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Wayne_Kozun

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Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« on: August 17, 2021, 10:24:48 PM »
This has been in the news the last few days and it appears that Arizona is going to have an 18% reduction in the amount of water that they get from Lake Mead.
Does anyone know if this will be affecting golf courses in the near future?
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/colorado-river-drops-to-record-low-levels-slashing-arizonas-water-supply/https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/first-ever-water-shortage-declared-on-the-colorado-river-triggering-water-cuts-for-some-states-in-the-west/

Anthony_Nysse

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2021, 07:11:10 AM »
This has been in the news the last few days and it appears that Arizona is going to have an 18% reduction in the amount of water that they get from Lake Mead.
Does anyone know if this will be affecting golf courses in the near future?
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/colorado-river-drops-to-record-low-levels-slashing-arizonas-water-supply/https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/first-ever-water-shortage-declared-on-the-colorado-river-triggering-water-cuts-for-some-states-in-the-west/


Between this & the astronomical price of grass seed this year, I think there will be many more dormant courses or dormant areas in the AZ & Palm Desert areas. Most courses seed 400-800#/acre. This years prices are over $2 per # and rising fast.
Anthony J. Nysse
Director of Golf Course & Grounds
Mountain Lake
Lake Wales, FL

John Emerson

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2021, 09:36:50 AM »
I hope this is the beginning of the end of overseeding warm season grass on golf courses. 
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

Kalen Braley

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 11:30:42 AM »
Been following this in the news.  Only supposed to affect Arizona farmers starting in January....for now.

That being said, I would hope golf courses would be responsible stewards and put the kybosh on over-seeding this winter...

Steve_ Shaffer

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 11:56:17 AM »
Snowbirds may find some  courses with brown fairways when they arrive in the Valley of the Sun. Our 3 courses do not over seed "wall to wall" so our rough is usually brown. Recent heavy rains during our  " monsoon season" have helped but ....




https://news.yahoo.com/starving-cows-fallow-farms-arizona-090031813.html
"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses ... "  Adlai Stevenson
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Ben Hogan “The most important shot in golf is the next one”

Greg Hohman

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2021, 03:36:40 PM »
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 03:38:33 PM by Greg Hohman »
newmonumentsgc.com

John Emerson

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2021, 04:44:13 PM »
Again, not to beat a dead horse, but civilizations in a desert have failed every single goddamn time.  Why are we surprised that the american desert will be any different? 
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

Brock Lynch

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2021, 05:04:14 PM »
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.


I thought that the Coachella Valley is sitting on a huge water table. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the low desert of SoCal is affected by what happens with the Colorado.

astavrides

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2021, 06:03:32 PM »
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.


I thought that the Coachella Valley is sitting on a huge water table. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the low desert of SoCal is affected by what happens with the Colorado.


They do get some water from the Colorado. Not sure what percentage.
http://www.cvwd.org/154/Where-does-my-water-come-from


Pete_Pittock

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2021, 06:45:21 PM »
The following is one anecdote without the course management's side of the story: A friend who does not play golf (and is not politically active or judgmental) spent last week at the Marriott in Palm Desert CA. She was surprised that the grass was "lush" and that the sprinklers were on "for a long time" during very hot days.


I thought that the Coachella Valley is sitting on a huge water table. I don't know for sure, but I don't think the low desert of SoCal is affected by what happens with the Colorado.


They do get some water from the Colorado. Not sure what percentage.
http://www.cvwd.org/154/Where-does-my-water-come-from
http://www.cvwd.org/162/Groundwater-Replenishment-Imported-Water

If I read this correctly Coachella Valley is importing Colorado River water to replenish the Coachella aquifer. Facilities, including golf courses that deplete the aquifer are charged a RAC for replenishment.,

Brock Lynch

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2021, 06:51:43 AM »
Gents, thanks for the info.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2021, 07:27:37 AM by Brock Lynch »

Peter Ferlicca

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2021, 08:01:01 AM »
I am a golf course superintendent in the Phoenix valley and have been working out here for 7 years now.  A couple of things to note.


