Golf Course Volunteers

Scott Moore

The SunBird golf course looks the best it has since at least 2013, the year Cheryl and I moved into the community. Other than the driving range, all one sees is rich, lush green as you stroll or drive around SunBird. Driving in either direction along Riggs Road, you will not see another golf course that looks as beautiful as ours. You name it—Springfield, Lone Tree, Bear Creek, Oakwood—what you see is a lot of brown fairways and rough. While it took proper overseeding to get SunBird looking as it does this year, it really would not have been possible to achieve without the addition of the two new water pumps this summer to get the irrigation water sufficiently distributed. In addition to the course itself, restrooms have been painted, the pumphouse on Waterview has been painted and a roof installed, some of the ponds cleaned out, concrete has been repaired, ceramic plaques installed, and the course bridges have been painted and/or rebuilt.

While the visual effect is an enjoyment for all in the community, the golfer experience has also taken a big leap forward this season. No more eating dust or injuring wrists from hitting low fliers off of hard brown/dirt fairways and rough. Gone is the guesswork over how the putts are going to roll on the semi-bare greens, and no more balls shooting out of rock-hard bunkers (which many times could be followed by the utterance of one of a number of “golf” words). All this has been replaced with greens in tremendous condition; rototilled and fluffed bunkers; and soft, green grass fairways and rough. While I believe our scores are improving from the course conditions, there may be a complaint or two about losing balls in the rough every now and then that we didn’t have in past years.

Getting the course in this condition took additional upfront labor as well as ongoing daily/weekly labor (mowing, divot and ball mark repairs, sand trap raking, etc.) during a time when the course maintenance staff has been unable to fill open positions since September (yup, the ol’ COVID labor shortage thing). Fortunately, the SunBird Golf Club has had many volunteers step up and assist during this maintenance crew shortage to keep the course looking green, well-manicured, and a pleasure to play. I know I will miss some of these volunteers, but they include Fred Nixon, Fred Fraga, Gary Popelka, Suzanne Popelka, Jack Cooper, Kelly Davis, Ken Cross, George Jones, Gary Hall, Todd Brautigam, Barb Brautigam, Trent Johnson, Bob Morris, Bob Lama, John Valentine, Pat Arnold, Don Hunt, Shirly Hunt, Gene Dunbar, Karen Gilmore, Cindy Vig, Craig Zubchevich, Byron Hock, Sue Mallery, Larrie Kosiba, Russ Bower, Loren Wallace, Ron Jackson, Dave White, Bruce Wilson, Wayne Onyx, and about 50 individuals who have been filling divots and repairing ball marks during off hours.

Thank you, all!