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Westbrook Village Golf Club
Course Conditions

Article and Video Discussion with the BoD on Fairway Mowing Height and Mower Calibration

On Thursday, July 27th, WBVGC Staff and the Board of Directors held a discussion/demonstration in regards to our fairway mowing height and how the height is measured/set. We recorded the discussion and you may find the video above. 

We currently mow our fairways at 9/16" and have to keep them low during the transition from winter grass to the summer bermuda grass in order to promote the bermuda grass growth. During the discussion, it was identified that members would like more grass under the ball for the ball to sit up. While fairway height can contribute to the ball sitting up on top of the grass, the density of the grass is the major contributor to a ball sitting on top of the grass. We have an older type of Bermuda grass "Common Bermuda" that is not as dense as a newer hybrid Bermuda such as "Tifway 419" or "TiffTuf". It was decided that since we are now in the humid season, for a trial comparison, we would raise the height at our Vistas course to 11/16" and keep our typical height of 9/16" at the Lakes course. We can do this as long as the test height does not compromise the health of the turf. The Board of Directors would like to hear your feedback on the increased height of the fairways at the Vistas GC, you may message the board at bod@wbvgc.com.

According to the USGA, "normal" fairway height is anywhere between 3/8 of an inch to 9/16 of an inch. There are many grass species and they all perform differently. The theory by some that “grass is grass” could not be further from the truth. The time of year is also an extreme factor into determining the height we cut our grass.

USGA - Finding the Right Fairway Height Article

A device called a Prism Grass Gauge is used by turfgrass professionals. It is also used by the USGA, PGA Tournament Officials, the Golf Course Superintendent Association, and golf course equipment manufacturers.

With the humidity much higher than it’s been in years, we are seeing an unusual amount of turf growth at both golf courses. With the exception of a few spots on some fairways the courses are very green and healthy. With that being said, we are still asked why the transition from rye grass to Bermuda grass is taking so long to complete and why the golf lie is still not what it should be. The common answer to these questions is simple, we have Common Bermuda in the fairways. Common Bermuda is one of the oldest generation of Bermuda grass there is. Many older courses that can afford/accommodate to do so, have begun moving away from Common Bermuda because of its undesirable playing surface and poor growth habit. They are renovating their fairways and adopting some of the hybrid Bermuda grasses like Tifway 419 and TifTuf. These newer strains of Bermuda grasses have a darker green color, a finer leaf, a denser canopy, and require less water to transition than Common Bermuda. In addition, the newest variety, TifTuf, has been seen to stay green and awake a month longer into the winter and come out of dormancy a month earlier in the spring. These future hybrids could reduce the need for overseeding. Golfers love the lie they get on the hybrids and these grasses transition faster than Common Bermuda and are much denser, which helps to hold the ball up off the ground.

The reason we share this information is so members are aware that Common Bermuda cannot perform like the new hybrids due to its genetics. In the meantime we will continue to work hard to optimize what we have.

Thank you for being a member of the Club and we hope you enjoyed the article and video.

TURF REMOVAL IN FULL SWING! By Jill Riedel

This is an update to an earlier email about Annual Water Resources, Annual Overseed Resources and Water Stewardship.
 
Turf removal is in full swing at both courses. 


Video Flyover of Holes 3-5

The Lakes turf removal projects have currently begun on holes # 3, 4, & 5.  On the hit parade is #14 & 15.  And completed is # 18. There are other locations under design and will be submitted for approval by the HOA Architectural Control Committee.  Luckily the Club was awarded a grant from Arizona Office of Tourism and that is giving us a huge boost on what we are able to do to reduce water usage without impacting our budget.


Lakes Holes 3 & 4


Lakes Hole 5 - Before Crushed Granite

The Vistas turf removal and rock placement projects have been completed at holes # 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, & 17.  Planting of vegetation is on hold until the appropriate planting season.  Additional locations for turf removal are under design.  Unfortunately we do not have a grant to cover the expense of turf removal projects for the Vistas.  How fast we move here is tied to the annual budget.
 
With the completed areas of turf removal at the Vistas we are averaging a savings of 100,000 gallons of water a night at that course. That number will increase as we continue to execute the turf removal plan. While the Vistas well pump was under repair we were unable to apply an adequate supply of water to all parts of the course.  Resorting to the expensive alternative of city water to fill our ponds and lakes required the Club to restrict watering to tees, fairways and greens. I hope everyone noticed how quickly the green grass turned brown. If we don’t prepare NOW for the inevitable, we will not be able to catch up when the restrictions are put into place. Some say that is years away, some say it is nearer. WBVGC Board of Directors wish NOT to play the guessing game for both the Golf Club AND the Village will suffer from that strategy.
 
