The picture above might look like a practice green at the end of a long and particularly busy day – but it’s not.
Instead, this is the green on the par-3 fourth hole at Galway Bay Golf Resort on the west coast of Ireland, where fed-up greenkeepers decided it was time to make a point.
Every single ball that you see in the photo represents an unrepaired or poorly repaired pitchmark.
The assistant course superintendent, Gary Byrne, posted the photo on Twitter on Tuesday of this week.
Today we placed golf balls on our 4th green (par 3) to illustrate unrepaired or poorly repaired pitchmarks pic.twitter.com/9fcVBzWxlJ— Gary Byrne (@GaryByrne_) January 16, 2018
Before long, other greenkeepers were weighing in to share their own similar photos.
It’s scary when you actually count the golf balls.😳 pic.twitter.com/NSjX3GAAa5— Idris Evans (@Idris_Evans) January 16, 2018
Not as bad but we did this last year on our 9th (par 4). pic.twitter.com/MhgI5LWXHr— Southwood Greenies (@southwoodgreens) January 17, 2018
We did the same thing. Difference in flag colors was me running out of flags pic.twitter.com/pSoNI7kStX— Jonesy (@jmjones129) January 16, 2018
The impact of not repairing pitchmarks can be devastating for greens and those charged with maintaining them. When correctly repaired, a pitchmark will recover in 24 hours. However, if left unrepaired and unattended for two hours, it can take as long as two months to recover.
Unrepaired pitchmarks are also breeding grounds for disease and infections.