The Anthem Greens Committee met on December 7, 2015 at the Ironwood Clubhouse. Here are the highlights of our discussions.
Tee Party. The Committee would like to thank the nearly seventy members who turned out for the Ironwood tee party. We got our work done quickly and returned to the Clubhouse for Margaritas and Chips.
Brown Spots on Ironwood Greens. You’ve probably noticed some brown areas on the edge of Ironwood’s greens. These are patches of invasive bermuda grass that are now dormant. With them clearly visible, we will begin plugging them out so they don’t spread when the dormant period ends. The larger off-color patches in the middle of the greens are due to the way that bent grass metabolizes during winter periods when night time temperatures are cooler and daylight hours are shorter. This is a normal occurrence and will resolve itself as we get into February with warmer temps and longer days.
Waste Area No. 12 Ironwood. We have started the process of converting the wash that crosses the fairway into a waste area. We will remove plant material, work to grade the bottom of the wash and line the bottom to provide a suitable surface for hitting recovery shots. We will leave the “island” as is and next summer install a small amount of sod down the sides to provide improved visual definition for players contemplating a shot over the wash. The waste area is not a bunker and will not be maintained on a daily basis, nor will there be rakes provided. We will use herbicides to control weeds and will occasionally touch-up the bottom. The waste area, extending from the railroad tie bridge to the cart path, is off limits to carts and players are encouraged to be considerate when entering and exiting the waste area, leaving a playable surface for players behind them.
Maintenance Closures. Once a week we close each course for an afternoon to do maintenance work that can’t be accomplished while the course is in play. We continue to see people play the courses when they are closed and ask you not to violate these minimal closures. During these closures, we often spray chemicals (e.g. herbicides) that if tracked by a golf cart before the application can dry, can cause damage to healthy areas of the course.
Ironwood Green Collars. Overseeded bermuda sod is now available and we are using it to repair ryegrass green collars on Ironwood. The use of this sod is part of a transition plan to replace the ryegrass collars originally installed on the course. Rye is a cool weather grass and every year it struggles and often dies out during the heat and humidity of our summers. Replacing the ryegrass with bermuda will eliminate this issue, although the downside is we will have to work diligently to keep the bermuda from invading Ironwood’s bent grass greens. As an aside, because the new greens and collars on Persimmon were constructed using bermuda grass (two different varieties), the summer collar issue has also been eliminated on that course. Pin Rotations & Dormancy. We aren’t there yet, but when Persimmon’s greens go fully dormant, we will reduce the frequency of pin rotations. The reason is to minimize the number of “old holes” on the greens during a period when the grass is not capable of recovery. During this time, we will use a cup collar at the top of the holes to counter any “raggedness” that might result with the reduced rotation.
Cart Etiquette. Because we are in the time of year when grasses struggle with colder weather and shorter daylight hours, it is important that members do their part to minimize the stress carts can put on our courses. Here are some ways you can help: • Pair up. Don’t play with three players and use three carts. • Be aware of exit and entrance points and use them. • Scatter. Once you enter the course, try to scatter rather than follow. • Drive in the fairways as much as possible and never drive on greens surrounds. Homeowner Desert Cleanup. The desert areas lying between homes and the golf course are golf course property. Homeowners are not allowed to trim, or remove plantings, even if they interfere with views. We are constantly working to thin these areas, but if you have a specific issue you want us to handle, go to the HOA website and submit a desert cleanup request. There is no cost for this and we will have a crew work with you to handle the problem. Here is a link to the form: http://www.onlineatanthem.com/accca-documents-forms
Observations. Here are observations on current maintenance activity. • We are raising irrigation heads and drain boxes on both courses. • We are moving irrigation heads in towards the edge on Persimmon greens. • We continue sodding collars and overseeded fairways on both courses. • To manage conditions on all our ranges, we are limiting tee positions, especially during winter months when turf recovery is limited. That’s the latest from the Anthem Greens Committee. Thank-you again for your continuing support.