Monday, December 26, 2016

Finishing with a Great Intern..

Certainly feels good to finish my career as a golf course superintendent having an exceptional student intern. Jared Kief is from Wisconsin and attends Colorado State University. Early this year he was awarded our Most Outstanding Intern of the Year scholarship for 2016. Jared did a 8-month internship (May-Dec) and help our operation tremendously. I have hosted over 100 student interns in my career and I must say Jared Kief is one of the best. I'm also proud to say that Jared will be interning at Erin Hills in Wisconsin next year, site of the 2017 US Open. This will be a tremendous experience for him as he continues on an exceptional career path. Keep an eye out for this young man, his future in golf course management is very bright! 

Jared Kief - 2016 Most Outstanding Intern.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rare Rain Event...

This past weekend on 12/17 we experienced a very rare event in Colorado during the winter, RAIN! For a couple days, temperatures reached in the 50's and significant rainfall occurred. Then as a cold front moved in, temperatures dropped and the changeover to snow resulted in a foot of wet, Eastern Style snow accumulation. These conditions are not ideal for golf course turf, especially this early in the winter season. Ice formation on turf for long durations is potentially one of the most dangerous conditions golf turf can experience. Time will tell?

A rare event in Colorado during the winter season, RAIN!

A few hours later, snowing....with an eventual foot of accumulation. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2016 Bunker Construction Review #11

My favorite bunker construction of the year was on hole #11. We certainly did more bunker work on holes #7 and #10 this year, but I really like what we did on #11. Our goal was to make the front left area much more playable. To do that, we eliminated the closest bunker to the tee, reshaped the pot bunker, shaped two grassy hollows, and made the slope of the entire area more gentle. The results were fantastic. This was, like much of our bunker work through the years, done completely in-house. Take a look...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Some Favorite Photos of 2016...

Here are a few of my favorite shots of 2016.

Remembering Old #7....

Recently, I was involved in a conversation about old #7 fairway bunker. The individual stated that he couldn't even remember the old one very well. I told him to check my blog and I would refresh his memory  So, in memory of old it is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Still uncovering some great old flashback photos while packing the office. This photo is from our greens renovation during a Nicklaus site visit. Jack is doing his typical sketching of green contour changes. Hard to believe this is from 20 years ago. I strongly believe our greens renovation and my selection of Penn A-4 bentgrass is what elevated CC Rockies to what it is today! It all started with some sketches on a piece of paper. 

Jack doing his thing while we all look on. Front, L to R, Kirk Welsh, Jack, and myself.
Back row, Tom Apple, left and Ken Mesloh, right.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Will Not Miss....

I was recently asked, what things I will miss and not miss about being a superintendent? Last week, I was reminded of one major item. Traveling on poor roads! Last week it was nearly everyday. Working at home and not worrying about road conditions will certainly lower the stress level. Let it snow!

Poor Road Conditions will NOT be Missed!

Friday, December 9, 2016


We have had some various dusting of snow over the past couple weeks, but finally the "Snow Gods" provided us with a decent little storm. Arrowhead received about 6-8". Looks like this might be the snow that covers the golf course for the winter. Most likely we will not see turf again. This also may be my last "snow duty" day. Throughout the winter, the full-time staff covers snow removal, on alternating weeks. So, today might be it for me. This is one thing I will not miss. It's difficult to have staff (and myself) come in at night and weekends to cover snowstorms when you are here so much during the golf season. It seems like you never can totally let work go and enjoy, even in the winter. Thanks to all my staff through the years who have taken care of "snow duty".

Arrowhead finally looks white, instead of "Native Grass" brown.

Could be the last "Snow Duty" day for me. Now I can truly enjoy snow and not worry how "Snow Duty" is going!

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Big Thanks to these Two!

I would like to thank two individuals from our irrigation contractor, Tanto Irrigation. Charles Moreno and Warren Braddock have been an absolute pleasure to work with directly over the past five years. Phasing a system as complicated as ours in, is not an easy task. Charley and Warren have made it a snap. I will miss working with them. Sure hope our paths cross in the future...thanks guys! 

Charles Moreno, left, and Warren Braddock, right, of Tanto Irrigation.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Finding Treasures Cleaning my Office

With not much tenure left at CCR, I have been slowly cleaning and packing the office. After 22 years at CCR and 40+ in the business,  I have built a virtual library of golf course management information. Many photos I haven't looked at in years. I realized how many treasured items I truly have. When I came across the photo below, I must admit, I had to take a step back, stare and reminisce for a few minutes. The 1996 greens renovation with Jack.....seems like yesterday?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Privileged to be a Podcast Guest!

I had the privilege recently to be a guest of Dave Wilbur and his Turfgrass Zealot Project podcast. Dave and I had a lot of fun talking about the Ryder Cup, retiring from the golf course superintendent business, and my 45+ years in the business. Take a listen, click on the link below:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A BIG THANKS to these Three!

