How to Properly Repair a Divot Mark

Repairing ball marks is a huge help to the golf course, and the grounds team.  We spend as much time on repairing previous days ball marks as much as possible, but it is never enough time.

The rule of thumb should be to repair your ball mark and three others that you find on the green.  This not only helps us out, but ensures a true surface the next time you play.

Repairing those little depressions is very important. Equally important is doing it the right way.  Because while many golfers fail to repair ball marks, there are also many well-meaning golfers who do “repair” the pitch marks, only to do so incorrectly.

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. But “repairing” a ball mark incorrectly can actually cause more damage than not attempting to repair it at all, according to a study done at Kansas State University.

The KSU researchers, whose conclusions were reported on, found that incorrectly “repaired” ball marks take up to twice as long to heal as those that are properly repaired.

Step #1:   Take your ball mark repair tool and insert the prongs into the turf at the edge of the depression. Note: Do NOT insert the prongs into the depression itself, but at the rim 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 golfers who incorrectly “repair” ball marks usually 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.

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 smooth the putting surface.


Article Written By: Golf Course Maintenance Blog

10 tips to help golfers make all their short putts on the course

You’re feeling good. You’ve either hit your approach shot close to the hole or rolled your birdie putt up to near tap-in range. And then you do something that all of us have done — even Tour players.

You miss the short putt.

It might be the most frustrating and embarrassing mistake in golf, but don’t give up hope. Making short putts is one of the most effective ways of lowering your scores.

Practice the right things, and you, too, can improve your short putting. Here’s how…

1. Aim the putterface well

Where you aim your putterface has to be a huge priority if you want to make your short putts, because the ball will travel where your putterface is pointed at impact. Yes, your path influences it, but the putterface is king.

You can see good players do it in their pre-putt routine: After their practice strokes, they take a moment to aim the putterface before settling into that grip and setup.

2. Get a grip

The way you place your hands on your putter’s grip will stabilize the club, and influence your ability to deliver a square face at impact.

There are so many ways to hold a putter, so you have plenty of choices. I’d suggest using whatever makes you feel most coordinated, and if you’re looking for something basic, take your cues from the grip’s design. Most grips have a flat top. Place your thumbs on the flat portion, and because the club is more upright, it’s designed to be held more in your palms than your other clubs, which will eliminate excessive wrist movement.

3. Good posture

Good posture, where you bow forward from your hips and let your arms hang below your shoulders, creates a natural path for your arms to swing. You can practice this without your putter: Bow forward from your hips, clap your hands together and allow your arms to swing naturally.

Your stance width can vary according to preference, but generally, it should be roughly the width of your hips.

4. Stroke, and then look

Once you’re setup with a nice square clubface, you want to keep your body very quiet as your arms swing. The task sounds simple, but can be challenging because so many of us are result-oriented. We can’t help but peek to see if the putt is heading towards the hole.

Watch the best putters when they putt, then you’ll see how stable they keep their lower body and head as they stroke. You should keep your head down long enough to see the putter make contact with the back of the ball. Let the stroke complete fully, and only then can you look up.

5. Your stroke is circular

Every putting stroke has some degree of arc. It may be difficult to see on short putts, but with all the modern technology and our ability to measure these things, we know it’s there.

If your underarms stay close to your body, and your putterhead stays relatively low to the ground and through, this natural curving path will roll the ball end-over-end;

If you incorrectly try to swing your putter back straight back and straight through, your arms will tend to disconnect from your body.

6. Limit your backstroke

Your backstroke controls the distance of your putts. when you have a short putt, you only need a short backstroke. If you swing your putter back the proper length for the putt, smaller strokes will naturally deliver less power. If your backstroke is too large, your body will attempt to put on the brakes and decelerate. This is tough to time consistently, and it can make your putterface less stable, too.

7. Minimize moving parts

To make your short putts, the emphasis is more on accuracy than power. The priority is making sure the ball starts on the correct line. In this regard, the less moving parts, the better.

Too much movement in your lower body can decrease your efficiency. Swaying back and forth is a common cause I see; you should feel like your feet are planted firmly on the ground during your stroke.

8. Read every putt

Take the time the read the break on every short putt. I often watch golfers hurry up and stroke their short putts without much thought, assuming every putt is straight, but they’re missing an important step. Walk in a semi-circle around the hole to see where the high point is, or consult a greenbook.

You probably won’t need to play the putt too much outside of the hole, but aiming for the left edge on a right to left braking putt can make all the difference.

9. Respect the challenge

A good attitude is helpful throughout life, including on short putts. Get over it when it doesn’t work out, remember that you’re playing for fun, but give every short putt your full attention. If you’re not prepared to do that, you might as well pick up your ball.

Don’t think about these short putts as ones you “should” make. Think about them as putts you need to earn. And to do that, you need to respect the challenge they present and focus.

