Golf Course Management

AUG 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 08.19 seashore paspalum, which is uncommon for desert courses (Sunrise uses reclaimed water). Sutton had successfully tested pas - palum when he oversaw Wildhorse Golf Club in Henderson, Nev. "I had areas that couldn't grow bermudagrass. ere were questions whether it (paspalum) would grow in our climate," Sutton says. "I did 15 acres (of paspalum) and became a true believer." So are outsiders. Jim R. on the TripAdvi - sor website said this about Sunrise in 2018: "A greenskeeper who knows how to really do his job and it shows." Sunrise general man - ager Matt Kalbak anticipates 33,600 rounds will be played in fiscal year 2019, which would be more than a 2,500-round increase from a year ago at Sunrise, where residents pay $32 weekdays and $39 weekends to play 18. Kalbak also is a big Sutton fan. Sutton's greens, Kalbak says, are unmatched in the area. "Never been around a superintendent in my life that works harder than this guy does," Kalbak says. Sutton was the Southern Nevada GCSA Superintendent of the Year in 2017 and is this year's recipient of the Tomiyasu Award presented in honor of Bill Tomiyasu, a southern Nevada farmer/horticulturist who popularized many trees and plants in the region. Sutton is, as they say in Vegas, all- in at Sunrise, which reopened in 2016. In fact, he's been invested there for a long time. It's where Sutton learned to play when it was Desert Rose. "We want to make the golf course a hub for the community," Sutton says. "Homeowners seem content. It's get - ting to be a happy place again." The 'L' word Back at Woodland Hills, Kindlesparger has a name for municipal golfers. He first heard it years ago. It refers to golfers who may not store their golf clubs at the course like members who may keep their clubs at a private facility. "We've got everybody from lid-slammers to ex-country clubbers here," Kindlesparger says. Lid- slammers refers to municipal golfers who open their trunk, pull out their clubs and slam the trunk lid. Kindlesparger encour - ages all those lid-slammers who help anchor municipal golf to slam away. "Are we (municipal golf courses) going to get a company to move in? Maybe not," Kindlesparger says. "But it may help some - body consider moving in to a place that's got decent parks, good schools and also has a golf course. I think we're part of the pack - age of amenities — an amenity I feel very strongly about." Howard Richman ( is GCM 's associate editor. Left: The Club at Sunrise in Las Vegas includes a channel running through it. The course, overseen by director of agronomy Scott Sutton, was bashed by a flood seven years ago that prompted major renovations. Photo by Jeff Jensen Above: Superintendent Jon Kindlesparger helped save Woodland Hills Golf Course in Fort Scott, Kan. Photo courtesy of Jon Kindlesparger An episode spawned by Mother Nature was so devastating that it precipitated a name change at a municipal facility known in 2012 as Desert Rose Golf Course. Built in 1964, the property was slammed seven years ago by floods that destroyed homes, businesses and the golf course. e facility was renamed e Club at Sunrise and is managed by KemperSports. Director of agronomy Scott Sutton sur - veyed the storm's aftermath as 600,000 cubic yards of material (much of it silt) was hauled off the property. "Seventy-five dump trucks were parked out here, coming and going from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every 90 sec - onds for five to six months," says Sutton, a 28-year GCSAA member. To prevent an - other catastrophic flood, Clark County spent $150 million on the Las Vegas Wash project to enlarge the flood channel (which included the removal of more than half a million cubic feet of soil on the course) and rebuild the layout with help from Hecken - kemper Golf Course Design (Sunrise is lo- cated smack-dab in the middle of the Las Vegas Wash project). Heckenkemper's blue - print featured a channel redesign to accom- modate back-to-back 100-year storm events while maximizing golf playability. Sutton never felt as if he were rolling the dice during the rebuild when he carpeted Sunrise with wall-to-wall Platinum TE

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