In the Portland golf community, the Eastmoreland Golf Course (2425 SE Bybee Blvd., eastmorelandgolfcourse.com) is known for some of the most playable fairways in town. That’s mostly due to the lack of divots, those nasty indentations produced when golfers swing their clubs slightly under the ball and throw turf in the air.
It’s not because the course has especially conscientious staffers. Golf etiquette calls for players to replace their own divots. But even then, few do—at Eastmoreland or any other public courses.
Enter the foursome of Bryce Dailey, Shan Shane Sean, Mac, and Crowberti. The group has been golfing together for 15 years. “We were playing in a league,” Sean says, “and one of the rules, if you can believe it, is that you could roll your ball out of a divot without penalty. That’s because there were so many of them.”
That led to an epiphany: “If we don’t like this, we should do something about it. There’s just too much damage out there.”
For the past 18 months, the crew has been repairing more than 1,000 divots per week. They fill in a goodly number during their regular early-morning rounds. Then, for a few weeks each month, they go back out on the course in the evening without their clubs and fix hundreds more.
The gang’s main tools are industrial-sized garbage bins filled with sand and winter rye grass seed provided by Eastmoreland’s greenskeepers. The four frequently tuck behind the trees that line the course to keep out of the way of errant balls.
How has the course’s ownership repaid them for their service? So far, with a single round of beers.
But that’s not what motivates them. Their greatest reward, they say, would be for more vigilantes to take up their mantle at the city’s other public courses.
Adds Sean, “We’d love it if others would follow our lead.”