Players are often confused as to what damage they can repair to the course. Let’s try and clarify this, starting with the putting green. Rule 16-1c states;
“The player may repair an old hole plug or damage to the putting green caused by the impact of a ball, whether or not the player’s ball lies on the putting green.”
This is the only damage that a player may repair on the putting green without incurring a penalty and note that the player’s ball does not have to be on the green for the player to repair the damage.
On average, most players make 8 pitch marks during a round of 18 holes, and if not repaired these cause untold damage to the greens. At this time of year, when the greens become softer and receptive, please take care to repair your own pitch-mark, and if not yours, out of courtesy and etiquette repair one that you spot in your line or near the hole, to make it more amenable to the people playing behind you!