Michael S. Williams

Pomona, California 91767
(818) 425-6142

 

El Rancho Verde Golf Club

Golf Course Superintendent - 2006 to 2011
355 E. Country Club Drive
Rialto, California 92377

 

El Rancho Verde Golf Course is a upscale public facility located near the San Gabriel Mountains in Rialto, California. Designed by Harry Rainville in 1957 as a private golf course features large challenging greens, wide fairways and all practice areas to improve your game. The golf course plays almost 7,000 yards from the back tees and can be a true test to any golfer both young and old. The scenery around the golf course is something to be seen. With the mountains in the backdrop it adds a quiet but ominous view of mother nature. Future plans for El Rancho Verde includes a partial renovation to the golf course which will include rerouting 9 holes, new irrigation system, driving range, clubhouse and the addition of new homes throughout the property once the housing market rebounds. During the Summer my biggest challenge is the heat and during the Winter it is the winds. The Summer months can bring long periods where the temperature is over 100 degrees. This weather related issue increases the stress on greens and water management. By having a preventive pesticide program in place I can decrease my chances of diseases such as Summer Patch, Anthracnose and Rapid Blight from occurring. In conjunction with disease outbreaks is the concern for properly irrigating the golf course. The golf course was built on an old river bed which is full of stone and silt with little native soil to work with. During periods of extreme heat more irrigation is required to keep certain areas full of moisture. Maintaining moisture with in the green soil profile is a challenge in itself. Some greens dry quicker then others so by managing the irrigation system efficiently I can reduce drier greens and reduce diseases. A major plus to our irrigation system is our water source. We are lucky enough to use potable water on the entire golf course so issues like high salts and black layer do not occur.

Come the Winter months brings gusty winds. Since the golf course is located near the San Gabriel Mountains we receive windier then normal conditions. Stories from long time golfers have mentioned 100+ mph gusts at the golf course. I have come across old notes from pervious superintendents where a wind storms have caused over 150 trees to be uprooted and a massive cleanup. During these times the course needs to be cleaned from debris on a daily basis. One project that the grounds crew is in the process is of completing is tree trimming and removal. The course has many mature sweetgums, pines and eucalyptus which haven't been thinned out in years. Removal of suckers and low branches aids in mowing of rough and allowing sunlight to thin grasses to eliminate bare areas.

The golf course is known for our greens. Some say they are the best with in the Inland Empire and that is saying alot due to the other notable golf courses both public and private in the area. They are a blend of bentgrass which are seeded to A4 during aerfication and poa annua. The goal is to have 100% pure bentgrass on all greens which would help keep the cost down on pesticides and reduce water usage. Due to the different levels of play on a daily basis I don't make the greens too fast but average speed for everyone to enjoy. Through out the year all greens are foliar fed to maintain health and consistency. Other applications are made to the soil profile to keep the roots strong and growing.

While our irrigation water supply provides the purist of water, the issue is how it is applied. The current irrigation system is run through controllers on the course as well as manual quick couplers with no central computer to manage output. Approximently 1/3 of the golf course is manually water by a night irrigator. To eliminate this time consuming task, a small "in-house" renovation project of installing new irrigation heads began in January 2007 by doing one fairway and one in 2008. By adding additional sprinklers to a fairway controller I will increase water coverage and save on labor. By the end of the winter I hope to renovate the weakest turf areas and turn them into some of the best fairways the course has to offer. The opportunity to make solid agronomic improvements are within reach at El Rancho Verde Golf Club.

13 Fairway - Par 4
3 Green - Par 5

 

15 Green - Par 3
16 Fairway - Par 4

 

 

 

From August 2006 to August 2011 El Rancho Verde Golf Club was managed by Infinity Golf and Hospitality. During this time frame I held the position of Director of Agronomy. I was responsible for course conditions at each property that we oversaw. Within this five year period Infinity Golf managed:

Shorecliffs Golf Club - San Clemente, California
California Oaks Golf Course - Murrieta, California
Cascades Golf Course - Sylmar, California
El Rancho Verde Golf Club - Rialto, California
Stallion Mountain Country Club - Las Vegas, Nevada

In July of 2007 I was fortunate to be featured in Southland Golf Magazine. This magazine is found at most public golf courses around Southern California. It was an honor to be recognized by this fine periodical.

http://www.southlandgolfmagazine.com/t-People-Green-Days.aspx

Each one of these properties had different needs to stay successful. With the exception of Stallion Mountain CC, all golf courses were public and needed rounds to generate revenue. One of our biggest challenges was Stallion Mountain, the owners wanted to to begin a turf reduction project to turn remote areas of the golf course into decomposed granite (DG). By turning these areas into DG the golf course would save money on irrigation costs, labor and receive a rebate from the Las Vegas Valley Water District on the acreage switched from turf to DG. The challenge was to run this project while not distrupting play for the membership. My responsibility was to work with the Superintendent of the golf course and with his help coordinate this project when I wasn't onsite. The project was completed in under six months and membership was pleased with results.

In September 2011 the owners of El Rancho Verde Golf Club did not continue their relationship with Infinity Golf and parted ways. I continued as Superintendent at El Rancho Verde as Infinity Golf dissolved as a business due to slow ecomonic times. With in a month's time the golf course closed its doors. Future plans are unknown but the neighborhood hopes that the golf course will return in some capcity.

In the Summer of 2012 I was able to view the golf course in it's current condition. It is amazing how quickly a once well maintained golf course has fallen to the conditions below. I can only imagine how the home owners feel who now have a less then perfect view from their backyards.

#1 Tee where clubhouse once stood
#2 Green

 

#5 Fairway
#9 Green

 

-------------------