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Westbrook Village Golf Club
Course Conditions

Pond Fountains will be turned off for the Summer

Just a reminder that the pond fountains at both golf courses will be turned off for the summer to conserve electricity and water evaporation. We will be putting mosquito dunks in all the ponds to help with that issue.

BEAUTIFUL WINTER DESERT GREEN AND GOLD by Jill Riedel

Annual Water Resources:

Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) governs and administers Arizona’s water laws that include the establishment of policies promoting water conservation and water restrictions. ADWR’s groundwater allotment for an 18-hole golf course is currently capped at 90 acres of turf.  As Arizona continues to be threatened by drought and an uncertain water future, we can anticipate that further restrictions will be imposed upon communities and golf courses in the Valley.
 
Westbrook Village Golf Club’s water management plan began in 2015 with the irrigation replacement project and turf removal at the Lakes Golf Course. The Golf Club continues to ensure turf areas and water-demanding landscape areas are held to a minimum on both golf courses on property, as well as those areas that are not part of the game. 

 
Annual Overseed Resources:

Overseeding our golf courses in the Fall allows the desert warm weather Bermudagrass to enter into its dormancy stage as the winter Ryegrass begins to fill in with lush green tees, fairways, roughs and greens. This process is reversed through the summer transition from cool weather grass to warm weather grass. We refer to these transitions as the “battle of the grasses”.  Overseeding creates the “oasis in the desert” green which draws winter golfers to flock to Arizona. However, overseeding is an extremely high water-usage event and poses a challenge to the golf industry and communities in the Valley.
 
In October 2021 the golf industry in the Valley faced yet another challenge to their overseeding plans. Oregon seed growers suffered with drought and temperature swings which greatly reduced their supply of Ryegrass seed. It was anticipated this would be the first year of future difficulties with seed shortages forcing the golf industry and communities to reevaluate their winter overseeding practices.  And it has proven to be true as industry insiders are already warning that the 2022 seed supply may be even more limited and already high prices will continue to skyrocket.
 
The Golf Club managed the reduced seed challenge by overseeding only tees, fairways and greens. We also limited overseeding, or did not overseed at all, golf course rough areas and areas that are not part of the game. As a result, the Bermudagrass in those areas provided beautiful shades of gold against the lush green and saved approximately 5,000-8,000 gallons of water PER DAY!
 

The beautiful winter desert green and gold at the Vistas Golf Course!  Photo by Brandon Evans
 
Water Stewardship
 

Reducing areas that require overseeding and embracing the natural desert green and gold colors by not overseeding are smart water conservation practices for our future.  In order to be good stewards of our water resources, maintain compliance with ADWR requirements, and obtain the Ryegrass seed necessary for a successful overseed, the Arizona golf industry must work to find a creative balance between water conservation, limited seed supply and maintaining a “green” look so desired by golfers and community residents.
 
As the weather begins to warm, the Bermudagrass begins to turn to shades of green.  As a warm weather grass, Bermudagrass cannot be the deep lush green of the golf course tees, fairways and greens during the winter, but it is healthy and beautiful in its natural desert habitat in both winter and summer.  And oh my, how the gold color against the shades of green makes the golf courses “pop” for both the golfer and the residents as they play their round or walk/drive through the Village.
 
We cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore the inevitable. What we can do is be guided by reality and embrace the options available to us to ensure we do the right thing for the environment while keeping our Village desert beautiful.

 
Westbrook Village Golf Club

Greens & Grounds Open House Recap and Recording

On Wednesday, March 30, David Escobedo, Jose Murillo and Jaime Bojorquez held an Open House for WBVGC members at the Vistas Maintenance Yard.  Attendees were introduced to the variety of equipment, from mowers and tractors to reel sharpening equipment,  and learned about how each piece of equipment is used and for what purpose.  The attendees were surprised at how sophisticated the Golf Course Maintenance (GCM) operation is and what it entails to maintain our quality golf courses.  David will be holding more Open House events throughout the year.  Members are encouraged to join fellow members to enjoy this back stage performance.


Watch the entire Open House above!

We will have the USGA out to our courses again next spring and we plan to have more Greens and Grounds Open Houses to assist in members growth of knowledge within our wonderful Club. Thank you for all those that attended this year's USGA visit and those that attended our recent Open House. We are in a very good position going into this years transition and now we just need a little help from mother nature!

