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Let’s take a look at how to properly repair a ball mark to help maintain the health of the greens you putt on.

Repairing that little depression is very important. Equally important is doing it the right way.  Many golfers repair their ball marks correctly which is appreciated by the golf course superintendent and their fellow golfers.  Unfortunately, many well-meaning golfers who do repair the pitch marks, to do so incorrectly.

A ball mark can cause the grass in the depression to die, leaving not just a scar but also a pit in the putting surface that can knock well-struck putts offline. Repairing a ball mark restores a smooth surface and helps keep the grass healthy. But “repairing” a ball mark incorrectly can actually cause more damage than good. The biggest mistake it lifting up on the soil and grass which tears the roots and kills more of the grass around the mark. Incorrectly “repaired” ball marks take up to twice as long to heal as those that are properly repaired.

Repairing ball marks isn’t just important for the health of the greens, and for smooth-rolling putts; it isn’t just a matter of golf etiquette, it is our obligation to help take care of the golf courses we play. And repairing ball marks is a big part of that obligation to the game.

Here is a great short VIDEO from the USGA on properly repairing ball marks.

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Tireless 24-year-old nabs second TOUR win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

DUBLIN, Ohio – By the time he made a 12-foot birdie putt to close out Byeong Hun An in a playoff at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, Bryson DeChambeau had already checked the nitrogen levels in the Muirfield Village rough, verified the camber of the 18th green, and analyzed the glycemic load of Jack Nicklaus’ favorite milkshake.

Or so you would believe, given DeChambeau’s mad-scientist reputation.

“People always kind of scrutinize me saying I’m too technical and whatnot,” DeChambeau, 24, said after moving from 22nd to 4th in the FedExCup with his second PGA TOUR win. “It’s all just to aid my feel. I am a guy that goes off of feel still, to everybody’s surprise, probably.”

By now it’s well known that the polymath DeChambeau has reimagined golf. He plays with a single-length set of irons, advocates a single-plane swing, and has done for the humble yardage book what Leonardo da Vinci did for anatomy.

Good copy, as they say in the typing business.

But it doesn’t really explain how this guy won the Memorial while hitting just 5 of 14 fairways in regulation play Sunday. How after missing 14 straight cuts last season, he now must be considered one of the 10 best American players. (He and other potential U.S. Ryder Cup Team members were fitted for uniforms at Muirfield Village earlier this week.)

Yes, DeChambeau has reimagined the game, but he’s been even better at reinventing himself.

“Other players go to the range,” said his caddie, Tim Tucker. “He goes to the range religiously.”

Case in point: DeChambeau was the only one on the Muirfield driving range as the sun bled over the horizon Saturday night. What was he working on? No telling. He was improving his transdimensional aspect, closing the thorium loop, attenuating the dip slip. It doesn’t matter, and DeChambeau says he doesn’t like to give away his secrets, anyway.

The important thing is he was working.

“He’s happiest when he’s hitting balls,” Tucker said.

With his active mind, DeChambeau is a perfect fit for golf, with its three-dimensionality and limitless variables. But that insatiable curiosity would mean nothing without the insatiable work ethic to go with it, the willingness and stamina to tear everything apart and start all over again.

And again.

And again.

In a sport where even the big winners fail most of the time, self-reinvention is everything. Those 14 straight missed cuts, the last of which came at the U.S. Open last summer? Not unusual. Plenty of players could describe similarly bleak stretches before they turned into caddies and broadcasters.

Not DeChambeau. Although he said it was “a tough pill to swallow” and wondered if he was a TOUR quality player, he also settled in and sucked it up. It was time to have the Big Talk with the guy looking back at him in the mirror, because if he was going to survive, he had to adapt.

“I went back to the drawing board,” he said, “kind of figured something out, and ultimately wound up winning the John Deere four weeks later because of that hard talk to myself.”

But his reinvention wasn’t over, because he went straight from the Deere, where he thought he’d figured something out, to the Open Championship, where he shot 76-77 to miss the cut by eight shots. And he failed to make the TOUR Championship two months later. “So I went back to the drawing board again,” DeChambeau said, “… to be able to come out with something that has allowed me to be more consistent on TOUR, have less error in where I’m hitting it and be more confident in unique situations.”

The second drawing board worked even better than the first one.

He notched a top-20 finish at the Safeway Open, a top-10 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, a top-5 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Reinvention gave way to refinement, and he was second to Rory McIlroy at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard, T3 at the RBC Heritage, and 4th at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The mad scientist was closing in.

DeChambeau led the field in scrambling (17/21) at the Memorial, and was ninth in Strokes Gained: Putting (+4.916). With only five fairways hit, the entire final round was a high-wire act.

He three-putted the 72nd hole to fall into a playoff with Kyle Stanley (70) and An (69), and ripped off his white, Hogan-style cap and swatted his leg with it.

“Let’s go win it,” caddie Tucker said.

