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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cold Weather Has Cut Down Turf Care

Cold temperatures have put growth on hold the past 2 weeks. Soil temperatures have dropped into the upper 40's and that is low enough that grass will go dormant. 

The mowing schedule lately has consisted of mowing tees once a week, greens twice a week, and it has been 2 weeks since roughs and fairways have been cut. To maintain greens speeds rolling has been used, but cutting grass has not been necessary to maintain speeds of 11.

The back of #3 green frosty at 10:30am Saturday 1/13/13

I was recently asked why there was seed still in the divot sand bottles. I estimate that it costs the club about $250 dollars a month in the winter for divot sand and seed, so it would not be a large amount of savings to not have seed in the sand. When seed is put out during these low temperatures it will germinate but little growth will occur until soil temperatures are above 55 degrees. So we may need to be patient for those divots to fill in, however I like the idea of having the seed in place and ready when those temperatures do arrive. A good example of this is the practice area teeing ground. Those divots recover in enough time to get through the tee rotation, which is crucial to keep the area open and playable. So although things are slow, there is still a little growth going on, and a lot of chilled workers early in the morning working on frost projects.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Drying the Course

Things are drying out and the course is becoming much more playable thanks to some sun and the rain stopping for what has been 4 days now. However, watching the course during these rain events has revealed some problems that are keeping particular areas from drying out.

One recurring problem is the broken drain lines from the irrigation head installation in 1996. The machine that putted the wires to the irrigation heads hit many of the drain lines. That was the case in the 10th fairway pool that had developed.
White wire going through the black drain pipe in the 10th fairway

Tree roots have penetrated pipe and heavy equipment has crushed drain pipes on the left side of the 16th hole. These type of thing happens over time, and drain lines need to be redone about every 15 years, so we are redoing about 100 foot of drain line that was keeping the bunker on the left side of 16 from draining.

Open drainage trench on the 16th hole

Overall the course did very well with the 10 inches of rain that fell over the last 2 weeks. Anytime we have that much rain the course is going to be soft, particularly in the rough where there has not been the topdressing that was received in the fairway. The sand in the fairways has helped but there is no amount of sand that can handle the amount of precipitation that we have received  For comparison sake, consider the greens were there is 12 inches of sand and how soft they played these last 2 weeks.