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Best way to increase ball mark/divot repairs

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I've got one other topic I'd like to get the MGS'ers take on as well. Ball mark repair (including pitch marks/divots on the green as well as in the fairways/rough). I ask this because of what a local course that's now reopened has adapted and I HATE it.

 

What have they done, one might ask? I've played this course for years (it was even my home course in high school golf). A year and a half ago, it was foreclosed on from the newest owners at the time. The husband purchased it and land around it before the economy crash, with good intentions and plans of building a golfing community around it. He had great plans for the course. Then, the economy tanked and a year later, he was killed in a plane crash. His widow leveraged all of the assets he'd left her to the hilt (including borrowing nearly 2 million against this course that he paid cash for). She eventually lost it, and the bank listed it. It finally sold (the bank maintained it while it was closed until 3-4 months before it was purchased. They'd decided to quit doing anything as far as dumping money into it, and did nothing. They were going to list it as residential if it didn't sell soon and hope to sell it off as just land.) Fortunately, a CC down the road decided to try and acquire it (Jason Bohn had put in an offer on it when it was first foreclosed on and it was denied, even thought it was more than what it evenautlly sold for nearly a year later). The bank got tort reform money and they were left holding a roughly $450k foreclosure note after all was said and done. They initially offered it at $2 million, and when it was all said and done, the course sold for $675k.

 

Now that you have the back story, here's where my issue with repair of pitch marks comes in. Used to, there was sand/seed mixes on all of the par 3 tee boxes and there was 2 of the vials of this mixture on all of the carts. They were used a lot (we often used both on the front side and stopped and got 2 or more per cart for the back side of the course). True, some people didn't use this, but lots of people did, and repaired their pitch marks in the fairway. Upon reopening, I noticed that both were gone. I thought that maybe they hadn't come in yet, as they leased all new gas powered carts (which is great because it's hilly and the old electric carts struggled on some of the holes). So after that first round, I went inside the office to talk with the GM, whom I know well because they just hired the former GM, and a few more off of the old staff including the greenskeeper. I said "hey bud, what happened, the divot repair sand buckets not come in yet or something?" His response, and this was exactly how he said it "no, it's not that. The club that bought this place has a differing philosophy I have to go by. They don't want golfers doing the grounds crew's work." I was taken aback and didn't have a response other than "oh, okay". That sounds all well and good that they want the course taken care of by their grounds crew, but here's the thing. They don't go out and ride every fairway and repair these things that often (I've never seen them out riding and repairing any and I've played close to 20 rounds since reopening a few months ago). There are a bunch of patches that are brown as a result (partly due to the lack of rain and the weird hotter than usual weather, even though they do water religiously). And secondly, I was under the impression that if you don't get something into these marks within a reasonable amount of time (a few hours maybe) that even if you did put something in say once per evening that the earlier morning marks would die out anyway). Why would a course decide to go this route? I'm asking because I don't know.

 

My second part related to pitch marks on the green (divots, or whatever you want to call them). I always repair mine and try to find at least 1 more to repair (though it's usually 4 or 5). I'm wondering the MGS crowd's opinion or ideas to improve people repairing pitch marks on the green? I have one idea, though I'm thinking it could be more costly than doing nothing and hoping right now. I know several places paint or put up signs that say "please repair pitch marks" somewhere near the green (some courses I've been to paint it on the concrete cart paths near the places you park near the green, which is cool, reminders always help. But, I've had another idea that I wonder how effective it would be. Put up a sign near the first tee along with a stand about the size of a ball washer that instead has a tray with one bucket that has extra pencils and score cards, and another tray that has divot repair tools that are free for the golfers playing there. They wouldn't have to be expensive repair tools (the cheaper metal or hard plastic ones would be fine). This works two fold, it gives the golfers something they can take home and allows for an advertisement for the course to be right there on the tool, and it provides golfers with a tool to repair pitch marks. I, personally, have 8-10 in my bag that I choose from before a round, but some people carry none, and some courses have them for sale in the clubhouse for a couple of bucks. I think it'd be more effective for these courses to provide them for free to golfers and hope they actually use them (which I think it would increase the usage by giving them away as it lets people know to please do the practice of repairing). You'd have to have them in either the pro shop or at the first tee where either the register attendant or the starter could police the amount a person gets (1 per golfer). But could this be effective at combatting those that don't repair their pitch marks?

 

Just something that's been rolling around in my head for a while now that I figured I'd get thoughts/ideas on.


