Maintaining the condition of the putting green is essential to a successful round of golf. Custom golf divot tools, made using 3D printing of CNC machining, are a great way to improve your putting game while personalizing the golfing experience.
Few sports are as dependent on the condition of the playing field as golf. In sports like American football, soccer, field hockey, and baseball, players expect the surface to get roughed up by other players running around on it. A few divots here and there can be annoying, but they won’t drastically affect the outcome of a match.
In golf, that certainly isn’t the case. Once a player has reached the putting green — the area of finely mown grass immediately surrounding the hole — they must make a complex mental calculation that takes into account the grass condition and the topology of the green. Even a slight misreading of the condition or wetness of the grass can lead to a player failing to make the putt.
It goes without saying then that even small imperfections in the green can completely spoil a player’s chances of making a putt. But such imperfections are unfortunately very common, as they can be caused by balls landing on the green at high velocity, as well as low-swinging clubs or feet. The solution? A golf divot tool: a handheld device used to quickly make repairs to the putting green before or after a putt attempt is made.
Golf divot tools (sometimes called “ball mark tools” or “divot forks”) are fairly easy to find online or in sports equipment stores, and the engineers here at 3ERP frequently receive orders and RFQs for these handy gadgets. Sometimes we make a large batch of simple divot tools, but sometimes we get requests for personalized custom golf divot tools with unusual features, materials, or markings. After all, an engraved divot tool is a great gift for any golfing fanatic.
Divot tool design
All serious golfers need to learn how to fix ball marks and other imperfections on the putting green using a divot tool. Without this simple piece of equipment, the integrity and outcome of the game can be adversely affected. Consequently, it is considered good etiquette for players to repair and markings they see on the green — even if they themselves did not cause the imperfection.
Divot tools all more or less feature the same design. The handheld object typically comprises one end that can easily be gripped between fingers and thumb (perhaps with some ergonomic embellishments such as a soft-grip handle) and another end with two sharp prongs that can be inserted into the soil. The golf divot tool therefore resembles an elaborate, two-tined fork.
The divot tool is made to perform just one function: to allow the user to push it downwards, prongs-first, into the turf surrounding a ball mark, restoring the green to its original condition. A few presses followed by a gentle tap with the putter or a foot is usually all it takes to fix a ball mark.
The pronged end of a golf divot tool is almost always made from a metal such as stainless steel or titanium. The handle end can be made of the same material as the prongs, or from another material such as a sturdy plastic. On rare occasions, the handle will be surrounded with a soft material such as leather.
Making golf divot tools
3ERP regularly makes golf divot tools for customers. Sometimes these customers are large companies; sometimes they are smaller companies or individual buyers. Since divot tools are used by all golfers but are fairly cheap to make, they are sometimes given away as free souvenirs by golf clubs or at special events. And some golfers simply like a personalized divot tool that expresses their personality.
Depending on the customer’s needs, we can fulfill their custom divot tool orders by CNC machining or using a metal additive manufacturing process like selective laser melting (SLM) or direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). Both of these manufacturing techniques are suitable for one-off items or very small production runs, as they do not require tooling. For the same reason, both are excellent ways to make custom items with engravings or other personalized features. Alternatively, for larger production runs, we can use a metal casting process. Although this requires tooling, it can provide a lower cost-per-unit in large quantities.
Typical materials for golf divot tools include stainless steel and titanium, both of which are compatible with metal 3D printing and CNC machining. When casting divot tools, stainless steel is the preferred option.
More complex divot tools have a metal body (including the prongs) with an ergonomic plastic component fitted over the handle area. The plastic component can be connected using fasteners such as screws, or by molding the plastic directly onto the metal substrate using a technique called insert molding. Such methods will naturally increase the cost of the divot tool.
Customized divot tools
Custom golf divot tools are highly popular, as they provide a simple and affordable way for golfers to stamp their personality on the sport. Since golf clubs themselves are expensive and technical pieces of equipment, it makes less sense to add personalized features to them.
Personalized divot tools typically have features such as the engraved initials or full name of the golfer, or information about the competition at which free divot tools are being distributed as souvenirs. More elaborate customizations are also possible. 3ERP offers surface finishing options like silk-screening, pad printing, and laser engraving of metal parts, and these techniques can be used to add initials or names, as well as pictures or logos (such as the crest of a particular golf association or club). Engraving can also be made directly by the CNC machine tool or the 3D printer during manufacturing.
There are several other ways to customize golf divot tools. For instance, 3ERP offers many colorization possibilities via processes like painting and powder coating, so customers can order divot tools in their national or club colors. Further possibilities are introduced when adding plastic components to the divot tool, as plastics are available in a wider range of colors.
For orders large or small, contact 3ERP for a free quote on your next order for custom golf divot tools.