Director of Golf & Grounds Report – February 2017

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

Public play on our golf courses is often a topic of discussion in committee meetings. We did see an increase in public play in 2016, mostly due to having all courses available for play during the peak season. In 2016, public play accounted for 6.9% of our total rounds played, guest play accounted for 11.5% of our total rounds. Annual Surcharge Fee pass holders accounted for 51.9% of our total rounds.

On Monday, March 6, we will be hosting a demo day at Riverview Golf Course from 9:00am to 2:00pm. This year we will be adding Callaway Golf as a vendor; other vendors include Ping, Wilson, TaylorMade and Cleveland/Srixon.

On February 9, Lakes East/Lakes West hosted the 9th Annual Teal Ribbon Tournament. The event was successful once again due to the efforts of Laurel Pracht and many volunteers. This year, the event raised in excess of $19,000 for the Arizona Cancer Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. Sincere thanks to those that participated in this fun event. If you did not play this year, we hope to see you next year.

On Thursday, March 9, the 3rd Annual Can/Am tournament will be held at the South Course. The format will be a two person best ball with an 8:00am shotgun start. The cup will be awarded to the team with the most winning pairs. In addition to the cup, prizes will be awarded equally between the American and Canadian teams, as well as prizes for longest drive and closest to the pin. A Pebble Beach vacation will be awarded for a hole in one on hole eleven.

Free golf clinics will be offered March 4, 11, 18 & 25 at Lakes East/West, classes begin at 9:30am. Topics covered are ball flight, golf swing fundamentals, chipping and putting. There is no need to preregister and the clinics are open to golfers of all skill levels. The clinics are a great introduction to the game of golf or great way to brush up on your game. Clinics are conducted by LPGA and PGA professionals.

Golf Courses

We are entering our busiest time of the year as more people come to enjoy our beautiful spring temperatures. The warmer temperatures also provide for better growing conditions, allowing turf to grow with more vigor and damage to heal more quickly. Though damage does heal faster, we still need golfer assistance in repairing ball marks and filling divots. With increased play, slow play instances become more likely. We ask everyone to please practice ready golf by: playing your shot as soon as possible, when it doesn’t interfere with your playing partners or the group ahead, move to your ball whenever it is safe to do so, avoid excessive practice swings, read your putt ahead of your turn and recording scores on the following tee box.

The warmer temperatures will also begin to bring bermuda out of dormancy. We will begin to increase watering, particularly in the roughs. Mowing heights will also be adjusted lower to open up the grass canopy and allow the bermuda to receive more sunlight. We do understand that a good percentage of our golfers prefer a higher (than industry standard) cut, however lowering the cut is necessary as we enter the transition phase between winter rye and summer bermuda. Director of Golf Report by

Grounds and Lawn Bowling

Prior to this past weekend’s rains, greens were beginning to need light watering. Watering this time of year is strictly dictated by moisture level readings of the greens. Data is gathered through the use of an electronic moisture meter. Though the bermuda is dormant light water is needed to keep the roots from becoming desiccated. Overall moisture readings were slightly lower than January and with the exception of Oakmont, green speeds were slightly slower.

Weed control is always a topic this time of year, the mild winter and heavy rain have made them exceptionally problematic this year. The grounds crew has weed control as a top priority and with the assistance of the golf course superintendents, have been spraying weeds both for immediate relief and for long-term control. Weeds in high visibility areas are removed mechanically.