Tuesday, July 25, 2023

PPCC G&G Blog 

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. If you’re still in AZ, we know you haven’t enjoyed the last several weeks. After a very mild June, we are seeing record heat for July in addition to higher humidity and dew points.  The combination of those factors has made for an unpleasant July so far.

The transition is going well. The mild June helped some of the ryegrass hang around a bit longer than we wanted but the record heat in July has now removed the remainder. A few high-traffic areas in the fairways and green surrounds have not transitioned quite as well as we would have liked but we are confident we will get these areas to grow back in soon.

We spent a good portion of June focusing on installing the existing fans, and new conduit and electrical wire for the new fans on 4,5,6,10,11 and 12. We trenched and installed about 1 mile of conduit and about 3 miles of electrical wire to power the new fans. Currently holes 10,11, and 12 are fully installed and functioning. Holes 4,5 and 6 have the fan footers, the conduit, and electrical wiring installed. Unfortunately, we are still waiting on 2 permits from the city of Scottsdale and work by APS to be able to connect to the power source. The power is coming from the north side of Pinnacle Peak Road and N. 82 Street. APS needs to increase the size of the wire and install a junction box that is currently feeding Cox Cable and SW Gas next to the 5th tee box. Once the junction box is installed, we will run a new conduit under the oleanders and connect our newly placed break box a few feet away from the white tee on #5. As soon as the power is connected, we will place the fans on the footers that have been installed and we will be ready to run.

As is the case every year, you will continue to experience the greens slowing down, becoming softer, and ball marks become more prevalent, and much slower to recover as the summer stress continues. The high air temps, high soil temps, humidity, and high dew points are very hard on the bentgrass. Bentgrass is a cool-season grass that can survive the summer but is not very well suited for the months of July, August, and September. For example, the ideal soil temps for bentgrass is 50-65 degrees. At this point, we have not seen those soil temps since early June and will likely not see them until late September or early October. Currently, we see soil temps 70-80 degrees overnight and 90+ during the day. These high soil temps along with oppressive humidity and high air temps will significantly shrink the root depth and density and will thin the density of the leaf blades on the surface. Much of the damage is already occurring and is a naturally occurring challenge. The fans are utilized to artificially dry the air and humidity of the greens giving some relief to the greens. However, the fans cannot overcome all the stressful conditions. To aid in the process we will continue to raise the height of the cut, and change out the rollers and bed knives on our mowers to lessen the aggressiveness of the mowers. We will also do a light top dress to help firm up and protect the greens. You will continue to see staff syringe the greens with hoses to cool them and/or light 1–2-minute watering with the irrigation if we cannot keep up with hoses.

You will continue to see a white ring around the perimeter of the collars. This is by design. We spray a growth regulator that is designed to only target Bermuda grass around the greens to slow the Bermuda grass from encroaching in the green. However, it will slow the Bermuda but over time the Bermuda will advance further into the collar closer to the putting surface. The collars are scheduled to be resodded in the last week of September. We will be replacing the outer 24” of the collar to remove the encroachment. This will continue to be a repetitive practice every few years in order to keep the Bermuda grass from reaching the putting green.

The drainage project behind #8 Green has been completed. We installed a 4-foot-wide cement channel at the low point of the turf to allow for all the water to completely pass in a large rain event. This will eliminate the need to pump the water that gets dammed up in the cement basin. Additionally, we re-graded and narrowed the sides of the channel in the grass to help slow the water down as it enters the golf course.

The desert to the left of the 16th was also re-graded in coordination with the homeowners to help alleviate some significant erosion and storm damage concerns. The area was graded to help slow and turn the water so that water could pass through in a more controlled manner limiting the damage.

G&G recently completed our summer cultural practices. We aerified all areas in the fairways, tees, approaches, green surrounds, and roughs. We verti-cut and dethatched all fairways, tees, and approaches. We also did some light topdressing in the fairways and approaches. These cultural practices are very important to the health of the Bermuda grass and preparing the course for overseeding in the fall. The course is still recovering; however, the record heat is not helping. Even Bermuda grass doesn’t like this heat. We anticipate the course to be fully recovered in about 2 weeks.

A few small projects have begun for the renovation of the G&G Building. Since we will have to operate out of our existing area while the renovation is being carried out there are a few projects to complete before the main renovation begins. We are currently partitioning 2 storerooms into smaller rooms to better utilize the space and prepare for the main renovation of the building. One large storage area is being partitioned into 3 rooms. Upon completion, we will move our pesticide storage, irrigation storage, and utility storage into the newly partitioned area. In addition, a large room next to the mechanic's garage was divided in half in order to move all the mechanic's parts inventory into a climate-controlled room. The existing part room is too small and is not climate-controlled and needs to be relocated for the renovation of the main building. Also, the 2 rear gates are being removed and the wall is repositioned further to the northwest so that there will be only 1 gate near the #7 bathroom and will also connect the east side of the yard to the west side. These small projects are expected to be completed by mid-august.

