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bkuehn1952

Walking & Bermuda Fairways

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A month or so ago I was given permission to walk a local course  in FL that is typically "cart only".  The course has Bermuda fairways and the proper way to fix a divot hole is to fill it with sand.  Early in the round I realized that without a bucket of sand, I was going to leave the course in worse shape than I found it,  I retrieved my divots but I know the Bermuda grass doesn't grow back when a divot is replaced.

What do courses do in the south when walking is permitted?  Does every player carry a jug of sand or does someone sand the divot holes at the end/start of the day?  When one has a cart, the sand jugs are typically attached near the door frame.  I do not recall ever seeing anyone walking and carrying a jug or bucket of sand.

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I've always been taught that you don't replace Bermuda grass divots...if you do, it'll probably die and impede the new growth from filling in the old divot.   Bermuda is a creeping grass and the grass will fill in on it's own.

Sand divots are the worst......I hate it when people fill them with sand.  Just leave it alone and let nature take it's course.  My 2 cents....

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Berumda grows like a weed lol. That why they use only sand. It will fill in fast.

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I've always been taught that you don't replace Bermuda grass divots...if you do, it'll probably die and impede the new growth from filling in the old divot.   Bermuda is a creeping grass and the grass will fill in on it's own. Sand divots are the worst......I hate it when people fill them with sand.  Just leave it alone and let nature take it's course.  My 2 cents....

I thought the sand filled the divot so the grass can grow back level with the surrounding grass. If you don't fill the divot at all, wouldn't the grass grow into little ruts all over the course?

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I thought the sand filled the divot so the grass can grow back level with the surrounding grass. If you don't fill the divot at all, wouldn't the grass grow into little ruts all over the course?

Yep.  I don't know of any courses that don't ask you to sand the divot.....

As to the OP's question, I doubt that walkers are carrying sand with them, but there are so few decent courses that even allow walking down here that I don't really know.

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I've always been taught that you don't replace Bermuda grass divots...if you do, it'll probably die and impede the new growth from filling in the old divot.   Bermuda is a creeping grass and the grass will fill in on it's own.

Sand divots are the worst......I hate it when people fill them with sand.  Just leave it alone and let nature take it's course.  My 2 cents....

This is bad advice.  The best chance for the course to recover is to fill the holes with sand or sand and seed mix.

My home course uses a sand/seed mix to promote the fastest recovery possible.  I've seen guys using push carts pick up a bottle of divot mix from the rack in front of the clubhouse, but I've never seen a player who carries his bag haul a bottle of mix with him.  The riding carts all have 2 full bottles at the start of the round.  I often empty one on the front 9, because I will fill divot holes left by other players while I'm waiting to play.  I'll leave the empty and grab a fresh bottle at the turn.

As far as replacing divots, in Colorado they aren't Bermuda, but they also don't usually grow after replacing, unless it's a true beaver pelt that comes out like a roll of sod.  The climate is so arid that most divots just dry up and die.  I've seen "fresh" divots no more than 2-3 hours old already dried out and crumbly.

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Most courses with Bermuda fill em with just sand. other courses with bentgrass or rye,blue and poa usually go with some ratio of sand/soil mix with seed.

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An additional comment on this.  At my home course, the rangers all have a bucket of mix on their carts, and they fill holes during slow periods.

We also had another advantage that I've never heard of on any other course.  Because the course is a facility under the management of a tax supported recreational department (county, not city), we were also allowed to use people convicted of minor offenses like DUI or bar fights and sentenced to community service as part or all of their punishment.  We regularly used them to clean carts when they come in off the course.  When we had a paid cart kid shagging carts, then we'd send the community service person out in a cart with two 5 gallon buckets of mix to fill divot holes.  Just had to show them how to keep out of the way of the players.

That was a win-win for all.  It was a real help in keeping the course in good shape, and they got a lot better deal than picking up trash along the highway.

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Just my opinion backed up by nothing:

Fill divots with sand anytime you can. In no time the grass will cover the divot and the surface will be smooth.

Use common sense about simply replacing a divot and tamping it down. If it's a huge divot with the roots in tact and the ground is wet, and the weather is cool, there's a good chance the grass on the divot will survive and you will never know it was there within a day or two.

This one may be controversial for some: If the divot is shallow and/or the weather is hot and dry (and no sand is available) I crumble the divot in my hand and fill the hole just like a sand filled divot. Seems to heal up just as fast or faster than a divot filled with only sand.

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In South Africa, we use a small sand bottle called an Eezidivot which hooks onto your bag. They have been reasonably popular although we should bear in mind that quite a lot of golfers don't like to do any "work" and simply walk off after make their shot. Then the grounds staff have to make repairs the following morning.

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I think most walking carts these days (Clicgear, Sun Mountain are two I know of) have sand bottles you can buy as accessories.  I fill up my sand bottle every 9 holes and fill my divots plus as many others as I can. I am continually amazed how lazy motorized cart riders are such that they won't use the sand on their carts to fill huge divots. But then, they don't fix their ball marks either.

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