About Me

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Los Gatos, California, United States
Kevin is currently the certified superintendent at La Rinconada Country Club. Kevin was the Director of Maintenance at Lahontan Golf Club for over 14 years. Some of the responsibilities over the expanse of his career include the daily upkeep of multiple golf courses, natural resources, environmental compliance, and roads and streets. The wide ranging expertise has come from a combination of education and experiences. Degrees in Meteorology (1987 University of Nebraska/Lincoln), and Horticulture (1992 Colorado State), complete the formal side of this important combination of qualifications. A lifetime of experience around golf courses, and the game of golf was provided by Kevin's father.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Maintenance Week 2016 Complete

There is a lot of planning that goes into Maintenance Week, so cancelling and rescheduling to a later date is avoided if at all possible. When at 2 weeks from beginning maintenance week the forecast was calling for rain just about every day, I got a little nervous and thought about cancelling the 875 tons of sand, 15 tons of fertilizer, 20,000 lbs of seed that was to be applied that week. Applying those things and rain don't mix, let alone punching holes in the greens, removing the cores, and filling with sand.

Only one mishap with the spreader truck. Shown here between 17 and 18.

After considering all the possibilities I went forward. Now the Monday after maintenance week things look good out on the course despite over 5 inches of rain that fell in the last 8 days.

First pass with the aerator under ominous skies

Course back open for play

It works out for the best, because the work was done in a week that was not conducive for golf and this week the weather is darn near perfect. The course will rebound quickly with the rain and in northern California you never wish away rain during a drought.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Where Are We This Winter So Far?

I want to provide a little winter check up on where we are and where we might be in a few months.

Water has been the topic for the last few years and now we are receiving normal amounts, and it has changed things considerably. Better turf, and improved tree health being the biggest changes.

Cool wet weather is great for Poa health as well. Because it is one of the grasses we are trying to keep out of the golf course we continually eradicate it with physical removal and chemicals. There are many spots around the course where we have been successful and these areas have been seeded for recovery.

Dead Poa next to the cart path on #14
With the abundant rain there has been no need to pump water out of the pond at #11 and  algae has grown on the rock wall. The algae turned white when it dried out and is very noticeable right now. Solutions are being evaluated, and the unsightliness will be short lived. One of the very few negative impacts to the rain is the color of the rock right now.

Algae growth on the rock wall at the pond at #11
One last thing that I will mention in this posting is our new landscape plants. They are growing slowly during the winter months and if they don't pick up the pace, more plants will be put in. It would be premature to add more now, However, I am keeping a keen eye on the progress, and am prepared to add more when necessary. Our other new areas to be planted have not been done due to the rain. They are on the schedule, and needless to say all the growers and installation companies are behind.

We just had a nice week of dry clear weather, and now the rain is forecast to be back late this coming week. It is a welcome occurrence with the benefits we are seeing. Healthy turf, time to do projects, and good water reserves for the dry summer months.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Years of Drainage Work Paying Off

The return of average rains to the course have revealed improved drainage that is the result of projects and maintenance practices taking place in the last 4 years.

18th green in 2012 with standing water that lasted for days after rain

18th green in 2016 after rain

Greens drainage is always one of the most important factors to good greens. Our aerification and topdressing practices over the last 4 years have obvious results.

#1 fairway 2012
#1 fairway 2016
A great portion of the water that flows onto the golf course comes from the back 9, and the parking lots, finding its way onto the 1st fairway. Additional drainage added during the turf conversion of 2012, and the renovation last year of the old piping, has resulted in a much lower surface flow on the 1st fairway.

Throughout the golf course, years of topdressing has made a tremendous change. This added sand has allowed carts back out onto the golf course after some pretty significant rain events this year, and playability remains high in the fairways where years of sand has been added. Over time the topdressing being added to roughs will yield the same results.

Hopefully the rains continue through winter, and significant drought recovery is achieved. If they do continue, rest assured that the course is draining better than ever, and improvements are continuing.