About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Saturated Soil Plus Wind Equals Down Trees

It has been a while since I have posted, but the recent weather is noteworthy. I just got back from the Golf Industry Show where I teach a half day weather class, and I found myself going through a lot of the procedures that are covered for the severe weather portion of the class. California has not seen weather of this intensity in many years, with numerous big impacts to the course.

                This large tree came down on the 12th green

A large Eucalyptus tree across the 13th tee with 3 others down on the right hand side damaging the fence and nearly reaching the house.

      Numerous large eucalyptus trees in the drainage behind the fitness building

          A large pine down on the left hand side of the 10th hole

 All the trees came down between 5pm and 6:30pm last evening, and are in more or less a straight line, which indicates the likelihood of straight line wind damage from a micro-burst.

Fortunately Straun Edwards and Trees 360 are on site and taking care of us first thing this morning. And although it is raining at this moment, the forecast for the next 3 days is for mostly clear skies. That will be a relief after all the recent rain and resulting damage.


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.