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