Fryscom Open - course preview

RSS open logoThis week the PGA Tour returns to Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course in Scottsdale, Ariz., where GCSAA Class A member Ernie Pock, director of agronomy, looks to temperatures returning to normal this week to help increase green speeds to the target 11 ½ feet on the Stimpmeter, after near record-breaking heat during advance week, peaking with triple digit temperatures on Saturday, challenged preparations.

No major changes have been made to the Raptor Course, but Pock has overseeded only a select number of areas this year, opting not to overseed the bermudagrass rough. He explains that the rough will be 2 ½ inches high and gnarlier than in the past when it has been overseeded with ryegrass.

Grayhawk Golf Club is built on a flat desert landscape and features a natural creek that has created 15-20 canyons throughout the layout of the course. The creek, lined with flowering plants in sharp contrast to the desert landscape, empties into a man-made lake between holes 10 and 18, that is home to fish and visited frequently by blue herons and ospreys. Grayhawk provides habitat for various desert wildlife and Pock continues to maintain and improve a balance conducive to wildlife and golf.

Pock overseeds the Miniverde bermudagrass greens with Providence bentgrass and Poa annua that do better with the high salinity content of the effluent water used for irrigation. He has worked with superintendents from other golf facilities in the area to convince the city’s effluent water plant to provide cleaner water that consists of 1/3 effluent, 1/3 canal water and 1/3 reverse osmosis water, for two windows of time each year the last few years to help establish ryegrass in the fall and bermudagrass in the spring.

While there is no official signature hole at Grayhawk’s Raptor Course, No. 8, a par 3 called “Aces and Eights,” is well known for its scenic mountain backdrop and its propensity for being either a hit or miss hole.


grass type

Grass type:
Tees - Bermudagrass; perennial ryegrass - .35'
Fairways - Bermudagrass; perennial ryegrass - .35'
Greens - Providence bentgrass; Miniverde overseeded w/ Poa annua - .12'
Rough - Bermudagrass - 2.5'


Weather: Sunny, with temperatures in the mid 80s. Wind at 7-10 m.p.h.


Yardage: 7,125 yards, par 70

signature hole

Fun fact: During the 2000 Williams Challenge at Grayhawk, Ernie Els brushed up against a tennis ball-sized cactus flower called a jumping cholla and required the assistance of paramedics to remove it.


Golf Course Superintendents Association of America