Happy Fourth of July! Out here in Arizona, I guess you could say everyday is some variation of a summer day. But the Fourth is a guaranteed hot one. Our summer days make us dream a little bit about our youth “up North”, wherever that is for you. Consistent 100 degree days greet us by the end of May, and do not leave until we are well into October. By time Fourth of July hits, we also start to deal with the Monsoon season. Humidity that was ridiculously low in the 3-7% range soars to the 40% range. Now I know, if you are back in the east or mid-west, 40% is a dry day. But it isn’t 108 degrees and no shade to be found along with the 40%. It’s hot baby!
So what can you do when it is that hot? The pool is an option, but even the water in the pool becomes swampy warm by July. I guess we will have to golf!
Our Friday ladies group is taking advantage of many of the reciprocal arrangements with top courses in the area, and many clubs also have wonderful discounts for Arizona residents in the summer months. We were off to We-Ko-Pa Golf Club this Friday. For only $49, we played one of the finest courses in the area. Owned and operated by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, We-Ko-Pa features two Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw designed 18 hole courses. The courses feature big views of the Verde Valley, Superstition Mountains and Four Peaks. Along with the forced carries over the desert, fast smooth greens, and the changes in elevation, we had all we could handle.
The course was in pretty good shape for summer. In Arizona we typically “overseed” the fairways, greens and tees with a rye grass in the winter. This cooler weather favoring grass makes a nice playing surface in the winter, and is candy to the eye of the golfer visiting here in the winter. Once it gets hot though, the predominant Bermuda grass starts to grow. Because it is now in the 80’s at night, the grass has taken off!
This sort of creates what I like to call “summer kill’. Like winter kill in the fairways on northern courses that have snow and ice, we have big patches of brown dirt where the rye grass (lover of cool temps) has been killed off by the heat and humidity loved by the Bermuda. So it’s a war between the grasses, and the dirt is winning. So like winter rules in the north, we have summer rules in the desert. In the dirt? Roll it!
So we keep on playing, and take advantage of the quiet times on the courses. Drink lots of water, wear a hat, drive a cart, and snack on something with a little salt. It’s not so bad!