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Did you know …golf courses and landscaping in SCW

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Did You Know

By MARION MOSLEY, Community Relations Chair

Today, we will be reviewing our golf courses and landscaping program. As I mentioned in my previous Energy Management article, the Association is making some very nice headway into energy savings, cost savings and employee productivity. You will be able to see how our landscaping and golf course managers have streamlined operations to accomplish this very aggressive goal.

Wow! I’m not sure what I got myself into here. I just spent an hour interviewing Environmental Services Manager Todd Patty and reviewing a 22-page presentation on our golf courses and landscaping areas. I thought I could space this report into two articles, but that would only scratch the surface. So, here we go.

One thing I found most impressive is that Mr. Patty has a very detailed five-year plan in place. It covers virtually every aspect of our golf courses, not to mention certain areas of the community, which we support along with the PRIDES. This plan is not just a maintenance and repair plan. Strategies behind it include continued research of new and innovative technologies in course and landscaping management.

Having said this, I will attempt to highlight some facts you might be interested in and possibly do not know about.

Mr. Patty manages two separate operating budgets, Golf and Landscaping. His primary focus, if I can express my views here, is two-fold: cost savings and productivity. We’ll attempt to cover both. 

First, let’s talk about staff. A total of 101 employees maintain our seven golf courses. Some 21 employees service our landscaping needs in the community.  While you might think that to be a high number, consider that we seldom ever go outside for contract work. We outsource only projects beyond our control.

Now, did you know that we maintain more than 1,000 acres within our community? Everything we do is planned. Cost is a major part of that. For example, on our golf courses we:

  • Order products in bulk to save cost
  • Take advantage of early-order programs to save cost
  • Recycle all scrap metal. Savings go back into the operating budget

There are many more items on the list, including actual management of many of our more intensive projects. Doing Grandview Golf course sand replacement with internal staff saved the Association some $300,000.

Those of you who have been to our TORCH class will know that golf course equipment is quite expensive, and it typically has a short life cycle. Not here though. Mr. Patty’s crews are miracle workers in keeping equipment running much longer than warranties state. Parts are salvaged from broken machines to repair others. This saves thousands of dollars over the life of the equipment.

One last thing I’ll cover in this article is our nurseries. Yes, we have nurseries that support our golf courses. Their purpose is two-fold: to harvest sod for turf repair and to act as a test site for new products. Bet you didn’t know that.

Every year golf managers are faced with the possibility of using new types of seed or chemicals, etc. The nursery areas, located on five of our courses, are used to test these new products to ensure that they act and perform as stated and that they work for our environment. Pretty cool concept, right?

Have I teased you enough yet?  Hopefully I have because my next article will be on irrigation, weather and landscaping management.

Think about this while I’m working on the next article: 1 acre-foot of water equals 325,851 gallons of water. 

Don’t go away. I look forward to your comments and interest in my next column. You can contact me at marion.mosley@suncitywest.com.

  1. Tom Jones says:

    Marion, have you considered the unused space at R.H. Johnson between the tennis courts and the walking track/lawn bowl? At this time it is used for the cardboard recycling containers. If it were enclosed, it could hold some of Todd’s landscaping equipment for the daily care of the lawn bowl turf.

  2. Ron Van Camp says:

    Good timing! Tomorrow ourTORCH class visits golf operations at Grandview.

  3. Multimedia says:

    As one who attended the TORCH Academy in 2013, just before becoming an employee here, I can tell you that the Grandview GC session is VERY interesting Ron. Enjoy!

  4. Multimedia says:

    We will make sure Marion and Todd see your suggestion Tom, thank you.

  5. Marion Mosley says:

    Thank you Tom for your thoughts. I will follow up and let you know.

  6. Howard Allnutt says:

    Marion,

    What an excellent article. Now, if you could just make sure every resident reads it (tongue in cheek), we could eliminate a lot of uninformed comments.

    Howard

  7. Tom Brown says:

    Could the space between the Deer Valley course and Corta Bella along Deer Valley Road be put to some use? Thanks for your good communication with residents.

  8. Hi Tom. That large open area is actually a water retention area, which often floods during monsoon season. It must remain as such to prevent heavy rains from becoming a neighborhood flooding problem. Thank you.

  9. John Markel says:

    Why does the sand have to be replaced? Couldn’t it be sifted and reused?

  10. Multimedia says:

    Hello John, we replace the sand in our bunkers (on a rotating basis) about every 14 years. It becomes so contaminated with silt, rocks, debris and dust that removing the sand, sifting and washing it, and putting it back into the bunkers is just not feasible. In addition, not one bit of the old sand is wasted, Todd does a great job with repurposiing it. All old sand is used to reshape and fill in areas on the courses that need it, so it is not discarded. Thank you for your question.

  11. Hi Marion,
    Great article – keep them coming.

  12. Joe & Sandy Ver Voort says:

    Thanks for the great article & condensing the info for us. Interesting facts that make us appreciate all the work that goes into making SCW the great place that it is.

  13. Sandy Scanlan says:

    Thanks for the article. It is really informative and keeps us updated on what’s happening and why.

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