Director of Golf & Grounds – November 2018

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

On December 13 we will be hosting a fundraising tournament to raise money for the Sun City Foundation. The format will be Beat the Pro(s), which will be Brian Duthu (PGA) and Chris Linam (Pro Shop Manager) and will be made up of two person teams. The event was originally advertised as a Best Ball event, however after consideration we will be playing a scramble format instead. The entry fee will be $40 and the event will be held at Willowcreek Golf Course. In addition to bragging rights for beating the pro, there will also be a chance at a Pebble Beach Vacation.
In addition to our charity event, RCSC Pro Shops and Snack Shops are also selling Duck Bucks to raise funds for the Sun City Foundation. The purchase of a Duck Buck enters you in the Duck Race held on December 14 as part of the Winter Celebration event, held at the Lakeview Center. The ducks are released from the waterfall and race to the finish line. If your duck finishes in the top 3 you win a share of the pot, based on the number of ducks racing. There are two separate races held on December 14, so don’t be left without a duck in the race. In addition to the duck race there are other fun events held on the 14th, such as a pie walk, a mini golf hole-in-one contest and a money tree. The evening ends with a lighted boat parade.

We currently have 20 active volunteer rangers, 12–15 of which are very active in the program. Anyone interested in volunteering for the program can contact Chris Linam at 623-876-8419. We are currently considering recent suggestions, made to the Golf Advisory Committee, to enhance participation.

Snack Shops

Through October, snack shops have exceeded both prior year and budget. Snack shops are now operating under winter hours and remain open until 5:00pm, except in the rare cases of significant inclement weather. We respectfully remind everyone that all food and beverage consumed in the snack shops or adjacent patios must have been purchased through the snack shops.

Golf Courses

As play increases, so does the stress on our courses. We remind golfers that we all have a responsibility to keep our courses in good condition. Golfers can assist by filling their divots, raking sand traps, replacing rakes in bunkers parallel to play and repairing ball marks. During times of cart path restrictions, please remember to take your sand bottle to the fairway.

Willowcreek/Willowbrook reopened on November 10 following the renovation. Both courses received new irrigation systems (including new pump stations on each course) and perimeter turf reduction. The perimeters of each course were planted with plants from the Arizona Department of Water Resources low water use plants. Additionally, all 18 greens on Willowcreek plus practice putting greens around the clubhouse were renovated. The greens were sprigged using tiff dwarf bermuda, the same as North and Riverview. As the greens are new, golfers can expect hard surfaces for the next 18 to 24 months. The greens were not overseeded this year to protect the newly planted grass from the rigors of overseeding, as such golfers can expect green speeds to increase throughout the winter months. Once the greens are actively growing we will be able to control greens speeds.

Grounds/Lawn Bowling

The US Open for Lawn Bowling was held November 5 through November 11, in Sun City AZ, Sun City West and Sun City Grand. In all, 336 bowlers from 12 countries participated. Sun City AZ residents had a strong showing in the event. Dee McSparran, Constance Desjardins, Jean English and Ann Van Bastelaere came in 2nd in the Women’s Fours. Jean Roney with her partner, Jordan Kos finished 2nd in the Women’s Pairs. Steven Bezanson and Mike Wagner won the Men’s Pairs Championship. Len Hitchcock won the Championship Flight in the Men’s Singles and was named the Men’s Bowler of the Tournament. The event allowed Sun City to showcase our greens and visitors were also impressed with all the other things Sun City has to offer.

October showers have brought November weeds. Getting the current population eradicated has proved to be a large task, but has been the focus outside of the normal day to day duties. We have recently begun adding dye to our weed control product. The dye allows the crew to easily see which plants have been sprayed so they can quickly identify those that may have been missed.