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, March 22, 2014

Construction Work in the Maintenance Yard

If you have played the course this week you have probably noticed the work being done on the back of the acquaintance facility. The old wooden shed structure dating back over 50 years was torn down in preparation for a new structure.

The 1950's era green shed 

The area where the old shed stood

New concrete poured around the perimeter of the old building in preparation for the new building.

On March 31st construction on the shade structure will begin. It will provide over 3,000 square feet of roof that will protect the clubs maintenance equipment and prolong its life. It is a very worth while project that will pay dividends in repair and maintenance of equipment that otherwise would site out in the sun and rain.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Aerification

This week was the 5th aerification that I have performed at LaRinconada and somewhere around  the 25th for my career. It is always a lot of labor, and generally involves a few drops of blood and tears to go along with the sweat. 

The amount of aerification we perform at LaRinconada is based on laboratory testing of the amount of organic matter present in the green. Based on that test result, both the USGA and the testing lab make a recommendation on the amount of aerification to perform to maintain the health of the greens.

This years aerification was aggressive, but went very smoothly and we will see quicker than normal recovery due to our above average temperatures and the quality of the work.

Aerified and topdressed green prior to rolling 
There is a lot of sand that is purposely left on the greens to aid in recovery and it will enhance ball roll by smoothing out imperfections.

Topdressing sand in the rough and fairways 
The entire course received topdressing including the rough and fairways. This is a big undertaking that went very well. 1,000 tons of sand was applied in 2 days, and these topdressings are making a positive impact in the firmness of these playing surfaces.

Rolling of the greens
The final touches on the greens are multiple rollings and waterings. Mowing will be kept to a minimum to allow the sand to stay in place and not damage the mowing equipment, and in the place of mowing, rolling will be performed.

These maintenance practices are critical to the long term health and playability of the course. The fact that this spring's course maintenance went so well is reassuring in the face of the recent drought and the challenges that we will face this coming summer.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Storm Update

Last week when the weather forecast included the possibility of rain, I was very slow to get excited because you have to have had patience over the last 14 months of forecasts that did not full fill their promise of rain. Well this time mother nature came through with close to 4 inches of rain, and it has not stopped yet.

There are a few reasons I am happy about the rain. The first is that we are in a drought and we have been asked to reduce our water use by 20%. That is not a big number right now, however if we need to reduce by that amount in summer, it will impact a lot of the course. The next reason is that without rain, any salts found in our irrigation water build up in the, soil and impact the quality of the grass. We were reaching levels of salts that if we got to spring without some flushing rains, combined with the reduced irrigation,  the turf would be impacted.

This rain has fallen slowly and soaked into the ground with limited run off and damage to the course, with just a couple of exceptions.

Blocked drainage in the front of #2 green

Blocked drainage in the front of #14 green
In both of these drainage problems the existing drain lines had been compromised by tree roots and repaired.

Elsewhere, the trees did very well. There was only minor damage with small limbs that came down.

So what can we expect now that the rain has come. Well, I think that we can expect more rain, because of the change in the position of the jet stream to a normal pattern. I don't think that we can say that we will not have water restrictions this summer, because of how far below normal we are at this time. When summer comes we are in a very good position to handle any challenges that come our way, and for now I am giving  a sigh of relief that the forecast was accurate and the rain did come as predicted.