Director of Golf & Grounds Report – January 2019

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

In reviewing 2018, it was a mixture of ups and downs disrupted greatly by the closure of Willowcreek and Willowbrook. During the first quarter of 2018, golf rounds were 2,707 ahead of the first quarter of 2017. The last three quarters combined produced 9,998 fewer rounds than the last three quarters of the 2017 year. The year produced 7,291 fewer rounds than 2017, due in large part to the 32,969 fewer rounds played on Willowcreek/Willowbrook. The positive news was 2018 revenue was largely unaffected, due to the strength of the first quarter. Revenue for 2018 finished $18,285 behind prior year and exceeded budget by $87,476. The 2018 budget was conservative, due to the planned closure of Willowcreek/Willowbrook.

On February 14, Lakes East/Lakes West will be hosting the 11th annual Teal Ribbon Tournament. The event is open to ladies and men and no handicap is required. It is a 9-hole event with a 9:30am shotgun start and lunch follows play at Sundial. Proceeds benefit the University of Arizona Cancer Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. The entry fee is $30.00 per person and entry forms may be picked up and turned in to any pro shop.

Our demo day is scheduled for March 4 from 9:00am to 2:00pm and will be held at Riverview. New this year is PXG Parsons Extreme Golf. In addition to PXG, representatives from Ping, Cobra, Taylor Made, Wilson and Callaway Golf will be on hand to allow you to “test drive” the latest and greatest products that each company has to offer.

Conceptual plans for the rebuild of the South practice area were submitted to the Golf Advisory Committee at the January 2019 meeting. The plans submitted during this meeting are being revised to avoid interference with the main irrigation line that runs through the practice area. The putting green will be roughly the same size of the previous green; however, the pitching/chipping green will provide expanded options for bunker play and for more golfers to use the green simultaneously. The area will incorporate some aspects of turf reduction and the irrigation will be designed with possible future renovation in mind. This will ensure that this area will not need to be redone in the future. This work will be combined with the planned bunker work at South this summer. Work is expected to begin this May.

Snack Shops

Despite missing revenue targets in December, Snack Shops exceeded revenue targets for the 2018 year. Despite disruptions by the closures at Willowcreek and South, Snack Shop revenue exceeded prior year, due to the strength of the first quarter.

Golf Courses

The preliminary aerification/overseed schedule was presented to the Golf Advisory Committee during the January meeting. We are moving up the beginning of fairway verticutting to the last week of April, beginning at Quail Run and finishing at Willowcreek on May 24. Fairway aerification will begin May 30 at Quail Run and finish on June 25 at Willowbrook. The biggest change to this year’s plans is to close the courses for an extra day during greens aerification than during previous years. The extra day will provide a buffer for equipment issues as well as more time for crews to provide the best possible surface following aerification. This process will begin June 27 at Quail Run and finish on August 7 at Willowbrook. Due to the renovation, the greens at Willowcreek will not be core aerified this summer. We asked that committee members review this schedule with their respective course committees to identify any potential scheduling conflicts that may have been missed.

Grounds/Lawn Bowl

Stimp readings reported to the advisory committee ranged from 12.0 at Mountain View to 13.9 on the west green at Lakeview. Moisture readings ranged from a low of 9.5 on the north green at Bell to a high of 22.8 at Oakmont. The greens are currently watered only as necessary, approximately once every two weeks. Mowing is also on as needed basis and mostly to remove debris from the surface. Greens are currently double rolled three times per week. Ditches are cleaned and raked during the rolling.

Comprehensive weed control remains the focus of the grounds crew. Early progress that was made was rendered ineffective by December and January rains. Currently hand work is followed up with a mixture of pre- and post-emergent herbicides to kill current growth and to help prevent future growth.