Friday, October 18, 2013

Proper Practice Tee Divot Pattern

 I am frequently asked what would make the Practice Tee at HFCC better?  The first and most obvious answer is to make it larger.  While we do have plans to make it somewhat larger in the future, the reality is there is just not enough room to make it as big as we would like.  However, there is something that everyone can do to make it as good as it can be.  Use a linear pattern when making divots and limit the number of shots you make each time your at the practice tee.  The following pictures are courtesy of the USGA and show the correct method for making divots at the practice tee and the incorrect ways.
(Left) Concentrating divots in one area is arguably the worst practice method because it creates large voids requiring the most time for turf recovery. (Right) Scattering divots is a popular practice habit that is frequently taught because it does not create large voids in the turf that are slow to recover, but it removes the most turf in total because a full divot is taken with every shot.

STEP 1 (left) – Practice in a linear pattern by placing each new shot directly behind the previous divot. STEP 2 (right) — Leave a strip of live turf at least 4 inches wide between each line of divots. This keeps divots narrow so that lateral growth of turfgrass from both sides of the divot will lead to rapid recovery, and it also protects seedlings from desiccation and mower injury.