Pro-Turf International completes renovation project at Verde River in Arizona


It is safe to say that Pro Turf International has never worked a project quite like the one recently completed at Verde River Golf & Social Club in Arizona. But when the job was completed, it had an element common in all of the PTI Golf projects: A very satisfied customer. 

PTI Golf, one of the golf industry’s leading golf course construction and maintenance companies, worked with designer Tom Lehman on the project, brought about by a change in ownership and direction at Verde River. 

Located just northeast of Scottsdale, Verde River opened to rave reviews in 2007 as a daily fee course designed by Ken Kavanaugh. Shea Homes bought the property in 2015 with the objective of turning Verde River into a private club set amidst an active adult community, the Trilogy. 

To balance residential building pads, dirt had to be transferred from the golf course to the community. In some cases up to 20 feet of dirt was moved from fairways, creating an obvious issue with the layout. Lehman was brought in to redesign several holes, and a company was hired to grow grass in the revamped fairways. And while Lehman’s work was highly praised, the transition was not up to the standards of the owner. 

“When I arrived on the job February a year ago, the holes they had redone were stripped down so much there were areas with bedrock sticking through,” said Verde River Golf Course Superintendent Curt Wallach. “There was very little Bermuda grass left at all.” 

That’s when PTI Golf was called in. 

“We were negotiating for the job, but our ultimate mission is always to help the owner succeed,” said PTI Vice President of Construction Doug Long. “We evaluated, we brought in experts, we tested the soil and we offered our advice on how to best do the job. After all of that, we were hired for the project.” 

Another unusual aspect of this job was that PTI Golf was just one of two companies hired to do the work. Another company did the grow-in, while PTI handled the feature construction work alongside Lehman’s lead architect. They revamped several bunkers, made irrigation adjustments, and built a new practice green and short-game area. 

“We divided the work between two contractors for the benefit of the owner,” said Long. “And we worked in harmony. The owner was on a time frame and there was financial pressure. But at the end of the day, we finished the work ahead of schedule and under budget.” 

That fact was pleasing to Director of Golf Jeff Lessig. “We are very happy with the work,” said Lessig, who indicated that the new clubhouse opened in January and that the club is closing in on securing its first 100 members. It is currently still open to outside play as they build the membership numbers. 

Wallach, who worked with Long and his PTI team on a daily basis, was ecstatic over PTI’s effort. 

“This was my first time working with PTI and they were excellent,” said Wallach. “Having two companies working here on the project, PTI put egos aside and kept the best interest of the club at the forefront. It was an all-around good experience.” 

For more information about PTI Golf, visit, or call 1.702.629.7524. 

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