We have made the decision to delay the opening of Lakes West by one week, though the project was completed on time. The timeline for overseeding was aggressive, the aggressiveness was necessary to ensure normal course conditions for the Pink Ribbon events being held at Willowcreek, North and Quail, the first part of October. The extra week will allow additional growth in the areas that were completed last. Lakes West will now open October 27 and will be cart path only until November 12.
We would like to remind everyone there will continue to be areas at Lakes West that will provide less than ideal conditions throughout the winter. The most affected areas will be holes 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9, as these areas will have had the least amount of time to recover. You can expect a set of local rules to be developed for these areas. Any periods of heavy rain throughout the winter may result in cart path restrictions in rough areas.
We thank everyone in advance for your patience and understanding. Please direct any questions to Brian Duthu, Director of Golf, at 623-876-3053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations will support the families of military service members who have been disabled or killed in the line of duty
RCSC Golf Courses will participate in the sixth annual Patriot Golf Day weekend August 31 – September 3. Golfers across the country and at RCSC Golf Courses have the unique opportunity to donate an additional $1 or more to benefit Folds of Honor Foundation (FoldsofHonor.org), which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military service men and women killed or disabled while serving our great nation. The mission of Folds of Honor is to help ensure that no family is left behind in the field of battle by honoring their sacrifice and educating their legacy. RCSC Golf Courses will request at least an additional $1 for each green fee that is processed August 31 – September 3. Patriot Golf Day is jointly supported by The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association.
In the last five years, PGA Professionals have been instrumental in raising more than $12.8 million by hosting Patriot Golf Day events at their facilities, allowing the organization to distribute more than 2,600 scholarships, in all 50 states and 41 PGA Sections. RCSC Golf Courses participated in Patriot Golf Day for the first time in 2011, raising $815.
Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional, USGA member and former F-16 military pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, founded Folds of Honor Foundation in 2007 following his second of three tours of duty in Iraq. After witnessing the tragic homecoming of a fallen American solider, Rooney was inspired to start Folds of Honor Foundation to provide support to military families in the aftermath of their tragedies.
There are more than 240,000 dependents of fallen and wounded military service men and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts alone and 87 percent do not qualify for federal educational assistance. Patriot Golf Day allows Folds of Honor to present an ongoing tribute to our brave service members by ensuring that the families of fallen and wounded warriors have hope for the right educational start to life and best future possible.
Individuals interested in contributing to Folds of Honor Foundation and those applying for scholarships should visit FoldsofHonor.org.
Everyone is aware that this time of year the rough is both thick and heavy. In order to help our golfers deal with these seasonal conditions, we would like to offer the following swing tips.
Tips for Successful Rough Recovery
- Use a lofted club, even if it requires laying up. The goal is to get the ball back into play and avoid scoring an “other.” Leave the fairway woods in the bag.
- Grip more firmly with your left hand (right for lefties). This will provide more control of the club as it moves through the rough.
- Position the ball towards your back foot.
- The clubface will have a tendency to close as it moves through the grass. To compensate, aim to the right of your target (lefties will aim to the left).
- Avoid grounding your club, position the club head behind the ball as you would in a bunker.
- Use a steep backswing and strike down on the ball, hitting the ball first.
- Accelerate through the shot.
August 9, 2012
The past several weeks I have received numerous comments, complaints and suggestions on the conditions of our golf courses. It is troubling to hear these comments, as this time of year these comments are coming from our core group of golfers, which are our year round residents. I hope through the course of this letter I am able to satisfy some of the questions that have been circulating and ultimately describe the actions you can take to address them as well.
Summer is our peak growing season, particularly the monsoon season which begins the later part of July. This is the time of year we must complete the bulk of our maintenance practices. Aerification is the most impactful to golfers, especially greens aerification. The USGA recommends impacting 15% – 20% of a putting green surface per year, to keep the organic matter near the surface of the green under 3%. If this organic matter is not removed the resulting putting green surface would become spongy and prone to disease. In order to achieve 20% we conduct two aerifications. The first aerification is with a 1/2” tine and the second with a larger 5/8” tine. We do the larger tine aerification second, as the bermuda grass is growing more aggressively and is able to recover more quickly. After the greens are aerified they are “top dressed” with sand and in the case of the second aerification a mixture of ground up “plugs” taken from the green during aerification and sand.
This year many golfers have commented that we did not top dress adequately, particularly during the second aerification. Please realize that the topdressing is designed to fill the holes to the soil surface. The putting greens are mowed to height of approximately 1/6” following aerification. The height of the grass, surrounding a plug, will create a “hole” in the putting surface and makes putting frustrating. The amount of sand we use is designed to allow the greens to heal as quickly as possible. It is also important to note the these procedures are conducted in the same manner as they were prior to National Golf Maintenance taking over the maintenance of the golf courses, including the amount of sand used. We realize how impactful this process is to our summer golfers and appreciate your patience.
