Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Overseeding at Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs

scottsdale golf club

Every year at this time I hear the same comments from golfers everywhere, regarding the overseeding program at Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs. “Just when the weather starts to get cooler and the course seems to be in great condition, we close down for overseeding.”

This is absolutely true and we don’t welcome it any more than the golfers do, but it is necessary to go through this program at  Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs. This time frame gives us the best chance of success to get a good stand of cool season Ryegrass, which is the grass we play on from October through April.  In April when the temperatures rise, the Bermuda wakes up and the Rye goes away.

For those who are here, we ask that you take your belongings from your locker with you while we are closed for the overseeding.  We will be cleaning all of the lockers at this time.

With the above being said, we should remind you of where we were last year and what we will be doing this fall to enhance our playing surfaces.  Many Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs players, including our course re-designer Tom Lehman, have commented that overall the course conditions continue to get better year after year, especially the greens.  Part of the reason for this is that we decided NOT to overseed the Tif Eagle greens last fall. Not having cool season grasses such as Bentgrass and Poa Trivialis interfering with the Bermuda space and growth enabled the greens to get healthier, denser and stronger throughout the year.  On many days they were double cut, and rolled to get the speeds we all enjoy.  As a result of that decision we have received a tremendous positive response from Scottsdale golf club golfers as to the quality and playability of our putting surfaces; therefore, we will not be overseeding the greens this year.   

In addition, in our quest to continue to provide the best possible Scottsdale golf club playing surfaces throughout the entire year, we will also NOT be overseeding the primary cut of rough (those areas outside the boundaries of the intermediate rough cuts). The primary rough is the only area of the course which will go off color, which we believe will be only 60-75 days when we have our coldest temperatures.

This practice will enhance the quality of the Bermuda turf and reduce the issues in transition of the course back to Bermuda grass in the spring, not to mention the opportunity to reduce the water on this part of the course. If you have been reading about the drought conditions the city and state are facing in the future, it is the responsible way for the Scottsdale golf club to be prudent with our water allocation.

Tom Lehman also mentioned that reducing water at the Scottsdale golf club will allow the course to play firmer and faster.   In addition, the bunkers will be drier and more consistent.  When I mentioned this to Tom, he was very supportive of this practical approach and it will enable the Scottsdale golf club  course to be played differently in the summer than the winter, which is also part of his design plan.  We will be able to narrow the fairways in the fall by changing the mow patterns of the cool season grasses.  The contrast between the vibrant green Rye and the beige primary rough really frames the holes nicely as Tom Lehman pointed out to me.  Many of you will recognize this new look as it is similar to the way the PGA Tour sets up courses in Palm Springs at the beginning of the Scottsdale golf club tournament year.

Speaking of the water issues, we and the other  Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs that are supplied with irrigation water by the City of Scottsdale recently went to a meeting with City officials regarding this issue. The City indicated that we are approaching drought conditions and we might see water reductions at Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs as soon as 2020, and very possibly 2019.  The CAP (Central Arizona Project) water from the Colorado River we utilize has been depleted over the years and many of our lakes in the state are below 50% capacity.

In the future, the Scottsdale Private Golf Clubs throughout the Southwest may have reduced water allocations on exponentially more expensive water available.  Our goal is to begin making provisions by not overseeding some areas, or by turf removal throughout the course.  We will keep you informed as we receive more updates from the City.  Should you have any questions please contact either me or the agronomy team for further clarification.

It will be a great season at Scottsdale Golf Club on a beautiful course!