Projects and research plots highlight local visits
July 2020 in the Southern Nevada desert has proved to be difficult, to say the least. With temperatures hovering near record highs on a daily basis, we have also experienced high afternoon winds with 24-hour ET’s reaching in excess of .40 inches at many Las Vegas and Henderson area golf facilities. An example of the extreme temperatures includes a 24-hour average temperature of 101.6 on July 12 at TPC Summerlin.
While the high temperatures, low humidity and high winds have kept local superintendents busy with their irrigation practices, they have still managed time to get some summer projects completed.
A visit with Spanish Trail Country Club Class A Superintendent Jon Christenson was highlighted by a bunker renovation project that was started this past Spring. The 27-hole Robert Trent Jones, Jr. facility opened in 1985.
In addition to sand and liner needs, the bunkers had changed in size and appearance over the years. Jon and his staff brought the bunkers back to their original design, lined them with Flexxcape and used 75/25 bunker sand to replace the contaminated sand.
The project was completed in-house and members have had rave reviews for the playability and look of the renovated bunkers.
Another stop on my travels was with Anthem Country Club Class A Superintendent James Symons. In addition to his day job, James also serves as President of the Southern Nevada GCSA.
The chapter has worked hard over the years to sponsor annual research projects and 2020 is no different. Anthem is playing host to PoaCure trials being conducted by Jim Baird, Ph.D., Turfgrass Research Specialist at the University of California Riverside.
PoaCure is now registered in 47 states and provides pre and post control on Poa annua and is tolerant to established cool and warm season turfgrasses. The plots are located on the practice chipping green as well as a portion of the back of the 2nd green at Anthem. The early results have been promising with much more to come during the fall season.
Darden Nicks, Class A Superintendent at Wildhorse Golf Club in Henderson has been busy building a new tee box on the 15th hole as well as implementing a brush clearing project throughout the City of Henderson-owned facility.
The new tee box has been re-positioned to steer golfers clear of homes located on the right side of the golf course while the brush clearing project has not only improved the appearance of the course, but has opened up sightlines and allowed golfers to play from areas that were previously unplayable. Major improvements that will enhance safety as well as pace of play.
Thanks to Jon, James, Darden and the other area superintendents who had me out for visits and tours. You do a great job maintaining and improving your product while representing the Southern Nevada golf industry.