The final detailed blueprints are almost complete and are expected to be submitted to the city of Scottsdale the week of July 24th and distributed to several contractors interested in the work for finalized numbers. Original costs were estimated from a set floor plan and estimated price per square foot. If all goes according to plan the renovation of the main building is expected to start in November and hopefully be completed by late spring. The timing of the building renovations in the winter is due to a few reasons. The first is to accommodate the staff with nicer weather due to having to take lunch outside. Also, we wanted to wait till after overseed due to the need to relocate the central irrigation control computer to a mobile mini office. In the event there were difficulties with the relocation we did not want to interfere with overseeding or damage the golf course in the hotter summer weather.

We hope everyone enjoys the remainder of their summer. We look forward to seeing everyone back in the fall.


PPCC G&G Department


Transporting fans from pump station storage

Placing on top of foundation post with VFD controller

Trenching #12 from black tee box to green on south side of hole

#12 trench

Wire for 10, 11,12

Wire for 4,5,6

Digging through Oleanders #12 black tee to connect to the power of PPCC Estates HOA gate power on Pima Rd
Pulling wire and setting panel #12 black tee - Panel runs fans on 10,11, and 12

Light maintenance topdress during July closure
Brushing in top dress

Growth regulator along collars to slow bermuda encroachment

The growth regulator on the outside of the green reveals how far the bermuda has grown into the collar. The plier's handle shows the bermuda growing under the bentgrass and re-emerging further in. 

#8 Drainage being poured
#8 drainage

#8 Drainage graded and entry rocks to brace and narrow the water to the channel

#8 prepped for sod

#8 sodded, excess water from watering sod in.

#16 graded and bracing the banks with concreted rocks 

Storeroom divided into new mechanics parts room

Insulating new mechanics room

New mechanics room painted(walls, ceiling, floor), new lighting and split AC unit, 

Completed mechanics room. A double door leads to the garage, single door to small equipment storage.

The large storage room will be divided into 3 separate rooms. (Work still ongoing)

Demolition of west yard walls - Work began July 24th.

West yard wall demolition

Aerification next to greens, Green #1

Aerifying approaches and fairways #13

Aerifying Fairway #5

Verticut and dethach #6 fairway

Debris from detaching - about 3 holes worth of debris

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Spring 2023

 G&G Blog – Spring 2023

As we come to a close to the 2022/2023 winter season we would like to thank everyone for another great season at PPCC and wish everyone a great summer where ever you may spend yours.

We are seeing great growth and recovery in the greens. The prolonged cold wet winter inhibited the bentgrass growth and recovery. The roots are actively spreading and deepening. The roots are back down to about 6-8 inches and lengthening. We are beginning to back off the greens and begin to prepare the greens for the summer stress. The stimp meter ha\sd been 12-12.5 through the El Cannip. We have now backed off a little bit around 11 to give the greens a break. We do this by raising the heights in small gradual increments and ramping up fertility during this perfect growing period.

You may have also noticed we have been verti-cutting the greens over the past few weeks. This is done to remove old and decaying leaf tissue and to make room for the new leaf tissue. This also helps to manage and control the thatch and organic matter in the greens. By actively managing these items we will also help to prepare the greens for the summer stress months and to aid in disease management during these periods.

We have also be performing a significant amount of brushing. The brushing helps to stand the grass up vertically and make sure that a ball is rolling on the tips of the leaf blade and not the side. Brushing is also very instrumental for increasing turf density and alleviating grain in the grass.

We will be aerifying the greens on May 8 & 9. We will use ¼ quad tines about 3 inches deep. These will be tightly spaced small holes that displace roughly 8-9% of the surface area. Upon punching the holes we will topdress with approximately 50-60 tons of sand to fill in the holes and amend the soil. We expect the holes to fill in about 7-10 days. We will raise the heights considerably once we aerify and slowly lower them back down but not to their current heights. We will maintain higher heights of cut on the greens after aerification and throughout the summer to protect the health of the bentgrass during the stressful summer months.

As we enter the summer months you will see the Greens and Grounds Department become more active in hosing or syringing the greens throughout the day in play. We respectfully ask that you please be careful and help keep our staff safe during this practice. Please pause and/or yield for the staff to complete their job as this is a very difficult and strenuous task during the summer stress months.