Seed prices are insanely high this year, double to be exact.  Last year was around $1.10 and this year it is around $2.10.  It will be that cost for next year also as they won't have an excessive amount to replenish with old crop from this year.  Scotts getting into the commercial seed game really jacked up the costs.  Clubs that usually spend around 50-60K on seed are having to double their forecasts.  Many clubs are seeding way less this year acreage wise.  I overseeded 58 acres last season, this year it is going to be 42. The real pain is Poa Trivialis seed costs.  For people that overseed their greens that seed is going to be $5.12 a lb.  Next year supposedely into the $6 range.  Thankfully we only overseed 3-4 acres worth of that, but to spend close to 10K just on seeding greens is insane.  If you have ultradwarf greens it seems stupid to still be overseeding your greens, BUT a ton of clubs still do it. 


It shocks me how many clubs are just still going about their normal business.  So many clubs had their best financial renevue years ever last winter, so it is hard for them to make drastic changes going forward.  With seed costs going through the roof, water regulations really starting to go into effect for most clubs in 2025, you would think clubs start coming up with a plan over the next couple of years.  Every club out here is afraid to be the one that tries not overseeding fairways, I am up for it, but GMs and management companies are worried of the complaints.  Cart traffic is a big concern as the tee sheet is packed from December to March when the bermuda is not actively growing.  Money that is usually spent on seed, fertilizer, water, etc needs to be reallocated into a great topdressing program to build up firm and healthly bermuda fairways that can handle cart traffic in the winter time. 


Many guys are going to seed at 300-400 lbs/A rates this year and follow up with paints throughout the winter time.  Paints have really upped their game lately and to be honest by January you can't even tell.  This process also helps with transitioning back in the summer time to bermuda, as more and more clients stay during the summer and expect great conditions throughout the summer. 


2025 is when the 5th water management plan goes into effect and this is when clubs really have to ratchet down.  Most new clubs that have been built in the last 30 years have the proper turf acreage for the acre feet used.  The older clubs that have excess of 100 acres of turf that were grandfathered in with water rights are the ones that are really going to feel it.  Overseeding rough needs to stop immediately IMO, having grass all the way up to backyards needs to be replaced with landscape and DG.  Grass in between tee boxes and fairways needs to be removed.  We need to start adopting the australian method of importance.  Greens, tees, fairways, and who cares what the rough looks like.  You would be shocked though how many people freak out when they see a little brown area in the rough when it is 118 degrees out with zero humidity in June. 


What we do out here in the desert is crazy, we go through this crazy overseeding process just for 2.5 months to appeal to the client during December 1st-February 15th.  The amount of water, fertilizer, cultural practices, etc. that needs to go into overseeding and then transition just for 2.5 months when the bermuda go off color.  The best time to play golf in the desert is Apr-May and Sept-Oct.  Those are both the times we are at our worst usually cause we are switching grass, doesn't make sense. 

Tom_Doak

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2021, 09:09:15 AM »
Peter:


Thanks for that thorough report.  However, I think you should really have put the revenue numbers alongside it, so that everyone [including you] could understand why GMs are afraid to be the ones not to overseed.  What % of your annual revenue is from December through February??


I am not a fan of overseeding at all, but as you explain well, it goes hand in hand with golf cart usage, as well as meeting golfers' expectations for "green".  This is why the notion that the free market will ratchet back the overuse of resources is largely a joke.  Water use will only decrease if and when the prices become punitive, and that won't happen until the situation is beyond rescue, without government intervention.


P.S.  The seed price is not 100% independent of this.  Suppliers are charging more because (a) shipping costs are going up, but also (b) because they are charging more profit due to uncertainty and (c) I am sure they think that golf courses can afford to pay it after a boom year.

SBusch

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2021, 11:20:01 AM »
I do think that winter vacationers would be very disappointed to not see green fairways, but glad to hear courses are looking into paint. 


Peter, You said the new paints are much better, which ones in particular?  We've been using Endurant but it does wear after a few months, and goes a little toward blue.  Do you use the same for fairways?  We've been just greens in Atlanta, but considering going full fairways.

Anthony_Nysse

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2021, 11:45:46 AM »

P.S.  The seed price is not 100% independent of this.  Suppliers are charging more because (a) shipping costs are going up, but also (b) because they are charging more profit due to uncertainty and (c) I am sure they think that golf courses can afford to pay it after a boom year.


Interesting, as the reason I have heard from multiple Supts & vendors is completely different.
Anthony J. Nysse
Director of Golf Course & Grounds
Mountain Lake
Lake Wales, FL

Dan_Callahan

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2021, 12:29:44 PM »
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...

