Are You Making the Right Divot Patterns on the Driving Range?

The most common 3 divot pattern illustration: Scattered (left), Linear (center), Concentrated (right)
The most common divot patterns: Scattered (left), Linear (center), Concentrated (right)

For most of us to become really good at golf we have to practice. That usually means lots of time spent hitting balls at the range. If you're like me and like to practice on grass, that translates to lots (and lots) of divots. Golfers and caddies should do their absolute best to help keep the course in tip top shape and that starts with divot patterns at the range. Here's how to make the most of your practice space with efficient divot patterns.

What Are the Different Types of Divot Patterns?

There are three common types of patterns you can make on the range, scattered,  concentrated, and linear. Each of these patterns will impact your practice area differently and could have lasting implications on replacement of turf.

A scattered pattern, to me, is really no pattern at all because the golfer if hitting a shot from a different  place with each swing. The recovery time for the practice  area is greatest with this type of pattern because a full divot flow turf is remove with every swing.

A concentrated divot pattern, on the other hand, is when a golfer's practice shots are all taken from a small area of the practice tee. While this pattern is not as damaging as a scattered pattern, it does create a large abscess of turf which is not optimal for full recovery. This pattern is not recommended for efficient use if the drive range.

The linear divot pattern is the best, and most accepted pattern by most golf organizations. The golfer takes a new practice shot directly behind the previous. This pattern creates beautiful parallel lines, which take up less turf with each shot and allows for optimal recovery time. This pattern is the most widely recommended for practicing on a grassy driving range. 

Here's Why Your Divot Patterns Matter

In order to maximize the use of space at a driving range, practice tees are rotated. While in rotation,  previously used practice areas get a chance to recover. Making the right divot patterns allow for optimal recovery, allow for faster replenishment of turf lost from divots. When you make a concentrated divot pattern you do a disservice to your groundskeeper, who will have to take additional measures to help speed up the recovery process. A linear pattern on the other hand, will usually take up less turf which also minimizes the area needed to recover. Linear divot patterns are the most optimal divot patterns and are really good to look at compared to the others.  So, the next time you're able to hit up the range, remember to make linear divot patterns. It will make your superintendent and fellow golfers much happier.

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