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September 23, 2016

Nick Christians

September 23, 2016


This is about two lightning strikes on creeping bentgrass greens in Iowa during the summer of 2016.  The first was at Des Moines Golf and Country Club and they come from superintendent Rick Tegtmeier. 

The strike occurred on July 12, 2016 and it was spectacular.  Luckily it happened at night when no one was on the green.  The question was, how long will it take for recovery. 

The next picture was taken on August 8 and is showing quite a bit of recovery.  Rick did not do anything special, there was no overseeding or plugging.

The final picture was taken on Sept. 21, 2016 and shows nearly complete recovery.

A second strike took place a few miles away at Terrace Hills Golf in Altoona, IA on August 2, 2016.  The pictures are from superintendent Kurt Seedorff.  It first appeared that there was live grass in the damaged area.

However, by August 15, it was apparent that the creeping bentgrass was dead and would not recover.

The final picture from Kurt was taken on Sept. 22, 2016.  Most of the grass that has returned is Poa annua that has germinated into the area.


While the first one recovered in about 8 weeks, the second one did not.  In the future, I will recommend that the superintendent do some plugging or overseeding shortly after the strike to assure recovery.




June 9, 2010

The following is a post from Tim Christians, Supt. of Makray Golf Course in the Chicago area. It happened last week during a thunder storm. Lightning hit above an irrigation line (there was no head above ground at this location) and shattered the underground pipe. You can see pieces of plastic on top of the ground.


Lightning on the golf course

July 19, 2009

Here is a post from Ryan Adams, an ISU student on a 6 month internship at Pinehurst this summer and fall. It shows what lightning can do.

Dr. Christians

Just to give a little explanation of what happened. The lightning actually struck about 5 ft from the irrigation head and proceeded into the ground, fried the satellite box and then came back through the wires and blew the irrigation head out of the ground. Crazy, especially considering we still haven't found the nozzle or top cover to the irrigation head.

Ryan Adams
Turf and Marketing Student
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011