The greatest scourge in golf is not white belts or even hole-by-hole updates via Snapchat. It's something more insidious and frighteningly more common. According to a survey by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the most frequent breach of golf etiquette is the failure to repair ball marks. An unfixed pitch mark likely will take as much as three weeks to heal, but fix yours the minute you reach the green, and the putting surface will be nearly as good as new the day after tomorrow.
When we went searching for the best tools for ball-mark repair, we saw all sorts of pronged devices geared to gardening the turf back into shape. Most had two sharp prongs, some were angled, and some even had a switchblade function. The problem with each traditional pronged tool isn't necessarily the device itself, but how easy they are to misuse. Too often, golfers take these tools, gouge the turf and then lift it up, ripping the roots and potentially doing more damage than had the ball mark been ignored. What we sought instead was a device designed to overcome user error, an ergonomically and agronomically efficient tool that is essentially as idiot-proof as it is effective. We think the Pitchfix Twister 2.0 is just such a device. Its three prongs extend from the base by a twisting motion, and they easily retract into the base so you don't stab your index finger the next time you're reaching for a tee.
To attack the ball mark, you simply jab the tool into the ground vertically and repeat. There's no angling, no carving, no pulling. An upgraded design this year adds an anti-clogging mechanism to make the tool work more smoothly all the way through your round. If all this sounds too complex and you'd rather just use what's already in your pocket, consider this: According to a Purdue University study, one of the worst tools for fixing a ball mark is a tee.