19th Hole

Ross Buckendahl
Golf Course Superintendent
IronOaks aat Sun Lakes
Sunlakes, AZ

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February in Arizona – Expect Exceptional Golf

As I write this article, we are just days away from the greatest show on grass, so named for its party atmosphere, sprinkling of celebrity and dramatic holes lined with 650,000+ fans. When you think Arizona Golf, TPC Scottsdale may be front of mind for many. But beyond the Birds Nest and superstars are a plethora of golf courses in the Valley, from private club to daily fee experiences, each with plenty to offer, and may I say, many incredible golf course maintenance teams behind them. 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most talented Course Superintendents in my career. 

I worked under Rob Collins at Paradise Valley Country Club. He took a chance on me right out of college where I was able to “cut my teeth” in the industry. I had worked for 4 years before that at golf courses in Nebraska so I had an idea but it was a different beast I found when I arrived here in the Valley. I moved on to work with Scott Anderson at The Raven at South Mountain and over to Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia after that. Those early experiences and tutelage from Scott and Rob really helped to shape my career. I can say that today, at Oakwood Country Club and Ironwood Golf Club, I use those 15 years of learnings to maintain 45 holes of public golf (3 different nine holes at Oakwood, and 18 holes at Ironwood) which vary in style from desert, lake and parkland! 

Just as TPC will live under the microscope with millions of eyes on their course, we place the pressure on ourselves to emulate the conditions shown during the Waste Management Phoenix Open televised event. While we all battle the occasional morning frost, water usage is at a minimum right now and cultural practices are limited to a few applications, typically to keep our overseeded ryegrass green. Basically, if you’re looking for exceptional playing conditions, there truly is no better time to get out and golf in the Valley. We’re exceptionally proud of our golf experiences here at IronOaks, and I hope to see you enjoying both the courses very soon. 

Ross Buckendahl is the Golf Course Superintendent at IronOaks at Sun Lakes. Reserve your tee times or learn more at ironoaksaz.com or call 480.895.1159.