One of the most frequently asked questions’ concerning golf course etiquette is what to do with fairway and rough divots… Are we better off replacing the divot or just filling the scar with the sand/seed mix that’s provided?

If the divot has some soil attached and hasn’t been blown into a hundred pieces, it will heal quickly if it is replaced immediately. Be sure to replace the divot and step on it to establish contact with the soil below. If the divot cannot be replaced, then the sand/seed mixture should be used in the scarred area. Golfers who take the time to replace a divot properly or repair divot areas help keep the fairways in good condition for their fellow golfers.

As we head into the winter months, the divots will hold together better because of the wetter conditions. Therefore, replacing the grass divot is preferred over using the sand/seed mixture. The grass divot will not dry out as easily this time of year and will heal quicker than trying to get the seed to germinate.

It is also important to recognize how much sand/seed mix is placed in a divot area. The “more is better” approach does not work when filling divots. Divots that are over-filled become mounded then compacted. When the mowers run over the mounded divots, they become increasingly larger bare patches due to the scalping. This is more common on teeing areas and can easily be avoided by not using as much divot mix.

Overfilling divots leads to scalping