Sanderson Farms Championship

The Country Club of Jackson


Equipment

Editors' Choice

Best divot repair tools for golf

*All products featured on Golf Digest are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.*
September 07, 2022
/content/dam/images/golfdigest/products/2022/9/6/20220906-divot-promo.jpg

Divot repair tools are an essential item for golfers to have on them at all times. Repairing ball marks made on the greens is the responsibility of every golfer to help maintain course conditions and restore the playing surface for other golfers. We tested over a dozen divot tools to evaluate performance, how easy they were to carry around or if they felt weighty in pockets and the usefulness or effectiveness of extra features tacked onto the tool. Most held ball markers with a magnet, but some marks slipped during use or didn’t have a strong enough magnet to keep it secure. Many were also bottle openers that we made sure didn’t get in the way of the purpose of the tool (to fix divots) or add extra bulk to the overall design. We selected four of our favorites, two runners-up and a few honorable mentions for golfers searching for the best divot repair tool this fall.

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/fullset/2022/5/x--br/20220509-Editors-Choice-Seal-Updated.jpg
Birdicorn Divot Tool (original)

The Birdicorn 6-in-1 Golf Divot Tool is a lightweight and simply-designed ball marker that gets the job done. Made with a durable aluminum, it’s also got a bottle opener, ball marker holder and a stencil to help draw a line on your golf ball. It can also be used to keep grips dry by sticking it in the ground and resting clubs on the U-shaped top of the tool. Our testers loved its simplicity, the range of colors it is available in (ten colors) and how the extra features didn’t add clutter or additional weight.

$20 | Dick's Sporting Goods
Tanto RP2 Divot Repair Tool

"This heavy-duty divot repair feels like a real utility tool,” one of our testers said after trying it out. The switchblade repair tool is made with a stainless steel blade that’s coated in a black Titanium and has a durable composite grip for a luxe look and feel. It’s got high-tension springs that flip the prongs out quickly and with force. It’s the heaviest tool we tested, so if you are worried about it weighing down your pocket, it’s got a belt clip on the back. 

$45 | Golf Galaxy
Mile High Life All Metal Switch Blade Divot Repair Tool

This divot tool looks and feels like a pocket knife with its switchblade design and utility-like grip. It was the most affordable on our list and performed well during testing.

$7 | Amazon
Claret Dreamer Handcrafted Divot Tool

Each tool from Claret Dreamer is handcrafted and unlike any other tool we found. When our testers initially saw the wood tool, they thought it was more of a novelty item than a real tool, but after fixing a few divots were impressed with how it performed and how lightweight it felt stored in a pocket. Our tester who is also a golf course superintendent appreciated the natural materials and that it would be less likely to tear up the grass or leave damage. Another noted it was similar to using a tee, but with a longer “blade” to get deeper into the turf and fix the divots easier and with more precision.

Prices Vary | Claret Dreamer

Winners: Best Divot Repair Tools

/content/dam/images/golfdigest/products/2022/9/6/20220906-divot-testing-2.jpg
PitchFix Divot Tool 2.0

A popular divot repair tool, found in most golf shops, the Pitchfix is a reliable and easy-to-use tool. It had the widest prongs compared to the field, which made it slightly less precise in fixing divots, but is affordable and received high marks overall from testers.

$14 | Amazon
Frogger Hop! Golf Green Repair Tool

This two-prong divot tool is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the hand and is angled with beveled prongs to encourage better divot-fixing technique. Unlike most tools that have a ball marker attached, the Frogger Hop! Stores the ball marker on the top of the tool, making it slightly longer, but keeps it secure and out-of-the-way during use.

$18 | Amazon

Runners-Up

Everything you need to know about divot tools and how to pick the best one

Why do you need a divot tool?

Whether you’re new to the game or you’re an experienced player, you should have a divot tool on you at all times on the golf course. Whenever you hit a green, the first thing you should do — according to basic golf etiquette — is fix the indentation that your shot might have made on the putting surface (or a couple of marks that have been left unattended). Repairing ball marks is one of the simplest ways you can do your part to keep your course in good condition, but it requires the right equipment. Without proper tools, it’s harder to repair ball marks properly so that the greens heal without scars or bumps. Divot tools will make the mending process quick, and they’ll eliminate a lot of the potential to accidentally damage a green when you’re fixing a particularly nasty mark. When a ball mark is repaired improperly, it can take up to double the amount of time to heal as one that is properly fixed. If every golfer carries a divot tool, it would benefit everyone in the community: both players and superintendents, who often do rounds of divot-fixing every evening after golfers have left the premises.

73974029

PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton

How do you properly use a divot tool?

Some golfers and superintendents dispute the best way to use a divot tool, but according to the USGA, there’s only one way to do it. The goal in fixing an indent in the green is to restore the ground to its original smooth surface and help the grass heal from the impact of the shot in the quickest, most efficient manner. First, insert your divot tool into the rear of the ball mark at a 45-degree angle. Then, pull the top of the tool towards the center of the mark, until the indentation is mostly filled in by surrounding turf. Next, work your way around the circumference of the ball mark, completing the same inwards motion. Always make sure to push the surrounding grass in towards the middle of the mark, rather than up towards the sky. Pulling the grass up will actually worsen the chances of the green healing completely, as roots will be ripped apart underneath the putting surface. Once you’ve completed this motion three to four times, use either your foot or your putter head to tap down the patch of repaired grass, returning it to its original flat state. If your mark is within close proximity to the hole, it’s always better to use your putter head rather than your shoe to avoid potential spike marks.

What to look for in a divot tool?

There are several different kinds of divot repair tools on the market with varying features. Each type will work well if you use the proper ball marker mending technique that we described above, but it’s helpful to know the subtle differences between each model.

Metal two-prong divot repair tools are perhaps the most common: The double-pointed edge helps fix indentations on the green quickly, and with optimal force. The weight of the metal gives you additional power if you’re dealing with a stubborn mark.

Single-prong divot tools are also popular, but they’re often made from plastic. Although these tools might have less leverage than a heavier metal two-pronged tool, they usually are built with a suppression on the handle, made to fit your thumb. This feature allows for optimal grip while you’re fixing your ball mark, preventing potential slip-ups. Plus, they’re lighter than two-prong repair tools and won’t be as noticeable in your pants pocket.

Many divot tools on the market feature a “switch-blade” design, meaning the prongs on the tool unfold with the click of a button, and can be snapped back into place after use. With this mechanism, your ball mark repair tool won’t stab you when you sit down or snag the fabric lining the pockets of your favorite golf shorts.

Another helpful feature that many divot tools come with is a detachable ball marker. Typically, a magnetic ball marker might be built into the handle of the divot tool for easy access. That way, you get two accessories with one purchase, and you’ll never have trouble fishing a ball marker out of your pocket again.

Can divot tools damage a green?

Although divot tools are designed to help greens heal correctly, if used improperly they can hurt a green more than they can help repair one. If the user applies too much force when fixing their divot, grass roots can easily be ripped up, resulting in potential scarring, or, if anything, a much longer healing process. It’s important to use divot tools with care and exercise the methodology outlined by the USGA.

Why can’t I just use a tee?

While the USGA writes that it is completely fine to use a tee to fix a ball mark, you'll find that using a divot tool will be much more effective and efficient. The additional surface area and two-prong structure on most divot tools will help you fix even the deepest ball marks in a matter of seconds. Using a tee might require a few more maneuvers and some additional care, but in general, it won’t damage the green.