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Sitting back and reflecting on this season, I came to the realization that I rarely take divots, even with my short irons and wedges. Usually when I do take a divot, it is the results of a bad swing...not a good one...you know...the old "divot goes farther than the ball" trick where you end up resodding about a square foot of fairway.

What's the deal with divots? Can a golfer get by and play well without tearing up turf, or is a divot emblematic of proper contact? What do you think?
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Many good players pick the ball off the turf cleanly, including Tom Watson.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, but if you're unhappy with your ball flight and lack of divots showing up after contact with the ball, I'd suggest you pick up a copy of "The Impact Zone" by Bobby Clampett. His book focuses on and provides drills on how to move your swing arc bottom to a position 4 inches forward of the ball.

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I dont take any divots at all, and obviously, I can play. Divots depends on the type of swing you have, I don't have a steep swing, so ill rarely take divots. I find people who have a steep swing and people who use alot more wrist on their downswing will have a better chance of taking a divot.
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I think you'll miss out on a little backspin action. . .You're a sweeper, not a digger, no biggie!

I'm a digger, fo' sho'! Last time I played, nice and soft fairways (rain the last couple days off and on), I was taking divots that were huge. Couldn't help it, just the way I hit the ball.
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Therein lies the problem, though. I have a pretty steep swing, I think, because I have a very high, quick trajectory. Maybe I am just ballooning, but I thought I was swinging steep already.

Hrm..
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Therein lies the problem, though. I have a pretty steep swing, I think, because I have a very high, quick trajectory. Maybe I am just ballooning, but I thought I was swinging steep already.

If you can get a vid of swing posted, that would help. Do you ever feel yourself leaning back when you take the club away?

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My little 2 cents is that when paused at the moment of impact your hips are totally square to the ball. They have not cleared a bit. In my estimation, there is a lot of power being lost here. In my studies...I see most golfers have started clearing their hips at the moment of impact. Clearing your hips also helps propel the ball at a lower launch angle..and actually you let the loft of the club do the work. It appears that you are helping the ball to launch higher by the way you stand up in the followthru.
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I'm seeing a slight over the top motion right when you start your downswing. And your right elbow looks like it might be flaring away from your body. Also, you lift up on your toes right around impact and after--as far as divots go--if you were to stay down more, you'd probably catch more turf (obviously not needed w/driver). Try to get your hips more square to the target. What kind of ball flight do you have? Your swing looks like a stinger except you have a complete follow thru. It looks like you're trying to help it in the air, so I'm wondering if you've struggled in the past with a low ball flight.
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My little 2 cents is that when paused at the moment of impact your hips are totally square to the ball. They have not cleared a bit. In my estimation, there is a lot of power being lost here. In my studies...I see most golfers have started clearing their hips at the moment of impact. Clearing your hips also helps propel the ball at a lower launch angle..and actually you let the loft of the club do the work. It appears that you are helping the ball to launch higher by the way you stand up in the followthru.

Tour players average 30% open at impact, some are at 50%.

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My struggles have primarily been with high ball flight. My usual shape is a high fade with the driver, high severe fade-slice with the long irons and high and near straight with the mid and short irons.

I will work on my hips more. I also need to work on getting better video.

Unfortunately, I think I may have broken my foot in my softball game last night, so I don't know when I will be able to swing the clubs again.

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My struggles have primarily been with high ball flight. My usual shape is a high fade with the driver, high severe fade-slice with the long irons and high and near straight with the mid and short irons.

Sorry to hear about that Soup. What a bummer. Hope its not as bad as you think. Of course, sometimes its a quicker healing process when there are broken bones and not torn tendons and ligaments. . .Hope u get better soon.
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My struggles have primarily been with high ball flight. My usual shape is a high fade with the driver, high severe fade-slice with the long irons and high and near straight with the mid and short irons.

That sucks man, I'm sorry.

