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, December 29, 2015

New turf covers on the practice tee

Turf covers are not something I associated with Los Gatos when I first came here. I thought they were something from my past years in the mountains. However with our unseasonably cold temperatures this year, these new covers that were put down today, will improve divot recovery substantially.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chance of Rain

It has been a long time  since we have had a chance of rain  so  it is worth mentioning that next weekend  there is a good chance .  In the  meantime there is a lot of preparation  going on this week  that includes hydroseeding. Those areas  will be  roped and staked, with signage in most cases.. The forecast discussion is attached below, let's hope for the best and know that we are prepared for rain.
http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=mtr&product=AFD&format=ci&version=1&glossary=1 From 1Weather for Android. http://bit.ly/1Weather

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Maintenance Week Round-up

Thought you might like to know what maintenance work was done this week during our 4 day closure.

875 tons of  topdressing delivered and applied

Cart path repairs completed

New greens dryjected

Greens aerated 2 times over
Fairways and rough seeded and fertilized in conjunction with topdressing and aeration

400 Lavender and 6,500 Carex planted at the 11th hole.

Practice area patio foundation wall poured
Detail clean up crew getting the course ready for play in 100 degree temps
You how I like to have my plate full, so true to form I packed a lot into this week. What was not planned was the weather and the100 degree temps pushed us to our limits. I really appreciate how my staff responded and met the challenge. WELL DONE GUYS!!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back Now After a Break

Time to get back on track posting the latest here after taking a break from writing.

Briefly, I will summarize the time off by saying there have been various events both at work and at home that have needed all my energy and focus. So, lets get up to speed on what has been going on.

New Aussie pup "Arlo"

New well being drilled adjacent to the 12th tee complex in July
The quest for water continues. Our primary source is the old refurbished well at the back of the practice range. Although it produced close to 200 gpm for the majority of the summer, lately it started to pull sand and gravel. The gradual degradation of the well casing is now to the point where it is inoperable. There are 3 options that are being considered. 1) Patch the holes that have developed in the casing. 2) Sleeve the old 14 inch casing with an 8 inch casing. 3) Drill a new well in the same location.

 Fortunately, we have back up water from the City of San Jose, and a new well. Ironically the San Jose source is basically the same water we used to get from Santa Clara County only now it has traveled to the water treatment plant and costs a lot more.

In switching over to the well, there was the need to produce a holding facility. The lake excavation spoils haul off tied in nicely to re-designing the practice facility and those areas are spectacular now that they are grassed. It is easily the nicest most thought out practice area that I have been a part of.

Crane placing the foot bridge over the new irrigation lake at the 11th hole
Water conservation has been happening throughout the San Jose region and our our water district is leading the way with an over 30% cut back in use. At La Rinconada we are currently at 28% and I project we will be close to 35% by the end of this year. Achieving this high reduction while under construction and growing in new grass has been a delicate balancing act. Recently I received comments that the course looked too good. Too green for the drought conditions. Well, I will work on that.

Selective grassing of the #11th hole to conserve water

As I close this I have to mention one last change. Since becoming a GCSAA Board Member last February, my schedule has had to be rearranged. Not as much leisure time. The ultra trail races I was doing last year have taken a back seat, and there has been a concerted focus on time management. It is very gratifying to do this industry work, and  it can not happen without the full support of the club, my staff and my family. It is truly service work that requires giving of one self.

It is taking time to adjust to these changes and I look forward to getting back into the routine of posting. Stay tuned, I hear El Nino is on its way!


Monday, April 20, 2015

The Quest for Water Continues

Today a few very important things came together that keep us moving closer to having our own water source.

The pump station arrived and is being offloaded the delivery truck for assembly on the pad.

The pump station ready for offloading

Pump station off the truck and being put into place on the skid

The other critical component to the water infrastructure is the new well. We have reached the desired depth of 1000 feet for testing our well. Analysis of the water potential and quality will happen this week.

Our holding pond construction is coming along very well. The liner installation is happening this week so that when we do pump water we will have a place to put it.

Liner being pulled in the pond

A lot of planning and time go into the different components of our water system and today these were signs that we are zeroing in.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Firework Show

When writing a new post I always go back to the last one and re-read it. In the opening of the last post I mention that a lot has happened; some good and some not so good. After that post I got many emails of condolence about the not so good news of loosing my dog. Thank you for reaching out to me and remembering a remarkable animal, it brightened my day.

