1. The proper technique for ball mark repair is easy and fast.
Insert the ball mark repair tool behind the ball mark and gently pull the top of the tool toward the centre. Continue working around the ball mark, pulling the surrounding turf in toward the centre of the indentation. Avoid using a lifting or twisting motion because this can damage turf roots. Once you have finished pulling turf in toward the centre, gently tamp the area down with your putter to create a smooth, firm surface.
2. Unrepaired ball marks cause lasting problems
Failing to repair a ball mark may seem like a minor oversight, but there are lasting consequences. Unrepaired ball marks can take weeks to heal, during which time they can cause balls to bounce offline. The damage to the putting surface is also an entry point for weeds that can cause serious problems.
3. Certain putting greens are more vulnerable to ball marks than others.
Any putting green that typically receives high, lofted approach shots will be more susceptible to ball marks. The putting greens on par-3 holes are a perfect example. If you recognize that a putting green is prone to damage from ball marks, it is important to be mindful of repairing your own ball mark and a few unrepaired ones nearby.
4. Soft conditions mean more ball marks.
When putting greens are wet or soft, ball marks will be more of an issue. This is just one of the reasons why superintendents work hard to promote firm playing conditions with aeration, topdressing, and other maintenance practices. If excessive thatch accumulates beneath the putting surface, ball marks and other turf issues will be more problematic.
5. Almost any pointed tool can be used to successfully repair a ball mark.
Many different tools have been created to repair ball marks, including single-pronged and fork-shaped tools. Almost any pointed tool, including a golf tee, can be used to effectively repair a ball mark. Using the proper technique is the key to success.
Repairing ball marks is one of the easiest ways that golfers can help superintendents deliver high-quality playing conditions. After hitting a great shot onto the putting green, fixing your ball mark and a couple nearby is an excellent way to celebrate.