Divot Tools: A Course's "Best Friend"
The problem of divots and ball marks on golf courses is one that can have a major impact on the way the game is played by all players. Almost every player has a story of their perfect putt that was about to fall into the hole before diverting due to a mark on the green. Even playing on fairways can be tough when an individual hits a long tee shot, only to find their ball resting in the divot hole caused by a previous player failing to repair their damage to the course.
Why should you repair your divot holes and ball marks?
Blue Sky Golf has a dedicated team of greenkeepers who spend their time hard at work to provide the best fairway, rough, and green surfaces for us to use during every round. One of the main reasons why the majority of players look to care for the course by repairing their divot holes is out of respect for the hard-working green and fairway repair teams who spend their time working to care for their course. The second aspect of the need to repair your ball marks and fairway divots is the fact that every player should be thinking about the golfers who come after them on the course. The basic etiquette of golf requires each player to care for the course and to leave it in the same or better condition as they found it. Repairing divots and ball marks is part of a long tradition of respect players show both the course itself and their fellow golfers. This means each player can rest easy knowing they, like the golfers before them, are caring for the course in the manner it deserves. This is especially important when golfing with children and those new to the game. Learning the proper golf etiquette at a young age ensures engraining the right way to play from the start.
How do you repair a divot?
This is one of the most difficult questions asked about the care of a golf fairway, with most players worrying about how to repair a divot hole on the fairway or off the tee box. The simplest way of repairing a divot hole is to find the piece of grass that was removed and return it to its position, with a little sand or seed provided by the course, in the hope it beds together once more. In some cases, the divot cannot be found or it is smashed into many pieces repairing more difficult to complete. In cases like this, the best option is to take advantage of the tools and equipment most courses leave close to tees and fairways to help with repairs. Most courses have a bucket of sand available close to the tee box that can be used to help with the repairs that are needed. The first step is to take a handful of sand and place it into the divot hole so it is not flush with the ground. The extra sand that lifts the level of the divot should be smoothed out with the shoe of the player who can simply blend the divot hole to the level of the surrounding grass. By following these few simple steps, the groundstaff can mow the tee and fairway without damage to their equipment, and players are usually left with a better lie.
Repairing a ball mark
A ball marks are commonly seen on greens after a high-trajectory approach shot. When a ball is lobbed high into the air by a wedge or lofted iron, the ball usually falls onto the green with enough force that a “dent” in the green’s surface is created. These round ball marks can cause nightmares on greens because they halt the true roll of a ball towards the hole. Ball marks are especially problematic when greens are soft or damp. One of the most impressive and best-loved pieces of equipment in a golfer's arsenal is the divot tool that can repair ball marks with ease. These usually look like a two-pronged tuning fork for a musical instrument and are easy to use. When a player sees they have made a ball mark or spot an unattended ball mark the divot tool is the recommended way of enacting a repair. The divot tool should be inserted into the green with the two prongs inserted into the surface. The tool is then pushed to make the ground move back towards the center of the divot mark rather than try to lift the piece of ground to make it level once more. The divot tool should be inserted around the ball mark with the ground pushed inward until it returns to around the same level as the rest of the green. Stepping on the raised soil or pushing it down with your putter head is the last step in smoothing out the ball mark. By leaving a ball mark unattended, a player behind you could find their ball resting in the depressed area or see their putt diverted off-target.
How can divots cause problems for a course
One of the biggest problems facing golf courses is the damage that often goes unrepaired when a player does not notice damage or fails to repair them. Although this is a part of everyday golf etiquette that should be followed, many players believe a single divot or ball mark will not cause a problem for the future. One course professional placed a ball in each mark on a single green and filled the surface with more than 900 balls. Along with the desire to help the other players on the course play better with fewer problems, the course itself will play better when each player attempts to repair their divots. Whether using sand or a divot tool, a repaired mark can return to the perfect playing condition within two weeks. However, an unrepaired divot hole can result in damage to the course lasting for months and weeks into the future.