, two for par, three for birdie, four for eagle and five for a double eagle (phone or email me if there is a double-eagle sighting).
Cost is $80 for the public and includes the round, use of cart, range and dinner.
Members can get in the game for $40.
Sign up by phoning 360-437-0272.
Polar Bear tourney
Cedars' 21st annual Polar Bear Championship, a 36-hole individual stroke play event, is slated for Jan. 24-26.
Players have to have a valid USGA handicap index of 27 or lower.
A practice round is available Friday, Jan. 24, and the two-day tourney will begin with 9 a.m. shotgun starts Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 25-26.
Cost is $140 per person and includes the three rounds, range balls Saturday and Sunday, lunch Sunday and $1,000 in prizes (based on 100-person field).
To sign up, phone Cedars at 360-683-6344 or visit the clubhouse.
One last item: Go Hawks.
Let's root for the good guys in navy blue to send San Francisco off to the golf course for the offseason.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.