How To Repair A Pitch Mark Correctly

A badly repaired pitch mark will do the golf course more harm than good, so make sure you are repairing yours correctly

A golfer repairing a pitch mark
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

How To Repair A Pitch Mark

Not repairing a pitch mark causes problems for those that play the course as there is now a wee crater on the green where all golfers would prefer a smooth surface. So when you think your ball may have left a pitch mark, do look to see and then repair it.

But repairing a pitch mark incorrectly can do more harm than if you had just neglected it, so it is important to know how exactly it should be done. The article and video below shows you exactly how.

It's not just for the sake of the greens either that pitch marks should be repaired. There is nothing more infuriating for a golfer than to see a perfect putt knocked off line, especially through no fault of their own.

But it is alarming how many golfers neglect to repair their pitch marks, don't know how to repair a pitch mark in the correct way, or perhaps think they are not allowed to because of the Rules of Golf.

As you can see below, the end product of a badly repaired pitch mark is an ugly brown scar that not only looks awful, but also affects how the green rolls for yourself and others. It will also take weeks for the blemish shown in the images here to fully recover.

A golfer repairing a pitch mark properly

A badly repaired pitch mark

Successfully repaired pitch marks, however, can heal in half the time. And it's not difficult. To do it properly, simply follow the steps outlined in the video above. Rather than lifting the turf upwards, which causes that unsightly scarring, gently push it inwards towards the centre of the crater. 

The next step is to tap down any excess material with your putter to leave the smoothest possible surface. If done correctly, you should be left with something that resembles the images below...

A golfer repairing a pitch mark properly

A correctly repaired pitch mark

Are there rules on repairing things on the green?

There are things you can and can't do when on the green involving pitch marks, spike marks and loose impediments, so it's important to make sure you're clued up on the Rules of Golf

In fact, dealing with pitch marks on the fringe is one of the rules golfers still get wrong. If, for example, your pitch mark is off the green, you can't repair it until after your next stroke if it is in your line of play. Even if it is on the green and you are off the green, you can only repair it if it isn't interfering with your next shot.

Of course, if you are on the green you can repair pitch marks anywhere, but it is worth checking with playing partners if you are in any doubt.

Neil Tappin

In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf. 

Throughout his time with the brand he has also covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X