Director of Golf & Grounds Report – March 2017

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

February 2016 was a banner year with the help of good weather and leap year. February 2017, on the other hand, suffered with wet weather and posted the fewest number of rounds played during the month in the last four years. Coupled with a wet January, year-to-date rounds are at the lowest level since 2013.

The 2017 Can/Am event was well attended again this year, though down slightly from the 120 participants the year prior. Golfers from both countries proudly displayed their country’s colors and flags during their round. The Canadian team won the cup in their 3rd try, winning 12 matches to the American team’s 10 matches. Low net scores were divided between Americans and Canadians, with each country paying men and ladies winners. The men and ladies divisions were then broken down into four flights. We thank everyone that participated and look forward to 2018 and a full field.

We have scheduled our first night golf event of the season for April 15th at Lakes East Golf Course. Check-in will begin at 6:00 p.m., dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and play begins at 7:30 p.m. The event filled the maximum number of participants in a little over week after entries were made available. We look forward to a fun night under the stars.

The USGA will be updating rules on January 1, 2019. In advance of this change, the USGA has already released proposed changes in an effort to gather the feedback of golfers. The rules will be finalized in 2018, giving the USGA ample time to gather this feedback. In order to better educate Sun City AZ golfers on the upcoming changes, our resident USGA official, Missy Jones, has offered to do two formal presentations. The presentations are scheduled for Tuesday, April 4th and Wednesday, April 26th at the Fairway Center. The presentations will be held in Arizona Rooms 3 and 4 and will begin at 8:30 a.m. Both rooms will be set up to accommodate 200 persons.

Golf Courses

Beginning April 10th slow release fertilizer application will begin at Willow. We utilize an outside contractor for this application, which utilizes large tender trucks. The vendor is familiar with the golf courses and works with the golf superintendents to avoid damaging irrigation. This process is the most efficient way for this application. The process will be completed April 21st at South. The applications begin early enough in the morning to avoid disrupting play.

The combination of wet weather and unseasonably warm temperatures has spurred bermuda growth. Watering of the roughs has begun. Though the rough is not growing at a substantial rate, we have begun to mow these areas to keep them clean. There are some unwanted grasses in the rough areas that grow at a faster rate, mowing helps to keep the rough height even.

Snack Shops

Snack shop sales in February were affected by the reduced number of rounds, with sales missing budget by $4,813. On a positive note, savings in cost of sales and total expenses allowed the Snack Shops to post a $196 positive variance to net operating excess.

Lawn Bowling/Grounds

During the last Lawn Bowling Committee meeting, options were presented to the committee to address the irregularities that exist at the Bell Center and Lakeview Center greens. The plan recommended to the committee was to use the funds from a held over Lawn Bowling project to correct issues on the Lakeview Greens, as the funds are sufficient for this project. The Bell greens will be budgeted for a more aggressive fix in 2018 that will address issues on the end rinks on both greens that are affecting the bias of the bowls.

Weeds still remain a priority and an issue at all centers, though they are becoming less prolific. Grassy areas are beginning to transition and are in need of additional watering. We are careful not to overwater areas that are part of our busy entertainment schedule. Landscape plants have started to grow and are trimmed as needed.