Monday, August 23, 2021

End of Summer at Country Clubs in Phoenix

As we go through the summer months, the management team at Scottsdale country clubs is busy planning for the winter and spring seasons with many of your favorite events as well as a number of new ones as we celebrate another fantastic year at Scottsdale tennis club. This social calendar will be made available to the membership at the beginning of September so that you can properly plan to be at the Club.  If you should have any questions regarding this information please don’t hesitate to contact me at your convenience. We look forward to a continued summer activities as we get closer to the fall season!

As they say we are now on the downhill of 2021 at Scottsdale country clubs.  We have wrapped up our annual aerification and top-dress program in July this year, which happened a month later than we have done in the past years.  It seemed to work in our favor with an early monsoon season coming about 4-5 days before the project started.  With the exception of a few days, we have had continued high humidity and dew points throughout the month of July.  We also had a bonus 3.5” of rain over a 4 day span.  This has been very beneficial for the turf recovery from the aerification process and also the transition from Ryegrass back to the Bermudagrass base.  Scottsdale country clubs will be focusing on the last remaining high traffic areas and old weak sodded areas over the next week or two with additional cultural practices and nutrient inputs until we have 100% recovery.  Overseed can be very damaging to our base crop of turf. This process scientifically will cause 15% turf loss alone without any other damaging factors (weather conditions, water, cart traffic, etc.)  Course wide we have 91 acres of turf, so according to the turf science experts we should have 13.5 acres of weak/void turf areas. I can say very confidently that we are well below even ½ acre of these types of areas across the whole course.  There is not one specific reason for this, but I do know that the decision to do a full overseed with the wall to wall one cut throughout the season was very helpful in making this possible.  

We are in process of making our first Pre-Emergent application in preparation for the winter season ryegrass control of the nuisance Poa Annua weed.  Also over the next few weeks we will be prepping for the two remaining tournaments of the summer at Country Clubs in Phoenix. (Ladies Scorcher and Men’s Inferno).  We are looking forward to seeing many of you around the course again for these popular events.  The third week of September, The Scottsdale Country Club will begin our annual prep for the overseed closure on September 27th. 

Monday, August 16, 2021

Country Clubs in Phoenix Prepare for Fall Season

country clubs in Phoenix

It is hard to believe that we are already into August and less than 60 days from beginning overseeding at Country Clubs in Phoenix  for the winter season.  With the monsoon activity and the aerification and topdressing work that Dana and his team have been doing, the golf course should continue to improve over the coming weeks and into the winter season.  This summer has seen some return to normalcy as many members and families have once again used this time to get out of the valley and enjoy cooler temperatures elsewhere.  With school ramping back up during the month of August I expect to see many of you back here soon.  The men’s locker room and grille project is progressing nicely with demolition complete and electrical, plumbing, framing and drywall being done currently.  We are still on track to open the locker room interiors portion of this project during opening week barring any unforeseen issues moving forward.  The exterior portion is expected to follow closely in the two weeks following with an anticipated opening of mid-November.  

Scottsdale country clubs is so very excited to welcome our new Executive Chef, Tim Loving during the month of August as he officially joins the team on the 3rd.  I have had many members stop me to let me know how much they are looking forward to meeting Chef Loving and seeing some updated menu options in the fall.  As he comes on board, I know that you will see some great new favorites through our various dining outlets as he collaborates with his culinary team.  In other staffing news, we also recently welcomed Austin Cannon to the team who will serve as an Assistant Manager and will be working in the Clubhouse to supervise the front of the house team in the daily operations of our Food and Beverage program.  We are excited to have both on our team as we enter into our busy fall and winter season. 

While many of you are away from the Country Clubs in Phoenix, Club Committees as well as the Board of Directors are busy planning for another successful 2022!  The Finance Committee and Board will be reviewing and approving the FY2022 operating and capital budgets during the month of August.  This budget process is not an easy one this year as we have seen so many challenges present themselves with an extremely difficult labor market which has resulted in the need to raise wages for most all of our line level and supervisory level positions in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.  As many of you know, labor is the largest expense that Country Clubs in Phoenix have each year and we are expecting our labor expense in 2022 to be roughly 60% of our budgeted revenues or roughly $9 million annually.  This is primarily due to the fact that we are a year round operation with significant amenities in golf, food & beverage, fitness and childcare offerings. 

In addition to this we are seeing significant increases to our operating expenses at Scottsdale tennis club.

 and the cost of food and beverage items and golf course maintenance items which has our biggest operating expense at Scottsdale tennis club.

  For instance, in golf maintenance, for our annual overseeding of the golf course we are seeing very limited availability for ryegrass seed which is due to the fires and high temperatures in the northwest and many courses in the valley and in the south will not be able to overseed this coming year.  Along with the limited availability, we are seeing prices of seed grow by more than 60% and they are continuing to increase for the coming year.  This coupled with significant increases to fertilizers and chemicals for the golf course are most definitely putting a strain on the coming year’s business plan.  Please know that the team along with the Finance Committee and Board are taking a hard look at all of these items and others as it prepares and approves the budget so that we can maintain the member experience and keep interest at  Scottsdale country clubs where it is at currently and that is at an all-time high.

Speaking of membership, the past six months have seen record interest for prospective members.  Melanie and the Membership Committee have been hard at work in taking these prospective members through the process, which is very detailed and thorough.   Our waitlist for Golf Membership at Scottsdale country clubs now sits at around two years or so to join with nearly fifty approved prospects on the list and our lone membership available for sale in August was sold for $150,000.  In other categories we are looking at a waitlist of between 18 months and three years depending on the category of membership. We have had very limited movement with memberships available for sale over the past few months and the Membership Committee and Board are closely monitoring this as we move forward so that we can keep our current members engaged as well as those on the waitlist for membership.  This is all far different than when I first came to the Club in 2007 when we had a significant waitlist to get out and many memberships available to sell.