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Mystery Spots & Pink Patches

Mystery Spots In the West
Not much is going on in the West this week – a little brown ring patch here and there and some early season anthracnose are popping up on Poa greens. Weather has been pretty mild in the West with some drizzle and rainfall here and there (more so in the PNW than in California), with temps in the 70s and 80s expected for most of California next week. For the most part, cool season turf, especially Poa, is pretty happy.

One thing that has been reported recently, are white and yellow spots on greens. White spots have been reported sporadically on Poa greens in California in the last week or two.

That's what they typically look like on Poa greens and what is called "white leaf". Although we know that bermudagrass white leaf is caused by a phytoplasma (small wall-less bacteria), so far, no cause (pathogen or otherwise) has been firmly associated with this malady on Poa or bentgrass greens in the U.S. Thus, we don't have any useful management suggestions other than upping N and micronutrient fertility and maybe spraying some chlorothalonil or mancozeb to keep alage out of any thing areas.

On the other hand, we've also gotten some samples of bentgrass from the PNW and Montana that have yellow spots (like the ones above). I suspected Pythium Root Dysfunction in these cases (since we'd picked it up from a Washington bentgrass green last April) or algae causing yellow spot, but examination of samples in the diagnostic lab showed no signs of pathogens, namely Pythium or algae. In this case, I'd have to make the same lame recommendations for white leaf and say let's wait and see what happens.

On a side note - ever been to the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz? Trippy, cheesey and fun at the same time. Avoid the use of restricted prescription pain killers before you go there.

Pink Patch

This photo was sent in from Craig Ellis at El Dorado Country Club in Indian Wells. This is a great photo of pink patch on overseeded hybrid bermudagrass. Despite the 'sexier' name, pink patch is very similar to red thread, and is caused by a different fungus. Check out more info on the disease here via Dr. D's pest note on red thread and pink patch.

Travel Safe!
I hope Dr. Kennelly has a safe trip to Tajikistan this next week. How much trouble can she possibly get in? (a lot - ed.). A quick search for golf courses and Tajikistan on Google gave no results – anyone know of one there? I'm looking forward to hearing about her adventures when she gets back.

Until Next Week, Signing Off From the Right Coast....

2 Responses to “Mystery Spots & Pink Patches”

John Kaminski said...


How do you know it's pink patch and not red thread? I have seen those little puffs of mycelium with red thread too. Only way to confirm (that I am aware of) is to check for the clamp connections.

Get on that...


Ryan said...

We have seen this "white Leaf" on our golf course for years, but just hear and there, this year it's crazy. I've sprayed Chlorthanil and 2636 (respectively) for that past couple of months with a total of 1.3 lb of N in that amount of time. It just likes to stare back at us.... There is nothing else we can do?

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