Director of Golf & Grounds Report – June 2016

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

Total rounds for May were flat compared to prior year; however, revenue did increase. The percentage of public play year-to-date has increased slightly from prior year; year-to-date public play represents 5.7% of total rounds played. For the year 173,353 rounds have been played on our courses.

With longer daylight hours, this is the time of year we like to remind our residents that “After 5:00pm” cards are available for purchase in the pro shops. The cards allow residents to play after pro shops are closed for the day. Cards are sold for $44 to RCSC Cardholders and for $12 to RCSC Cardholders that purchase the surcharge pass on an annual basis. Please remember to carry your “After 5:00pm” card during your round as they serve as your receipt should a Ranger be on duty. Irrigation start times vary by the efficiency of each course’s irrigation system, this time of year they are set for as late a start as possible.

In addition to the “After 5:00pm” cards, range balls are also available after hours for those holding a range card. Range cards are sold in various increments and allow the holder to utilize the range ball machines and bypass the pro shop counter. Range balls will not be available after hours on days the range is closed early for clean pick.

Golf Courses

The Lakes East renovation project is well underway, with the irrigation portion running ahead of schedule. The main line has been laid around the entire course and lateral lines have been placed around the entire back nine. The week of June 27 lateral line work began on holes #1, #2 and #3. Landscaping work has begun near the restrooms on hole #14 and progress from there towards the front 9. Plans for the project are on display in the Lakes East/Lakes West pro shop for those interested in the project.

The lake renovation on Willowbrook is progressing according schedule. The lake liner began installation on June 23 and is scheduled to be finished June 30. The next steps of the project are to install the new pump station, tie into the irrigation system, concrete the shoreline, install the lake aerators/fountains and tie all components into the electrical panel. The new pump is scheduled to be online mid-July. The Willowbrook lake renovation is an integral piece of the Willowcreek/Willowbrook irrigation project scheduled for 2017. Unfortunately, this project has had significant impact on the course conditions for both Willowcreek and Willowbrook. The sudden change from mild May temperatures to temperatures in excess of 115 degrees brought a sudden and harsh transition. With only one pump station online our ability to combat this sudden transition is greatly diminished. You are probably asking yourself, “Didn’t they know it was going to be hot in June?” We did and we knew we would have challenges with watering, but also knew that completing this part of the project early was the safest route to take long term. The irrigation project for Willowcreek/Willowbrook will include 18 new greens that also need to be planted during the warmest part of the year and need to be fully planted by mid-July to ensure they have enough to time to become established prior to dormancy in the fall. No one on the golf staff is happy with the conditions on Willowcreek/Willowbrook, but we would be much less happy if a delay in the project next year would have impacted the total renovation.

Though the Willowcreek/Willowbrook water issues were anticipated, the other courses have had their share of unplanned water issues. South has had two separate issues with a well pump, that greatly diminished our ability to water, the issue is resolved though watering of the extreme perimeters of the course is still reduced to allow our lake levels to normalize. North had an issue with a 400 amp breaker to a well pump. North is particularly vulnerable due to only having one source of water. Water to the course needed to be reduced to allow the lake level to normalize. As with South, the areas that suffer the most are the extreme perimeters, greens will always be given the highest priority. Quail experienced an issue with a 60hp pump station motor, also resulting in diminished watering. Our water issues, coupled with a harsh transition, have resulted in extremely dry conditions.

Snack Shops

Snack shop hours have now changed to summer operating hours and now close at 1:00pm. The pro shops have a limited selection of beverages and snacks available for sale after the snack shops close.

We remind everyone that alcohol consumed on the courses is required by law to be purchased through the snack shop or the pro shop. In addition, we are required by law to remove a patron should the patron drink to the point of obvious intoxication. If asked to leave, the patron must do so within 30 minutes. We want everyone to have a good time, but ask that you do so in a responsible manner for your safety as well as others.

Lawn Bowl and Grounds

Our summer agronomic practices began the week of June 20 with green aerification. An important part of this summer’s program is reestablishing the turf in the wear areas of the Bell greens and laser leveling the green to remove the uneven draw in several of the rinks. The leveling will be completed by Barkshire Laser Leveling.