Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Please repair your ballmarks..."

If you ever play on public courses, especially in big cities like Los Angeles, the conditions of the greens are often appalling. Not because the greenskeeper is asleep at the wheel, but because there are golfers--whole hordes of unwashed masses--who never fix their pitch marks. I've played with groups who never fix a single mark during an entire round, so I end up fixing 5 or 6 myself. Worse yet, when most golfers do attempt to fix their pitch mark, they do so incorrectly, and actually make the mark worse. In the below "diagram", the improper method--and how most golfers repair marks--is on the left: they dig below the mark and lift it. Not only does this tear the grass's roots, but lifts up the underlying soil, creating a patch of nude earth which will takes weeks to regrow. The correct technique, on the right, is to use your divot tool to push the edges of the hole into the hole itself.

This misunderstanding of correct technique probably came about because a) divot tools are so long the natural inclination is to use them as gardening tools, and b) no one is ever shown the proper technique. As to why people don't fix their marks at all, you'd have to chalk that one up to inexperience--they probably don't know they're responsible for repair of their ball marks, i.e., they're ingnoramuses..

Enter the Green Fix ball mark elimination tool.

This tool has shorter prongs and a video on the website shows its creator using the tool push the mark's edges in around itself (sound familiar?) These tools should be air dropped from C-130s over Los Angeles golf courses for all to use, and maybe, just maybe, golfers will finally show a little gratitude for hitting a green by fixing their mark (though I would like to believe any hacker that uses one will finally learn to fix ball marks properly, I have no doubt there will be doofusses who try to use it the wrong way.) Even if you don't buy a Green Fix, using proper ball mark repair technique will make all us golfers a lot happier.

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