Course News

Chris Hathcock, GCSAA Greens Superintendent

Fixing divots Key points:

If you create divots, you should also repair them -- that's part of the etiquette of the game. Repairing your divots ensures that other golfers have the same level playing surface. Different methods are used to repair divots. Be sure to ask about the local procedure when you are playing at a new course.

If you play golf, you create divots -- it's part of the game. However, if you create divots, you should also repair them-- that's part of the etiquette of the game. Repairing your divots ensures that the golfers who follow you have the same level playing surface you had when you started your round. A number of different methods are used to repair divots, and each of them is designed to make sure that the type of grass growing around the divot fills in as quickly as possible. Some courses ask that you simply replace your divot. In this case, you should replace it in the same direction that it came out and firmly tamp it down. On courses whose tees and fairways feature actively growing bermudagrass, you will often be asked not to replace the divot,but rather to fill the hole with sand the course provides. In this situation, fill the divot and then tamp down the sand so it is level with the surrounding area.At some courses in the North that feature ryegrass and in the South where dormant bermudagrasses are overseeded, you may be asked to fill the divot with a sand/seed mixture. Again, it is important to tamp the sand down so the seed will germinate. Be sure to ask about the local procedure when you are playing at a new course.

Preventing Unnecessary Damage

Players should avoid causing damage to the course by removing divots when taking practice swings or by hitting the head of a club into the ground, whether in anger or for any other reason.Players should ensure that no damage is done to the putting green when putting down bags or the flagstick.In order to avoid damaging the hole, players and caddies should not stand too close to the hole and should take care during the handling of the flagstick and the removal of a ball from the hole. The head of a club should not be used to remove a ball from the hole.Players should not lean on their clubs when on the putting green, particularly when removing the ball from the hole.The flagstick should be properly replaced in the hole before players leave the putting green.