Grouchy Golf Blog

Sunday, March 19, 2006 at 11:23 AM

Fix That Ball Mark Properly!

The more greens that you can hit, the better. However, balls landing on the green often leave marks that damage the green's root system. If these ball marks are not fixed, the affected turf turns brown and dies, takes weeks to regenerate, and infuriates your greenskeeper.

I make it a habit to fix as many ball marks that I find when I'm on the green. I really appreciate it when others do the same. However, I can't tell you how many times I see golfers fix ball marks incorrectly. More times than not, I'll see a well-intentioned golfer plunge his ballmark repair tool behind the ball mark and then pry it upward like he's trying to uproot a weed. I cringe because I know that such action only worsens the damage done to the green, prolonging the healing process. If done correctly, fixing a ball mark will start the healing process immediately, rather than weeks later.

Here's the correct way to fix a ball mark:
  1. Use a ballmark repair tool to do the job most efficiently.
  2. Insert the repair tool at the edge of the high side of the ball mark.
  3. Push the tool forward from the edge of the ball mark toward the center. Do this around the edges of the indentation.
  4. Do NOT insert the tool under the indented area and push up - a common mistake. Think of it as pushing turf in from the edges toward the center.
  5. Tap down the repaired area.

Here is a good vidoe demonstrating proper ball mark repair technique:


Together, we can make golf a little less grouchy.


Anonymous Cal said...

A good thing to do is fix your and one other.  


Blogger Erik @ The Sand Trap said...

There's a good bit of information on this topic here at my CC's site.  


Blogger Jason said...

As a 1-handicap I fix my share of ballmarks. If your ball comes in at any velocity this is difficult to impossible most of the time.

When the ball comes into the green it is generally heading nearly straight down. It seems to make sense then that at least some of the dirt/grass that got displaced got pushed *down*, not outward.

Given this, there isn't enough material to the sides to return the mark to its original state.

Pushing in from the sides is good in theory but doing so exculsively would result in awfully lumpy greens. I'd prefer smooth greens that took a little longer to heal than putting though a surface similar to that of the moon which heal faster.

Perhaps some sort of two-step approach is best: Push in from the sides as best you can, then do what it takes to make putting over it as painless as possible.  


Anonymous mediaguru at hookedongolfblog.com said...

I agree with Jason. A show with a full sand wedge could leave quite a hole. You could easily rip the edges trying to close the hole. Regardless of the direction you don't want to tear it.  


Blogger dave said...

These types of posts are very helpful. I saw this taught at the Jr. Clinics a long time ago but had forgotten it. Thanks for the advice.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

geez Ive ben doing it wrong all this time. oops!  


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