Director of Golf & Grounds Report – March 2016

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

With the help of leap day, February rounds played for all courses posted the 2nd highest total since 2009 and posted 248 more rounds than last year. Year-to-date rounds remained mostly flat compared to prior year with 257 additional rounds played. Total rounds for the year are slightly behind our ten year average.

We have scheduled our first night golf event of the season for April 23 at Lakes East golf course. Check-in will begin at 6:00pm, dinner will be served at 6:30pm and play will begin at 7:30pm. The cost of the event is $30; your fee includes dinner, first night-golf ball, night-golf accessories, prizes and more! Applicable green fees will be paid on the day of play. Sign-up sheets will be available at each pro shop.

The 2016 Can/Am event increased participation over its inaugural year with 120 participants registered to play. Participants proudly displayed their love for their respective countries through their attire and golf cart decorations. The American team retained the cup, edging out the Canadian team for the second consecutive year. A Pebble Beach vacation and a golf cart provided by Desert Golf Cars were available for a hole-in-one but went unclaimed. We hope to have a full field in 2017 and invite everyone to come and join the fun.

We have recently acquired the use of a Ping fitting cart. Our members will soon be able to schedule Ping club fittings through our teaching professionals. Please look for announcements in the very near future and we remind everyone that we can match prices offered by the “big box” stores on most current model golf equipment. Please contact Brian Duthu or Chris Linam at Riverview Golf Course for your special orders.

Snack Shops

Good weather and the extra day in February proved beneficial to our Snack Shop revenue as well; Snack Shops exceeded budget by $6,415. We thank everyone for their continued support.

Golf Courses

The unseasonably warm weather has begun to bring the Bermuda grass out of dormancy. To take advantage of the extra growing season we have begun to water the roughs sparingly. In addition to Bermuda, unwanted grasses are also beginning to grow in the rough areas. Though the growth rate in these areas is not significant, they do require occasional mowing.

Divot repair tools are now available at each golf course and are provided free of charge. The tools are provided to encourage our members and guests to repair ball marks on the green.

Following are tips to properly fix a ball mark:

1. Close the gap/hole with putter by patting down the ball mark.

2. Insert divot tool on the high side behind ball mark and push the back toward the center.

3. Do not pull up, twist or lift with the tool.

4. Push both sides of the ball mark into the center.

5. Gently tap the surface down with putter.

6. Never use loosened turf for repair

Lakes East will close May 2 to begin it’s irrigation project and is expected to remain closed through overseeding. As part of the project, an additional 10 acres of turf have been identified for reduction. During renovation, the large decorative rock will be replaced with quarter minus sized gravel and will be a playable surface. The decision to “play it as it lies” has not been determined. The current planting will also be replaced with drought tolerant plants that will also provide a much improved color palette.

Lawn Bowl and Grounds

Jim Wellman has presented a finalized plan to replace the awning at the Bell Center greens. The new awning will be shifted to the south and have a lower peak. The new position will not cast a shadow onto the North green.

Regular mowing and rolling of greens has started. Beginning in April the greens will be aerified using a solid tine. Solid tine aeration opens the soil without removing a core. It’s an effective way to increase gas exchange and drainage at the root and is less stressful to the turf than core aeration.

Grounds crew are performing normal spring time maintenance at all centers. This has been an exceptionally good spring for weed growth. The grounds crew has been constantly treating weeds as they appear on a regular basis. The fast growing nature of weeds often gives the appearance that the culling of weeds has been neglected, rest assured the grounds crew will not be far behind.