Director of Golf & Grounds Report – August 2016

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

Total rounds for July fell behind prior year, both for the Month and year-to-date; however, total revenue remains well ahead of prior year and budget. For the month of August, 95% of rounds played were played by residents and their guests, which is only slightly under the year-to-date average. We do understand that due to the conditions at North and transition issues on the other courses our residents took some of their business outside of Sun City. We do appreciate the support and patience of those that continued to play our courses.

We currently have 70 participants signed up to participate in our “Patriot Day” golf event on September 2. This slightly behind our 84 participants from last year, and we are hopeful to pick up a few last minute entries prior to the date of play. “Patriot Golf Day” was organized with the help of PGA of America to raise funds for the Folds of Honor Foundation. The money raised is used to fund scholarships for spouses and children of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our country. Starters will also be collecting donations through the pro shops from September 2 through September 7.

Snack Shops

Snack Shop revenue missed budget slightly, but continues to exceed budget year-to-date. Snack Shops continue to have a regularly scheduled closing time of 1:00 p.m., however this closing time can be extended based on demand.


Palm tree trimming began at South and is continuing throughout all the courses, with the exception of Lakes East. Palm trees at Lakes East will be trimmed closer to the reopening. Due to the grow-in at Lakes East, many areas remain too wet for the large trucks performing the trimming.

The revised over-seed schedule was recently released, our email explanation left some golfers wondering as to the reasons behind this decision. First, there was an incorrect date for the overlap period, it should have read October 17-21. Second, the overlap period is a result of moving the first wave of courses starting date from September 26 to October 3. Moving the date back into October increases our chances of having favorable temperatures for over-seeding, thereby increasing our chances of a successful over-seed.

As a reminder, as we move into September rough heights will be raised. The higher height of cut helps protect the rough from cart traffic as it moves into dormancy and throughout the winter. The height of cut is not raised to increase difficulty, though increased difficulty is a by-product of this procedure. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

This year over-seeding will be expanded to include greater areas around green complexes. This will provide a better surface to those shots that stray from the green surface. The expanded over-seed will also keep stray shots from the excessive bounces and the excessive roll, seen in the past.

All courses have largely recovered from this year’s transition and related problems. We certainly understand the concern over course conditions this summer and appreciate the patience that was largely shown during this period. The greens at North as still recovering and will continue to do so all the way up to over-seed. The front nine greens have largely recovered, however there are still several on the back nine that continue to recover. The North maintenance staff, led by Neil Hladik, has put much time and effort into the recovery process, we thank them for their efforts and hope you will also.

The Lakes East renovation is in the final stages of clean up and still on target to open October 22 following over-seeding. We advise Lakes East golfers and homeowners that the new plantings will take time to establish and will appear sparse in the meantime. As the plantings mature, the final design will materialize. The plantings have been designed to allow maintenance from motorized equipment, reducing the amount of time spent on maintaining these areas. This is important if we are to realize any savings from this and future turf reductions. This renovation will have minimal impact on play but will still take time to mature, we again appreciate your patience.

Lawn Bowling/Grounds

Earlier this summer, the greens at Bell were top-dressed and laser leveled. Though this will help in areas that were experiencing untrue draws, there are several areas that have failed to recover. These areas will be sodded the week of August 29th in order to be ready for Fall and Winter play.

The softball field has developed lip in certain areas, between the infield and the outfield. These areas have been marked and scheduled to be corrected the week of August 29.