The transition back to Bermuda grass is in full swing. It is very encouraging to see how much Bermuda grass is coming through the overseed on the fairways, tees, and approaches given what a prolonged cold winter we had. As we move towards summer, we will make a series of applications to slowly and methodically remove the overseeded ryegrass. The first half of the application will be April 24-25 and the second application will be May 8 & 9. This product will suppress the ryegrass for about 6-10 weeks before finally removing the overseed grass completely by beginning to mid-June. The grass will not go brown or disrupt play at all. The grass will lighten to a pale green. This is the same process we have used for 4 years and has been very successful.

We have several projects coming this summer that will begin in May.

We will be adding 6 fans to the golf course. We will be adding fans to 4,5,6,10,11, and 12. We are currently working with APS to run power in the golf course from Pinnacle Peak Road under the oleanders that will power all fans on 4,5,6. The power will enter close to the white tee on #5 and will branch off to each green from that location.

We will be running electricity for 10, 11, and 12 from the HOA gate on Pima & Country Club Trail.  Pinnacle Peak Country Club Estates HOA was kind enough to aid us in finding a power solution for those holes. We finalized an agreement and will be reimbursing the HOA for the power for the months we utilize the fans of June, July, August, and September.

Players will see a significant amount of trenching being performed on 4,5,6, 10,11,and 12 for several weeks. This will begin the week of May 8 and will take until July to complete. We hope to have 17 of the 20 greens with fans installed by the 4th of July.

We will be improving the drainage to the area to the north of #8 green between the homes where the drainage water enters the golf course. This will be done to fix the water that is damned up above the turf and also to remedy the need to pump the water after every storm. This will also improve the aesthetics of the area and be a long-term solution to the drainage problem. We will be lowering all the turf on each side of the bank and adding a 4-foot wide cement channel that will let all water through to empty the drainage basin completely after storms. The project is set to begin in the middle of May and should take several weeks to complete.

We will be re-grading and improving the desert to the west of #16 between the tee and the homes. This will be primarily a grading project to slow and hold the water to control the erosion issues in the area. We will re-direct and brace several embankments to help the erosion issues for the golf course and the homes in the area.

We hope you enjoy your summer. We look forward to seeing you on the course and for those of you who do not spend your summers here we will see you when you return.

 Regards – PPCC Agronomy Team

Fixing Ball Marks on Chipping Green during morning prep

Morning Preop at the Putting Green in the Dark

Hydrojecting Collars to promote root depth

#9 - Thursday Men's Member Guest 

#18 Friday Men's Member Guest

#8 Friday - Men's Member Guest

Rolling #17 Thursday of Men's Member Guest

Wednesday of Ladies Member Guest

#5 - Wednesday of Ladies Member Guest

#7 Saturday of Men's Member Guest

#7 Saturday of Men's Member Guest

Collecting Core Samples for Soil Testing

The finger is pointing to the lighter green with the seed heat is bermuda grass. The darker green is ryegrass. 

Greens mower with brush assembly

Friday, November 4, 2022

Green &Grounds Blog – August – October 2022

Welcome to the 2022/2023 fall/winter season. We hope everyone enjoyed their summer wherever you may have been. We are all welcoming back the perfect weather.  

It was a very busy and challenging summer. In early August we were hit with a 100-year storm that devastated the North Scottsdale area and 2 weeks later hit with another large storm. The storm brought a lot of water in a short amount of time. With that water came a lot of granite, debris, and damage. The retention on #5 was filled with almost 4 additional feet of granite and debris. Much of the wash on #2 was cut 4-6 feet deep. The wash behind #8 green had 4-6 feet of granite built up about 50 yards deep into the drainage channel. In addition, the green and grounds building was flooded with several inches of water and a few inches of mud. G&G department and several contractors spent much of August and September repairing the damage. Not all damage has been repaired yet, but we continue to work on the small things in the desert areas and many of the areas along the homes on the golf course.

As many of you may have seen through club emails, well #1 had some major mechanical problems this past June. Well #1 is located about ½ mile SW of #15 green in the HOA to the west of PPCC. The pumping yield had dropped about 50%. The well had been in the ground for 14 years, significantly past its life expectancy of 8-10 years on average. We were able to quickly mobilize our contractor to inspect and diagnose the problems. The bowl assembly at the bottom of the well was in the early stages of failure. Well #1 was set at 900 ft deep so the entire assembly had to be pulled. Upon inspection visible wearing, pits, and holes were discovered in the columns and drive shafts. The entire pump assembly, inner column, and drive shaft have now been replaced. The 400 HP motor was also rebuilt. In addition, the entire perforated outer column was scrubbed and cleaned, and inspected for structural damage. Fortunately, the well casing and outer column were in very good condition and only required cleaning. The well was re-installed in mid-September and is back to operating at full capacity. Well #2 was rebuilt in 2017 and continues to operate a full capacity.

