Director of Golf & Grounds – October 2017

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

On December 4 we will be hosting a fundraising tournament for our chosen Winter Celebration Charity, the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum. The format will be Beat the Pro(s), which will be Brian Duthu (PGA) and Chris Linam (Pro Shop Manager) and will be competing against other two-person teams. Teams that beat the Best Ball score of the Pros will equally share the prize pool. The entry fee will be $40 and the event will be held at North with lunch at Oakmont Center following play. In addition to bragging rights for beating the pro, there will also be a chance at a Pebble Beach Vacation on Hole #12.

Complimentary golf clinics begin October 28 at Lakes West. The first clinic will be chipping, followed by putting, irons and woods in subsequent weeks. The clinics will also be held on November 4, 11 & 18, with all clinics beginning at 9:30am. Clinics are open to all skill levels and do not require registration. This is a great opportunity to introduce a family member, friend or neighbor to the wonderful game of golf. The remaining clinics will be held at Lakes East/Lakes West. Another session of free clinics will be offered in March.

Registration for Get Golf Ready classes is also underway. The cost of the classes is $99 which includes 4 days of instruction as part of a group of 8 students or less, as well as a 5th day of on- course instruction. The program covers swing fundamentals as well as golf etiquette and an introduction to golf rules. The program is part of a national initiative of the PGA of America to grow the game of golf. The first class will begin November 7 and classes will be available throughout the winter and spring.

Snack Shops

Through September snack shop revenue is running $4,190 ahead of budget. The shops that will reopen on October 28 are scheduled to close at 3pm, but are given the discretion to remain open as long as demand dictates.

Golf Courses

Overseeding began October 9 and has germinated as expected, despite daytime temperatures being slightly warmer than ideal. The courses currently closed (Riverview, Lakes West, Willowbrook and South) will reopen October 28 and will be cart path only until November 10. The courses that had not yet been overseeded closed October 23 and will reopen November 11, with cart path only restrictions in place until November 24.

For those that are interested, plans for Willowcreek green reconstruction are posted in the Willowcreek/Willowbrook pro shop. Final plans for the turf reduction concept are in the final stages and will be posted in the pro shop once they are available.

The key dates of the 2018 Willowcreek renovation are as follows:

  • March 5, 2018 – Mainline installation at Willowcreek begins (both courses remain open).
  • March 19, 2018 – Willowcreek back nine will be closed. (Willowcreek Front 9 Open, Willowbrook Open)
  • April 9, 2018 – Both Willowbrook and Willowcreek will be closed due to the heavy construction presence around the clubhouse
  • November (Date TBD) – Both courses open

Grounds/Lawn Bowl

Overseed has been finished at all centers and has grown in as expected. The softball field was also completely overseeded and is ready for play. Crews have been removing dead and diseased plants from all various centers and will be replacing with similar plantings. The white landscape rock around the mini-golf station at Lakeview will be replaced with red rock which will also be installed along the path leading to the parking lot.

Lakeview Lawn Bowl was top dressed and laser leveled two weeks ago. The east green has received the final leveling; the west green has an additional leveling planned. We have been having issues with a coyote pulling up carpet and digging in the stones in the ditch at Fairway. We have been told that someone has been leaving food for this coyote. We kindly remind everyone that feeding wild animals may make them dependent on human food sources, making them less fearful of humans and possibly lose their ability to survive in the wild. Feeding of wild animals is strongly discouraged by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, we ask for your cooperation in discontinuing this practice.