The purpose of the Club’s property is GOLF. Given that, there are decisions made specific to the identified area for xeriscape and low water desert landscaping on selection, type and size of plants, shrubs, trees and rock ground cover, from the perspective of the game of golf. It is our intention to stay consistent with the look that currently exists as much as possible given the requirement to remove large amounts of turf. ALL vegetation and rock will be in compliance with the HOA ACC approved lists. One exception is the use of ¼ minus rock of which is a golf industry standard and was appropriately used when both courses were constructed. We have considered the homeowners of golf course properties as much as feasible to meet AZ Department of Water Resources (ADWR) mandated reduced turf requirements. We hope our members and the homeowners understand the changes that MUST be made in moving away from “green”. We wish we could incorporate everyone’s input on the choice of design, trees and shrubs, but alas we think you understand when we say we cannot.  This is not a backyard project.  It is the caring, feeding and watering of 180 acres.
 
We thank you in advance for your understanding as we do what we must in water usage compliance and stewardship. 

 
Respectfully,
The WBVGC Board of Directors

"Preferred Lies" Local Rule is in Effect

Both courses are starting to come through the normal summer transition with the recent humidity we have had. While we are still in the transition season we will continue to utilize the Club Local Preferred Lies Rule.

The “Preferred Lies” local rule may only be used in a closely mown area (fairway) and a player may:

  1. Mark their ball first. (Failure to mark their ball will be a 1 stroke penalty)
  2. Lift up the ball
  3. (Optional) Clean the ball
  4. *Place the ball within 6 inches of the original location, no closer to the hole.
*If you are in a closely mown area where no grass is found within 6 inches, you may move to the nearest grass, no closer to the hole.

The Club’s Local Rules may be found in the members section of the Club website.

WBVGC Local Rules

Summer Aerification Video Update


2022 Summer Aerification Video

The Vistas Course is ready to open tomorrow, Thursday, July 21. We will close the Lakes course for a day to catch up on summer maintenance.

Every summer we have to close each course for a few weeks in order to go through our aerification process which is essential to keep the ground healthy for growing our playing surfaces. Prior to last season, we used to close each course Monday-Friday and reopen on Saturday, which did allow for the process to complete, but not necessarily to heal. Beginning last season we started closing the courses a bit longer to aid in the healing during a time in which we are able to accommodate member play on only one golf course. 

In addition to our normal aerification procedures, this season we hired a company to bring their deep tine aerification units to go through our fairways much deeper than we are able to. We have a lot of rock in our ground and it is much more economical to hire this service out as the machines take quite a beating. The deep tine aerification process has been long overdue and with the amount of cart traffic we have had over the past three seasons, it was extremely important to have done.

Below is a video we put together in 2020 which documents our greens aerification process in good detail.


Greens Aerficiation Process

 

 

Vistas Well Pump Repair Update - June 22, 2022

An analysis of both the well pump’s condition and well casing has been completed and reviewed. The pump failed due to sand entering its housing. No pebbles were discovered, only small amounts of sand debris. Sand is an abrasive, it’s particularly hard on the brass pump impellers that push the irrigation water to the surface. Reviewing the video scan of the well liner, several small breaches were discovered. These breaches were more than likely the places where sand entered the well casing and then carried into the pump along with irrigation water.
 
Based on the analysis, it has been decided that a sand-separator be installed along with a new pump. A sand-separator is a cyclonic device that uses centrifugal force to filter debris from water prior to reaching the pump. Installing this device, according to our well experts, is our best insurance for extending pump-life given the conditions observed on the well liner.

We are awaiting the arrival of the sand-separator from the manufacturer. It’s expected in two-weeks. These things are custom-made for each well’s unique configuration, they are not off-the-shelf devices. Everything else to reassemble the well is ready at Empire’s shop in Phoenix.
 
In the mean-time, we continue to water the Vistas course using two City of Peoria fire-hydrant water supplies. The important parts of the course, tees, greens, and fairways, are holding up well and plan to spot watering areas that need it.
 
The projected restart date of the well is July 15th.
 
Kurt Kimmerling for WBVGC Board of Directors

2019/2020
Business Associate Members
About WBVGC

We are a membership based Arizona golf club providing an amazing experience for your golf lifestyle.

Lakes: 19260 N. Westbrook Parkway
Vistas: 18823 N. Country Club Parkway

Phone: +1 623 566 4548 - Contact Us

Upcoming Events
  • 08.08 - Lakes Closed
  • 08.09 - Vistas Closed
  • 08.09 - 18-Hole Ladies @ Vistas
  • 08.10 - Lakes Closed
  • 08.10 - MGA @ TBD 7:45AM TT