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To take a divot or not

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I read a golf digest last months about the divots your club makes with irons. it had the different stages passed the ball placement. it had high handy capper, low handy, scratch golfer and pro. so for every inch ahead of the ball that is what tell you want type of shot you took. So four inches ahead of the ball is where the divot will be for a Pro. So i am out on the range trying to find that right swing that would give you that divot in fornt of the ball. I did not find it. So my question is how do it get it there. i can hit my 5 iron 150 to 160. Is it the angle I am taking on my down swing? To let you know I have only been playing for about month and half. Will that just come with practice? Thanks
post #2 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

ser182--I'm no pro, but you asked...

Yeah, sometimes it takes months of practice for something to click, and trying to take a divot in front of the ball is a good thing to practice to learn how to hit a proper iron shot. In general, the better the player, the more often he/she takes a divot in front of the ball, and the farther forward the better...and you can't be a good striker of the golf ball if you hit behind it/hit fat all the time.

If you are a beginner, keep practicing this way...maybe buy a very basic instruction book and work with that in addition to what you are doing. After you've played for 6 months or so and have developed a basic swing, go see a pro and take a couple of lessons. It's well worth the money.

Don't wait _too_ long to take lessons, because you don't want to ingrain too many bad habits. But you should have a period of time where you learn to hit the ball reasonably well yourself using your natural instincts. Good luck.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Re: To take a divot or not

Since i have started i have been hiting the ball pretty good. And the last week it has been going straight 90% of the time. i mean i 30 years old and dont know why i have never played. i am not to sure what hitting fat means. What i do is hit the ball and not leave a Divot. since readiing this mag i have tried to change it. THX
post #4 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

hitting it fat is hitting the ground before the ball. i had the same problem as you do, not being able to take a divot after the ball and i used to sweep the ball. i now have quite an early wrist break in the backswing and maintain that until contact with the ball and i strike the ball so much better. i was also wondering if anyone can tell me if you are meant to take a divot with a fairway wood like with iron shots or is it more sweeping?
post #5 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Ser- this is a little oversimplified, but without seeing your swing I can't get too technical. Take your address position. now move your hands 5-6 inches towards the target while keeping the clubface square to the ball. This is where your hands will be at impact with the club swing down and through the ball. If your hands are even with the ball or behind the ball at impact, you'll hit it thin or fat.

donkba- With the design of the wood and the ball position forward in your stance, you will be sweeping the ball more, but a small divot isn't necessarily bad.
post #6 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Taking a divot (thus hitting down at the ball) has made all the difference for a beginner like me.

Fried Egg's advice only confirmed my belief.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Re: To take a divot or not


Tthis is the pic i was taking about. thanks i kind of forgot that your hands needed to be ahead on the ball. Thanks
post #8 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Hitting down on the ball is the #1 key to making solid impact. I figured this out a few years ago and now I hit the ball much purer. The previous poster is correct. You need to have your hands slightly ahead of the ball upon impact.
post #9 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

how on earth does a tour pro get a divot that far in front of the ball?
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

Re: To take a divot or not

You are hitting down on the ball. so by not taking a divot i am hitting it wrong? When I hit it 60% i lkeave no divot. I am hitting my 5 iron 150 to 160 yards. so if i can correct my hands do you think i will get more carry on my irons?
post #11 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

In short yes you will get more carry if you take a divot because your hands have passed in front of the clubface and you have taken more of the loft you were previously giving the club out of the picture. When you deloft the club you will get more carry.
post #12 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Not taking divots doesn't necessarily mean bad. Generally, longer irons are tougher to take divots with. For me the borderline is 5 or 6-iron and lower.
post #13 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Originally Posted by CurtisBen View Post
In short yes you will get more carry if you take a divot because your hands have passed in front of the clubface and you have taken more of the loft you were previously giving the club out of the picture.
IMO, the reason why taking divots gives you the max carry is because you're hitting the ball first, not the turf. Your club head speed remains 100% at impact with the ball with no resistance. But if you hit the turf first, the turf itself will slow the club speed down and thus reduces your carry distance.

There should be a de-lofting of the club, because that's the only way to square the club at impact when your arms are in front of the ball. Try NOT to de-loft the club at impact and you'll see your shots will go to the right all the time.

Originally Posted by CurtisBen View Post
When you deloft the club you will get more carry.
I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with this. To a certain point it may be true but mostly not. Go to any certified club fitter and tell them that less loft = more carry distance. I highly doubt they'd agree with you.
post #14 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

So, if you take a divot, does it mean positively your hand is ahead of the club head on the impact?
I'm converting from full-time sweeper to taking divots, and I can't be sure whether my hand is ahead or not even if I'm taking divots.
post #15 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Originally Posted by skyou View Post
So, if you take a divot, does it mean positively your hand is ahead of the club head on the impact?
I'm converting from full-time sweeper to taking divots, and I can't be sure whether my hand is ahead or not even if I'm taking divots.
At this point, I just moved my swing moved forward about an inch or two, thus creating divots in front of the ball, forcing me to hit down on the ball and now, I never hit my shots thin.
post #16 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with this. To a certain point it may be true but mostly not. Go to any certified club fitter and tell them that less loft = more carry distance. I highly doubt they'd agree with you.[/QUOTE]


I am not trying to argue this point but this is basic physics. If it didn't then why on earth would you not play the game with 2 clubs one to hit and one to put.
post #17 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Ser182,

The pros are so good at creating divots 4 inches or so after the ball because they don't release their wrists too early on the downswing as do many amateurs. The downward movement for divots is generated by the club head angle opening up from a more acute angle (when set from the top) to a more obtuse angle at impact. It's not correctly generated by purposely striking the club into the ground.

So, in order to create a pro-like divot after the ball, you'll need to learn how to release the wrists much later in the downswing. Like others have posted, the hands should be well past the ball (6 inches) when the club face contacts it. At this point, the club head is quickly catching up to the hands and will soon descend down (or arc down) into the ground past the ball address position.

Another thing that amateurs do to discourage this late wrist release is the act of pulling upright during the downswing. This pulling up motion will prematurely open up this wrist release angle and cause the golfer to hit fat or top the ball.
post #18 of 22

Re: To take a divot or not

Two points. 1. The hitting down part of the swing is a result of the front arm staying relaxed and the elbow bending and the back arm elbow straightening. Many golfers in an attempt to delay their hands releasing tighten the back elbow which limits the clubhead extension through the ball. 2. Many golfers try to conciously shift their weight, this tends to result in early forward slide of the shoulder head. Initiating your swing from feet up and focusing on free and relaxed movement in your shoulders helps maintain balance and the right sequence so that the club travels on the right path down and through the ball. If you make a good swing divots just happen, you don't try to make them.
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