Golf Swing Tips for Taking a Proper Divot

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You’ve seen professional golfers do it all the time. They swing through the ball, and up pops a perfectly shaped, solid divot. But your recreating that on the golf course is a whole different scenario. A proper divot is an indication that you’re making solid contact with the ball on the right part of the clubface. Learning how to take a divot is really all about learning how to hit your irons properly.

Don't Worry So Much

Many players who hit the ball thin, not taking any divot, or hit it too fat, taking too much of a divot, are overly concentrating on keeping their head down, says Dave Glenz, director of the Dave Glenz Golf Academy. Keeping your head down restricts your body rotation and the transfer of weight to your left side. Some players overcompensate by moving their hands through the ball too quickly, which causes the club to hit well in front of the ball. Let your head move naturally, and focus on keeping the clubhead down through your swing.

Adjust the Ball

Players often fail to make a divot because they have the ball too far forward or too far back in the stance. If you notice that you’re taking a divot well after you hit the ball, try adjusting your stance so the ball is a bit more forward, says Chuck Cook, longtime PGA Tour instructor. If you’re not taking a divot, that could mean the ball is too far forward. Trying moving your stance so the ball is farther back, and adjust your aim.

Don't Hit Down on the Ball

Sometimes, taking a divot is overrated, and players tend to focus more on that than on hitting the ball properly, says Kip Puterbaugh, director of golf instruction at the Aviara Golf Academy in Carlsbad, California. A divot is a result of hitting on the back of the ball with the clubface, which continues downward through the grass, cutting out a chunk and sending it in the air. Your clubface should be just starting to level out as you hit the ball, so hitting down actually can decrease the effectiveness of your shot. Focus on hitting through the ball, not down on the ball, to make your swing more effective and to keep your club speed constant at impact.