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How To Properly Repair Ball Marks


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18 minutes ago, Midpack said:

This is how I’ve always fixed ball marks, showing an example that’s more like ball marks I see most often (starts at 1:10 if you want to skip the divot repair). 

https://youtu.be/ZkXZ8cD010M

However I have stopped trying to put loose turf back in the mark as a result of this thread.

Actually, same here,completely down to the loose flap part. Throwing that out leaves a huge hole. It just means I need to push that much more from the surrounding area.

I talked to a couple of the course ambassadors, and the grumpy one at that, he said everyone is doing it wrong, muttered something under his breath and hit more balls.

The other one said if we fix it with the flap in place, he removes it with a special green fixing device. Then the greens keepers go through them every morning sprinkling the areas with some sand as they water them.

Well, just do our best.

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Let's talk about repairing ball marks on the putting green, and doing so properly. I see a lot of people do this improperly. Unfortunately, many of them are PGA Tour players, and they do it on te

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Yeah, this piece is not going to survive:

ballmark.png

According to the supers I've talked with, they'd have been better of ripping that part off and tossing it aside. It's basically just going to slow healing by dying and then preventing or slowing the filling in of healthy grass blades into that area.

A brown spot isn't the end of the world (and they can be made REALLY small - see the first post in this topic for a repair I made on one - because they're smooth and heal quickly.

A dead piece of grass over a brown spot? That's worse.

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On 10/25/2017 at 6:23 PM, Lihu said:

I feel like it's minutes rather than seconds because people are waiting on me.

If I had to wait for someone to play their turn because they took too much time to fix a ball mark, I'd probably just offer to fix it for them and ask them to play.

I have raked bunkers for other people to speed up pace of play.

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Erik, I would love to see a test where a ball mark was fixed and photos were taken every day to see the repair result.  It would have to be someone that was at the course every day.  Wink wink.

Then the toss the flap theory could be tested both ways.

 

A little late in the season for this test but being the anal guy I am I'd like to see it.

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Just now, inthecup said:

Erik, I would love to see a test where a ball mark was fixed and photos were taken every day to see the repair result.  It would have to be someone that was at the course every day.  Wink wink.

Then the toss the flap theory could be tested both ways.

Like… superintendents?

I tend to take them at their word. They know what heals grass. Consider the thicker tine aeration. That puts a lot of "brown spots" all over the greens, and yet, inside of a week, they're basically filled in, and inside of two, completely healed.

The flap is just going to die. It's just leaf blades, with no roots, etc.

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Found a video with at least more realistic looking pitch marks.

This isn't the tool the course ambassadors use, but it looks like something we could buy and use.

 

 

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On 10/14/2017 at 10:03 AM, billchao said:

My county courses don't have them

I guess I was wrong. They had this at the pro shop where I played today, and it was free. Winner winner, chicken dinner.928201713411.jpg

I think I'm going to stamp my kids' initials or something on it to personalize it.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's a good one.

It's ridiculously easy to use, too; it's a lot better than my other one. I understand what you mean about tines being too far apart, now.

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What about covering fairway divots with the sod that flew off? Should the sod be replaced over the hole? I'm usually in a cart with some sand containers. I just fill in the hole with the seeded sand.

I hope this is not too far off-topic.

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38 minutes ago, CCC said:

What about covering fairway divots with the sod that flew off? Should the sod be replaced over the hole? I'm usually in a cart with some sand containers. I just fill in the hole with the seeded sand.

I hope this is not too far off-topic.

The admins answer:

 

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For this time of year:  We commonly have freezing temperatures overnight, then warming up into the 40s (or warmer!) during the day.  Does this affect the recommendation to fix ball marks?

I would have thought the obvious answer would be "of course, fix them," but a couple of days ago the turf felt quite a bit tougher when I was fixing a mark.  The soil beneath shouldn't have frozen with just a couple hours below freezing overnight, but it got me wondering if there is a time when the changing temperatures might mean I would do more harm than good.  You know, primum non nocere and all that.

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

Why? Many people do not repair ball marks properly.

I agree 110% with your observation.   But, do you think 5 pages of divot repair chat will improve the greens for us?   Reading beyond the first 2-3 posts on page one made me tired.    After that, it was time to move on to a more informative topic.  

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On 27/10/2017 at 1:08 PM, Lihu said:

Found a video with at least more realistic looking pitch marks.

This isn't the tool the course ambassadors use, but it looks like something we could buy and use.

 

 

looks like it works great.  but I just don't see clipping that to my hat or my front pocket for a whole round any time in the future

(not even the little mini hand held one, though that's getting closer)

and at $9 for the mini, or $50-70 for the handle version - it's quite a bit more than the free ones the course gives me.....

 

though I would like to see pics of the repair areas a week later to see how it really treated the roots in the repair area.....I suspect it's good, it seems more like a mini-aeration than a pulling up process....

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52 minutes ago, TRACON said:

I agree 110% with your observation.   But, do you think 5 pages of divot repair chat will improve the greens for us?   Reading beyond the first 2-3 posts on page one made me tired.    After that, it was time to move on to a more informative topic.  

You don't have to read every page. But if other people want to comment, great. :-)

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I started playing again after 30 years in 2015. Until June of this year I "repaired" ball marks "the wrong way". It never occurred to me there was another way to do it until I saw that same video someone shared on this thread. I figured that the angle those two prong metal repair tools were on was to lift up the dirt, sand, and grass and fill the hole but when I finished they never looked quite right. I used to not only fix my ball mark wrong but two or three others per green trying to be helpful. I was a carrier. LOL 
Now when I repair a ball mark I throw the pushed up lip or the detached lump of grass away and work from the outside in till the hole is filled and then tamp down. 
One video explained the grass is elastic and the idea is to stretch it from the outside in to fill the hole and when you're done it should look like the surrounding green. Which is pretty much what happens when I do it now. 

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