Klaus on the Course
The latest news from our green keeper, Klaus, goes here...
Care of the Course
It is every golfer's responsibility to look after the course while playing. That means we repair any damage we do as we play. We should replace divots, repair pitch marks and spike marks on the green, and rake bunkers. We should try to leave the course in at least as good condition as we found it.
As the greens are our targets and we all (eventually!) use them, they are particularly vulnerable to damage. Take extra care to look after them well.
"A correctly repaired pitchmark will recover in 24 hours. An unrepaired pitchmark left unattended for two hours will take up to two months to recover."
This often quoted statistic really drives home how important it is that we repair our pitchmarks. If your ball pitches on the green with sufficient force to make an indentation, always, always look for the mark and repair it properly. A pitchmark repairer is by far the best tool for the job. We should all carry one of these every time we play.
Ideally we would never find any old pitch marks. but if you do notice any, please repair those too.
Whenever possible, when we take a divot we should retrieve it and replace it, Try to put it back, filling the hole it came from and pressing it down firmly.
One notable exception is on tees where the consensus of opinion is that divots should NOT be replaced. Instead, fill any divot holes with sand from the box by the tee if there is one. (Many courses, including ours, have a box of sand
This, however, is what inevitably happens to divots replaced on tees.
by the tee on the par 3 holes, as those tees suffer most from divots.) The thinking is this: replaced divots on tees might cause a player's foot to slip during the swing, or might cause a shot to be "fluffed" if the ball is played from an old divot that has not been noticed while teeing-up. Divots replaced on tees wiil probably not "take" anyway (see photo above). Filling divot holes with sand is a much better solution.
We may have just one bunker but we should still know how to look after it, and those on any course we visit! Use the rake provided to smooth over any irregularities in the sand, whether that is footprints, marks from a ball landing, or indeed the hole left by playing your shot! Do not leave loose impediments lying in the sand - these cannot be moved by another player whose ball is in the bunker, and could interfere with that player's shot. Finally, position the rake in accordance with instructions, if any, from the club. In the absence of any instructions, position the rake in such a way that it is least likely to interfere adversely with another player's shot. For example, leave the rake lying outside of the bunker or place the rake in the bunker at right angles to the edge and with the end of the handle on the lip of the bunker. (This avoids the rake stopping a ball just under the lip where it may be almost unplayable.)
Spike marks / scrapes
Although most players no longer use metal spikes, even the plastic or rubber ones can damage the surface of the green if we don't lift our feet properly or we twist on our feet. First, we should avoid doing either of these! However, if we do accidentally cause damage in this way, we should repair it to the best of our ability, but only as allowed by the rules of golf.
Take care when removing and replacing pins to avoid damage to the lip of the hole. When replacing pins, make sure they are seated properly in the hole, not just partly. If improperly replaced, wind might cause the pin to lean against the edge of the hole and cause damage.