Divot Details

banner 1

Are you one of those golfers that’s struggling to solve the mystery of how the pros take those perfect divots with each iron shot they hit? If you said yes, you may want to keep reading because the mystery is finally going to be solved.

Understanding the Divot

A proper divot is actually taken after the ball has been hit. This means that the club is descending as it approaches the ball. It makes contact with the ball, then it enters the ground to take the divot. The depth of the divot is relative to the amount the club is descending as it approaches the ball. The more descending the club, the deeper the divot. If the club is not descending, it won’t take a divot (unless you were to severely dip your upper body or spine angle during the downswing). There are 2 fundamentals you need in order to take a proper divot. They are:

1. Arm Extension

Most average players try to hit the ball solely with their hands and arms instead of the their body. Hitting with the hands and arms causes the arm muscles to contract or buckle as the club swings through impact. The harder the person hits, the more their arms will contract. If the person’s arms contract, it narrows the arc that the club is swinging on (this buckling of the arms is referred to as a “chicken wing”). If the arc narrows, it’s not able to impact the ground and take the divot. Instead, it skims the surface or comes up so high on the ball it will start to approach the equator of the ball. This narrowing arc produces thin or topped shots.

Are you one of those golfers that’s struggling to solve the mystery of how the pros take those perfect divots with each iron shot they hit? If you said yes, you may want to keep reading because the mystery is finally going to be solved.

In looking to solve the mystery of not taking a divot, people feel they have to hit down on the ball to get the club to enter the ground. As I just explained, this will never work because you are hitting. The harder you hit, the more the arms will buckle, the less divot you will take. What you should be doing is relaxing your arms as you swing the club and not trying to hit anything. The feeling should be that the weight of the club is pulling your arms out to their widest point. This pulling sensation can only occur if your arms are relaxed. A great way to understand it would be to imagine a weight swinging on a piece of string. Your club is the weight and your arms are the string. As it swings, the string is pulled to its widest point. This means it is maximizing the width of the arc its swinging on. If your arms are relaxed, the weight of the swinging club will pull your arms out as well thus maximizing you arc. Keeping the arms extended is the first part to taking a divot. Now, let’s take a look at how the body rotation makes the club to descend.

2. Body Rotation

The proper body rotation throughout the golf swing is what creates the divot because it causes the club to descend at impact. Think of it this way, if you were to hit the ball standing on one leg you would have one axis between your head, body and leg. This means that the club would be swinging around a single axis because your head would not be moving. This also means that the club would only swing at ground level and pick the ball off of the surface without taking a divot.

Because you’re going to hit the ball with both legs on the ground, it means that you have 1 top (head) and 2 bottoms (legs) to an axis. When you rotate into the backswing, you create your first axis between your head. body and right leg. As you start the lower body rotation on the way down, it forces your head to stay behind the ball at impact.

As you make the move to create your second axis between your head, body and left leg. Because your head stays behind the ball you are actually lower at impact than you were at address. If you keep your arms extended throughout the downswing your club will descend as it hits the ball thus taking a divot.

Hitting With Arms

If you are someone who hits at the ball solely with your arms it means you are not using your legs so you don’t get the head staying behind the ball through impact. The hitting also contracts your arms instead of allowing them to extend. This contraction pulls the arms off of the ground.

Sliding Laterally

Likewise, if your body slides laterally through the shot instead of turning, your upper body will tilt too much to the right through impact forcing the club to hit behind the ball too much.

What you should be doing in order to take proper divots is to work on your body rotation. In your backswing, you should move your head overtop of your right instep. This will create your first axis between your head, body and right leg. Then, keep your head back as you approach impact. Once the ball is hit, your head then moves overtop of your left leg to create your second axis between your head, body an left leg. So really you have a floating top (your head) to an axis.

Although it’s difficult to describe without pictures I think you get the point. In order to take proper divots you have to relax your arms to maximize the width of your arc. Then, you have to connect that arc to a rotating body. Because you are going between 2 pivot points it tilts your body to the right through impact. This tilting puts you lower than you were at address thus making the club descend as it approaches the ball.

All the best,

Paul Wilson

Founder - Ignition Golf
Creator - The Body Swing
Creator - Swing Machine Golf 

exit