Photo Quiz: Holes in bunker, indentations on green

Hazard a guess as to what produced this pair of odd golf course sights.


Filed to: Photo Quiz

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

STEC Equipment

Problem A: Several holes in lip of bunker

Holes in bunker
Location: Rutland, Vt.
Area: Bunker
Turfgrass variety: Bluegrass/fescue lip

Problem B: Double row of indentations on turf

Indentations golf green
Location: Western U.S.
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Turfgrass variety: A-1 and A-4 bentgrass

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Problem A: Several holes in lip of bunker

The holes in this bunker lip were caused by red foxes. Depending on what part of the country they’re from, foxes can vary in size and weight. The superintendent at this golf course estimates his foxes are in the 20- to 30-pound range. As with all foxes, the biggest issue is that after the crew makes repairs to the area, the foxes come back night after night and excavate the same spots. At this course, they like bunker faces, as shown in the photo, and one bunker has shallow drainage they also seem to like to dig up.

The red fox is protected from hunting or trapping in Vermont from January through October, with hunting and trapping legal only in November and December. The repair to these areas is accomplished by pushing the sand back into the holes and packing it in, then raking the bunker. The crew has tried using cayenne pepper as a deterrent, but it was effective for only a day or two. If the foxes were damaging turf, the superintendent would seek to have them relocated off the property, but he realizes the golf course is a home to wildlife. Nobody seems to mind their damage as anything more than a nuisance that requires a few minutes of repair.

Photo submitted by Terry Davio, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Rutland (Vt.) Country Club and a 13-year GCSAA member.

Problem B: Double row of indentations on turf

The double-rowed indentations on this green were obviously human-made, as straight-line indentations do not occur naturally. Upon initial inspection of the course early one morning, the superintendent saw these lines and tried to figure out what could have caused them. He finally realized the indentations had been caused by a couple of kids riding hoverboards or self-balancing scooters with the tires directly on the putting green. These toys have become popular with children and young adults. The 22- to 27-pound vehicles were never meant to be ridden across putting greens, however, and the result is what this superintendent found on one of his greens. The indented areas had to be fixed in the same way crews repair ball marks.

Photo submitted anonymously.

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.