Photo Quiz: Insect infestation, destroyed cart path

Blights big and small befell the golf courses in this month’s Photo Quiz. What do you suspect led to these defects?


Filed to: Photo Quiz

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

STEC Equipment

Problem A: Insects on flag and turf

Insect infestation golf course
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Location: Palm Beach, Fla.
Turfgrass variety: SeaDwarf seashore paspalum

Problem B: Destroyed cart path

Golf cart path damage
Turfgrass area: Near putting green
Location: Delray Beach, Fla.
Turfgrass variety: 419 bermudagrass

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Problem A: Insects on flag and turf

Golf course beekeeper

The insects on the flag and on the surface of this green are a swarm of bees. According to the superintendent, who has been at the club for 16 years, swarms of bees show up naturally. Several years ago, he had the idea to contact a local beekeeper and create a natural area for some hives. The golf course has lots of signs around the bees, and it has received nothing but positive reactions from golfers and the community. The honey produced on the course is harvested and sold in the pro shop and at a local gourmet grocery, and the honey has sold out every harvest.

With this particular swarm of bees, a golfer notified the pro shop the day before this photo was taken as the course was closing. The superintendent expected the swarm to be gone in the morning, but when it was still there, he contacted the course’s beekeeper, who came out to remove the swarm about 45 minutes later. By the time the beekeeper got to the course, though, most of the bees had left with the queen. The remaining bees were taken back to their property, and the crew put out a new flag.

Photo submitted by Erik Caudullo, a former employee at Palm Beach (Fla.) Par 3 Golf Club. Tim Campbell is superintendent at Palm Beach Par 3 GC and a 26-year GCSAA member.

Problem B: Destroyed cart path

This cart path became, um, uneven after this course absorbed 14 inches of rain in a two-hour period. In 2020, this area of Florida received over 137 inches of rain, which was 70 inches above normal. This particular rainfall forced a small pond, located in front of the club’s ninth green and across from a large drainage canal, out of its banks and into this area, where the cart path was located. Within about an hour, the water had washed out the entire area all the way to the drainage canal. The irrigation main that was revealed was not damaged; however, all the hydraulic tubing was ripped away.

Cart path damage golf course
The local drainage district arrived two days later and pulled all the sand and dirt out of the canal. Next, the crew went to work leveling and prepping the area for the sod, a repair that took about a week to complete, including laying the new asphalt path.

Photo submitted by Joseph Hubbard, CGCS, who heads maintenance at Boca Delray Golf & Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla., and is a 37-year member of GCSAA.

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.