Par3golfer's Blog


Those Pesky Ball Marks!

Ball marks are those indentations from where the ball hits the green from a your shot (from the air). A ball mark can cause the grass in the depression to die, leaving not just a scar but also a pit in the putting surface that can knock   well-struck putts offline. Repairing a ball mark restores a smooth surface and helps keep the grass healthy.   Sometimes, people accidentally incorrectly repair ball marks, simply because they don’t know the proper technique.

Unfortunately, “repairing” a ball mark incorrectly can actually cause more damage.  Incorrectly “repaired” ball marks take up to twice as long to heal as those that are properly repaired. So please help repair the ball marks and take care of the greens for everyone. And if you have a minute, and there isn’t another group of golfers behind you please feel free to fix one or two other ball marks, too, if you find more of them on the green!

Repairing ball marks isn’t just important for the health of the greens, and for smooth-rolling putts. It isn’t just a matter of golf etiquette. It is our obligation to help take care of the golf courses we play. And repairing ball marks is a big part of that obligation to the game. The ball mark repair tool is the right tool for the job of repairing ball marks. The tool should be familiar to every golfer; it’s a simple tool, just two prongs on the end of a piece of metal or hard plastic. If you don’t have one, please stop in the pro shot and there are tools for sale. There are some new ball mark repair tools on the market, but the jury is still out on whether any of them really do a better job at helping greens heal than the standard, old-fashioned tool you will find in most pro shops.

To properly repair ball marks, please follow the steps below.

STEP 1:

Take your ball mark repair tool and insert the prongs into the turf at the edge of the depression. Do NOT insert the prongs into the depression itself, but at the edge of the depression.

STEP 2:

The next step is to push the edge of the ball mark toward the center, using your ball mark repair tool in a “gentle twisting motion,” in the words of the GCSAA. This is the step where some well meaning golfers might mess up. Many golfers believe the way to “fix” a ball mark is to insert  the tool at an angle, so the prongs are beneath the center of the crater, and then to use the tool as a lever to push the bottom of the ball mark back up even with the surface. Do not do this! Pushing the bottom of the depression upward only tears the roots, and kills the grass.

Just use your ball mark repair tool to work around the rim of the crater, pushing the grass at the edge toward the center of the depression. One way to envision this is to picture reaching down with your thumb and forefinger on opposite sides of the ball mark and “pinching” those sides together.

STEP 3:

Once you’ve worked around the rim of the ball mark with your repair tool, pushing the grass toward the center, there’s only one thing left to do: Gently tamp down the repaired ball mark with your putter or foot to smooth the putting surface.

That’s that! You have repaired the ball mark correctly! If you are unsure, or need more help with this, please ask one of our staff members. They play the Par 3 often and would be more than happy to help you learn how to fix ball marks the right way!

On behalf of everyone at the Par 3, thanks!

Rick Jones

Cape May Par 3 & Driving Range

Dover Par 3 & Driving Range

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

great tip and I hope everone reads this and applies the lesson learned. Bill at Dover Par 3

Comment by Bill Thomas

Thaanks for the tip. I’ll pass it along to my golf buddys.

Comment by tidewater

I agree with Bill. May be a good idea to post it in the Club House for those who don’t have access to the Internet. Len Casto

Comment by Len Casto

Thanks, Len! Great idea.

Comment by par3golfer




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