On the bright side, I'm 99% sure I know what your problem is. The reason is that your symptoms are exactly the same as mine, I can list them up: - High ball trajectory - Little difference in length, especially with irons - My best shots are around the green and with driver/wood - Very inconsistent with irons and hybrids - Got a really hard time hitting the ball, especially from the fairway, or even worse, rough. From the range it's better, and if I tee it up - Very inconsistent ball striking, I'm hitting them all over the course - Never taking divots, except with wedges which I play fairly well with - Often topping the ball or hitting the ground first So, I just figured out yesterday what my problem was, after struggling with it all year. I was simply hitting the ball on the way up or at the bottom of my swing. With a 2-3-4 iron you are almost at the bottom of the swing, but I still say you should be going a bit downwards still. By hitting the ball on the way up you create a larger angle on the club and very often risk topping the ball or hitting the ground before the ball. I've been playing with a friend who's got 10 hcp, always wondered why my shots go 2-3 times higher than his. Turns out the answer was really simple, I was hitting up on the ball. I want to the range, determined to fix this. First thing I did was moving the ball all the way back to my right foot. This is of course not a place I want to have my ball, but I wanted to force myself to hit down on the ball to get the feeling of what this is like. There was no doubt, I got a new feeling instantly, the ball popped out between the club and mat, the trajectory going 2-3 times lower than before and the ball going 10-15 yards further. I went on to hit a couple of buckets. After hitting 4-5 balls from my right foot I moved it to the centre, still only thinking about hitting down on the ball. I moved on to where I normally place my ball, somewhere around the logo on my t-shirt, or left nipple if you don't have a logo. It will take some time getting used to. I have to erase a feeling I've had for years and replace it with a new one, but I'm in no doubt that this will solve lots o my problems. I played a round, still only thinking about hitting down on the ball. The results was great, every iron and hybrid shot I've been struggling with became easy. Whether it being from the tee, fairway or rough, if I consistently hit down on the ball it will always go low and far. This is especially effective from the rough. Trying to hit the ball on the way up from the rough is so devastating. And I was making divots! Even with my 4 iron I made a small divot. It's much more reliable than trying to hit on the bottom or way up. You may have to experiment some with ball placement, but keeping it somewhere around 4-8 inches inside your left foot is a good start. When you're practising this you can put a towel, tee or something 3-8 inches behind the ball, depending on your angle of attack and the club. If you want to avoid hitting the tee or towel you have to hit down on the ball, which is probably what you want to do. So, you should definately give this a go, it gave me instant and fabulous results. I understand you won't be playing golf for a while, what with your injury, but when you are back to health, do not forget this, make it your no. 1 priority when going to the range. When it comes to the driver, everyone says we are supposed to hit it on the way up, but there are different thoughts there too. I see from swing vision that lots of players on the tour hit the ball at the bottom of the swing, some even ever so slightly on the way down. I'm hitting them very high, still not losing that much distance, but I'm working on getting them lower and with a better trajectory. Not sure if hitting up or down will cause a high flight with the driver, I would think it was because of hitting down on it, maybe adjusting the height of the tee. I'm not a pro in any way, I know I sound like I know what your problem is, I can't be 100% sure, of course. But I am pretty sure this is your problem, mainly because I've got the same problem. Here's a video of Tiger with his 2 iron off the tee. It illustrates pretty well what I'm talking about, hitting down on the ball. Tee'ing it up ever so slightly and just slamming it into the ground, making a divot:
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I don't take divots ever. I pick it clean, and if I don't hit it clean then I hit it thin or -- on my really bad shots -- top it into oblivion. Nothing like topping a 3-wood from the fairway and having it spin 100 yards, but it's better than chunking up 4 feet of sod and watching your ball roll six feet. I tried taking divots and found it so unnatural that it ruined my natural rhythm, so I just went back to swinging the way that felt natural to me. A fair number of the pros merely skim the grass or sweep the ball, so there's obviously nothing intrinsically wrong with not taking a divot. If they can shoot 66 without a divot, then divots are not a necessary part of the game.
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