As sudden-death playoffs go, this one wasn’t very sudden. For the second time in 20 minutes, DeChambeau split the 18th fairway with a 3-wood, and he and An each missed the green before making deft par saves. Stanley, who had birdied four straight holes on the back nine to make the playoff, could barely get a club on the ball for his second shot and bogeyed to fall away.

Again, DeChambeau went back to the 18th tee; again, he split the fairway with that 3-wood. This time his 9-iron approach shot rode the wind to within 12 feet of the pin. When the final putt fell, with An looking at another short putt to save par, the winner looked up and pumped his arms. He had found validation, again, and with something less than his A-game, grinding out the win the way tournament host Nicklaus had so often back in the day.

“Sometimes that’s what you gotta do,” Nicklaus said. “If your driver’s not working, your putter better be working. And if your putter’s not working, everything else must be working. But he had the right club working today and that was his flat club. Nice going.”

A Memorial victory, by the way, comes with a three-year exemption on TOUR, which is one more than most tournaments. DeChambeau may not need the extra year, but it’s nice to know it’s there. You know, just in case he ever has to go back to the drawing board.


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DUBLIN, Ohio — Hideki Matsuyama and Tiger Woods hit their stride at the end of their rounds at the Memorial, and it paid off in different ways.

Matsuyama was in the middle of the pack at Muirfield Village when he ran off four consecutive birdies and then holed out with a wedge from 130 yards on the 17th hole for an eagle that sent him to a 7-under 65 and a share of the lead with 19-year-old Joaquin Niemann of Chile and Abraham Ancer of Mexico.

“As the round went along, I played better and better,” said Matsuyama, who got his first PGA Tour win at the Memorial four years ago.

So did Woods, which helped him avoid another big number on a course where he has won five times. Woods three-putted from 25 feet to fall to 3 over with five holes to play. He answered with three consecutive birdies — two of them on par 5s on the front nine — and got up-and-down from 62 yards on the ninth hole for a 72.

“It was nice to somehow grind out the round, turn it around and finish even par,” said Woods, playing the Memorial for the first time since 2013.

Niemann, who won the Latin America Amateur Championship in January, appears to be on the fast track to the PGA Tour. He turned pro after the Masters and already has a pair of top 10s in his four events. Another one this week might be enough to earn special temporary membership on the PGA Tour, meaning he would have unlimited exemptions to try to earn his card.

Ancer had only one bogey on his card early in his round, and he followed with eight birdies. It was the first time he has had a share of the lead after any round in his 40th start on the PGA Tour.

It wasn’t his first time at Muirfield Village, just Ancer’s first time playing the tournament.

He got that firm handshake from the tournament host in 2010 when Ancer received the Jack Nicklaus Award as the top junior college player when he was at Odessa College. He later played at Oklahoma.

“I got to come here as a freshman, get that award from Jack. That was incredible,” Ancer said. “It was like deja vu walking the fairways — watching from the outside, and now playing. It’s a dream come true. And today I felt great.”

Beau Hossler, who keeps showing up on leaderboards in his rookie season, had a 66. The group at 67 included Lucas Glover, while Jason Day was among those at 68.

So many of the other top players struggled.

Justin Thomas, in his debut as the No. 1 player in the world, was trading birdies and bogeys and was making progress until he hit his approach out-of-bounds on the par-5 seventh hole and made double bogey, sending him to a 72. Also at 72 was Dustin Johnson, who made nothing but pars on the back nine and failed to birdie any of the par 5s.

Rory McIlroy played the par 5s in 1 over and shot 74. Phil Mickelson was 4 under through eight holes until a double bogey on No. 9, and then four bogeys over his last six holes for a 74. Jordan Spieth shot 75, hurt by two double bogeys on the front nine. He went from a fairway bunker into the water on No. 6, and then went some 25 yards beyond the green on the par-3 eighth for another double bogey.

Matsuyama’s big run began after a sluggish start to the back nine on a muggy, humid day that left Muirfield Village soft, particularly with a burst of heavy rain late Wednesday. The Japanese star chopped his way out of the nasty rough on the 10th and 11th holes, both times making bogey.

And then he couldn’t miss.

It started with an 18-foot birdie putt on No. 13. He followed with a wedge to tap-in range on the 14th and another wedge to 2 feet on the par-5 15th. After a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th, he was in the middle of the fairway when his wedge landed beyond the hole and spun back into the cup.

Matsuyama hasn’t had a top 10 since the Sentry Tournament of Champions to start the year (tie for fourth), and he has been struggling with a left thumb injury.

“It has been frustrating,” he said. “In the past, even if I wasn’t playing well, I could still get it around, get it in the hole. So the last couple of months have been trying. I’m just really glad that I was able to play well today and post a good score at the start.”

Niemann tied for sixth in his pro debut at the Valero Texas Open, and he had a 65-66 weekend at Colonial to tie for eighth. He has started quickly, much like Jon Rahm of Spain two years ago when he secured his card in four starts, boosted by a tie for third and a runner-up finish.

Niemann isn’t sure how many FedEx Cup points he needs for special temporary membership.

“I just want to be out here and enjoy my round and try to play my best and see how it goes,” he said.