Saturday morning I told my guys mowing greens to not fix any ball marks they saw. I took it upon myself to walk all 18 greens, fixing anything that I came across. What I found was actually quite surprising. There were 4 to 5 pitch marks on every hole that no attempts were made to fix. What I really noticed is that there were a lot of ball marks improperly repaired. Low shots into a green will sometimes remove a section of turf when the ball makes contact with the putting surface. Do not try to replace the piece of turf that came out, but rather pull the living tissue from around the mark towards the center. Again with higher shots, do not try to lift up the impact mark but rather pull from the outside in.
I have also heard people saying that it is not their responsibility to fix ball marks or replace divots- that’s what the maintenance department is for. What is the one thing that you will never see a professional golfer’s caddie do for them? They will never fix the player’s ball mark. Caddies will rake bunkers, replace divots, and clean the players clubs. It is ALWAYS the responsibility of the golfer to fix their own ball mark.
With Monday’s aerification, the slate will be wiped clean. With the cores being removed from the greens and the sand that we will use to fill the holes, all of the ball marks will be smoothed out. I challenge everyone that plays the rest of the year to be diligent about fixing your ball marks. If you see someone not doing so, please politely ask them to.