We hope everyone is enjoying the summer and for those of you
that are here, you know the heat has finally set in and the humidity is now
kicking in. We have been quite busy since our last blog update and wanted to
let you know what has been taking place on the golf course.
The greens are holding up quite well with the heat and
humidity. We have been slowing raising height of cut to help protect them as
the difficult weather has begun. As the humidity, air, soil temperatures and
dew points rise, the bentgrass will begin to go into a protective mode to
combat the less than ideal environment for growth and health. The greens will
be slower over the summer months compared to the speeds we enjoy during the
fall, winter and spring. We will continue to strive to provide the best playing
surfaces possible while protecting the health of the greens throughout the
You can now see that fans have been installed on #3, #15 and
the putting and chipping greens. There is one more fan to be installed on #16.
The installation has been delayed due to the fan being damaged in transport and
the permitting process to run electricity into the golf course from the HOA to
the west of #16 green. We hope to have this final fan operational by July 26th
– August 1st
. The fans help to circulate the air above the greens
and give them relief during the high temperatures, humidity, and dew points of
monsoon. These greens with fans were selected based on their location and lack
of air movement due to surrounding walls, homes, etc. and the difficulties we
have traditionally had on these greens during the summer. We will run the fans
24 hours a day during the monsoon season and remove them in September when the
weather begins to cool. The base of the fan will be sodded over during the
winter season. We changed the fans this year to a direct drive fan with a
variable frequency drive (VFD). These fans are much quieter, and the speed of
the fan can be controlled. They also are within the City of Scottsdale sound
The transition from our cool season rye grass to our summer
bermudagrass turf has been very positive so far. The fairways, tees, and
approaches look very good with only a few minor barer areas that will fill in
over the next few weeks. With the humidity kicking up the remainder of the
ryegrass will finally die off. Especially the remaining ryegrass in the green
surrounds that has been protected by shade. As the ryegrass burns off there
will be some challenges with transition around the green surrounds that will
have to be addressed with sod, additional water and/or fertilizer to repair.
The green surrounds are typically our most challenging areas due the ryegrass
being maintained at higher height of cut in-season. The taller ryegrass
overseed is much harder on the bermuda compared to the shorter areas of
fairways and tees.
The bentgrass greens collars are doing well so far and are
effectively serving as a solution to the troublesome buffer area between the bermuda
grass and our bentgrass putting surfaces. You may have seen the discolored
rings around the outside of the collars. We continue to use an herbicide that
targets the bermuda grass to slow and stunt its growth and help control
encroachment. The herbicide will turn the bermuda white and temporarily
discolor the bentgrass. The bentgrass usually greens back up within a couple of
days while the bermuda will take 2-3 weeks to recover and begin to grow again.
We continuously spray every 2-3 weeks to maintain control of the encroachment.
Not all the bermuda is visible on the surface and can grow under the bent. Eventually
we will need to re-sod the outer portion of the collars. Typically, the outer
portion may have to be re-sodded every 2-4 years. Being proactive with the
herbicide treatments will continue to slow the encroachment and reduce the
frequency of sodding.
In late April a new nursery green was constructed between
#17 tees and #2 green. The nursery green was added to give us a better sod option
for the greens in cases of repair. The other nursery green is located north of
the tennis courts surrounded by two 8-foot walls and the employing parking lot.
That particularly nursery green can struggle tremendously in the summer due to
its boxed in surrounding and location. The new nursery is intended to provide
healthier sod and more of it if necessary.
We began trimming trees with our in-house staff in May and
continue work our way through the entire course. We have several holes remaining
on the front nine to complete. The contract tree trimming began the 1st
week of June and was completed during the 12-day closure of the golf course. 17
trees were removed this year as part of the tree plan developed by our Golf
Course Architect and Arborist. The most noticeable trees will be around #8,
#15, #17 greens. It was critical that we remove these trees to alleviate the
shade and air circulation challenges on the greens. The golf course architect
reviewed the entire plan for addition and removal in May before the work began.
An additional 38 trees will be planted from the end of July to early September
as part of this ongoing tree plan.
Earlier this year the Club adjusted the calendar to close
the golf course for 12 days in July. This closure allowed for all the cultural
practices of verticutting (dethatching), aerification, topdressing of all
fairways, tees, approaches, and roughs to be performed all at once. The goal
was to provide better golf course conditions through the week of July 4th
condensing these practices into a shorter time window rather than stretching
them out over 6-8 weeks. This allowed us
to be better conditioned longer and recover more quickly following the closure
thus reducing the impact to players. The golf course reopens July 19th
with all practices complete. Players can expect the golf course to be cleaned
up and ready for play but still a little “beat up” from these aggressive
practices requiring another week or two to fully recover. Fairways, tees, and
approaches will be sandy and a little shaggy. It will take this small recovery
period for the grass to fill in and to get a quality cut from our mowers.
While these practices are disruptive, they are very
beneficial to the health of the golf course and necessary to continue to provide
the best possible playing conditions year-round. We sincerely appreciate the Memberships
patience and support as we continue to strive to elevate the quality of the
golf course today and in the future.
Your Green & Grounds Department
|Ranger - Barry's Dog, has been hanging out with us|
|Shade on #17 Green|
|Shade on #8 Green|
|Shade on #17 Gree|
|Shade on #15 Green|
|New Nursery Greens Shaping|
|New Nursery Greens - Filling The Sand In|
|Contract Tree Trimming|
|Fransisco Aerifying Practice Green Area|
|Jesus Cleaning Plugs @ Practice Greens|
|Day 1 of Verticutting - The Pile Grew 4x|
|Jose Aerifying Tees|
|Victor Cleaning Behind Verticutting|
|Juan Topdressing Fairways|