December / January / February 2019
It has been a cold and wet season so far. Since January 1st
we have received 4.25 inches of rain. The temperatures have been much cooler
this winter compared to past winters. So far this season we have had 18 frost
delays. While no one enjoy the delays, including the golf course maintenance
team, we do our best to minimize them while still protecting the turf from
damage. While most frost delays only freeze the top leaf tissue of the plant,
we must be careful not to step or drive equipment and carts on turf which can
crack the leaf tissue and damage the plant. Usually a plant can grow out of
this damage over a period, but the damage is visually noticeable and unsightly.
In cases when the lower portion of the plant called the crown freezes, complete
death can occur. (see picture below)
One negative side effect of all the rain, as many of you
have probably noticed at your homes and communities, is the excessive number of
weeds that can appear. While we take a lot of preventative measures with the
use of pre-emergent treatments, we have still realized a large increase of
grassy weeds in the deserts and especially in the non overseeded roughs. We
have been spot praying post emergent herbicides to kill these weeds,
specifically poa. Unfortunately, the herbicides that selectively kill poa also
kill ryegrass and bentgrass so we must be extremely careful when we spray in
proximity to team members and golfers, so the herbicide is not tracked into the
overseeded turf. It is very important to keep up on these applications to help
prevent the spread of the poa into the overseed and especially onto our greens.
We do our best to avoid spraying during play, but we ask that if you see a team
member spraying in the rough to please avoid the area.
Green and Grounds has been busy with many projects. Over the
last several months we have trimmed, raked, cleaned, and edge all deserts. In addition,
Green and Grounds has re-rocked the entire parking lot and club area, including
running all new irrigation and planting the patios on the new clubhouse.
This past December we re-surfaced our small nursery green
located east of the tennis courts. This nursery green is used to repair the
greens and collars. While we did not use much of our nursery green it had to be
resurfaced because of its location where it is surrounded by the tennis courts,
parking lot, and a seven-foot-tall wall. Due to its less than ideal location we
will be constructing a new nursery green located in the desert between #2 green
and #17 tee. Construction will begin the week after the El Cannip.
In January, Green and Grounds also installed the new clock
next to the putting green. Unfortunately, the only way to get electricity to
the area was to install a new sub panel next to the clock. The other
alternative would have been to bore under the concrete from the clubhouse and
trench around the putting green. We hope
everyone is enjoying our new clock.
The biggest project we have been working through has been
the replacement of our aging pump station. The planning process began almost 2
years ago. Multiple vendors, consultants, and experts have been involved
including an electrician, welder, cranes, demolitions trucks, new pump station
installer, APS, City of Scottsdale, irrigation architect, and the pump manufacturer
who all collaborated over the entire planning and execution of the project.
The project was initially planned to be completed in
December, but due to unforeseen circumstances was pushed back to February. Our
old pump station was 25 years old. A typical pump station has a life expectancy
of 20-25 years. We got every ounce of life out of our old pump station and operationally,
it was in pretty good shape. However, structurally it was very corroded and
technologically outdated. Many of our computer parts that control the station
we no longer being made, and replacement parts were no longer available.
The process included making several major changes to the pump
station. We first re-designed the layout to make the station more accessible by
rotating it 90 degrees to reduce the amount of turns the water made coming out
the of the station. The old station pulled the water up and the pipe turned
around 180 degrees before it went out the golf course. We also added an
additional 25 HP jockey pump. This smaller “maintenance pump” helps in our day
time operations by running the small water tasks such as syringing greens and
misters. By taking the bulk of the small water tasks it helps avoid the large
75 HP motors from turning on and off frequently. This in turn makes the station
more efficient and saves wear and tear on the large motors. With adding a new pump,
we also had to upgrade our electrical service from a 400 AMP panel to a 600 AMP
panel. This included running all new wiring from the APS transformer to the
With the new station being on a larger platform we had to
pour new concrete to support the station and avoid setting it on the 40-year-old
concreate. The new concrete was also poured to help level the station and meet
city code. The old station and wet well were not very level and caused
vibration issues adding to the ware and tear of the station.
Another major change was the piping that creates the water
fall feature next to #1 tee / #9 Green. The pipe was relocated to create more
access to the control panels. Prior to moving the pipe, we had to jump over the
pipe and stand on wood raised stand to access the 460-volt panel. This created
a very un-safe working condition. So, by rotating the station and moving the
control panel we created safe access to the control panels.
On February 18-20 the new station arrived. As you may have
seen, there were a lot of people and trucks involved. Other than some missing
and wrong parts that had to be overnighted there were no major challenges with
the installation and everything went very smoothly. The cool weather and all
the rain could not have could not have come at a better time to get everything
perfect before brining the station on line.
Overall this was a very important project and a critical
capital investment for the long-term health of the golf course.
We hope everyone enjoys the upcoming tournament season and
golf at the Club.