As the rough on the golf course begins to green up you will notice some patches of brown grass on the mounds that appear to be in the form of large circles. In years past I used to think that these patches were caused by these areas of turf being exposed to the wind and sun more than the areas around them due to early snow melt. But last winter I attended an education seminar where Dr. Tony Koski from Colorado State University educated Superintendents on winter damage and showed us a picture very similar to this one. While these areas will look undesirable for a couple of more weeks, once the temperatures increase the turf will out compete the mites and no damage will be visible.
close up of might damage. Look close and you can see some mites.
A good test to see if the turf has been damaged by Mother Nature or mites is take a piece of white paper and brush it on the grass along the brown edge of the circle. If the paper comes up clean you have damage from Mother Nature, if the paper has red streaks on it you have spider mite damage!