Hey, guess what? More stuff has happened on our progress to having a new water source and  practice area. Projects are like the 4th of July fireworks show. You anxiously wait until the time is right, then you get a few ooohs and ahhhs as it progresses, and then at the end it seems 90% of the show happens. Well, we are at the 80% mark in the show and the climactic end is setting up.

14 inch main line tie in

The main line to the new pump station has been tied into the existing system.

National Well Drillers setting up

On Monday our well drillers set up. They are anticipating 2 10 hour days to get a test hole to 1,000 feet.

Pump station pad in the early stages of construction
The pump station slab gets poured this week. It is large enough to house our injection equipment and tanks, keeping the area tidy.

By the end of this week our pond liner installation will begin. Our haul out of material from the pond to the practice area will be complete, and the practice short game area will be rough graded.

The big finale is not here yet, but just like the 4th of July, expect that at the very end things will happen quickly with lots of oohs and aahs.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Catching up

The lack of posting should tell you that my schedule has been busy. A lot has happened, some of it good some of it not so much.

The development of the new water infrastructure has been going well. After 3 weeks of work the pond excavation is nearly complete, the wet well nearly set, and the final product can be visualized. When complete the 11th hole is going to be spectacular.

Pond excavation and wet well site

The spoils from the pond excavation are going to the practice area. 6,500 yards of the 9,000 total volume has been transported and the new shape is coming into view.

Fill material being put into place on the back of the practice area

The piping from the old well to the new pond is 95% complete. The most difficult part of the pipe route was the canyon next to the clubhouse. Some ingenuity and hdpe pipe proved to be a successful combination.

8 inch hdpe pipe along the canyon edge

Milestones left in the project include the pump station installation beginning on April 15th. The new well drilling scheduled to start April 13th. PG&E electric hook ups to begin April 1st.

I lost my companion Meggie since my last post. We had 10 of the best years a dog and owner could have shared. The time we spent together bonded us in a very unique way that I am so grateful for.


My board service to GCSAA also began in the last few weeks. I look forward to giving my time to the association and the profession that I am so proud to be a part of.

I look forward to things getting back to being a little more predictable and manageable in the next few weeks, and being more consistent in my postings.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Latest Storm Brings Seasonal Precipitation Total Near Normal

This has been a season of extremes. 2014 was one of the warmest and driest on record except for 2 weeks in December when over 12 inches of rain fell. Then 2015 began with the driest January on record. That leads us to today and we are cleaning up after a series of very strong storms that precipitated 4 inches of rain in 3 days. How do you predict that?

The course has taken the rain very well with bunker was outs being the biggest problem. We have repaired lots of drainage lines which has helped tremendously to limit flooding and wash outs.

8 inch drain line found in #1 rough line
We have had relatively few trees down during these storms and a lot of that I attribute to the tree care program in place. On Saturday we did have one large tree blow over.

Eucalyptus tree blow over behind #10 green
In preparation for the upcoming storms and the potential pond work, the water was pumped out and the fish relocated to the pond on the 14th hole.

One of the 15 fish relocated to #14

The pond devoid of water Thursday prior to the storm

The same pond on Sunday after 3 inches of rain
I certainly don't know what the weather has in store for us for the remainder of the winter rain season. But I am grateful that we are near normal totals at this point, even though how we have gotten that rain has been anything but normal.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dry and Cool Has Me Thinking Drought Again

It has been a while since my last posting and that is because it looked so promising for the winter rains returning and  being locked into projects with little new going on. Well that is not the case as it turns out.

There has been no rain since mid December and no sign of its return. That spells trouble for the entire state this summer, not just the golf course. In our situation we will have switched over to our well water by May. That is not to say we will not be conserving water, however we will be in a better position to water the course in 2015. Removal of high water use turf and replacing with wood chips or native grasses are key to our success in reducing our water use.
Mulched areas added around trees will help conserve water

The investments that La Rinconada is making now for a long term water source are critical. If you are on the fence about that last statement you need to go no further than 20 miles down the road to Pasatiempo to see what happens when your water supply is cut off. In fairness, they are recovering extremely well, but the summer of 2014 is one they never want to repeat.

New native grass plantings in the parking lot

In the next month look for more work that ensures La Rinconada is sustainable during times of drought. Pond excavation, native grasses and mulch are a key component of our strategy.