Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Green & Grounds Blog - Jan-March 2024

We hope everyone is doing well!!! We are in the final stretch of the spring tournaments and events. The Sunrise, Salida, and Sunset were great events. We hope everyone and their guests had a great time. In a couple more weeks the heat will be arriving, and the end of the winter season will be here.

The course did well throughout the entire winter season. We were very happy with the turf conditions. The Greens have maintained a 12-13 readying on the stimp for the entire season. The new collars are thriving and performing well. The overseed withstood the cold snaps of winter and we are seeing a healthy amount of Bermuda grass emerging already.

You will see over the next several weeks that we will be verticutting the greens. The verticut will be visible but will not affect the playability. We will be performing a light verticutting, brush, and grooming through the spring to help remove old leaf tissue and make room for new emerging tissue. These processes also help to increase plant health and readiness for the stresses of summer.

As mentioned before, we are seeing a tremendous amount of Bermuda grass coming through the overseed. This is a great sign for transition. Additionally, we will be applying the 1st application of 2 applications of a herbicide in mid-April and begin slowly removing the ryegrass. The 2nd application will be applied the 2nd week of May. This herbicide will begin the 10–12-week process of slowly removing the ryegrass and allow the Bermuda grass to outcompete the ryegrass. The effects will not be sudden or immediate and will not disrupt play. The only indication will be the ryegrass will be slightly lighter for about a week. This is the same process we have been using for several years now and has proven to be very successful at transitioning the Bermuda grass back.

Green and Grounds have begun to add more vegetation to the deserts. Several areas were not completed when the project began during the Bunker Renovation Project. We recently completed the area by #7 bathroom, #2 tee box, and #17 green. We have several sporadic areas 10-17 that we will be finishing up through the summer.

Progress continues on the Golf Course Maintenance Facilities.  The demolition has been completed and signed off by the City of Scottsdale. The footers for the foundation have been dug and partially framed. However, several unexpected challenges have arisen including; 

  1. Engineered plans had to be re-engineered to secure two foundations together, as the existing foundation was different than expected.
  2. The water source line for the bathroom on #7 had to be relocated. 
  3. The septic line from the bathroom was found to have several issues causing the need for replacement.
  4. The City of Scottsdale required our permit to be changed from a renovation to a new build.

These items are being worked on but are currently delaying the footers and foundation pour.

Despite all the challenges the General Contractor is still optimistic about finishing the building by July.

In addition to the new building, several other items are being remodeled and/or improved. Upon completion of the new building, the entire yard and existing structures will all be updated to match. The following is a list of the other areas in addition to the new building. 

Important to note that the additional projects below were included in our estimated budget approved by the membership.

  1. A large room was segmented last fall into 3 smaller rooms. The new storage area allowed us to relocate from the old building the chemical/fertilizer storage, operation supplies storage, and the irrigation parts room. By moving these storage areas out of the old building we were able to expand the future lunchroom for the staff.
  2. Another large room was segmented into 2 separate rooms. These 2 new rooms allowed us to relocate the mechanical parts storage into a new climate-controlled room. The other room is our temporary lunchroom for the staff until the new building is completed. Upon completion, the room will be converted into a small power tools storage area.
  3. The rear gate and wall were moved late last summer to allow us to expand the building.
  4. A new gas tank is also required. The life expectancy of the fuel tank is 25-30 years. Our current fuel tank is 25 years old. The fuel is being relocated to a more convenient area in the middle of the yard for better accessibility. Instead of moving the old tank and having to replace it again in a few years, it was decided to purchase a new tank for the new location.
  5. The west side of our yard is currently a dirt yard. We will be paving this area with asphalt. The new area is approximately 13,000 sq. feet.
  6. A 20ft x 80ft shade structure will be installed along the west wall to protect our large specialty equipment from the sun.
  7. The remaining portion of the building will also be refurbished. The roof will be resealed/repaired, and all walls will be repainted.
  8. In the mechanics bay a small new room will be constructed with ventilation to enclose the reel grinders. This will help shield the noise and help control the particulate matter from sharpening out mower reels. Additionally, a small wall will be constructed to enclose the large air compressor to help with the noise.
  9. A new water line from the meter by #17 green to the shop will also have to be installed. A portion of the line was trenched from the meter to the parking lot. The remaining line will be trenched and installed later.