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Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
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LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
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Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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I know a number of courses that give away ball mark repair tools. I'm not sure if it helps their rate of repair or not. I think the reminders are probably even better than free tools.

 

Very odd that the course would take away the sand/seed mix. I know nothing about growing grass, so I can't comment on the need to fill the divots quickly, but I would think the sooner the better.


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I am also very surprised that they would take away the seed mix. As far as the reminders go, I think the free divot tools would be great. I love free souvenirs like that and I think that it would work. My home course uses the signs and they seem to have been pretty effective.


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Yeah, I know very little about growing grass outside of fertilizing cycles and aeration times for my yard. But I'd think you want reseeding to be as soon as possible, not to mention leaving the area in the same shape you found it in or better.


In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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Two thoughts. Filling the containers with seed mix requires labor. Carts at the club I play have the buckets on one side of the cart for sand. Quite often there will be only a little sand left because the club doesn't instruct the cart maintenance guys to fill them up. I'm speculating it's a labor cost issue more than a maintenance philosophy. A well managed crew would have time to fill sand containers, but good management has a cost associated with it also. Sounds like a cost cutting philosophy to me.

 

I think most good players... those who hit a fair amount of greens... routinely fix ball marks, not only theirs but other ball marks they find. We all want smooth greens to putt on. I think unrepaired marks are left by players who don't hit a lot of greens and by players who don't bother looking for them. I don't have a clue how you get those players to fix ball marks. It's just not on their radar screen. All the rest of us can do is fix as many as we see on every green, and I know there are a lot of us who do that.

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It can't be too costly to fill the sand containers. They even used to have a bucket you could fill them with on your own. The members, I know, used them a lot for the most part. The place that bought the course doesn't use them either and they're a huge private course in a nearby town. This course makes money, as I saw the last year under the old corporation's year end reports as my uncle was looking at putting in an offer sheet. The course makes money (if they make the same revenue as last year, they'll pay for the course twice easily before salaries and chemicals are taken out.


In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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Rookie I agree with others on here I think it is a cost of labor issue or a laziness issue. I am not knocking the tourist industry here but about 90% of the visitors down here do not fix divots or ball marks on the greens. The club that I play at mostly provides those sand containers on the carts and has several locations on course that you can exchange your empty for a full one. In fact I get an extra one at the cart barn because I am a trap player and take divots on most shots plus i try to fill in other divots close to mine I have worked at golf courses a lot in my life and I know the work it takes a grounds crew to maintain one I also fix my ball marks on the green and fix others that I see. Most of the full time members do the same thing so this course stays in pretty decent shape year round It does help that they have a great supertendant and grounds crew


Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

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SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Rookie I agree with others on here I think it is a cost of labor issue or a laziness issue. I am not knocking the tourist industry here but about 90% of the visitors down here do not fix divots or ball marks on the greens. The club that I play at mostly provides those sand containers on the carts and has several locations on course that you can exchange your empty for a full one. In fact I get an extra one at the cart barn because I am a trap player and take divots on most shots plus i try to fill in other divots close to mine I have worked at golf courses a lot in my life and I know the work it takes a grounds crew to maintain one I also fix my ball marks on the green and fix others that I see. Most of the full time members do the same thing so this course stays in pretty decent shape year round It does help that they have a great supertendant and grounds crew

 

 

Our normal foursome is good about this, at least myself and another guy that plays with me are. We often get two extra bottles per cart both for the front and at the turn (4 at a time). I take huge divots because I am a digger. We fix as many as we can while waiting on others to play. We've ran out before the end of 9 holes a bunch of times. Now, however, we can't fix anything and if nothing else, it annoys the hell out of me. Ever piped one to end up in a divot? It's going to happen a LOT more often there now. Love the course, but it seems like a poor philosophy.


In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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At my facility we used to have the mix on the carts. We did a study when purchasing a new fleet. Every bottle was filled before the cart went out. 93% of the bottles came back still full after the round. We did this study for one week. The cost to make the sand/seed mix, have a staff member keep it full and on hand at all times, have a staff member check and fill the tubes, the waste when the mix hasn't been used in awhile all outweighed the impact of the 7% that was used. The good thing is that 99% of golfers, when in a fairway divot, will move their ball out of that divot. Replacing a divot does nothing. Sand does nothing. You must have the proper mix of sand and seed.

 

As for ball marks- people just don't fix them. It's on the grounds crew to fix those. I've been to some amazing facilities and at every one I've fixed ball marks other than mine. Giving out the tools is a waste of money- especially when most people don't know how to properly fIx them.