Transition is another painful process our summer golfers need to contend with. Transition begins in late spring and early summer and is the period in which the rye grass dying and the bermuda grass is not yet growing fast enough to fill in any resulting bare spots. Depending on weather rye grass can live well into June and is competing with our bermuda for “turf”. To alleviate this turf war, RCSC sprays four courses per year with an herbicide, which kills the rye grass but does not harm the bermuda. The resulting bare spots are frustrating to golfers, but allow the bermuda to recover more quickly. These bare spots appear in the areas the berumda is the weakest, especially on courses that have been recently renovated, such as Willowcreek. As we move through this five year program the effects will be less noticeable and the transitions shorter.
The USGA recommends a minimum of 100 days of growth for bermuda during the summer months prior to overseeding. Spraying our rye grass out assures us more than 100 days of growth and ensures that we have a solid base of bermuda prior to overseeding. This process is used at many courses throughout the Valley, despite the misconception that the Sun City courses are the only ones doing it. Our courses that do not spray will still suffer the effects of transition; however the effects will be noticeable into July. This was evident at North and Willowcreek this year, as they went through a natural transition. The bermuda planted at Willowcreek last year was even more susceptible, having undergone its first overseed following the renovation. It is normal for a course to experience turf issues two to three years following a renovation, this will apply to Lakes West in the next couple of years as well.
Now I would like to describe the ways that you, as a golfer, can have an impact. First, keep the comments coming; the most convenient way is through the comment cards available at each golf course. The comments we receive are important to us and we will respond promptly. Second, join a Green Committee, comments and suggestions made at the course level are taken to Golf Advisory meetings for discussion and if deemed appropriate, acted upon. If you do not wish to join a Green Committee, you many still attend and express your concerns in the open forum. Third, attend the golf advisory meetings; you can see firsthand the items that are important to your fellow golfers and the actions that are being taken. Fourth, attend the Board/Member exchanges, currently held most months on the 1st and 3rd Monday at 9:00 a.m. at the Lakeview Center, beginning in 2013 (possibly sooner) the meetings will be held on the 2nd Monday of the month. All members, in good standing, have an opportunity to speak directly to the entire board on issues that are important to them. Fifth, run for the board; you will have direct influence on items that are important to the fellow members you represent. Finally, hunt me down; my office is at Riverview and you are welcome to stop by to express your concerns. I can also be reached by phone or by email. I do my best to respond within 24 hours. Please feel free to stop me as well, if you see me while I am visiting the courses.
Please remember that many of the “facts” that are circulated are not always factual. Often they are formed by a well meaning member expressing an opinion, often laced with hyperbole. As this opinion is spread it begins to be taken as fact. I have heard much discussion lately that our courses were in better shape before we began using an outside maintenance company. The core of the current maintenance team is made of the same people that performed their work as RCSC employees, including all of the Superintendents and the Director of Maintenance, John Snyder. This is just one example of an opinion becoming a “fact”.
In closing we ask that you remember we strive to provide a golf experience that is enjoyable as well as economical. Our staffing size is a fraction of the size of many of the high end courses in the area. Many of these courses are subsidized by the developer, solely to promote the sales of homes or home sites. We cannot compete with these courses either in the level of service or the quality of product. The low summer rates these courses offer make it difficult to compete, many of the courses that charge $100 or more in the winter can be played for $35 or $40 in the summer. These rates attract many of our residents, which puts additional strain on our budget. Our residents will bring back many ideas while playing these courses, not all of these ideas are fiscally responsible to on our courses. Plus as you take your money outside of Sun City, we have fewer resources with which to accomplish our goals. Golf remains an important piece of the Sun City experience; however our decisions impact all RCSC members and need to remain responsible.
We thank everyone for your past and current support. Please remember that all course workers are human and as such will make mistakes. We will use these mistakes as a training opportunity in an attempt to avoid repeating them. They also continue to produce a quality product for a substantially lower cost than many of the courses around us. Please remember we also enjoy positive feedback, when it is warranted. Thank you for your time and happy golfing!!
Brian Duthu, PGA
Director of Golf
10600 N. Boswell Blvd.
Willowbrook: 623-876-3033 | Willowcreek: 623-876-3030
The Willow golf course complex is found in the northern section of Sun City and includes Willowbrook and Willowcreek golf courses, an executive course known for plush greens and water features and a challenging regulation course with undulating fairways.
There is a full-service snack shop on site that serves breakfast, lunch and an assortment of beverages. The Pro Shop has a wide variety accessories available for purchase.
General Public Tee Times
- The general public may book tee times three days in advanced, based on tee time availability, by calling the course pro shop.
Willowcreek golf course tee times may be booked online at Golfnow.com or GolfHub.com.