Ball Mark Repair

A ball mark is defined as a depression or tear in the putting surface made by the impact of a golf ball. Nothing is more frustrating to a player than an unrepaired ball mark that causes a putt to veer off line. No matter what the facility, or level of play, all golfers are responsible for repairing their own ball marks. An unrepaired ball mark can take 3-4 weeks to heal, leaving behind an unsightly and uneven putting surface. A properly repaired ball mark will completely heal in half that amount of time (2-3 weeks). Even more surprising is the fact that an improperly repaired ball mark will actually take longer to heal than an unrepaired ball mark. Ball marks that are improperly repaired can take over 38 days to heal.

All ball mark repair methods produce a scar. The scar is the result of damage to the leaf tissue sustained at the moment of impact, combined with the subsequent root damage that occurs during the repair process. The key is to minimize the scar by repairing the ball mark as soon as it occurs, and to use a proper repair technique. There are many different ball mark tools available. The USGA does not endorse any single tool as being superior to another. University research has demonstrated that repairing a ball mark in a timely manner, and the use of proper technique, has a far greater influence on recovery time then the type of tool used to make the repair. Methods that gently “push” or “pull” the surrounding turf into the void are recommended. Under no circumstance should you ever “lift” or “pry” up on the ball mark. Lifting will expose the soil and tear the roots resulting in a longer recovery period. After you have repaired the ball mark it is very important to smooth the area with your putter or foot. At mowing heights of less than 1/10th of an inch, any ball mark that is left high will be scalped by the mower resulting in greater damage.

from the GCSAA
As stewards of the game it is up to all of us to care for the course by repairing ball marks. Every morning the maintenance crew fixes improperly and unrepaired ball marks from the prior day. The problem is that the damage is already done. Golfers do not intentionally ignore their ball mark. Typically, unrepaired ball marks are the result of golfers that are either unable to locate their ball mark or are so engrossed in their game that they forget to check for a ball mark. Please inform your children and guests of the importance of properly repairing ball marks in a timely manner. Pay extra attention to ball marks in the spring when the greens are soft. The majority of ball marks are located on the front third of the green. This is especially important to remember if you are using a cart and the cart path takes you to the back of the green. Such is the case on holes #3 and #10. Ball marks are more prevalent on par 3’s and holes with short approach shots (for example hole #1). The Pro Shop has a supply of ball mark repair tools. Please pick one up for your golf bag.
Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment