Repairing Ball Marks on the Green

OK, so this isn’t your usual golf tip; but it is very important to the game. We all notice the chunks taken out of greens where balls have landed, or see brown spots where someone has repaired a ball mark poorly, and the grass in that area has died. You’ve experienced this to be challenging and annoying if it occurs on the line between your ball and the cup. Assuming all of our readers respect this important bit of golf etiquette, let’s review the process to most efficiently and completely repair a ball mark.

  1. Begin just behind the and ball mark (the part furthest from where you had hit your approach shot). If you are using a golf tee, put it into the ground there and push the raised grass towards the center from 2 or 3 points, as needed, until the mark is barely visible. Then, tap the area with the sole of your putter to level it.
  2. If you are using a “divot repair tool”, these have two prongs, which can be put into the ground, as is the golf tee, but you can twist the tool as well, which may do a better job than a tee.
  3. If a small bit of grass is detached from the ball mark, or barely attached, discard it off the green. It cannot be used in the repair
  4. Ball marks have to be repaired as quickly as possible after they are made. The longer they are left to dry out in the sun, the less effectively they can be repaired.
  5. On the course we try to set an example by fixing our own marks, plus two or three others on each green. I wish more people did the same.

When professionals and other players who are diligent about repairing ball marks have finished on the green, there will be no signs they were ever there.

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