Brandon's Course Updates

November 16, 2021 —

It’s been warmer this fall than last fall.

In 2020, September into October was abnormally cold, so our growing conditions slowed down shortly after closing.

Not this year!

The grass has still been growing and just last week, we were still mowing fairways and greens (we mowed tees on Tuesday, November 9). It’s odd for “winter prep time,” but we’ll dive into all of that and more as we provide a full winter 2021 — course conditions update here.

Let’s start with a reflection….



What a fantastic season we had on the grounds.

Among the most critical factors for our success was our full team of help.

Most of our 2021 crew was experienced, having remained somewhat consistent from year’s past, and it is a tremendous asset to have a team that knows what they’re doing. This allows us to create efficiencies and work on some higher-level projects.

In total, we had 26 hourly staff members, 14 of whom were full-time H2B team members. These guys are awesome.

We had most of our H2B crew members from May until October 18. Usually, we’re able to have our H2B team members until closer to the end of October, which allows us to take advantage of year-end projects.


Nonetheless, we were super thankful and it allowed us to put out a product we were really proud of during the 2021 golf season.

We tackled a few big projects (the new tee on 6 Pines and the new tee box on 11 Dunes to name a few) and started to ideate additional projects.

In all, the turf was really healthy all year. Playing conditions were pretty much exactly as we’d like to present them and we were super thankful.



This has undoubtedly been our most exciting project this fall.

We know… spreading hay bales in whipping sand is exhilarating, but installation of a top-of-the-line modern irrigation system edges it by just a hair.

We’re working with a company called Hunter to completely renovate how we irrigate our property.

In total, the project is time and capital intensive, but will help immensely with the following:

  1. Remote access to our irrigation systems.
  2. Radio access to every head on property via 74 controller boxes (over 4600 total heads).
  3. Cost / time savings via modern efficiencies.
  4. More specific allocation of water resources.

We’ll be able to control water allocation with more ease, which should be good for usage of current resources, all while allowing for better and more consistent playing conditions.

Hunter has been fantastic to work with.

Heading into the decision, we were nervous that there would be many viable suitors and that a decision would be difficult. But as we continued to dig into the information we were presented with, Hunter separated themselves from the rest.

The Prairie Club will be their biggest property, and they were adamant that we will be a flagship property for their technology.

This could lead to future beta testing on new products and exceptional customer care.

As for the installation, we want to be clear: we’ve had to touch almost nothing underground.

All of our existing underground infrastructure remains solid: pipes, joints, etc. We had to replace a few dozen o-rings and a few swing joints, but all existing systems are in good condition — and should be for a few more decades, at a minimum.

Currently, 46 of the current 74 controller boxes are installed. We are waiting for a few parts to install the rest of them. Supply chain issues are presenting some problems, to be expected.



We’ve defined most of our sprinkler heads on property, making sure that all future water applications will be hitting only grass that we want to hit. A software application from headquarters will give us the ability to control every head and how much water comes from each.

By spring, things should be in full swing, and we’re excited for all of the time, energy, and water savings to come.

This will be a great addition, and we’ll be excited to provide more updates come spring.



We have yet to blow out our irrigation lines for the season.

Last year, we officially blew them out in early December, but it’s always a tricky process. We need to keep water on the grass as long as possible, without risking any damage to our existing infrastructure. Our records show that ground froze around November 28, but we aren’t near frozen yet for this season.

Blowing out the lines usually takes 4-5 days. We hope to hold on as long as possible, as we don’t want the turf to go without water any longer than it needs to.

The next three weeks and forecasts will be critical.



The day after we closed, we began the aerifying process. It took us around 20 days in total to get all 200+ acres of mowed turf (not including greens) a nice punch.

That’s a lot of slow driving around property!

Our newest Toro 1298 aerator kept things moving along well.



As for the greens, we will be applying fungicide in a few weeks, to protect the grass against any threats of snow mold. It will take us a few days to apply to all of the greens on property.

After that, we’ll apply our wood-fiber mulch once the weather really turns. The goal is to lay it before any significant snowfall, which leads us to monitoring 10-day forecasts closely.

Last year, we applied the mulch right after Christmas. This year, we’re thinking mid-December. We’ll see. It’s all based on temperatures and forecasts.

We want the grass to be completely dormant before we do any offseason green applications, which is all based on temperatures.

But that said, all turf looks great, and we’re optimistic that it will remain healthy throughout the winter. As always, fingers crossed!



Both Andrew and DJ are considering a handful of projects for each course.

Both golf courses are still green as we’re writing this recap.

DJ will be continuing to work on canyon tree health and removal of any unhealthy trees or trees that inhibit play. He’s been thinking through a handful of small improvements for the coming season and will continue to explore making the golf course better and more playable.

Andrew is doing a lot of the same on the Dunes. He’s working on some cart path work and exploring yucca removal in a few different spots. Yuccas have extensive root systems, so they can be a bugger to remove.

Otherwise, all three courses look great heading into winter.

The bunkers have hay bales, and while we’re hunkering down for the long haul, we’re counting down to spring.

Thank you for reading!