As someone who loves the game of golf, and plays more than his fair share, I try to to as much as I can to leave the course better than when I found it. I love to get out there and play fast and tricky greens, but most public courses cannot keep the greens as fast and furious as we would like them because of the amount of play they receive. Unfortunately it is not the players playing that causes so much damage it is the fact that most golfers do not take the time to find their ball mark or pitch mark and fix it. Think back to the last time you played, did you fix a ball mark on every green? Did you fix two? It only takes a second, and it makes a huge difference in the greens. It never fails to bother me when I have a drink inside the clubhouse after a round on shaky greens, and the very players who don’t fix their ball marks are complaining about the condition of the greens.
So what can you do as a player? Well I wanted to go over how to fix a ball mark correctly. First and foremost a ball mark that is fixed correctly and quickly will typically be unnoticeable after just 24 hours. Meaning you make a ball mark on Tuesday during twilight, and by Wednesday at lunch that mark is gone. Fix a mark incorrectly or just totally ignore it and it could take up to three weeks to recover. So how do we fix ball marks? Check this graphic that I found on the green superintendents website… The most important thing to remember is to pull from the sides, and not lift up the middle of the ball mark. The idea is to stretch the good turf over the ball mark.