Photo Quiz: Indentations across green, irregular brown line

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: Indentations across green

indentations on putting green
Location: Rockville, Md.
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Turfgrass variety: Penn A-4 bentgrass

Problem B: Brown line across area in front of clock tower

brown line on decorative green
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Turfgrass area: Decorative green
Tree type: Bentgrass

Scroll down for answers.












source of indentations on green

Problem A: Indentations across green

The indentations across this green were caused by solid-tine aerification. This green was constructed about 12 years ago and had been deep-solid-tine aerified before. The damage was not caused by a malfunction in the aerifier; instead, a foreign object unearthed by the tines was the culprit. As the crew was making a pass across the green, one of the solid tines picked up a long-ago-buried golf ball, impaled it and continued to poke holes across the green. As you can see, it left a series of indentations all the way across the green. The damage was seen after one pass, and the golf ball was removed from the tine. To repair the area, pitch forks were used to lift out the depressions. A dry topdressing sand was applied to speed recovery and smooth out the surface.

Photo submitted by Alejandro Baiocchi, superintendent at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., and an 11-year GCSAA member.

wider shot of clock tower with brown line

Problem B: Brown line across area in front of clock tower

What caused this brown line across a decorative green’s surface was a mystery when it first appeared. This particular area is located by the clubhouse and is not only seen by golfers picking up their carts, but is also visible from the newly constructed sports bar located inside the clubhouse. The area previously featured a failing river birch tree that was blocking the view of the 18th green. The general manager decided to remove the tree and replace it with a custom four-faced clock tower. One of the course superintendents at this 36-hole facility was the first to notice this mark and brought it to the attention of the club’s director of grounds, noting he thought it had come from a reflection from the clock face. When they checked it out at a specific time of day, they noticed the angle of the sun in the springtime, coupled with the beveled edge of the glass on the clock face, created a magnifying-glass effect, focusing the sun’s rays on the decorative green and burning the turf in this line. They also noted that a dry and warm spring might have intensified the effect. Hopefully it was an isolated incident, but … only “time” will tell.

Photo submitted by Rick Tegtmeier, CGCS, MG, director of grounds at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, and a 41-year member of GCSAA. The club’s course superintendents are Nate Tegtmeier, GCSAA Class A superintendent at the North Course and a 16-year association member, and Mitch Meyers, superintendent at the South Course and a seven-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.