Study finds using signs with eyes will lead to pitchmarks being repaired

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 19, 2015 07:07 Updated

A bizarre study carried out at Surrey Downs Golf Club has found that signs containing eyes are more likely to get golfers to repair their pitchmarks.

Sport Psychology (SPL) partnered with Wimbledon Signs to erect a sign by a green that suffered from unrepaired pitchmarks. The sign said, above two eyes, ‘did you leave a pitchmark?’ and below the eyes stated: ‘don’t leave it – repair it!’

02-04 pitchmark

SPL then compared the results over two greens that both suffered an almost identical number of unrepaired pitchmarks.

It found that with no sign the number of pitchmarks increased by 27 percent, but with the sign they dropped by 51 percent.

“The signs work by triggering deep rooted circuits in the brain that were vital in the survival of our ancestors and still work today even though we now live in a modern 21st century society,” said an SPL spokesman. “These circuits are hardwired into the emotional parts of the human brain and drive our automatic behaviours. The more advanced thinking brain notes the impact the sign is having on our emotions and ensures that it then attends to the written message – when it could easily turn our attention mechanisms elsewhere when the a traditional sign only has words.”

A survey in 2013 found that more than nine in ten greenkeepers believe that golfers should pass a test on course care before they are allowed to play the game.

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Image by Bob Cotter

Nintey-one per cent of members of the British and International Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) said they would like golfers to pass a test on etiquette and course care before they play, as is the case in some European countries, because some golfers leave the course in an inappropriate state.

More than half of greenkeepers, 57 percent, said golfers are bad or very bad at repairing pitchmarks, although the majority of golfers, 71 percent, are not bad or very bad at putting divots back.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 19, 2015 07:07 Updated
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