Photo quiz: fuzzy white spots on turf, green ripples

Unexpected fuzzy patches and strange green ripples make up this month's turf brainteasers.


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

STEC Equipment

Problem A: Fuzzy white spots on turf

golf course divided green
Location: Oceanside, N.Y.
Turfgrass area: Rough
Turfgrass variety: Bluegrass/fescue mix

Problem B: Strange green ripples across putting green

strange brown marks on golf course
Location: Indianapolis, Ind.
Turfgrass area: Putting green
Turfgrass variety: Bentgrass

Scroll down for answers.












golf course divided green

Problem A: Fuzzy white spots on turf

These fuzzy white spots on the turf looked like snow or cotton balls. This club is located right on Middle Bay in upstate New York and has several holes with inlets and over 6,000 feet of shoreline. Because of its proximity to the water, it is a favorite area for Canadian geese to gather in the hundreds. During spring, it can sometimes be the only area with green grass and no snow, so it makes for quite a feasting spot for the birds. With geese also comes goose poop, which crews sometimes blow off the fairways into the rough so it will not come into play with most rounds of golf. In late October, there was an unusual period of weather that produced 65-70 F temperatures for 48 hours with 100% humidity. With the abundance of goose poop on the course, the warm, humid and foggy conditions allowed mycelium to accumulate on the goose poop. It was so pronounced it looked like snow or cotton balls. The course does use bird bangers as a goose deterrent, and the course’s most effective goose relocation system is also pictured here.

Photo submitted by Justin Buhler, the superintendent at The Golf Cub at Middle Bay in Oceanside, N.Y., and an 11-year GCSAA member.


SeaDwarf paspalum putting green

Problem B: Strange green ripples across putting green

The strange green ripples that ran across this golf green perplexed the assistant superintendent when he saw them. It occurred over the winter when the crew was on a two-week break. The weather over that time was mostly right around freezing at the beginning, then the area received a few inches of snow, and temperatures were between minus-5 and 10 F for at least three days before going back into the 50s. The theory on what caused these lines was that the uncovered bentgrass green had snow cover and high winds. The snowfall left drift lines where the snow built up higher in these “ripples.” This left the area under the snow drift lines insulated and somewhat protected from the freezing winds. After this photo was taken, the region experienced more freezing temperatures without snow cover, and the green areas started fading away, turning dormant like the surrounding turf.

Photo submitted by Jonathan Gardner, the assistant superintendent at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and a four-year member of GCSAA. Jason Stewart, a 27-year association member, is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Brickyard Crossing.

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.