How to Repair Divots and Ball Marks (The right way)

golfer taking a divot

Repairing divots and ball marks is a part of golf etiquette and helps keep the golf course in good condition. So, you may wonder how to fix divots when playing golf.

We’ll cover why it’s crucial to repair divots and ball marks before telling you exactly what these are. Then, we’ll show you how to fix divots and ball marks so that you can do it properly.

Fixing divots and ball marks can make the game more enjoyable for everyone. Golf can be frustrating sometimes, so it’s best not to add to that unnecessarily.

However, some golfers try to do the right thing but don’t know how to fix divots properly. Unfortunately, that can be as bad as not repairing them at all.

In both cases, it can affect the players behind you and lessen their enjoyment of the game. We don’t want that for our fellow golfers.

Let’s identify what divots and ball marks are in golf before showing you how to fix them.

What Are Divots?

Divots on the driving range
Driving Range with numerous golf divots

Divots are chunks of grass taken from the ground when a player hits a golf ball. During the golf swing, your clubhead also impacts the grass as it connects with the golf ball.

The head is much harder than the grass and soil, so it tears through the turf. That makes a hole in the fairway where you can see the soil beneath.

There’s not much worse luck than when your ball lands in one of these divots. They can be deep or shallow, with the deeper ones being very difficult to play from.

Wedges and short irons tend to make longer and deeper divots on most shots. Long irons and hybrids make more shallow divots, while a fairway wood shouldn’t make any divot when hit properly.

Now that we know what divots are, it’s important to know why you should fix them, and how to do so.  

Why Fix Divots?

Fixing divots on the fairway stops the ball from landing in them. It’s important because it makes a shot much harder for players when a ball sits down in a divot.

Having to play a shot from a divot can ruin someone’s score for that hole or even the whole round. Every golfer has one terrible hole that destroys their game from time to time.

However, it doesn’t need to happen because of an unfixed divot. We can fix divots properly and make sure the players behind us don’t get penalized by a bad break.

How to Fix Divots

OK, you’ve hit your shot from the fairway and left a divot in the turf. You now need to know how to fix divots so that other golfers on the course don’t end up in them.

The best way to fix divots is to find the exact chunk of grass you took from the ground. Once you find it, simply place it back into the hole on the fairway. These tend to stay intact and look like grass pelts. 

Try to line the chunk up as best you can so that the thickest part fits into the deepest part of the hole. You can then put some pressure on it with your shoe and make sure it sits on the ground evenly.

Ensuring that repaired divot is even will helps players behind you. They’ll find it easier to hit their shot if the ball lands in that spot.

Also, it helps the removed chunk of grass grow back into the fairway again. That benefits the overall condition of the golf course.

However, sometimes it’s impossible to find the piece of grass you removed from the fairway. It can break into smaller bits and scatter across the ground.

That’s when you fix the divot with sand. Typically golf courses will place bottles of sand in every golf cart, and there are sand-refill pits throughout the course.

You simply pour the sand into the divot. Then, level out the sand with the surrounding grass before moving on.

These steps ensure players behind you don’t land in divots you’ve made. They also help keep the course in the best possible condition, making everyone else’s rounds better. 

What Are Ball Marks?

Ball marks happen when a golf ball lands on the green and makes a little dent in the turf. One side of the ball mark raises above the grass, causing an uneven surface on the green.

That can play havoc with your putts. Ball marks can slow down the ball and cause it to bounce to the side, away from the hole.

Ball marks can also damage the grass on the green when they’re not repaired. So, fixing ball marks helps fellow golfers and keeps the greens in good condition.

Why Fix Ball Marks? 

Ball marks are also something that can annoy players on the golf course. Everyone leaves them, like divots, but not all golfers fix them.

Ball marks on the green can get in the way of your putt. If you don’t see a ball mark and repair it, your ball can hit it and veer away from the hole.

Also, hitting a ball mark can cause the ball to slow down considerably. That can mean the ball won’t even reach the hole, giving it no chance of going in.

How to Fix Ball Marks

To fix ball marks properly, you need a ball mark repair tool. You can follow these easy steps to get the job done right.

  1. Insert the prongs of the repair tool into the grass at the highest edge of the ball mark – never put it into the dent itself, always outside.
  2. Pull the grass from the edge of the ball mark towards the center.
  3. Repeat steps one and two at different positions around the ball mark for the best results.
  4. Use the bottom of your putter and tap down on the repaired ball mark to smooth the area and even it out. Ensure the ground is level so the ball can roll over it without trouble.

Important: Never push down on the top of the repair tool and lift the soil beneath the ball mark. It tears the roots, kills the grass, and leaves a brown spot on the green.

Final Thoughts 

Now, you should know how to fix divots and repair ball marks. Doing this ensures every player can enjoy the golf course without dealing with any inconvenience. This is a super simple activity, yet it is often overlooked by amateur golfers and can make a huge impact on the golf course.

Fixing divots and pitch marks keeps the golf course in the best condition. The grass can grow back from correctly repaired divots and ball marks, keeping the surfaces lush. Use this piece of golf etiquette to create a better experience for everyone on the golf course!

Related Posts