10. Practice with feedback.

Practicing properly means practicing with feedback. I used to spend hours putting on a chalk line when I played in college and professionally to make sure the putt was starting on line. Nowadays, they have putting matts with lines on them which accomplish the same thing. Whatever you use, practicing with feedback — meaning, you can see what’s going wrong when it’s going wrong — will help you get it right and build your confidence along the way.

3 Pieces of Golf Etiquette

Fairway divots

Divots should always be repaired, either by placing sand in the divot or replacing the grass. Some courses also place containers of divot repair mix on carts and at tees, which can be poured into the divot.


Golfers should avoid distracting fellow golfers. Golfers should not run during play, but instead walk quickly but lightly during play and remain stationary while others play their shots. Players should be still and remain silent during a fellow player’s pre-shot routine and subsequent shot.

Golf carts and equipment

Golf carts should not be used to annoy or distract other players. The cart should be parked on the cart path when at the tee box or putting green. Carts should normally stay only on the paths, and are required to do so on many courses. Golfing equipment (bags, clubs and carts) should never be placed in front of the green as annoyance to the approaching players.

Should carts be permitted off the paths, golfers should observe the “90 degree rule”: make a 90 degree turn off the path toward the fairway to a given ball, and return straight back to the path, not along the path of greatest convenience. Carts inflict wear and tear on the course, and can be accidentally driven over another player’s ball. Golfers should keep the noise of backing up to a minimum and must always set the park brake before disembarking. In regards to lost and found Clubs or any equipment, The traditional of an honorable player is to turn the found equipment into the clubhouse so players are able to retrieve lost golf clubs and other equipment.

2022 Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods says it will be a “game-time decision” whether he plays in the 86th Masters, which is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Woods, 46, hasn’t played a round in a regular PGA Tour event in more than 500 days. He has been recovering from serious injuries to his right leg and right foot that he suffered in a car wreck outside Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2021. Woods was at Augusta National on Sunday to continue his practice and preparation.


With Woods potentially back in the field, who is going to win the Masters might not be the biggest question heading into the tournament. It’s whether Woods, a 15-time major champion, plays and, if he does, whether he can contend for a sixth green jacket.

Here’s a look at the 91 players who will attempt to win golf’s most revered championship this week:

Tier I: The guys who can win

Here are the legitimate contenders. They have the games, guts and nerves to handle four pressure-packed rounds on one of the most treacherous golf courses in the world.

Scottie Scheffler
There’s not a hotter golfer on the planet than Scheffler, who has won three times in his past five starts. The last time a player ascended to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking and made his next start at a major, Ian Woosnam won a green jacket in 1991. One concern for Scheffler: He ranks 134th in driving accuracy (57.2%).

Justin Thomas
Thomas has five straight top-25 finishes at Augusta National, including a tie for 21st in 2021, when he fired a 5-under 67 in the second round to pull within 3 strokes of the lead. He was a combined 4 over in the final 36 holes. He has five top-10s in nine starts on tour this season.

Jon Rahm
The 27-year-old Spaniard is no longer No. 1 and hasn’t won since the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in June. He has finished in the top 10 in each of his past four starts at Augusta National, including a tie for fifth in 2021. His short game hasn’t been great; he ranks 170th in shots gained: around the green (-.257) and shots gained: putting (-.115).

Viktor Hovland
Hovland, 24, drives the ball exceptionally well and has become one of the best iron players in the world. But he ranks 209th in shots gained: around the green and his chipping, though improving, leaves much to be desired. Hovland was low amateur at the 2019 Masters, tying for 32nd.

Collin Morikawa
If Augusta National is truly a second-shot course, then you have to like Morikawa’s chances. In 2020-21, he led the tour in shots gained: approach (1.17), and he’s seventh in greens in regulation (72.2%) this season. He won the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship in his first starts in those events, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him win a green jacket in his third Masters start.

Cameron Smith
The Australian has already won twice this year, at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the Players, where he collected $3.6 million in prize money. He tied for runner-up at the 2020 Masters, when he became the only player in the tournament’s history to shoot in the 60s in all four rounds.

Patrick Cantlay
The reigning FedEx Cup champion cooled off a bit over his past three starts. He ranks second on tour in birdie average (5.2) and ninth in scoring average (69.95), but just 89th in driving accuracy (60.8%) and 62nd in greens in regulation (68.4%). He missed the cut at the 2021 Masters.

Hideki Matsuyama
Last year, Matsuyama became the first man from Japan to win a major championship and the first player of Asian descent to win the Masters. He won twice on tour this season, at the Zozo Championship in October and Sony Open in Hawaii in January. He withdrew from The Players because of a back injury and then the Valero Texas Open with a neck issue. He is attempting to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002 to win back-to-back Masters tournaments.

Rory McIlroy
For the eighth time, McIlroy will attempt to complete the career grand slam by winning a green jacket. He had five top-10 finishes in his past seven tries, but missed the cut in 2021. He would become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam in the Masters era, joining Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Woods.

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