Repairing Ball Marks on the Green

Ball Mark/Divot Tool

If you’ve spent any time on a golf course, you’ve noticed unsightly marks on the greens.  They’re commonly called “ball marks”.  It’s just a part of the game and every golfer has the responsibility to keep the greens in tip top shape for yourself and others to enjoy.

Pictured at left is a typical ball mark repair tool.  They’re also referred to as divot tools, but divots don’t normally require anything other than the patch of removed grass or sand and seed to repair.  More about that in another post.

Ball marks are found mostly on greens and are caused by the impact of the golf ball onto the ground.  It leaves a crater shaped depression in the grass plain of the green.  Of course having any sudden dips, obstructions or imperfections on the green can greatly affect your putting game.

If you cause a ball mark you should be prepared to repair it as best you can.  We’ll outline some basic steps to do just that.

1.  Purchase a ball mark/divot tool online or at your local golf store or pro shop.  They come in various designs and materials.  You can even have them custom made with a specific logo or motto.

2.  At the ball mark, insert the pronged end of the tool into the edge of the depression at about a 45 degree angle.  Begin twisting the tool in a left-right-left-right motion to loosen the grass around the edge.

3. As you’re twisting left and right, begin angling the round part of the tool toward the center of the depression.  The idea here is to loosen grass around the edge of the ball mark and begin moving some of that grass material toward the center to fill in the hole.

4.  Just repeat this process until you’ve gone completely around the entire edge of the depression.

5.  Finally, use the flat end of your putter to tamp down the mark and smooth out the loosed grass.

*Word of caution.  The most common mistake in repairing a ball mark is to insert the tool into the grass and forcefully pull up.  This can actually damage the green because pulling the grass material too far upward can tear the root structure.  This can eventually lead to a dead spot in the grass.

Repairing your ball mark is easy and only takes a few seconds to complete.  If everyone does the same, the greens on your local golf courses will look and play much better.

The BackyardGolfer