John Emerson

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2021, 12:42:51 PM »
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
Or much else really

++++1000000000000000000000
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

Peter Ferlicca

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2021, 12:58:50 PM »
Tom,


I am completely aware on the revenue that is made during the winter, and why GMs and management companies insist on overseeding.  I just feel like eventually, as you mentioned either water costs are going to be so high it doesn't make financial sense to overseed, or clubs are going to realize all the savings they have on their budget by not overseeding compared to the slight hit they might take in round costs by being a course not overseeded.

During the months of Dec-Feb we make 36% of our overall revenue in green fees.  If you want to extend out for the full overseed season of Oct-March it is 64% of the revenue. 

I did a big detailed report on the difference in costs of overseeding versus not a couple of years ago.  To not overseed a golf course with normal acreage results in a savings of $340k.
That savings comes from (less fertilizer, less chemicals, no seed costs, less fuel, less repair and maintenance on machines, costs of water savings from grow in of the rye, and grow in of the bermuda in the spring, and the big one is 18 days of more revenue by not having to close for overseed)

As for the paints, yes Endurant is the popular one out here also.  Many new vendors are trying their hand in it right now though with better price points.  Scottsdale National does Endurant throughout the winter depending on need.  If you want it too look dark you probably need an application every 28 days.  If you don't mind the slightly off color look you could stretch it to 40 days depending on weather.  The expectation is that you would need about 3-4 full apps of paint to get through the winter months. 


« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 06:55:44 AM by Peter Ferlicca »

Dave Givnish

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2021, 03:44:05 PM »
Peter -


Have you looked at the grass that Desert Mountain used for Renegade and Seven? What do you think of it if you have? My impression is that it has held up well through 2 summers and last summer was high stress. I was told it's a bent variety. Desert Forest used to have bent fairways a long time ago - maybe it's a modification of that?










Jeff Schley

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2021, 03:59:03 PM »
I thought Desert Forest didn't overseed, have they changed?
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Jeff Schley

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2021, 04:02:00 PM »
Wow I just went onto their website so they must indeed now overseed and went to the dark side.
      Meticulous greens and fairways.           
Desert Forest greens are bentgrass. Tees, fairways, roughs, and green surrounds are hybrid bermuda grass. Starting in late September each year, the entire course (except for the bentgrass greens) is overseeded with rye grass.
        
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

PPallotta

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2021, 04:27:19 PM »
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
A long held belief of mine, but not of the leading golf architects' association.

And as I read this, I can't quite make myself believe what is so obviously true: ie that the wastefulness & excess all comes down to golfers simply not wanting to play on dormant turf, ever.

My goodness.

Wayne_Kozun

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2021, 05:18:24 PM »
Orlando is asking residents to curtail water use, but for a different reason - to conserve liquid oxygen supplies for Covid patients in area hospitals.

https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Florida-mayor-urges-water-limits-because-of-16401303.php

Jeff Schley

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Re: Colorado River water restrictions coming in 2022
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2021, 01:18:34 AM »
We probably shouldn't be building golf courses in deserts ...
A long held belief of mine, but not of the leading golf architects' association.

And as I read this, I can't quite make myself believe what is so obviously true: ie that the wastefulness & excess all comes down to golfers simply not wanting to play on dormant turf, ever.

My goodness.
Peter well said.  Also if you look at the prolonged drought conditions for California and the surrounding area, there isn't a big difference between what has traditionally been "desert" and the rest of the state. Climates change and whether we recognize it or not that region which could be classified as a "desert" in the coming decades. I think 10 inches or less if a common definition, but also you have to factor in evaporation (warmer temps), which magnifies the issue.

As opposed to debating the cause of the problem (global warming), which California can't fix themselves, they have to deal with the affects which is low amounts of rainfall and higher temps. Desalination has been and will continue to be a big part of that solution. Although energy intensive and brine producing, what other option do you have under your control? The costs have gone down in the last 2 decades and if you treat brackish water as opposed to straight saltwater you have less energy needed and less brine produced.

Now this is not a golf course problem, this is a sustainable issue for human habitation. A much higher priority than green grass would be sustaining the farming industry (i.e. almonds and grapes). Irrigating rough should have been eliminated years ago IMO and the desert courses particularly would be wise to eliminate that grass totally and bring back the desert landscape if they already don't have it as a part of their features. AZ same issue, but they don't have the water desalination access and much more dependent on the Colorado River water. Also Las Vegas gets almost all of it from Lake Mead, but they are much closer to the source. 

So yes we care about golf courses here, but this problem has effects several levels up in priority.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine


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