Photo Quiz: Brown patches in bahiagrass, indented lines on green

What stories do these curious turf conditions tell? Have a go at guessing the causes 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: Brown rectangular areas

Brown bahiagrass
Location: Plant City, Fla.
Turfgrass area: Cemetery
Turfgrass variety: Bahiagrass

Problem B: Double lines of indented turf

Indented golf green
Indented lines turf
Location: Eastchester, N.Y.
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Turfgrass variety: Poa annua/bentgrass mix

Scroll down for answers.












Problem A: Brown rectangular areas

These brown patches of bahiagrass appeared after a two-month drought on this unirrigated cemetery in central Florida. Bahiagrass is a very drought-tolerant type of turf and can have roots that extend up to 8 feet deep.

The cement vaults in this cemetery are buried between 18 and 24 inches deep in sandy soil. It was speculated that the long drought allowed the soil above the cement vaults to dry out before the surrounding soil. This, in turn, also dried out the bahiagrass roots that had their growth restricted by the tops of the cement vaults as compared with areas without vaults. This chain of events caused these brown rectangular areas of dry grass to appear.

After the summer rains started, the grass recovered on its own.

Photo submitted by Jeff Black, the superintendent of cemetery operations for the city of Plant City, Fla.

Problem B: Double lines of indented turf

These indented lines were caused by a stretcher. During the first round of this club’s championship qualifier, the club’s green chairman had a heart attack on the 16th green. Fortunately, a member in the group and one of their caddies knew and performed CPR.

When the ambulance arrived, it drove straight across the fairway and up onto this green. When the crew unloaded the stretcher and loaded the patient onto it, the wheels of the stretcher caused this indented turf. The ambulance tires depressed the soil a little as well.

Good news: The green chairman had quadruple bypass surgery and recovered. And the green was rolled several times to smooth out the surface, and it, too, is better than ever.

Photo submitted by Timothy Walker, CGCS, at Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester, N.Y., and a 23-year GCSAA member.

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.