After more than a year of pandemic conditions, Reflection Bay Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada was thrilled to have the American Junior Golf Association (AJCA) tournament return in early June. The annual tournament at Reflection Bay challenged IGM Golf Course Superintendent Ryan Howell and his maintenance crew to meet tournament standards with limited pandemic-level staffing. “However, it was exciting to have our first big event in 15 months,” Howell said.

Reflection Bay Golf Club hosted the AJGA Lake Las Vegas Junior tournament June 1-4, 2021. The AJGA is a nonprofit organization committed to preparing the next generation of golfers for tournament play and golf scholarships. About half the field of 78 players were from Nevada and nearby states. Howell noted that the AJGA teaches young people about the etiquette of golf as well as the game. “They teach them to fill divots, rake the bunkers, mark their balls, and other courtesies of competitive golf.”

The 54-hole tournament is a favorite of Howell’s. “They come in about a week before and share their standards (such as mowing heights) with us. They bring their own volunteers and staff to handle things like tee sheets and markers, so we can focus on course conditions.”

Once the Reflection Bay maintenance crew received the AJGA requirements, they started on final cuts to achieve the desired mowing heights. “We mowed fairways in the morning and then again in the afternoon, twice in four days, which is more frequent than usual,” said Howell.

The main source of extra workload was the morning set up each day. Howell noted the AJGA likes aggressive green speeds, so his maintenance crew rolled the greens every day (rather than the usual interval) to improve smoothness, uniformity, and green speed. He added they also changed water management practices by “backing off water to make the course firm and fast. It adds some difficulty to playability and ball control.”

The Lake Las Vegas community has two other IGM-maintained entities, The Falls Practice Area and a landscaping division. IGM Regional Manager Jon Dodds who oversees all three said “I was able to share some labor with the golf course for the morning set up work. Then in the afternoons when the golf course maintenance crew couldn’t be on the course, they supplemented the landscaping staff to get everything done.”

 Dodds noted “The AJGA is a terrific organization, and IGM loves being able to host this tournament every year and to support them and young players.”

IGM provides complete golf course maintenance services in markets across the U.S. The company is committed to agronomic excellence and environmentally conscious methods and products. To request a consult, please contact Greg Plotner, Executive Vice President, 407-589-7200. Additional information may be obtained by visiting IGM’s website at golfmaintenance.com.