G&G has been aiding the contractor with several of the trenching projects to help keep the costs down. This requires removing labor from the golf course during these special projects. Additionally, the operation of G&G has been impacted significantly by the demolition and construction. We continue to ask for your patience and understanding as we work through this large project.

We look forward to finishing out the season. We wish everyone a safe and fun summer wherever you may be.


Cody Horstman, Director of Agronomy


New electrical service for fans installed for #4,#5,#6

New vegetation and planings on #7 bathroom 

New vegetation #7 bathroom

Vegetation #7 Bathroom

Our new tri-plexes(2) have finally arrived that were ordered 2.5 years ago

Our Mobile Mini Office

Office for the G&G operations and our central irrigation control

Digging up the central irrigation communication lines to move to the mobile mini office

Splicing irrigation communication wires and finding a surprise water line. 

Toro Irrigation Technicians helping move and install the hardware for the central irrigation controls into the mobile mini office.

Demolition of the old showers in the locker rooms.

Found a snake den under the old showers during demolition

Start of demolition

Foundation and Footer demolition.

Demolition complete. The existing/remaining building to the left.

Framing new footers

Framing being completed for foundations poor 

Building Sewer / Drain lines roughed in and ready for city inspection.

Digging in the new sewer line from #7 Bathroom to the septic tank in the west yard.



Thursday, October 26, 2023

October 2023 G&G Blog

Welcome back to the 2023-2024 season. We hope everyone enjoyed their summer. We look forward to getting the course open for play and seeing everyone back at the club.

This past summer was a very hot and dry summer. We received 0.4 inches of rain from this year’s monsoon season versus 13 inches from the prior monsoon season. The greens did very well this summer with the drier conditions. However, the hot and dry weather presented some challenges to the water budget. We had a very good transition this past summer and did not need excess water for the Bermuda grass to recover. Through all the challenges we were able to maintain our water budget through the summer and expect to meet our annual allotment.

The lack of monsoon storms also provided a chance to catch up and work ahead on the desert maintenance leading up to overseed. We spent a good portion of August and September blowing and cleaning, raking debris, and removing random sprout plants from all of the deserts. We have started over on the deserts now trimming all plants however we did not finish all the trimming of the deserts. Holes 10-17, and 3-7 will continue trimming and cleaning over the next several weeks as the course opens.

As you may have noticed our overseed schedule changed this year. This year our closure for overseeding was 5 weeks in total. Fall greens aerification was pushed back 2 weeks and was combined with overseeding to create an extended period compared to the prior years. This was done for several reasons. The first reason was to aerate the greens in more favorable weather conditions for the health of the greens. Second, it removed the need for golfers to have to play on sandy aerified greens for 2 weeks leading up to overseed. Third, the G&G Department was able to make all necessary herbicide applications away from all play. Fourth it provided a built time for the restoration of the collars this year and for the future when the collars will have to be re-sodded to combat the Bermuda encroachment. Fifth it pushed back overseed 1 week and allowed the ryegrass to be grown in a slightly cooler period to establish with less pressure from the existing Bermuda grass.  Our overall goal was to make one inclusive period to perform all necessary practices while removing any disruptions to the course that would affect play prior to overseeding and creating much healthier conditions for the golf course.

During the week of September 25th, the greens were verticut and ariefied with ½ tines and top-dressed with 75 tons of sand. In addition, the outside 24” of the bentgrass collars were cut and dug out approximately 2-3” to remove all Bermuda encroachment. Approximately 50 tons of USGA green mix was backfilled and packed band in this area around every green. 14,000 sq feet of bentgrass sod was contract grown 10 months ago in northern California. 2 deliveries of sod were brought in on refrigerated trucks to re-sod the collars. This was a very large and labor-intensive practice, but a very necessary practice to protect Bermuda grass from encroaching into the interior of the greens. This practice can be expected to occur every 2-3 years pending weather conditions.

