Arizona’s Eagle Mountain progresses with renovation project

Arizona’s Eagle Mountain progresses with renovation project
Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Arizona, is progressing with a golf course renovation.

Construction began in mid-May and is expected to last five months. Work is focused on improving agronomic conditions and bunker playability on the Scott Miller-designed course.

Troon’s agronomy and golf course development teams are managing the project with construction company Casa Verde Golf executing the work.

Bunkers will include a drainage and liner system featuring Capillary Concrete to minimise washouts, reduce maintenance and improve playability. “Bunkers are being rebuilt and updated, but we will be keeping the same overall look and strategy that has been a hallmark of Eagle Mountain over the years,” said Casa Verde Golf’s Luke Beardmore. “We plan on removing redundant bunkers, moving from roughly 88,000 square feet of bunkers to 68,000 square feet. Some bunkers will be morphed together, with those that are eliminated converted into either grassy hollows or filled-in to look like they were never there at all.”

Drainage areas in approaches and landing areas will be renovated to support turf health along with firmer and faster conditions.

The Eagle Mountain agronomy team and Casa Verde Agronomic Solutions will perform a soil remediation project. “Like many courses in Arizona, Eagle Mountain uses recycled wastewater to irrigate,” said Dave Nicholls, senior vice president of science and agronomy for Troon. “With that comes a variety of unique challenges. The water is extremely high in sodium, chloride, and bicarbonates and those ‘salts’ have a profoundly negative long-term impact on the soil and its ability to support plant life. To counteract the salt load from the water, we perform a variety of natural cultural practices, including aerification, linear decompaction, drainage, flushing, and applications of calcium to amend the soil.

“Our inputs are typically proportionate to the challenge, and therefore are more intensive following long, dry periods of weather such as 2020, which was the hottest and driest summer on record. The result of this and the other actions we are taking this summer will enhance the agronomic conditions, playability and keep Eagle Mountain Golf Club at the top of golfers must play lists.”