Photo Quiz: Surprising visitor on turf, off-color line

It’s a Photo Quiz creature feature for Halloween, plus a turf sight sure to startle any superintendent. Can you figure out their origins?


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

STEC Equipment

Problem A: Non-golf-related object on turf

Bats golf course
Location: Canton, Texas
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Turfgrass variety: MiniVerde bermudagrass

Problem B: Off-color line on inside edge of sprayer track

Strange line turf
Location: Missoula, Mont.
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Turfgrass variety: L-93 bentgrass

Scroll down for answers.












Problem A: Non-golf-related object on turf

When the golf course superintendent at this club was changing hole locations one morning, he removed the flag from one of the most secluded greens on the course, and this bat fell out of the flag. The superintendent said his initial reaction was disbelief, but then he stepped away quickly. The bat didn’t move at first, so he thought it had died when it fell from the flag. After about 30 seconds, though, it flapped its wings and flew off.

After speaking with other superintendents, he learned, to his surprise, that this is not an unusual occurrence. There are 1,100 species of bats worldwide, and bats make up one-quarter of the world’s mammals. Though most are small, they can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes an hour and often consume their body weight in insects every night. They can live for 30 years, all the while helping to keep bug populations in check, so they are beneficial to have on and around golf courses.

Editor’s note: Insect-devouring bats are at superintendents’ service. Learn all about how to welcome them to the golfscape in Attracting bats to golf courses and Banishing bugs with bats at Victoria National Golf Club.

Since this discovery, the superintendent has said he is going to look into ways to attract and keep bats around the course. Even though bats have a reputation of having rabies, fewer than 10 people in the past 50 years have contracted rabies from North American bats.

Photo submitted by Danny Arena, the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Van Zandt Country Club in Canton, Texas, and a 24-year GCSAA member.

Problem B: Off-color line on inside edge of sprayer track

The cause of this off-color line on the inside edge of a tire track from a golf course sprayer might surprise you. When the assistant superintendent had finished spraying a fungicide application on this green, he looked back at his last pass and was startled to see this mark. He got off the sprayer and inspected the area, then checked his tire pressure and the nozzles, thinking the problem might be the result of a bad nozzle.

When he opened the passenger door of the sprayer, the line moved. As it turned out, it was not a mark on the green at all, but sunlight reflecting off the sprayer passenger door. The assistant superintendent stated that it was amazing how the reflection lined up perfectly with the tire track, causing his concern.

Photo submitted by Dave Walden, assistant superintendent at The Ranch Club in Missoula, Mont., and a four-year member of GCSAA. Tom Koehring is the head superintendent at The Ranch Club and a 16-year association member.

Editor’s note: Have a photo for Photo Quiz? Email it to author John Mascaro.

John Mascaro is the president of Turf-Tec International.