by Brian Duthu
Despite a slightly sluggish February, total rounds have outpaced prior year by 4,163 rounds. Through February, 75,312 rounds have been played on our courses, which is ahead of the prior five year average of 74,329 rounds. Lakes West has played 11,230 rounds, followed closely by Riverview, which has played 11,206 rounds. Lakes East has posted 7,969 rounds, followed by Willowbrook, which has posted 7,033 rounds. For the year 91% of our rounds have been played by residents and their guests. Surcharge play represents 50% of total rounds played.
Participation in the 2018 Can/Am event was down this year with 74 participants. Golfers from both countries proudly displayed their country’s colors. The American team won back the cup this year, winning 11 matches to the Canadian team’s seven matches. The men and ladies divisions were broken down into four flights. We thank everyone that participated and look forward to 2019 and a full field.
We have scheduled our first night golf event of the season for April 21, at Lakes East Golf Course. Check-in will begin at 6:00pm, dinner will be served at 6:30pm, and play will begin at 7:30pm. Applicable green fees will be paid on the day of play. The event is currently full; however, a standby list is available.
Demolition of the South pro/snack shop building will commence in early May 2018. During this construction period, pro shop operations will be staged from a mobile unit. Canned soda, canned beer and prepackaged snacks will be available, prepared food will not be available during construction. Updated plans are now posted in the snack shop at the South Pro Shop and reflect comments made during our “town hall” meetings that took place in 2017.
Colder than normal February temperatures resulted in a slight miss of $3,631 to budget.
Work on the Willowcreek golf course renovation began on March 5 with installation of the mainline. Mainline construction is now complete on holes 11 through 18. On March 19 the back nine of Willowcreek closed to begin green construction, installation of irrigation lines off the mainline and irrigation lake renovation. The boring across Boswell Boulevard was delayed and took place the week of March 15 tying the new irrigation system to the current system on Willowbrook. Please remember that this is a construction site and areas under construction are closed, this includes foot traffic that is normally allowed on our courses before sunrise and after sunset. We ask for your cooperation both for your safety and to prevent inadvertent damage to course equipment during this process.
Beginning April 9 spring fertilizer applications will begin at Willowcreek/Willowbrook. 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 18th at Quail. The applications begin early enough in the morning to avoid disrupting play.
The warmer than usual winter has begun to awaken our bermuda grass. Watering of the roughs has increased. 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.
Green speeds are generally slower than reported in February. The average stimp reading in March was 12.5 compared to 13.4 in February. The warmer than normal temperatures have begun to bring the greens out of dormancy, resulting in growth and additional watering. Greens have been aerated using needle tines to allow water and oxygen to reach the root system. Currently, we are mowing greens once per week and rolling four times per week.
The lack of rain has produced fewer weeds than years past; however, they have begun to grow. Weed control will be a major focus over the coming weeks. Transition of grassy areas from winter rye to summer bermuda has begun. Weak areas will receive additional water as needed.