Photo quiz: darker green, irregular brown areas

A divided rough and strange marks on a practice area make up this month's turf mysteries.


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

STEC Equipment

Problem A: Darker green turf on right side of rough area

golf course divided green
Location: Scottsdale, Ariz.
Turfgrass area: Rough near putting area
Turfgrass variety: 419 bermudagrass and Prominent ryegrass

Problem B: Several irregular-shaped brown marks

strange brown marks on golf course
Location: Middleton, Md.
Turfgrass area: Practice putting green
Turfgrass variety: Bentgrass/Poa annua mix

Scroll down for answers.












golf course divided green

Problem A: Darker green turf on right side of rough area

The turf on the right side of the rough area in this photo is a darker green because of the 419 bermudagrass being overseeded with Prominent ryegrass. It is not a misapplication of seed, as you may have guessed. The reason why the ryegrass is on the right side and not the left is tree shade. This course is located in Scottsdale, Ariz., and has bermudagrass fairways that are overseeded with ryegrass in the winter. The ryegrass is allowed to naturally transition out in the spring. In this particular area, the ryegrass actually grows all year long, because the shade from the tree shields it from the sun. Bermudagrass just doesn’t come back. Since the golfers don’t seem to notice, there is really no issue. As the assistant superintendent says, “Let it grow!” He also commented how unique it is to have a healthy ryegrass stand year-round in Arizona despite the heat.

Photo submitted by Ben Lederer, the assistant superintendent at The Estancia Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., and a one-year GCSAA member. Craig Schmidt, a four-year member of GCSAA, is the head superintendent at The Estancia Club.

Problem B: Several irregular-shaped brown marks

SeaDwarf paspalum putting green

These irregular-shaped brown marks on this practice putting green are the result of excessive heat. What caused the excessive heat is the interesting part of this story. On a Sunday morning, the crew was mowing the putting green and noticed these strangely shaped brown areas almost void of turf in the centers. The superintendent inspected these areas and was mystified as what may have caused the marks. Since they did not appear to be disease-related, he inquired if there had been any events on or near the green the previous evening. As it turned out, the events coordinator at the club had helped plan a wedding party at the clubhouse. At some point during the event, the wedding party decided to insert sparklers into the putting green and light them up as part of the celebration. If they had removed them before they had fully extinguished themselves, the damage may have been prevented. Some light topdressing and regular daily mowing had the damage repaired in about two weeks. The events coordinator apologized for the damage and assured the superintendent that open flames would be kept off the course at future events.

Photo submitted by Mario Worton, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Richland Golf Club in Middletown, Md., and a nine-year member of the association.

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.