The septic tank at the G&G building has been replaced. The hole is still open in our backyard, awaiting inspection from Maricopa County. The septic tank at G&G building and #7 restroom had been failing for some time now. A new road-grade tank was able to be installed and positioned in the back yard of the G&G yard and will be able to be paved over for future improvements to the G&G building.

Some additional work was performed on the lakes and pump station to ensure efficiency. The intake screen for the pump station has been replaced. The intake screen is in the middle of the lake on #18 and had failed. Allowing for excess debris to be sucked into the wet well below the pump station. This debris was causing clogging issues in our irrigation heads throughout the golf course. Additionally, a diver cleaned out the wet well below the pump station, helping to alleviate the debris being sucked into the irrigation system.

The small ponds next to #1 tee and #9 green were drained and dredged to help improve the appearance of the pond. Several cubic yards of sludge and aquatic weeds were removed from the ponds. Unfortunately, it was discovered that the liner in the upper pond next to the #1 tee has failed. The failed liner is seeping water, and the pond is being continuously contaminated by native soil. The necessary improvements to the pond liner have been added to the long-term capital improvement plan and is being priced out.

The summer monsoon was very hard on our bentgrass greens. Sustained soil temperatures of 85-100 degrees, sustained humidity in the 60’s, and sustained dew points in the upper 60’s and low 70’s from July into mid-September took their toll on the bentgrass. For reference, ideal soil temps for bentgrass are 50-65 degrees. The harsh conditions throughout the summer took the root system from 10-12 inches down to about 3 inches by September. Simply put, the bentgrass slowly boiled in the ground for the summer, leading to some loss.

In mid-September, our fall aerification was performed. While cultural practice went well, we had a few challenges with the smearing of the sand on a few wet and dewy mornings that crusted up and caused some damage. Many of these areas have been patched and repaired. #3, #5, #12, #16, and #17 had most of the damage. G&G continues to hand water, hand roll, and hand top-dress to help mend the repairs to the existing greens. The height of cut of the greens remains higher than normal for this time of the year to help the repaired areas mature and mend. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we nurse these areas back to full health.

2022 overseed went very well. We dodged several storms through overseeding. There were no major washouts or damage during overseeding due to the storms. During the grow-in, G&G took advantage of that time to depth check and fix all bunkers. We cleaned and polished all tee markers, trash cans, and tees accessories.  G&G continues to play catch up in the deserts from the summer storms. Desert cleaning and small detail work continue to be performed at every opportunity.

The height of the cut on all overseed surfaces will remain a little tall for a few weeks as we let the new ryegrass mature. As the weather cools and the Bermuda shrinks down, we will consistently lower the mowing heights. Many players have commented on the non-overseeded roughs being tall/thick and difficult. This is by design.  We want the non-overseeded Bermuda as full and thick as we can possibly get it before the cold weather sets in and shrinks it down. This is to protect dormant Bermuda through the non-growing season of the winter.

As many of you know, the Southwest United States and Arizona continue to face water challenges. Currently, PPCC operates under water management plan #3 adopted in 2000. This plan gave PPCC an annual allotment of 583-acre feet of water for the golf course. On January 1st, 2023, PPCC will take a state-mandated 3% cut in water under the legislated water management plan #4 to 565-acre feet. On January 1st of 2025, PPCC will take another state-mandated 7% cut in water under the legislated water management plan #5 to 530-acre feet.

Since 2015 PPCC has averaged 541 acre feet per year. Plan #5 will make things tighter to manage. We are currently managing as if plan #5 has already been implemented. Currently, there are no additional legislated cuts after WMP #5. However, that may change as circumstances change. We continue to manage our water as efficiently as possible. Water usage is monitored daily to meet monthly and annual goals. PPCC water usage has been trending down consistently since the mid-1980s. We continue to utilize state of the art irrigation heads, computers, moisture meters, and wetting agents to help us conserve.

We hope you are enjoying the golf course and we look forward to seeing your out there.


Green &Grounds Department

Stucco Blown off G&G Building

Water in G&G Office

Water in G&G Storage Room

Mud & Debris in G&G Yard

Wash Out & Storm Water from #8 Green pushed onto #9

Storm Damage #5

Storm Damage #13/Driving Range

Granite washed onto course

#5 Basing next to PPCC Rd.

Well #1 Inner Column Ready for Install

Well #1 Reinstalled


Old Pump Station Intake Screen & New

Debris from wet well under the pump station

Large Debris from wet well clean out

Pond #1 Tee pumped out

Dredging Crew

Small Pond in fron of #9 Green being Dredged

Broken Liner on Large Pond #1 Tee

#1 Tee Pond

Excuvation for G&G Septic Tank

Drilling Leach Pit for Septic Tank - 6" Wide by 40 Ft Deep.

Crew performing Bunker Depths Checks