The issue of repairing ball marks / pitch marks on greens is a never ending battle for us greenkeepers. This morning while changing holes I noticed A LOT of unrepaired or poorly repaired ball marks. After I finished changing holes, curiousity got the best of me and I went to the driving range , got a bucket of 50 golf balls and went to 10 green to see just how many unrepaired ball marks there were. Next to each unrepaired or poorly repaired ball mark I dropped a golf ball. I was only able to do the front third of the green before I ran out of golf balls!! 10 green does tend to have more ball marks because it is a par 3 from an elevated tee, but 50 unrepaired ball marks was still a lot!
I know many of the club members will claim that there were a lot of unrepaired ball marks this morning because there was a lot of guest play yesterday, but that argument isn´t a terribly good one. Often after club tournaments we see just as many unrepaired ball marks on greens.
A properly repaired ball mark will heal in a matter of days, but an unreparied or poorly repaired ball mark will take several weeks to heal. Add to that the disruption to the putting surface, unrepaired ball marks is a problem that can easily get out of control.
Properly fixing a ball mark on the green is one of the many little ways golfers can help to protect and maintain the golf course. Think of fixing your ball mark as a badge of honour for hitting a good approach shot! And also, keep in mind that your ball mark may not be right next to where your ball stopped.
Please watch the following video from the USGA on how to properly repair ball marks.
If you follow the golden rule of ball mark repair, which is: “fix your own ball mark, and one more” unslightly ball marks will be a thing of the past.