I want to give a big personal thanks to these three, Jim Wolan, Tony Chesla, and Chris Myer. These three "old timers" have been at CCR almost as long as me. They have been a huge help to me and my department through the years. Jimmy Wolan is probably the best damn outside services supervisor on the planet. His communication with my department has been fantastic. Thanks Jimmy.....good luck with your new position and it was a pleasure working with you! Tony Chesla has been a stalwart at CCR for many years. Tony and I have had a great relationship together. His help with all the printing of the irrigation mapping over the last 4-5 years has been extremely helpful. Thanks Tony and good luck to you in your next endeavor! Last but not least, Chris Myer or "NOS" as I have named him, which means no "S" on the end of Myer. For some reason this nickname has stuck. Chris is probably the best damn starter on the planet. His communication concerning the tee sheet with my staff has been outstanding. Thanks Chris for all the help through the years. Also, thanks for all the road bike miles we have shared through the years. I wish all three of these individuals the best of luck in the future, I for one, will alway remember you guys! Don't be strangers! Thanks again!!

"Jimmy" Wolan.

Tony Chesla.

Chris "NOS" Myer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mild Weather Continues...

After a small snowstorm last week, things are clear and dry....again. It's a very rare year when November 22nd rolls around and there is no snow on the course. It might be even rarer when there isn't a speck of ice formation on our ponds. I don't think I remember it being so late in the year with no ice formation. Cold temperatures do look like they might be on there way. Let's hope.....

View to #8 Green from #9 Tee, November 21st with no ice formation.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The End of a Big Week...

Last week was a big week for us. We put the last water of the year out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, watering greens, tees, and fairway spots with "Kevin's Tweener System". Then on Thursday and Friday in a snowstorm, we hurried to winterize (blowout) the system. It marks the end of watering for the year. Let's hope it stays cold and we receive some steady moisture. The past month has been very difficult keeping up with the watering demands due to a very abnormal October and November. For myself, Carey, and Jared there has been no letup since mid-March. We are all looking forward to Thanksgiving and a few days off to spend with our families. It's been a long difficult year.

Watering Greens on Wednesday.....

Winterization (blowout) of "Kevin's Tweener" on Thursday in a snowstorm! Only in Colorado.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bunker Sand Buildup....

It's amazing to me how sand can buildup on bunker faces through the years. This time of year when the sun is at a very low angle it's really easy to see. When it comes to bunker maintenance, sometimes I think what happens outside the bunker is more important than what happens inside. Removing the sand buildup, reshaping the face, then resodding is very time consuming and expensive. Just another reason why I refer to sand bunkers as "money suckers". Take a look.... 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanks to my Staff...

A special thanks to my lead assistant, Carey Hofner and my student intern, Jared Kief for the tremendous effort in keeping the golf course watered as the fall drought continues. Fortunately, we have "Kevin's Tweener" irrigation system to help the process. It's been about 3 weeks of watering greens, tees, and certain fairway spots while we wait for Mother Nature to produce.
Watering #7 green Mid-November, while the ski slopes in the background stay bare!

Presently, the course is so dry, fairway spots are being watered.

With Carey and Jared doing a wonderful job watering, I have had some time to get dormant fertilization accomplished.

Carey, carrying hoses has been a popular sight this fall!

Jared, watering irrigation installation sod trenches....again!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes....

It certainly has been a crazy fall. I can only remember one other year in my 22 years at CCR that is similar to this. This may be the driest I have every seen things at this time of year. Last year at this time we were shoveling areas of snow to keep the irrigation install rolling. This year we are watering daily using the "Tweener System" pumping about 30,000 gallons a day to keep things moist until hopefully some rain or snow arrives. What a difference a year makes?? Take a look...

Watering #1 Green. The "Tweener System" might be my best invention in my 45 plus years on a golf course.

November 8, 2015 Clearing snow for irrigation install #9 fairway.

#9 Fairway, November 8, 2015.

#9 Fairway - November 8, 2016.

Looking up #9 - November 8, 2016.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Final Irrigation Design Work

The final irrigation design work was accomplished yesterday with Larry Rodgers of Larry Rodgers Design Group. I would like to personally thank Larry for collaborating on a world class design project. The input I had on the project was consistently received with open arms by Larry. It starts off with a bunch of coloring and marking.....but ends up spectacular! This system will be the gold standard for the future with target irrigation and water savings. Thanks again Larry!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Sand Disappearing!

I always have to laugh when someone tells me we have put too much sand on the greens after aerification! My response is always the same, just wait and watch. Yesterday, (November 2) made 3 weeks since our aggressive aerification and the sand is almost disappeared. The sand that fills the aerification core holes takes a while to settle/compact. This happens primarily with water, irrigation or rainfall. As it settles, we continue with our brushing program, the excess sand on the surface continually gets brushed in the holes until filled 100%. This process takes about 2 weeks. Here is a look of day #1 topdressing and 3 weeks later. I call this green perfect going into winter.

Day #1 - Topdressed.

Day #21 - Perfect for Winter.