Here at the Running Y, we have access to multiple practice areas. We have two practice greens with plenty of room for chipping and pitching, and two practice bunkers where one can work on their green-side or fairway bunker play. We also have two ranges--a lower and an upper range. The lower range gets the most use, and the maintenance crew takes care of regulating the hitting areas and filling the divots with sand. On the upper range, however, players are able to hit from any location and the filling of divots is left up to the user. Over the past several seasons, the upper range has increased in popularity and use. As a result, the area is now subject to more players who are not aware of the proper etiquette and care for our range.
Does the image on the lower left look familiar? There are a couple of lessons to be learned from this image. First, notice the large area and random pattern of the divots. When one practices in this manner, they may not understand the affect this has on the future quality of our hitting surface, and on the use of the range by others. This player has damaged a large area and then walked away without filling their divots. When divots are left to heal without fill or care, the image on the lower right shows what can occur--a rough, pockmarked surface, requiring a lot of time and maintenance to heal.
The image on the lower left represents a more mindful way to create and care for your divots on the range. This player probably hit just as many balls as the player in the images above, but used up 1/4 of the space. This player took the time to fill their divots with the sand provided. They filled the divots to the level of the surrounding earth, to ensure a level growing surface for the turf. When we properly take care of our divots, the grass has a chance to grow back in a clean, level manner, as shown here in the image on the lower right.
We are very fortunate to have such great practice facilities, and access to the upper range. Please be considerate of how you create and care for your divots. We are supplied with sand in a large grey container on the upper range. Please minimize the area used, and take the time to repair your divots. This etiquette will ensure plenty of quality turf for us all.