Ryo Ishikawa has the best putting green etiquette of anyone ever
By Keely Levins
Two days before the first round of the Deutsche Bank, I and two of Golf Digest's finest hopped in the car, put on our best techno playlist, and went to Norton to check out the scene at TPC Boston.
I get to see a lot of very cool stuff when I go to events -- like Bubba's driver and Adam Scott's face -- and what I spotted Ryo Ishikawa doing on the practice green at the second FedEx Cup playoff event now ranks high on that list as well.
(Photo: Keely Levins. Apologies for the flagrant porta potty in the background. I was too distracted by Ryo's stylish pants to notice it while I was snapping the photo.)
He was doing some putting drills, tees strategically placed to help keep the clubface square, while standing on a towel. I couldn't think of any benefits to his technique explained by that last part, so we went up to his caddie and asked the reason for the towel. His response: Ryo likes standing on the towel because he doesn't want to damage the greens.
When you stand in one place on a green for a while, your spikes leave substantial marks that can be annoying for the next person trying to putt at that hole, and cringe-worthy for greenkeepers everywhere.
The effect to the green isn't catastrophic, but the fact that Ryo is aware of it and cares enough to make a little extra effort during his practice session to avoid it shows a level of selflessness that you don't always see from professional athletes. Literally no one would ever make a comment about a player leaving spike marks after doing drills on a practice green. But Ryo leaving the green without having made marks deserves a nod of appreciation. Well done, Ryo.