Marc Francoeur, GCS
“The course is just looking good, and we have to tear it.” I probably hear this quote the most during the month of September. I agree; what a shame. In September, we usually see the rewards in summer turf quality from the high humidity (for Arizona) and rainfall from the monsoons. This year stings me particularly worse due to the fact we had such a tough transition, with starting later than normal which made it to feel like it took longer than usual. Unfortunately, that is the golf course business in Arizona. My professors in college would be lecturing; this is not how you grow healthy quality turf. Full disclosure, I went to school on the northern side of the transition zone. In all seriousness, what we do down here in the overseeding market is very detrimental to the Bermuda grass, and every year it’s harder to bring back our summer grass quickly. Every year, I’m hearing more and more golf courses in Arizona are taking a season off from overseeding; maybe it’ll be greens or they only overseed greens and tees and not the fairways. Reasoning behind this is to allow the Bermuda to build up its reserve bank of its carbohydrates that we deplete when we put it through the rigors of overseeding. I’m not fully advocating to not overseed, but maybe we consider lighter seeding rates or even take a year off fairways every three to five years. I’ve discussed this only to plant the seed – no pun intended – no, that’s not true; pun intended! Maybe if you have friends or colleagues who play or belong to other courses that may have taken this approach, ask them for feedback on their courses. I am going to move on from this topic, because I’m afraid you may have lost interest by now.
We are starting to make headway on the lake health. Maybe some of you have noticed that we installed an aerator on the larger of the two lakes on #15, and we moved the fountain to the upper lake. I believe the aerator has been working great and with fountain in the upper smaller lake. This will pull the nice oxygenated water to top, and the rock feature that is between the two lakes will start to flow! You all will be happy to know we have purchased a new fountain for #13 lake. I’m writing this article on the 28th of July (my wife’s birthday), so the fountain might already be in operation, so you might have noticed it already!
On the 24th of this month, we will be closing the golf course for overseeding and reopening it on Saturday, the 14th of October, for a light opening which means we’ll be restricting four-wheel golf carts to cart paths only. This does mean people with disabilities will also have to adhere to the cart paths as well. We will be asking for volunteer help again before and during our closure. I already have had one volunteer tell me he is ready to go; thank you, Dean Tucker! I’m going about it a little different this year, and I will be asking for your help only for the last two weeks we’re closed. Some of the duties I will ask of you will be painting tee markers, O.B. and hazard stakes, help with a new roof on the pump station. If you have any other ideas that I’m drawing a blank on at this moment, I’m open for suggestions. I do have a biggie, maybe overly ambitious. I would like to try to get some or all the cart crossing walls painted this year! We have access to a paint sprayer that will make it easier and faster. I will have sign-ups up in the pro shop for you to sign up.
The Greens Committee and I will be putting on the Superintendent’s revenge tournament on our final day we are open, Saturday, the 23rd of this month. My staff and I will be hosting lunch, and it will be pretty standard format – best ball, KP’s and, hopefully, lightning-fast greens running around 16 on the stimp meter and a difficult pin or two. Sign up at the pro shop. If you have any questions, track me or Jack Cooper down. We will be happy to help! Thank you.