PGA TourAugust 28, 2014

Ryo Ishikawa has the best putting green etiquette of anyone ever

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. 

ryo towel putting.jpg

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.  Follow @kalevins