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.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Maintenance Week

This week is a big week for the golf course. I consider it one of the most important aspects of the long term maintenance of the course, and has the most impact on the condition for the next six months. 

When there is not enough aerification and water is in excess, the greens develop a black layer and the roots die off, and opportunistic diseases take hold. Greens are in need of aerification so that they drain well during our wet season and make oxygen available to the root zone.  The aerification that is planned is the same that was done in the spring, with a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks. The extent of the aerification is determined by the recommendation of our USGA agronomist and lab testing of the physical properties of the soil.

No black layer and multiple sand veins from aerification

No aerification veins and black layer

The fairways and roughs have taken a big hit this summer for multiple reasons. The lack of rain since spring, a stand of grass not yet a year old, added insect and disease pressure due to the length of the season, and heavy play with limited Monday closures have contributed to high stress on the grass. In July, the aggressive Poa control program became a tipping point. The chemicals that control Poa annua put increased stress on all the different varieties of grass and once damage occurred from the growth regulation, it prohibited the grass from recovering. The Poa control program has been modified and these chemicals will not be applied next year when the plant is under heavy stress.

Fairway rooting in June

Fairway Topdressing and Seeding

It is regular practice for the fairways to be seeded and topdressed in the spring and the fall. This year the amount of topdressing and seed is being increased to get the course back into the condition it was in last June. The amount of sand has been increased by 25% in the fairways and sand is being put onto the roughs, which is new. It will take years to see an appreciable improvement to the roughs, but the investment will pay off eventually. The increased sand requires more time to apply and the course will be closed Monday through Friday.


While the green surface is opened up it is the optimal time to introduce amendments that improve the physical qualities of the root zone. Calcium and carbon based fertilizers are incorporated into the green along with the sand topdressing to accomplish this important task. The result is sustained growth and soil health. The amount of fertilizer has been increased this fall to encourage growth and speed the recovery of the grass.

This next week is stressful with a lot of hard labor but it results in a good golf course and that is what we are all working for. Thank you for your understanding and patience during the closure and the recovery period.

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