Driving Range Tee and Preffered Divot Pattern   (Strip Your Divots)

Our practice facility gets a pretty good workout every year. Word must be getting out that our facility offers a quality practice experience at a competitive rate. The increased use does have a down side – increased wear and tear.

Our bentgrass/bluegrass teeing surface is just under an 2-acres in size. We split our tee surface into an east and west half and only use one side at a time, allowing the opposite side time to recover. The two sides of the tee rotate approximately every 10-15 weeks.  We also have a large area restricted for just our Staff professionals.

In order to provide our patrons with a quality surface to hit from, we need your assistance. To speed up recovery, there is a right and wrong way to practice, it is called your divot pattern. The first two photos below were taken last year and show divot patterns from our practice tee. From a recovery perspective, this is the absolute worst pattern and I will explain why.

                     
The beauty of creeping bentgrass, besides being a great playing surface, is its ability to creep. It has the ability to fill in voids by growing laterally using plant parts called stolons.  In the photos above, the healthy grass on the perimeter of the voids has a long way to grow to repair this blemish. Therefore, it makes sense to leave strips of healthy turf between the divots. This scenario allows the healthy strips of grass to fill in the divots within a 4-5 week window. Between the above pictures is a copy of the signage we have posted in several areas on our practice range tee illustraiting this striping method that produces the quickest recovery.  So please do your part and remember to “Strip Your Divots!” The next person to practice thanks you!
Here is a thought from the Director of Grounds (an MSU Alumni) of The Philadelphia Cricket Club and if his methods are implemented, we hope to see positive results this season.