Director of Golf & Grounds Report – October 2018

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

We will be hosting a tournament on December 13 to raise money for our chosen Winter Celebration Charity, the Sun City Foundation. The Beat the Pros format will include Brian Duthu (PGA) and Chris Linam (Pro Shop Manager) and will be made up of two person teams. Teams that beat the Best Ball score of the Pros will equally share the prize pool. The entry fee is $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.

Complimentary golf clinics begin November 10 at Lakes West. The first clinic will be chipping, followed by putting, irons and woods in subsequent weeks. The clinics will also be held on November 17, 24 and December 1. All clinics begin at 9:30am. Clinics are open to all skill levels and do not require registration. This is a great opportunity to introduce a family member, friend or neighbor to the wonderful game of golf. Another session of free clinics will be offered in March 2019.

Registration for Get Golf Ready classes is also underway. The cost of the classes is $99 which includes 4 days of instruction as part of group of 8 students or less, as well as a 5th day of on course play. The program covers swing fundamentals as well as golf etiquette and an introduction to golf rules. The program is part of a national initiative of the PGA of America to grow the game of golf. The first class begins November 5th and classes will be available throughout the winter and into spring 2019.

Snack Shops

Through September snack shop revenue is running $51,000 ahead of budget and $27,000 ahead of prior year. With the Willow closure, the 2018 was intentionally conservative and we thank everyone for their support. The Willow snack shop has received some updates during the closure and we welcome everyone to come on in and check it out when it reopens.

Golf Courses

Over-seeding began October 1 and has mostly germinated as expected, despite the heavy rain and unseasonably cooler temperatures. North, Lakes West and Quail Run reopened October 24 and will be cart path only until November 10. The second wave of over-seeding began October 22 and will reopen November 10 with cart path only restrictions through November 22. Willowcreek and Willowbrook are operating under a slightly modified schedule and will open on November 10. Willowcreek will open with no cart path restrictions (weather permitting) and Willowbrook will open with cart path only restrictions, through November 22.

On September 28 we had our second visit by USGA agronomist, Brian Whitlark. We visited South, Lakes West and Lakes East during his four hour visit. The primary reason for the second visit was to evaluate course conditions post transition. Mr. Whitlark observed that the courses had recovered from transition and informed us that the conditions we reported were consistent with other courses throughout southern Arizona. He was impressed with the overall condition of the South course, particularly the greens and the quality of cut. A topic of concern was the weed population at Lakes West, particularly around greens and tees. The Green Kyllinga population on green surfaces was also a concern. His full report is now available online, through the RCSC website at under the Golf tab, then Resources.

Lawn Bowl and Grounds

Bell greens are finally starting to fill in after much topdressing and fertilization. We have now lowered the height of cut on all greens to .110” and will be mowing every other day as well as rolling in 2 directions every other day. This has been our maintenance schedule throughout the month of October. The week prior to the U.S. Open Tournament we will be mowing and rolling every day. On the days of actual tournament play we will be performing all mowing during the evening after play has ended and rolling the greens in the morning before play. There are currently 350 Bowlers from 12 different countries entered to compete.

The softball field reopened for play on October 20 following over-seeding. Sun Bowl and areas around Lakeview were over-seeded the week of October 15.