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23 I think you hit the nail on the head and as I read your post i can see and agree on a grand scale what you are talking about. Like I have said before most golfers could give a hoot less about pride in the course and how hard it is to maintain the course and how much effort the supertendents and crews put into it


Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Our normal foursome is good about this, at least myself and another guy that plays with me are. We often get two extra bottles per cart both for the front and at the turn (4 at a time). I take huge divots because I am a digger. We fix as many as we can while waiting on others to play. We've ran out before the end of 9 holes a bunch of times. Now, however, we can't fix anything and if nothing else, it annoys the hell out of me. Ever piped one to end up in a divot? It's going to happen a LOT more often there now. Love the course, but it seems like a poor philosophy.

The course beforementioned has a rack of bottles where the 4th green and the 8th tee intersect at the toilet/water facilities and on the backside they have a rack where the 14th green and 15th tee intersect also at the toilet facilities actually you can cut over with no interference at the 12th to reach those same facilities


Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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That is one of the perils we suffer at our public home course. You have so many weekend golfers that only play while enjoying the sun. It's more like a picnic for them and since they only come once in a while, they just don't bother to repair anything. Free repair tools is just a souvenir for them, I seriously doubt the would put it in use.

 

I haven't seen seed mix in Germany. On the fairways we just place the divot back and step on it. On the tee boxes, they instructed us to not replace the divot (because people can slip) so the green keepers fill them out with sand every day and move the tee markers pretty often so you don't have to hit from sand.


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This part comes from being a greens mower and on the staff of a course in college. The people that do use ball repair tools don't use them properly, they will pull up on the hole to level it with the green, this tears out the roots of the grass and kills that spot. It's how you get nice level spots on the green and they turn brown a week or two later. The objective is to push down the high spots of the impression back into the hole. This normally can keep the grass from dying and repair itself the fastest.

 

Other then that as for general course maintenance for sand filling divots and racking bunkers, I think that a lot of golfers now feel "entitled". By this I mean that they feel they have paid there money and can be selfish / lazy and do whatever they want so that they can enjoy their day not taking anyone else into consideration that they don't know and probably will not meet or talk to. I think that is just a sign of that person's personality in life as well honestly, general society in the states has gotten this way a lot of times.

 

Simple golf etiquette education and a you ball mark plus one would help a ton, if the course doesn't want the golfer to do any of that and they know the player is probably going to be lazy, then I would suggest hiring some caddies or at least a forecaddie one per group that does all the work in terms of repairs and such. That would allow the golfer to be lazy enjoy there round and the course to keep the place in good shape. You could just have one caddie per group of 2 to 4 golfers that has a cart with a flat bed on the back that holds all 4 bags instead of them walking.


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Well, I would argue that IMO, there is a real weakness in teaching golf etiquette to new golfers, and so many golfers are taking the sport up later in life, there is this assumption that they should just know ( I fall into the category ) that I have had to learn as much as I can wherever I can. But there needs to be a better regiment of 'teaching' etiquette, and part of that is how to properly maintain the course as you play on it.

 

This goes way beyond ball marks and divots too. Think of all of the behaviors that we see that are examples of the lost courtesy of the 'gentlemen's' game.

 

90 degrees rules treated as 'cart path are optional'.

 

Carts used as trash cans.

 

Water cups from water stations tossed on the ground rather than in the provided trash can that is all of 2 feet away.

 

Short version is that common courtesy is largely dead off the golf course, and it is going to take a lot of work, and polite reminders on the golf course to revive what little is left :(


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When it comes to golf I can figure out someone's personality faster in 18 holes of golf then i will in 1 month of business negotiations.

 

You can't lose courtesy if the person was never told to begin with what the proper way to conduct yourself is in the first place. If they know it and refuse to implement it into their golf game and life that is a personality trait problem.

 

Everyone on this forum at one point or another either read the USGA Golf Etiquette section or had a parent, grand parent, friend, someone teach them etiquette and how to conduct themselves on the course as one of the first things. This goes for general rules as well. It is my opinion that if a person has great etiquette then I could care less what ability someone has as long as they don't directly effect my play. I would rather play with a 30 handicap that has good manners then a plus 4 that is a complete a$$hole.


