19th Hole

Justin Ruiz
Course Superintendent
The Rim Golf Club
Payson, AZ

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Sustainable Golf Course Maintenance

I am lucky to be the golf course superintendent at The Rim Golf Club. The Rim has been known for its spectacular views of the Mogollon Rim and the Granite Dells. Being the final collaboration between Weiskopf and Morrish, the course is located amongst the largest stand of Ponderosa Pines in America. The architecture of the golf course was designed in a way to make each hole, “camera ready”. Not only is the environment serene, but it also boasts the fact that the course is located in one of three clean air zones in the world. The location of the Mogollon Rim along with the surrounding topography has created a rare zone that does not hold air pollution. This is one reason The Rim has been ranked as one of the top residential communities in America, every year since it has been built.

With that being said, you can imagine being the golf course superintendent comes with high expectations. The condition of the golf course must be worthy of showcasing the surrounding jaw dropping views and the breathtaking elevation changes, so I strive for exemplary course condition, as well as making preservation of the environment a top priority. Sustainable golf course maintenance has been our plan to efficiently maintain the property nestled in the mountains of Arizona.

Integrated plant management was one of the first tasks that we completed to create a written plan on how we will control our pests with utmost efficiency. Our plan consists of predicting the development of our pests using growing degree day prediction models.  This gives us the flexibility to use fewer chemicals and get outstanding efficacy.  Following this program gets us away from the commonly adopted calendar applications. They leave you blind to the constantly changing climate and vulnerable to applying outside the optimal control window to ensure effective control on the proper insect development stages.

Water conservation in the high desert of Arizona has also been important in becoming a sustainable facility. Using reclaimed water from the inception of the golf course has not only given the town a place to deposit their recycled water, but it has also completely supplemented the use of any potable water sources for maintaining the turf. With a strong team effort by our staff, we have adjusted sprinkler heads, reprogrammed our central control computer, and redistributed the individual head percentages to increase the overall playability on the golf course while increasing our water conservation each year.  Firm and fast has been our motto for course conditioning.

Being the superintendent is very rewarding. Not only do I get to watch the sunrise and sunset at one of the most breathtaking properties in Arizona, I also get to raise a family in a quaint town. The members of The Rim Golf Club are friendly and down to earth and they continue to make this residential community worthy of being one of America’s best places to live and work.

We will continue to give our hearts and souls to provide course conditions that reflect the ambiance this hidden gem produces day in and day out.