Photo Quiz: Brown circles on turf, multiple lines and numbers

Think you know the cause of these turf issues? Test your knowledge in this month’s Photo Quiz.


Filed to: Photo Quiz

GCM’s Photo Quiz is presented in partnership with STEC Equipment.

STEC Equipment

Problem A: Brown circles on turf

brown spots on turf
Location: Tyngsborough, Mass.
Turfgrass area: Practice area
Turfgrass variety: Bluegrass/ryegrass/fescue mix

Problem B: Multiple lines and numbers on turf

lines and numbers
Location: Thackerville, Okla.
Turfgrass area: Driving range
Tree type: Bentgrass

Scroll down for answers.












source of brown spots on turf

Problem A: Brown circles on turf

These brown circles on the turf were not caused by a disease, which might have been your guess. Instead, these marks were caused by indirect heat. This private golf club hosts a car show each year for members and guests. Classic cars are positioned around the clubhouse’s practice green for other car enthusiasts to admire. Typical attendance is around 75 people, and it is always a successful event. This year it also included a cigar party and an ax-throwing competition. As the cars are on display, they run their engines and rev them up while in place on the turf. This causes the exhaust system to get hot, and in this instance, the heat caused the bluegrass/ryegrass/fescue mix to turn brown the day following the event. The assistant superintendent quizzed a few members of his crew as to what may have caused the injury, but no one guessed correctly. They let the area recover on its own.

Photo submitted by Mark Mello, the senior assistant superintendent at Vesper Country Club in Tyngsborough, Mass., and a five-year GCSAA member. Ryan Emerich, a 12-year association member, is the club’s GCSAA Class A superintendent.



Source of numbers and lines on turf

Problem B: Multiple lines and numbers on turf

The multiple lines and numbers on this driving range were not caused by a confused sports field manager looking for a field to paint. It is actually a layout for a long-drive competition that was broadcast on Golf Channel. These long-drive contests have been going on for many years. However, it moved up to a new level a couple of years before COVID-19. This particular contest took place in 2019. It included a stage for players to tee off, as well as grandstands for spectators to watch the event. As you can observe in the photos, the course had a deluge of rainfall when the driving range was being prepared, which slightly delayed the painting process. The event was held on time and was successful, showcasing this beautiful resort course.

Photo submitted by Mike Hebrard with Athletic Field Design. Charles Wise, a 25-year GCSAA member, is the GCSAA Class A agronomy operations director at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Okla., which hosted the long-drive competition. Others who assisted in preparations for the event included Joe Rickwa, the superintendent of the resort’s Scissortail Course and a 20-year member of GCSAA; Terry Durst, the GCSAA Class A superintendent of the Redbud Course and a 19-year association member; and Charles McCrory, the resort’s grounds superintendent and an 18-year GCSAA member.


Editor’s note: Have a photo of an on-course anomaly? GCM would love to have a look! Email it to Photo Quiz author John Mascaro.

John Mascaro is the president of Turf-Tec International.