Golf Course Management

FEB 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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98 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.19 John Mascaro President of Turf-Tec International The irregular, scalped turf on the bentgrass portion of this bent/Poa annua mix putting green was caused by an unlikely source — an animal called a nutria or coypu. This furry rodent resembles a beaver but has a round tail. Nutria are mainly nocturnal and live in burrows in the ground near lakes and ditches. This golf course has dealt with these rodents for some time, but last year was quite dry in Germany, and the nutria found the bentgrass on the greens to be tasty. The Poa wasn't quite as appetizing, however, and was left largely undisturbed. These animals can consume 25 percent of their body weight daily in vegetation. When the grass was actively growing, the grazing on the greens was not a problem; however, in the fall, when the turf was growing at a slower rate, the damage was more apparent. When the greens are closed for winter, the superintendent will put an electric fence around the greens closest to the rodents' burrows, as they feed year-round. Nutria do not seem to be scared of the golfers or the crew and will often remain on the green while golfers putt out. If only we could train them to eat the Poa exclusively. Photo submitted by Stephan Breisach (a 26-year GCSAA member) and Philipp Weber from TURF Handels in Austria. Additional photos and information provided by Russell Hendry, the head greenkeeper at Golfclub Münster-Tinnen in Münster, Germany. If you'd like to submit a photograph for John Mascaro's Photo Quiz, please send it to: John Mascaro, 1471 Capital Circle NW, Suite #13, Tallahassee, FL 32303, or email it to If your photograph is selected, you will receive full credit. All photos submitted become property of GCM and GCSAA. This clump of grass roots in a circular pattern was caused when bermu- dagrass filled in a depression that was left behind by a sunken irrigation valve box. Each summer, this golf course performs routine maintenance on its irrigation valve boxes by cleaning them out and painting them — red for mainline valve boxes and white for non-mainline. If a valve box is not visible, the crew uses a steel, T-handled irrigation tile probe to find the exact location. The valve box in this photo had settled quite a bit and was difficult to find because the bermudagrass had grown completely over the depression. After the box was located, the superintendent took a photo of the bermudagrass toupee that was removed and then repaired the area by installing a new valve box at the proper height. Photo submitted by Gary Morris, a 29-year GCSAA member who is now retired and lives in Oxford, Miss. (photo quiz answers) PROBLEM PROBLEM (b) (a) Presented in partnership with

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