Beginner golfers may find it difficult to adjust to the specific etiquette of the game. How to fix your ball mark is one of the most important things to learn. Some new golfers have yet to pick up on this nearly unwritten rule of the game, and even some experienced and well-intentioned golfers have been fixing their ball marks incorrectly.
What exactly is a ball mark?
When a golf ball lands on the green from a tee shot or approach shot, it leaves a small depression or crater in the grass. They’re usually generated by a high or hard-hit shot in which the golf ball achieves enough velocity and direct effect on the putting ground to leave a golf ball-sized dent.
Why repairing a ball mark is good for your golf course?
Ball marks that haven’t been repaired are a nightmare for both the course grounds workers and you, the player! A ball mark that has remained unrepaired or improperly mended can destroy the grass, turning a lovely and smooth green into a dead, crater-filled surface that mimics the moon’s surface.
Repairing a ball mark returns the surface to its original state and aids in keeping the grass as green and healthy as possible. A satisfied grounds crew can devote more time to other aspects of the course with a smooth and healthy green. Smooth greens also offer easier putts for the player and less chance of a well-hit ball being knocked off the green by a divot in the grass.
How to properly repair your ball mark?
Even more crucial than correcting the ball mark is ensuring that you are doing so correctly. Improper methods can not only severely damage the golf course, but they can also take a lot of time to fix. In a study conducted by Kansas State University, researchers discovered that incorrectly restoring a ball mark can potentially cause extensive harm than not trying to repair it at all.
The right tool for repairing ball marks is the divot repair tool. Every golfer should be familiar with the tool, which consists of two prongs on the end of a piece of metal or hard plastic. Figured out the right tool, now let’s delve into the important steps to fix your ball mark properly.
For the first step, insert the prongs of your ball mark repair tool into the turf at the depression’s edge. Note: The prongs should not be inserted into the depression itself, but rather into the depression’s rim.
Secondly, using your divot repair tool in a “gentle twisting motion,” push the edges of the ball mark towards the center, according to the GCSAA.
Golfers who mistakenly “fix” ball marks generally make a mess at this step. Many golfers feel that the best technique to “repair” a ball mark is to put the tool at an angle such that the prongs are beneath the crater’s center, then use the tool as a lever to lift the bottom of the ball mark back up to the surface. This must not be done! Pushing the depression’s bottom upward rips the roots and destroys the grass.
There’s only one thing left to do now that you’ve worked your way all around the rim of the divot with your repair tool, moving the grass towards the center: Smooth the putting surface by gently tamping down the repaired divot with your putter.
For all the golfers out there, please maintain repairing your ball marks and reminding others to do so, so that we can keep our golf courses looking great!
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