Friday, October 30, 2015
Poll Results: Replace or Sand Your Divot? Or Leave It for Someone Else???
You've taken a divot ... What do you do next?
If you’re Marc Dumbleton, there are various factors.
“Surely that depends on the course and which country you are playing in,” he said. “In England most courses replace divots.”
What do you mean, Marc? And don’t call me Shirley.
In all seriousness, I've never played in England. Was he saying the courses' maintenance crew takes responsibility for replacing divots - leaving the golfers to move on to their next shots?
“No. You replace your own divots,” Dumbleton clarified. “But I know some courses ... mainly the better ones ... have sand to fill divots on tee boxes.”
That makes sense and is a relief. Having served as an editor of a golf industry publication in the past (and writing on the topic these days), I’ve gotten to know a lot of superintendents and know how hard their jobs can be in the best of situations. Having hundreds ... thousands ... of golfers tearing up their courses and not replacing their divots would make the job nearly impossible.
So, this brings me to the most recent poll ... What do you do when you take a divot?
The surprise doesn’t come in the 79 percent who said they replace it. That’s what I was taught to do as a kid. It doesn’t surprise me that 20 percent fill the divot with sand. Many courses have sand/seed mix on the par 3 tee boxes and attached to golf carts.
No ... What alarms me is that 2 percent of the golfing population does neither, instead, electing to leave it for the maintenance staff to address the situation. Ugh! And we all know that if 2 percent admitted to leaving it, there are a lot more who leave it and don’t admit to it.
A J Taylor said “it's a feel good scenario to replace [divots],” but has been told not to on Canadian courses.
“Either leave it for the maintenance crew or use the sand/seed containers on the carts if there,” Taylor explained. “They told us the divots never take and the mowers just tear them out.”
Katherine Cornelius has heard the same.
“That's true, A J Taylor, which is why I said ‘fill it with sand.’” she said “Have been told the same thing. The sand contains seed which will have that divot filled with new grass in a short period of time, and until then, it creates a flat surface for golfers and mowers.”
Taylor took it another step further ... quoting the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America: "Because grass varieties differ from course to course, and from fairways to the rough, the best rule to follow in replacing divots is to check with the golf course superintendent for the particular policy. As a general rule, replace any divot on the course unless there is a sand or sand/seed mixture provided in a container on the golf car. Typically, the divot is replaced on any course with bentgrass or bluegrass fairways. If you are playing on a course with bentgrass fairways and bluegrass rough, you must pay particular attention to the materials in the container. If just sand is provided, then fill the divot hole and tamp down the sand with your foot. If a sand/bentgrass seed mixture is provided, divots in the rough would not be replaced so as to not contaminate the bluegrass with bentgrass seed. In bermudagrass fairways, generally sand is just used."
In France, Axel Roques said you need to replace the divot.
Keith Bricknell said, “If it's on the fairway, replace it. If it's on the tee, fill it with sand.”
For Vipul Gidda, location of the country, not just course, comes into play.
“Depends on the part of the country/world,” Gidda said. “Down here in Texas the Bermuda just explodes so sand is the only way to go. Up in Indiana, where my dad is, I replace in the fairway and sand the box.”
With the exception of the 2 percent, I think we can all agree with Jeremy Black’s take on a golfer’s responsibility.
“ANY & ALL things to repair it correctly,” Black said. “Fix the ones around you, as well, but don't hold up play. Do the same with ball marks on the dance floor.”