Pick up your feet and tamp down scuffs

Steve Shepard, Chair, Golf and Green Committee

Have you ever walked on to a green to find that you made a great golf shot that landed softly on the green and now lies just eight feet away with little or no break? Wow! You think, “I can make this putt for a birdie” (or par would make most at Robson Ranch happy). As you begin looking at the green the line and undulations, the ruffed up grass between the ball and the hole stands out. By rule you cannot tamp the grass since it lies between your ball and the hole, and that would improve the line of your putt. Best you can hope for is that the ruffed grass does not deflect the ball too much. You putt the ball, and the ball takes an unexpected turn at the ruffled grass and misses the hole by a half inch.

What happened? A player ahead of you wearing soft spikes scraped the soft spikes along the grass or turned with the foot planted and the soft spikes ruffled the grass so that the blades created an impediment to the line of the putt. Most all of us wear some form of soft spiked shoes, which have the capability of ruffling the green and creating impediments to the line of putt for those who follow. We all need to check the green before leaving the green to be sure that we leave the green in good condition. Most of us think of pitch marks, but the scuffs from our shoes can be an equally aggravating problem for those that follow. The solution is to pick up our feet, tamp the grass if we have left a scuff area as you leave the green and hope the players in front of us do the same.