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