In the last few weeks of reopening, the course has been very busy with Members dusting off the clubs and getting back into the swing of things. It is great to see the membership enjoying the facilities but there is a consequence of the high amount of play that we have witnessed.
Pitch mark and divot wear is increasing on the surfaces and as we have experienced a very cold spring so far, there is little or no growth from the grass plant which will assist the surfaces to repair naturally. As players, there can be little else that upsets the majority of members more than a good putt being affected by someone else’s pitch marks. Which is why golfing etiquette is so important at any time of the year.
Pitch mark damage correctly repaired within 10 minutes will likely recover within 24-36hrs, whereas one left for 24hrs will likely not recover for weeks. This is fact, and has been supported by research conducted by the United States Golf Association in conjunction with Penn State University Turf Grass Unit. The take home message is your golf etiquette affects everyone’s game and potentially even your next round. The greenkeeping staff will complete a course inspection each and every day, before play and as well as bunker preparation, dew removal and greens cutting they will quickly try to repair pitch marks around the vicinity of the pin. If they did try and repair each and every mark on the green, then the start time for golf would probably be after 10am every day to account for the few greenkeepers trying to repair the damage created by the many. So the plea is to be considerate to your playing partners and others who use the course and repair your pitch mark or a mark which you may doubt is yours but may possibly be the one you missed sight of.
Rule 16-1c Repair Of Hole Plugs, Ball Marks And Other Damage
The player may repair an old hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not the player’s ball lies on the putting green. If the ball is moved in the process of such repair, it shall be replaced, without penalty, Any other damage to the putting green shall not be repaired if it might assist the player in their subsequent play of the hole.