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.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Target Bunker Re-furbish Completed

The target bunkers on the range were finished this week, and the color is much better.  A sprayable soy based epoxy was used to seal the bottom of the bunker in hopes that it will keep contaminants from entering the sand when balls are hit into and retrieved from the bunker.  Time will tell if this is a process that could be used in all the bunkers.  This was a trial that at this point visually looks good.




Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bunker Etiquette

Foot print down the bunker face
Although bunkers are a hazard, there is a great deal of time and resources dedicated to there care. In most cases bunkers are the second most costly feature to maintain, second only to greens.  In my experience they are the area that players comment negatively about the most.  And the biggest area of negative comment is plugged lies in the face. 
In the picture here you will see where a player entered the bunker via the face eliminating the compaction thus creating the possibility of a plugged lie in the face, and an encounter that I really do not want to have with an unhappy player. 
Proper care of the course extends beyond ball mark and divot repair.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The abnormally warm weather combined with the lengthening of the daylight has begun to get the golf course growing.  Turf grass growth is dictated largely by soil temperatures.  When the temperature is below 55 degrees very little growth occurs, and the majority of what does happen at these temperatures is root growth. When the soil reaches about 60 degrees then more shoot growth begins to occur, and mowing schedules get tighter, and fertilizer and water inputs are greater.  Hopefully that is enough basic information to get you to understand where I am going next, which is management strategies for the health of the plant.

Large inputs of fertilizer at temperatures that are conducive to root growth, can sometimes result in shoot growth.  Later on when the temperature is higher and shoot growth is going on and you have not invested in growing roots; well guess what?????? There are no roots when you need them.  Different grasses have advantages over one another based on inputs of water and fertiliser at different times of the year. 
Some examples.  Poa annua (annual blue grass).  Likes cool and wet conditions. Water and fertilize in the winter when this grass wants to thrive and it does well.  It has very shallow roots no matter what you do in the winter so don't worry about it until it is hot and you want to cut back the water and you have no roots. Then it will die.
Bermuda grass likes it hot. Fertilize this grass when it is hot and it will outgrow just about anything.  When it is cold it goes dormant and is noticeable by its brown cast, especially on south facing slopes around the course.
Rye grass. This grass will compete with both annual bluegrass and Bermuda grass.  Although not as well adapted to the cool damp conditions as annual bluegrass it still does pretty well when watering is kept at lower levels.  And with Bermuda in the hot weather; well it will not keep up with its growth without some help from chemical inputs, however most of the hottest weather in our region is short lived, so about 75% of the time ryegrass is going to predominate.

Part of this is provide some insight into the management strategies that occur when mother nature is doing her thing. Like this winter with the warmer than normal temperatures, and lack of precipitation. The other part of this is to give you an idea of what ryegrass can provide in a full scale turf conversion such as what La Rinconada is planning.  Knowing that no grass is perfect, and that each one has physiological responses that when managed will work in your advantage is part of being a good golf course superintendent.