KZG VC-420 ML (10.5* Loft & 0.2* Open Face Angle) @ 44.50" (2" Bore Depth) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 Stiff

Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour 16.5* @ 42.50" w/ RT Technologies Zeus (85g) Stiff (Tipped 1/2")

Srixon Z U45 19.0* @ 39.75" w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 MB 3-P @ 38.75" - 35.25" (0.25" under), 60.5* - 64.0* (0.5* upright), 22* - 48* (1* weak) w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 54-12 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 60-10 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Lamkin UTX Wrap, Including Grip Core: 1/32 over (top hand), 1/16 over (bottom hand)

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Well, I know that at various times I have blown it with etiquette things, mostly due to lack of experience on the golf course (and playing the first year exclusively with a group that wasn't very big on etiquette). I suspect this is true of alot of late in life golfers. Fortunately, I've never made a mistake that was bad enough to be a problem, but I have seen it happen a few times, and in almost every instance, it has been by people that either don't know better, or have had so much to drink that they don't know anything (which is a separate problem on a golf course, but I shall not judge).


Dru - Owner, President & Janitor, Druware Software Designs

RH 18.0 Handicap in soggy Georgia 

WITB
* 1W 10.5* @ Hogan GS53 ( HZRDUS Smoke Black X-Stiff )
* 3W Hogan GS52 ( HZRDUS Smoke Black X-Stiff ) 
* 5W 18* Tailor-made AeroBurner ( Stock Stiff )
* 4I-AW @ Hogan Ft Worth
* 56 @ Cleveland RTX
* 60 @ Hogan Equalizer
* Carbon Ringo 1/4
* Snell MTB-X

 

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when I worked on a grounds crew at Mayacama we would fill divots on the fairways regularly, and the driving range every morning before the members arrived.

 

Filling divots the next morning on the range never resulted in dead grass - and same went for the fairways.

 

As for keeping the grass alive and well, filling divots is probably going to make a bigger difference in higher traffic areas.

 

When it comes down to it, any course should be sending out the grounds crew regularly to fill divots in the fairway and on the tee boxes, but at the same time, this is golf, etiquette says when possible we should remember to fill our own.

 

I'm a fan of the grounds crew doing their job - and I'm a fan of golfers having some sort of etiquette.

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I have always been taught you're better off either sanding or doing nothing versus replacing a fairway beaver pelt. The greenskeepers I've talked to have always said it results in longer heal times for the grass and slowed recovery. But I religiously used the sand/seed. Now, at that course, we do nothing. It's not a problem yet, but I'm waiting mid-July and August when they generally have grass problems there.


In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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I guess it comes down to money, I know some course that get volunteers to sand fill divots and fix ball marks during a late round of 9 holes and let them play for free. Others have a budget to hire people on the maintenance staff to do such things. I agree if the maintenance crew did some things to help and golfers helped even more, the course would be in great shape all of the time for everyone that played it not just the morning wave in some cases.

 

I know that where I worked as a greens mower, we didn't have time to sand fill anything the crew was tiny and we seemed to always be playing catch up on cutting grass and taking a string trimmer (weed eater or weed whacker whatever you want to call it) to places that the mowers couldn't get to. I spent my mornings cutting 18 greens then took lunch after lunch twice a week I would change cups the rest of time was collars, tee boxes, rough, weed eating bunkers and creeks.

 

It is sort of funny, I was taught to put hole locations in flat areas and sometimes low areas where balls would collect to make it easier for the public, at Duke I see all time the hole locations on spines and high points that make ball roll away from the hole. As if the course isn't ridiculous enough already for some average players they go and make it that much harder on the greens.


KZG VC-420 ML (10.5* Loft & 0.2* Open Face Angle) @ 44.50" (2" Bore Depth) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 Stiff

Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour 16.5* @ 42.50" w/ RT Technologies Zeus (85g) Stiff (Tipped 1/2")

Srixon Z U45 19.0* @ 39.75" w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 MB 3-P @ 38.75" - 35.25" (0.25" under), 60.5* - 64.0* (0.5* upright), 22* - 48* (1* weak) w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 54-12 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 60-10 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Lamkin UTX Wrap, Including Grip Core: 1/32 over (top hand), 1/16 over (bottom hand)

Srixon Z-Star

 

Golf Swing & Putting -- Bruce Rearick (Burnt Edges Consulting)

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especially when most people don't know how to properly fIx them.

 

I find this to be more of an issue than unfixed marks. I fix always fix my ball mark, any around my ball mark, and any around my putting line. Fixing someones poor attempt at repairing a ball mark usually causes more damage than the ball mark left in the first place. A few months ago, on the Golf Fix, Micheal Breed showed how to properly fix a ball mark; I thought it was the best "lesson" he had ever given on the show (so much that I even posted about it in the Golf Lesson thread). There should be a sign in every club house that says "Please fix ball marks" and also shows how to properly fix them.

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