by Brian Duthu
Through April, 149,839 rounds of golf have been played throughout our eight courses, which is slightly ahead of last year’s pace and is due to a strong January. April rounds were 1,941 fewer than prior year as the other courses were unable to fully absorb the 6,726 rounds lost due to the closure of Willowcreek/Willowbrook. Among the regulation courses, Riverview has taken the overall lead in rounds played with 24,110, followed by Lakes West (23,342), South (22,412) and North (22,370). Lakes East has played the most rounds among the executive courses. During the month of April, 56% of rounds were played by annual pass holders and annual surcharge pass holders. Year to date, the Golf Division has exceeded revenue goals.
We have had an increase in complaints from neighbors along our golf courses concerning golfers trespassing onto private property to retrieve golf balls. While there are some homeowners that are not bothered by golfers retrieving errant shots, there are many that feel violated when someone enters their property to retrieve a ball. Please remember that when retrieving an errant shot on a homeowner’s property, you are trespassing, unless you have been given permission to do so. We ask for your cooperation in respecting the property of others.
On May 1, we conducted the first of our bi-annual USGA visits with Brian Whitlark, an USGA Agronomist for the West region. Brian’s full report is now available online through the RCSC website, under Resources on the Golf Page. Mr. Whitlark was impressed with the Willowcreek/Willowbrook renovation project and in particular the water saving aspects of the redesign, such as lake lining, tee top specific irrigation and overall turf reduction. We also discussed putting greens, green surrounds, fairway transition, roughs, practice tee conditions and bunker maintenance, while touring North and Riverview.
Mainline installation at Willowcreek has moved to the front side, with progress through the fifth hole. Lateral line and sprinkler head installation is complete on the back 9 and is complete through hole #2 on the front nine. Work has begun on the shaping of the back 9 greens, holes 14-18 have been completed and the remaining greens have material in place and are expected to be finished by the first week in June. Coring of greens is complete on the front 9 and installation of drainage is nearing completion. The liner and shotcrete edge installation is finished on the back 9 and the lakes have been filled. The new pump station is in place and we expect to have it operational by the 1st of June. The project remains on target, with grassing of the greens to commence June 25 and be completed on July 13.
The temporary clubhouse trailer has been delivered prior to the South clubhouse demolition and construction. As a reminder, food and beverage options during construction will be extremely limited and we ask for your patience. Beginning June 1st the closing time for snack shops will be 1:00pm.
The Bell Lawn bowl greens have reached the grow-in stage. The cooler than expected temperatures have slowed the process, otherwise the greens are responding as expected. Both greens have been fertilized several times with starter fertilizer to encourage root growth and have begun to receive organic material to encourage lateral growth of the plant. Once established, mowing will commence followed by a laser topdressing. We expect to have the greens available for play sometime in August.
All other Lawn Bowl greens have seen summer agronomic practices, including verticutting and aeration. During verticutting we have been removing 6–7 barrels of material from the greens. Verticutting helps to remove the thatch layer of the greens providing a firmer surface for bowls.
“Battle of the Weeds” 2018 has begun throughout the centers and though they are resilient, we have the upper hand. Pre-emergent was applied throughout the centers in an effort to reduce weed germination, weeds that survived this process are now being removed manually.