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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I came accross this linked article on tree root pruning in the USGA Green Section publication The Record and it is relevant to a lot of work that we are doing at this time on the course. Solving tree problems at this time of year will help us tremendouslely in the coming summer when we will be busy with the irrigation system.

Tree roots removed from the bunker at #6 green

In the past few weeks we have been removing roots by hand, mostly in bunkers, greens and tees.  Due to the number of trees and the manpower and time involved in removing roots by hand, a mechanical method will be needed to keep up with the growth in the future. Unfortunately root pruning is not a one and done deal.  As with most of what we do a maintenance schedule needs to be established for this, so that the entire course can be completed every couple of years, with proper equipment that creates the efficiency to complete the job.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Greens and Grounds Committee

On January 6th I had my first Greens and Grounds Committee meeting at La Rinconada.  It was my intention to organize the plans and projects that I have initiated in my first 5 weeks, and to lay the ground work for prioritizing what is done in the future. 

Those projects that have been initiated are:
  • Refurbishing bunkers. Sand contaminated with algae and dirt is being removed and replaced with new, and we are turning over the sand with shovels to improve consistency and color. We have also instilled a new raking technique, with a heightened awareness of the product we are producing.

Sand removed exposing liner in order to fix drainage

  • Amenities improvement. New rake handles have been installed. Tee marker indicator colors have been painted. Leveling of trash cans, water coolers, etc., new flags, pins and cups installation will be complete in the next 10 days.
Rake handle in disrepair

  • Tree root management in greens, tees, and bunkers.

Tree roots growing into #11 green

New seats on mowers. Old seats were worn down to the metal frame
  • Organization within the maintenance department, with improvements in the facility itself, as well as equipment care.  One of the largest deficiencies at golf course maintenance is the lack of a true mechanic, and the condition of the equipment reflects this. 

  • Greens health.  The greens have a black layer that is not allowing water or air movement and that can be a greens health problem when the rains come. Therefore, we are aerating select areas of greens with small tines and spiking to get this layer broken down.  Reducing the irrigation and changing the fertilizer program is being evaluated for the future health of the greens. 
Core of the #15 green showing a black layer at 1 inch and again at 3 inches

  • Budgeting and planning for 2012. The re-grassing project would have a tremendous effect on how the course is cared for in the future, and it is a project I endorse.  This endeavor requires specific equipment, fertilizers, and chemicals that are not currently part of the care of the course, making the budget and my planning very dynamic. I have gotten quotes from suppliers, consulted with experts, and talked with fellow superintendents in preparing for this project, which has required a fair amount of my attention and energy.
As you can see from this synopsis, there is a lot going on, with plenty of projects and changes.  The Greens and Grounds Committee has endorsed the course of action we are taking, which helps everyone stay focused.  Every month the committee will meet and new projects will be introduced, and then those projects will be prioritized, and executed in an identified time frame.

You can look forward to more postings from future Greens and Grounds Committee meetings where the priorities and planning ensure that the course is in great playing condition.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

There are a number of things going on at this time, but one of the most unusual may be the weather. From my standpoint as a golf course superintendent the lack of rainfall is good, because it is allowing more project work to be done.

Bunker Work
#6 left of green
#8 fairway bunker

The sand has been pulled back exposing tree roots growing in the sand. The roots are then cut and a fabric barrier impregnated with a chemical that keep the troots from regrowing will be installed before the sand is replaced.

Tree Roots in Greens


This root was growing into the left side of the 11th green. The turf on the green was very dry, due to the tree roots taking up water. Judging by the size of this root, it has been in the green for some time.