Photo Quiz: Yellow turf, strange snow melt

Can you decipher what’s behind these two turf conundrums? Test your savvy in this month’s Photo Quiz.


Problem A: Yellow area on putting green

Yellow creeping bentgrass
Location: Vonore, Tenn.
Turfgrass variety: Crenshaw creeping bentgrass

Problem B: Pattern of melting and non-melting snow on putting green

Snow pattern turf
Location: Limerick, Ireland
Turfgrass variety: Shark creeping bentgrass

Scroll down for answers.












Problem A: Yellow area on putting green

The cause of the yellow area on this putting green had me scratching my head for a little while. I first thought it might have been caused by a cover of some sort that discolored the grass. Or maybe it was the inverse: Because this course is in the transition zone, I wondered whether the greener areas had been covered with a growth tarp and the yellow center was uncovered or the cover in that area had been displaced by high winds.

What actually caused this yellow area was a house. Well, two homes at sunrise in February, to be exact. Yes, it’s their shadows. This course is in a growing community with quite a few vacant lots along the golf course. The majority of the lots are some distance from the golf course itself, but when these two homes were completed in January, it became obvious that early morning sun might be an issue. The biggest concern might be the amount of time it takes frost to melt on these shaded areas, but only time will tell. Later in the year as the sun angle changes, the shadows should not be an issue.

Photo submitted by Jordan Clark, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at The Links at Kahite in Vonore, Tenn., and an eight-year GCSAA member.

Problem B: Pattern of melting and non-melting snow on putting green

This Irish course was originally a nine-hole layout built in 1900 around the River Maigue, an area that also featured the ruins of a 15th-century Franciscan friary. The club purchased extra land and began work in 1989 on another nine holes, which opened in 1992. This green is from the 1989 construction and is one of six soil-based greens on the property.

This green started to have some drainage issues, so a contractor was hired to excavate and install into the existing green a herringbone drainage system that used gravel and drainage pipe. The drainage slits were backfilled with a USGA-recommended sand mix. The original sod was put back on top by the golf course crew after the contractor left. The pattern of melting and non-melting snow shows where the drainage lines are located. Fortunately, this causes few problems — it’s really just a neat photo.

Photo submitted by Brian Dunne, superintendent at Adare Manor Golf Club in Limerick, Ireland.

John Mascaro is the president of Turf-Tec International.