Hours of Operation
Bella Vista Ball Mark Repair Awareness Month
by Keith Ihms, Director of Golf Course Maintenance
How to Fix a Ball Mark
Have you ever been involved in a heated debate about the best way to fix a ball mark? I know I have! In general, superintendents would prefer that golfers use any method as opposed to doing nothing, but there is a method endorsed by the golf community that is considered the official way.
Here are some quick facts on ball marks:
• Unfixed ball marks result in an uneven and scarred putting surface
• It is the responsibility of every golfer to fix at least their own ball mark
• It can take 2 or 3 weeks for an unfixed ball mark to heal
• Fixing ball marks vastly improves the putting surface for everyone
The best way to fix a ball mark:
When I first started golfing in grade school, I assumed the best way to fix a ball mark was to use a tool to pry up the middle of the indentation. This seems logical but it can result in torn roots and more recovery time. The best way is the “twist” method endorsed by the Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSAA).
Here is the secret: Your goal is to stretch the undamaged surface back into the depression, not to lift the depression by prying. The putting surface is actually a fairly elastic thing. Ball impact pushes the surface out to form the ridges around the depression, so you can fix it by stretching the surface back in. In the process, the indentation or depression should flatten out.
I think many people are reluctant to try this method because it is difficult to visualize. As a result, many golfers may not attempt to fix their ball marks because they are afraid of doing it the “wrong” way. Try this method. You may be surprised by how easy it is.
Country Club Bunker Restoration
The Bella Vista Country Club course will close at the beginning of January to begin the bunker restoration project recently approved by the POA Board of Directors. This improvement project will require approximately 2 months, weather cooperating, to complete. The course is scheduled to remain closed through February.
Bunker Renovation Progress
The work involves removal of old sand, adjustments and repairs to bunker drainage, installation of a new liner system and addition of new sand. All bunkers on the course along with the practice bunker at the Tanyard Creek Practice Facility are scheduled to be upgraded.
The project goal is to improve playability and reduce maintenance in the bunkers. The new liner system to be installed, “Better Billy Bunker”, is the most important part of the restoration project in achieving that goal. A major issue is the amount of rocks in our bunkers. This rock migrates up from the subgrade during normal play and maintenance since there are no liners in our bunkers currently. Rocks also wash down from sloped areas after heavy rains. This system has a 2” gravel layer installed in the entire bunker floor over a system of drain tiles. This layer is sealed using a polymer that allows water to move in and through it and down to the subsurface drainage system. Since it forms a solid base no rocks are able to work their way up from the subsurface. In addition, the washing out of bunker faces is greatly reduced which in turn reduces rock contamination, labor requirements and improves playability after heavy rain events.
Several bunkers at the Country Club course, back 2 bunkers on both #3 and #9 green, had this system installed last year as a test. They performed great both from the playability and maintenance prospective. We will post updates and pictures as the project moves forward over the next several months. More information on this bunker restoration system can be viewed at www.billybunker.com.