 

2022 USGA Report & Video Part 1

On Friday, April 1, we had USGA Agronomist, Brian Whitark out to both courses to review our conditions and create a report for our current conditions, direction, and insight into new practices recommended by the USGA. Brian spent 10 hours going through both of our courses and we were lucky enough to video most of it. Below you will find our first segment of Brian discussing the transition process as well as the 2022 USGA report. David and his crew utilize the USGA practices and recommendations to help setup conditions years in advance. We also included reports from 2021 and 2020 to help show the whole picture. If you go through each of the reports you will see the recommendations from past years and how many have been implemented into our current greens and grounds program to create the very good conditions we have had. Brian gets to review the top courses around the country and has a wealth of knowledge to help us be the best we can.

2022 USGA Report - April 1, 2022 (pdf)

2021 USGA Report - May 18, 2021 (pdf)

2020 USGA Report - February 7, 2020 (pdf)

We will have the USGA out to our courses again next spring and we plan to have more Greens and Grounds Open Houses to assist in members growth of knowledge within our wonderful Club. Thank you for all those that attended this year's USGA visit and those that attended our recent Open House. We are in a very good position going into this years transition and now we just need a little help from mother nature!

Superintendent Update: Summer Transition Information

As spring time nears, we start preparing for summer. Not necessarily about warm days by the swimming pool or trips to the beach, but about a subject we all wish we could avoid, summer transition.

To have a successful summer transition we must begin by lowering the mowing heights in early February. This allows for sunlight to penetrate the grass canopy of the waking Bermuda grass. Without this step the Bermuda will die and create serious issues in the late spring.

This year we will address the summer transition in a slightly different manner than last year. A year ago we sprayed out the rye grass with a herbicide that literally took out the winter rye grass in a matter of days. This eliminated the competition and allowed the summer Bermuda grass to take over and by mid June we were 100 percent Bermuda grass. However this method creates six weeks of less than desirable conditions.

This year we will use a different herbicide that will gradually remove the winter rye grass. The herbicide will be applied in three segments three weeks apart. This will slow the growth of the rye grass while the Bermuda grass begins stretching its legs as it is coming out of dormancy. We will do the first application in early April.

I attended an Arizona Golf Course Superintendent’s meeting last week to discuss the latest and greatest practices and methods for a quick and smooth summer transition. In attendance were golf course superintendents from Desert Mountain GC, Desert Highlands GC, Arizona CC, Paradise Valley CC, Anthem CC, and Wickenburg Ranch GC just to name a few. With over 40 golf course superintendents sharing ideas and experiences, it was without question we all had the same goal in mind. To transition our golf courses as quickly and as smoothly as possible.  I learned that different courses use different methods such as choice of herbicide for removing the rye grass, timing of the herbicide application, over seed rates, rye grass variety, and fertilizer applications. The other thing we all agreed on was that there is not a one size fits all solution. Budget sizes, Bermuda grass type, water quality, and soil types were all over the board. Some courses had the resources to do what others could not.

One other thing we agreed on was that Mother Nature calls the shots. Early April is usually the most favorable time to apply the transition herbicide, but not every April is the same. If the temperatures are too cold, the herbicide will damage the winter rye before the Bermuda grass is ready to come out of dormancy. We have seen frost in April before. No two years are alike.

Some golf courses choose to avoid spraying out their rye grass. These courses will look great in the months of May and June, but will pay dearly July through September for not doing so. Then without a healthy Bermuda base, their next overseed is usually a struggle. A healthy summer transition is what creates the base layer for a successful overseed the following year.

This picture shows how Bermuda grass dies if the ryegrass is kept well into the summer.

The other key component to a successful and quick transition is the monsoons. Without rain and clouds, transition is slower and the process is longer. Bermuda grass loves humidity. Without humidity, Bermuda grass will drag its feet and take longer to recover from dormancy. This is why it is very important that we irrigate heavy during the transition period. This process although not as effective as the monsoon humidity keeps the Bermuda grass moving.

I hope this information was helpful in better understanding the summer transition process. We will continue to work towards the best possible method to get our courses to convert from one crop to another with the least amount of disruption.   

                                               
Rick Walker - Greens Chairman
David Escobedo GCS

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
  • 05.28 - Weekend Men @ Lakes
  • 05.29 - Moran Group @ Vistas
  • 05.29 - Hulsebus Group @ Lakes
  • 05.30 - Lakes Closed
  • 05.31 - Lakes Closed