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iacas

How To Properly Repair Ball Marks

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On 10/6/2017 at 11:18 AM, iacas said:

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 television. They put their divot repair tool in the ground, pop up, and tap down. This is the wrong way to repair a ball mark. It damages or rips the roots and the grass does not heal in a short time, taking weeks to recover.

We had an old topic on this, but it's old, and the videos and links in it are probably almost all outdated. So I wanted to revisit the topic anew.

First, a video, an old one but a good one, from Lake View Country Club.

Next, an image from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

ball_mark_repair.jpg

Third, a PDF I built based on the old Lake View site: https://thesandtrap.com/media/misc/repairing_ball_marks.pdf.

In short… Push, Don't Pop.

Finally, a photo of a recent repair I made to an improperly repaired ball mark:

ballmarkrepair.jpg

I did this by:

  • Coring out the dirt part. Just inserted the tool and twisted.
  • Progressively working the edges of the nearby turf around the edges toward the center of the hole.
  • Tamping it down.

I took the photo before I tapped it down with a putter (which smoothed it out nicely), and which not only looks better, but which will heal much more quickly.

The left photo, the "badly repaired" ball mark, may putt quite well, but the person who repaired that ball mark didn't do his job correctly. He popped. He didn't push.

Can I use the PDF to send to my home course?

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When I was a Caddy before golf carts,  correct divot repair was just part of the job.  Golfers in general have always ignored the time-consuming task of Correct Divot Repair, and always will.  Subconsciously, they think it’s somebody else’s job.  Along with every golf course, their battle cry is “Hurry Up!”  

“The Best Divot Tool” (it’s called) looks like a pretty good (5 star) Item on eBay with an instructional video to click on. 

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1 minute ago, Bill Borst said:

When I was a Caddy before golf carts,  correct divot repair was just part of the job.  Golfers in general have always ignored the time-consuming task of Correct Divot Repair, and always will.  Subconsciously, they think it’s somebody else’s job.  Along with every golf course, their battle cry is “Hurry Up!”  

“The Best Divot Tool” (it’s called) looks like a pretty good (5 star) Item on eBay with an instructional video to click on. 

I disagree, and think that looks like a horrible way to repair ball marks.

It's contrary to what's espoused in this topic, and will damage greens.

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Good video and good reminder. I usually fix 4-6 ball marks per hole. I assume many seniors have trouble with getting down and up again. I get it. Maybe someone needs to design a repair tool that goes on the end of the putter. You slip it on over the grip, repair the divot, take it off and put it back in your pocket. It could even be designed to fit over a ball retriever tool that many seniors have on the putter.

 

 

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what do you do when the ground is just firm enough so that the ball mark is a slight indentation on the green, with no damaged grass? seems like getting the tool underneath it and "popping" just makes sense here... thoughts?

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Minor dents, on greens with a substrate composed nearly entirely of sand, can be effectively dressed by tapping the area surrounding the dent with the heel of one's putter.  If the "skin" is broken; that's another matter.

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I totally agree with your point. The given YouTube link is very helpful for those people who want to repair ball mark in proper way.

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This is a problem i find at the courses i regularly play also, nobody repairs their ball marks. I fix 1 to 4 others per green in addition to mine. 

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2 hours ago, MrGolfguy67 said:

This is a problem i find at the courses i regularly play also, nobody repairs their ball marks. I fix 1 to 4 others per green in addition to mine. 

That is an issue where I play too. I usually do the same as you while my partners are getting ready to putt. The par 3 holes are the worst. Even if they're not sure which mark is theirs, at least they should fix one.

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My course is riddled with them.... seems like nobody fixes any.  The instruction on this thread is awesome and has helped me to do a great job on both fresh ones as well as previously un-repaired or improperly repaired ones.

I have showed my friends what I learned here and they now use the correct tool and approach to fix them.

Was playing with some college grads the other day and they never even attempted to do any repairs.  One even asked what I was doing.  I was like WFT?  How long have you been playing for?  It took me 3 years, when I started playing, to actually make one of mine to repair!  I was psyched that day!

Lets educate the masses!  :beer:

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While I probably should be using the time to study my putt from all angles, I picked up the habit of repairing ball marks while waiting for others in the group to reach the green and putt.  As noted above, seems like not many take the time  as a good many courses I play are peppered with them.  In WA, they were much easier to repair (even old ones) as the greens were a bit softer and damp.  In AZ (and here in MT), they dry out pretty darn quick and it's harder not to leave a scar on those not repaired by those making them. 

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19 hours ago, boogielicious said:

That is an issue where I play too. I usually do the same as you while my partners are getting ready to putt. The par 3 holes are the worst. Even if they're not sure which mark is theirs, at least they should fix one.

This is what I do.  I always fix at least two whether I know one was mine or not.  Most days it feels like a losing battle.

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Anyone use any of the Pitch Fix devices?  I picked up the Fusion 2.5 pin the other day, but have yet to use it.  I have a few of their 2 prong tools, but this one was intriguing to me.  Seems like it would lessen the time to fix quite a few ball marks (not that it takes that much time to begin with). 

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