Recommended Recovery Methods

by Bob Sickler


Used in less moist lawns where targets are not so deep (one to four inches) and the “Plugging” method is objectionable. The Probe and Driver method requires more practice but is much less damaging to grass than Method 2.

The probe used can be a non-metallic probe such as a modified fiberglass fishing rod or a metallic probe such as a blunted ice pick. A non-metallic probe will be the least damaging to the target.

After pinpointing target, use the probe to locate target depth (Fig. 1A). Next, insert eight-inch screwdriver on center just above target and rotate slightly to open ground (Fig. 1B). Now insert screwdriver just under target at an angle and lever target to surface (Fig. 1C). Brush all loose dirt back in the hole and close by exerting pressure all around opening (Fig. 1D).


Used only where allowed in natural wooded areas and very moist lawn areas. Plugging in hard dry ground can damage grass roots, leaving yellow “dead spots” in time.

After pinpointing target, cut three sides of a four-inch cube around target center (Fig. 2A) using a six-inch sturdy hunting knife. Cutting a “hinged” cube rather than a cone shaped plug will properly orient its return, prevent removal by a lawnmower, and lessen the chance of scratching the target. With the knife blade, carefully pry against the cube side opposite the “hinge” (uncut side) and fold back (Fig. 2B). Scan searchcoil over plug and hole to isolate target location. If target is in plug, carefully probe until located. If target is in hole and not visible, probe bottom and sides until located and remove (Fig. 2C). Repeat scan for additional targets. Replace all loose dirt with plug. Seat plug firmly with foot (Fig. 2D).