The Wall Street Journal's Timothy Carroll looks at the latest divot tools that aim to improve conditions, and offers this fun little anecdote:
But is the design of the tool really the only reason so many greens are full of ball marks? Let's talk about the laziness of the "toolee." Etiquette calls for golfers to fix their ball marks, but every time I play, it's obvious that people fail to do so. Mr. Carroll says he's noticed that some people at high-end clubs believe that for their six-figure initiation fees, someone else should repair the marks for them.
Ball marks, one of the few things that golfers are allowed to fix on the green, can be controversial for other reasons, too. A senior USGA rules official recently told me a story from the Masters a few years ago. During one day of play, every player fixed at least one ball mark within 10 feet of the fourth hole -- but only three players actually struck the green within 10 feet of the hole. Were they all fixing old ball marks, or were they trying to correct other blemishes that they're not supposed to be messing with, like scuff marks from a shoe or indentations left by a player leaning on his putter? "Who knows?" he says.