Water Conservation and Turf Reduction

Robert Lewis

To start, at the last Green Committee meeting it was announced that Phase II of the Range Improvement Program (remember that Phase I was the leveling of the practice range teeing area and installation of the new hitting mats) will begin shortly after the last major golf tournament in April. The delay was caused by the need for a grass growing season as turf will be dug up and relocated. Phase II improvements include: doubling the golf cart parking spaces, expanding the chipping green (moving the current fencing closer to the wash allowing for uphill chipping. Turf from parking area to be used for the chipping area expansion), trees, benches and other landscaping will be included between the parking area and hitting mats. The current building housing the range ball machines will also receive a face lift. The range and putting green will remain open during this construction; however, access to these areas will be changed as work progresses. So we ask that those using the facility during renovations to be careful and follow any posted signs. The Green Committee would like to say that the timing for this renovation was directly related to the grass growing season and not intended to have the full-time residents bear the inconvenience of this project.

In a recent golf course study (2016) conducted for Quail Creek, the Report of this study provided professional review following industry standards in the following areas:

1) Green Surface Analysis of the Quail nine holes (31 years old) and Coyote nine holes (27 years old)

2) Additional sixth tee and scorecard review

3) Projected Bunker Renovation Cost Review

4) Turf Area Analysis and Water Use Summary

5) Lakes

6) Irrigation Analysis

As mentioned in the February Quail Creek Crossing news article, renovation and adjustments to the irrigation system will be necessary. The Turf Area Analysis and Water Use Summary from the Report noted huge cost savings implementing the recommendations of the Report.

The Report noted that the recommended turf reduction across all three nine-hole courses would be 20.72 acres with a total water savings of 22,959,132 gallons of water per year. Specifically, the turf reduction for the Coyote nine holes would be 6.28 acres with a water savings of 6,957,220 per year. The Quail nine holes would have a 10.97 acre reduction with a water savings of 12,151,017 gallons of water per year. The Roadrunner nine holes would have a 3.48 acre reduction with a savings of 3,850,896 gallons of water per year. To put a bit of perspective on the water savings as noted in the Report, the water savings equals the annual water usage of 627 individuals!

In addition to the water savings, other significant savings will be realized. With a 20 percent reduction in grass area, a corresponding reduction in fertilizer, weed control, pest control, maintenance on mowing equipment, etc. is anticipated.

Staying in front of water conservation issues now will provide a more sustainable golf course in the future.