Overseed went very well this year. The weather conditions could not have been more perfect. The overseed was performed the same as it has been over the past 2 seasons. G&G used approximately 36,000 lbs. of perennial ryegrass seed to overseed this year. Very similar to what our overseeds have been for the past years.

G&G continues to clean and prepare the course of opening. An extensive amount of time has been spent in the bunkers checking depths and re-distributing the sand as needed. We have been cleaning more deserts, cleaning and polishing rakes, coolers, sand/seedboxes, trash cans, and tee markers. Multiple flower beds and pots have been added to the clubhouse area this year. We hope everyone will enjoy the added color.

The renovations to the G&G Department Building are moving forward but unfortunately at a very slow pace. All designs and plans have been submitted to the City of Scottsdale and are still pending review and permit. Several hurdles have been cleared but we are still waiting on the city to move forward. There are 3 contractors ready and waiting to finish competitive bids on the project pending the final permitted plans. Preliminary bids were received based on the non-permitted plans for budgetary purposes. Bids will be revised based on the city comments and stamped plans. There is no definitive timeline, but we are still hoping for the demo and construction to begin before the end of the year.

One large change that will be noticed at G&G will be the NW corner of the yard near the bathroom on #7 has been moved out and the 2 existing gates were combined into 1 gate to connect the east yard to the west yard. This will give some additional space to park equipment and cars and for the new portion of the building.

Another large change that will be noticed is the removal of the large oleanders along the golf course maintenance road / Cart Path 7→8. The oleanders were removed to open up the wash entrance for stormwater that comes down the #8 cart path. The oleanders were grown over the area where the water was supposed to run forcing the water to stay on the road and pushing the water into the golf course maintenance yard. It was decided to remove the oleanders to help direct the water away from the golf course maintenance building and protect the upcoming renovations to the building. Future replantings are being considered once the grading work has been completed.

We look forward to seeing everyone back at the club and look forward to providing an excellent experience for all members and guests. WELCOME BACK!!!!!

Verticut / Dethatch Greens

Close-up of dethatching

Close up of dethatching

Brushing in topdressing sand after aerification

Bermuda encroachment on collar
Bermuda encroachment on collars
Killing bermuda encroachment preparing to dig out and prep for new sod. Blue paint is the location of the trace wire underground used to locate the exact edge of greens cavity. Orange paint is the 24" that is being replaced.

Sod cutting collars
Collars being preppped
More collar prep
At the tip of the knife is a Bermuda stolen remaining after cutting out 2" of sod. Remaining stems had to be hand-picked out with knives in order to prevent the bemuda from re-growing under the new bentgrass collars

Hand packing sand to prep for the new sod. We made 3/4 tampers out of ply wood to match the sod at 3/4 of inch.

Fresh roll of bentgrass sod

Refrigerated truck arriving from northern California overnight with new bentgrass sod

New sod on collars

New Sod

new sod

#5 green with new collars. The moisture that can be seen is from the underground pop-up heads in the greens to water the collars. This underground system was installed when the greens were re-built in 2016 for use on the collars when these projects occur.

#17 with new collar

Pipe break right of #14 green. 

Pipe glue failed and the pipe came out of the TEE 

Staff walk seeding #15 

Walk spreading #15

Mowing greens while overseed is watering. Staff must use boards on the greens to turn around to avoid damaging the green and eliminate mower traffic around the perimeter of the green. 

New flower bed behind #18 Green

Annual flowers added to the existing cactus bed in the middle of the staging area

Wall demo NW corner of G&G yard

More demo

Digging new footers for new wall

New wall being installed

More brick

Repositioned NW gate @ G&G 

Oleanders removed #7→#8

Oleanders Removed #2 Tee / #7→#8

Large pine blown over in wind storm #15

Pine #15

Large pine blown over #4