Sunday, October 23, 2016

Irrigation Winterization

Last week was one of the biggest weeks for the golf course maintenance staff. Winterization (Blowout) of the golf irrigation system might just be the biggest job of the year. Three 12 hour days are required to individually go through each zone/sprinkler head on the golf course. On Friday morning, even my young 21 year old intern came in the lunchroom and said, "I'm not going to lie, I'm exhausted from the last 3 days". He's correct. This is one thing I certainly won't miss when I am finished. Take a look....

The Day Starts with Long Shadows.

Cold 19 Degree Mornings can make for Great Sights!

Those Cold Mornings can make some neat Ice Formation. 

The Day also ends with Long Shadows.

My last "Blowout", won't miss it! Thanks to all my staff members through the years that have performed this operation in some extremely difficult weather conditions!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reports from the Ryder Cup

During my adventure at the Ryder Cup, I was involved with blogging and video work for a golf course website, Here is a sample of my work. Enjoy.....

Click here:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Photos from the Ryder Cup

Here are a few tidbits from my Ryder Cup adventure, enjoy......

Much of the work in the morning was accomplished by using portable lights, headlamps, and machine lighting. At times it looked like a bunch of mini-stadiums throughout the course.

One thing I have never seen before until the Ryder Cup was "Night Stimping".

Alejandro Reyes, Golf Course Superintendent, Le Golf National, France. Host of the 2018 Ryder Cup.

The maintenance staff drove the coolest vehicles on the property! 

Former intern, Sam Bauer, presently at University of Minnesota, cooperative extension-turfgrass. Great to hang with this former great intern!

Some great hole shots!

It was cold early in the week and I needed all my clothing, but fortunately it warmed up nicely.

Although there were many highlights to the trip, meeting new friends was at the top of the list.

One highlight of the trip was a visit with my former assistant, Tom Steigauf, who is presently growing in the Royal Golf Club, in Lake Elmo, MN.

I guess eating a little cake to start the week at the welcome party...was a good luck omen!

My favorite photo of the week!

The "Big Five"

I would like to give a special thanks to what I call the "Big Five". The "Big Five" is a group of assistant's that have been by my side for various years over the last 22 years and deserve some major credit for helping me make CCR what it is today. I informed them personally about my semi-retirement and was floored with their returned emails. Here they are including some wonderful comments....Thanks to all of you!!

Carey Hofner, present lead assistant, CCR for 7 years.

Tom Steigauf, Royal Golf Club, Minnesota 


Nate Jordan, Mt. Hawley CC, Illinois 


Jason Habeck, The Toro Company


Paul Hallock, Stoatin Brae GC, Michigan

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Will Miss these Guys!

Barry Roepke and son Lucas have been doing contract greens drilling at CCR for a number of years. I will miss working with these guys. They run a first class operation and are great people. "Just Drill It". Thanks for the great work through the years!

Lucas, left and Barry, right.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Scenes from Last Week...

Last week we had our first snowfall accumulation on the course. As usual, it made for some great photo opportunities. Take a look....

Monday, October 10, 2016

Humbled....Thank You!

Let me say, I am very humbled by the number of calls, emails, and tweets I have received in the last 48 hours. From CCR members and staff, superintendents worldwide, and other industry reps. Over 2000 pageviews of my blog post announcement. Thank you everyone!

Let me clarify a number of questions that have been raised. First. Yes, I will be done from being a golf course superintendent when I finish my present position. I have not accepted another superintendent’s position. I am not retiring. I want to call it semi-retiring. Presently, I am exploring some employment opportunities that have presented themselves, and yes, they are in the golf course industry.

My general health is fine. Thank you to those who have asked. I have had however increasing aches, pains, and a number of injuries over the past 2-3 years. Yes, this is one of the reasons for my semi-retirement. My mind I feel is as sharp as ever, but my body is not. This will be a priority for me upon finishing my GCS career. Healing my body, then getting my health and physical condition back to what it was 5+ years ago.

Was it a sudden decision, NO. I have been thinking about it for a couple of years. We had an extensive family talk this past Christmas. My son, Nick, my daughter, Abby, and my wife Karen all urged me to make 2016 my last year. I told them I would strongly consider it. Then came a pumphouse VFD failure in June. Hit by lightning! My assistant, Carey Hofner and myself virtually lived in the pumphouse day and night to manually operate pumps to keep the golf course alive. We did this for 3 days, during a brutally hot stretch.  At that time, I thought, I don't want to do this anymore. During that time period my wife urged me to get done before I kill myself. She was correct, it was time. I then confided with some of my closest friends in the industry, they all said the same thing, do it.

Then as we prepped the golf course for our member-guest during an evening shift, I walked around thinking this was the last MG I would ever work. I became very emotional that evening. Something told me that night, it's time. I sent a text to my family telling them that would be my last evening ever on a golf course. Their replies choked me up while walking back to our maintenance facility. It was a done deal. I was getting done as a GCS for certain. Then it was just a matter of when?

I decided it would be best to finish the year off and make sure the golf course would be put to bed in proper condition. I also knew our irrigation installation would resume in September and I wanted to be able to supervise the work. I also had a 90-day termination notice in my employment agreement I wanted to honor. So I decided to go to the end of the year, December 31st. Back up 90 days from December 31st and that was last week. Done deal.

I hope this clarifies all the questions.

Thanks again to all!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

To the Membership of the Country Club of the Rockies:

It is with mixed emotions that I write this blog post. I have been in charge of this wonderful property known as the Country Club of the Rockies for the past 22 years. This year (2016) will be my last. I plan to retire from my position with CCR and the golf course superintendent business effective the end of the year.

I want to thank the membership at the club for 22 great years. I am extremely proud of my many accomplishments during that time period.

I also want to personally thank one individual, Tom Apple, who I consider a great friend. Tom has been an extremely important part of my success at CCR. Tom’s passion for the golf course is second to none. We have had a tremendous working relationship and this will be missed!

Thank you all,
Kevin J. Ross

This blog will continue through the end of the year.

The sun sets on my nearly 50 years working on Golf Courses.