Director of Golf & Grounds Report – March 2019

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

A sluggish January followed by a wet and cold February have resulted in a decrease of 6,762 rounds compared to prior year. Through February, 68,550 rounds have been played, the second lowest total in the last seven years. Lakes West has recorded 10,452 rounds, followed closely by Riverview with 10,423 rounds. Lakes East has posted 7,177 rounds, followed by Willowbrook, which has posted 6,343 rounds. For the year, 92% of our rounds have been played by residents and their guests. Surcharge play represents 46% of total rounds played.

We have scheduled a night golf event for Saturday, April 13 at Lakes East. Check-in will begin at 6:00pm, dinner will be 6:30pm and play will start at 7:30pm. The format will be a two person scramble, the entry fee will be $35. Entry forms will be available at all pro shops and we ask that the entries be turned in at Lakes East/Lakes West pro shop. Green fees will be paid on the day of play, entry fees will be due April 6.

Snack Shops

We would like to thank Russ Boyer, “BB” Boyer and Marlene Carmen for recently completing 10 years of employment with the Recreation Centers of Sun City. JP Loscher will be assuming the role of Snack Shop Manager at the South Course when it reopens. Darcie Hanssen will replace JP in the role of Snack Shop Manager at the North Course.

Golf Courses

Beginning April 8, spring fertilizer applications will begin at Willowcreek. 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 applications begin early enough in the morning to avoid disrupting play. The dates for the other courses are as follows:

  • Willowbrook – April 9
  • Lakes East/Lakes West – April 10 & 11
  • North – April 12
  • Riverview – April 15
  • South – April 16
  • Quail Run – April 17

We have held our pre-bid meeting for our summer golf projects which include: rebuilding the South Golf Course practice area, sand replacement and bunker repair at the South Golf Course and installation of forward tees on Lakes West Golf Course. Six contractors expressed early interest in the project, four contractors attended the pre-bid meeting. The contract for the work will be awarded in early April. Work will begin first on the South Practice area, as this part of the project will have a hard deadline for grassing and is expected to begin in late May.

Work will then progress to the South bunker portion of the project. Installation of the forward tees is expected to begin in July. Courses will remain open during these projects; however, we will be making adjustments to tee sheets and, in the case of Lakes West, utilizing temporary tees as necessary.

Grounds/Lawn Bowling

Lawn Bowl greens are now mowed three times per week and are also double rolled three times per week. Ditches are raked and cleaned in conjunction with the double rolling. Greens speeds have been consistent, ranging from a low of 13.1 seconds on Bell North to 13.9 seconds on Lakeview East. We continue to water greens on an as needed basis, though frequency will begin to increase as temperatures increase.

Work began on the greens at Mountain View and Oakmont to remove unwanted grasses on March 25. We will begin by laser leveling the plinth boards and replacing as necessary. The top 6–7 inches of material will then be removed and replaced with new material, which will then be laser leveled. Following laser leveling the greens will be sprigged and the levels fine-tuned as the new surface grows in.

Grounds continues to battle weeds as the rain has brought increased growth and has rendered many of our pre- and post-treatments largely ineffective. We have assisted the Garden Club at the Sun Bowl rose garden with irrigation adjustments. We are beginning to apply spring fertilizers and are continuing our applications of pre-emergent for weeds.