Posts Tagged ‘depth of divot’
I believe that divots — at least with irons — are integral to great ball striking. It’s been my experience that most golfers are not aware of the importance of divots, or what a good divot should look like.
Here is a detailed description of what makes up a proper divot:
- For a right hander, the divot should optimally point just left of target. The divot occurs after impact, and this is when the club starts to track back to the inside, thus causing the divot to point slightly left.
- The optimal depth of a divot should be shallow. I often refer to it as “removing the green from the grass.” Moe Norman, the famous Canadian golfer, referred to his divots as “bacon strips.”
- There should be very little digging into the dirt, unless you are hitting multiple shots from one position.
- The inside and outside edges should ideally be of similar depth.
- The depth of a divot is highly dependent on turf conditions.
- A great divot should be rectangular – similar to the shape of a dollar bill.
- If your divots are in the shape of a trapezoid (which is very common!) your hands are invariably too high at impact, thus getting the toe into the ground too long. There is also a possibility that your equipment does not fit you.
- A divot should occur slightly forward of where the ball is resting on the ground. The divot should start under the forward side of the ball.
- The deepest point of the divot should be 3 inches forward of where the ball contacts the ground. This is the low point of the arc of the swing.
- The optimal length for a divot is 6 inches. This is once again, highly dependent on turf conditions. With the low point of the arc being ideally 3 inches forward of the ball, this would reason that a sound divot should be twice that length.
- Short divots indicate an attack angle that is too steep.
- Long divots indicate an attack angle that is too shallow with excessive upper body lateral motion.
Take the correct divots and the ball will start to take the correct flight path!
Divots are one of the greatest tools that golfers have available to help them analyze the physics they are imparting on the golf ball.
Here are some simple pointers and facts about what your divots should look like: (speaking as a right hander)
- A post impact divot indicates a descending, downward blow on the back of the ball. This is imperative for good ball striking. I encourage all golfers to take divots with all full swings off the ground other than the driver.
- A proper divot should begin just forward of where the ball touches the ground.
- The deepest point of a divot should be three inches forward of where the ball touches the ground. Bobby Clampett in his book, The Impact Zone, states that it should be four inches, but that would mean the divot should be eight inches long and I haven’t seen many good divots that are eight inches long.
- The optimal length of a divot is six inches, but this is often effected by turf conditions.
- There should be very little dirt showing in the divot, with just the ‘green’ or leaves being stripped from the stems of the grass. Leave the roots behind so the grass can fill back in! Once again this can be effected by turf conditions.
- The correct line for a well struck straight shot should be slightly to the left of the target (for right handers). This is due to the fact that the divot occurs after the hit and at that point the club has already started to move back to the inside.
- The entry and exit points should be square. We want dollar bills, no trapezoids!
In the above picture notice how the tee has been pressed into the ground. This indicates that the ball was struck prior to the start of the divot – just as it should be! I also like the fact that the roots are still visible in the dirt.
Firstly, take divots! Secondly, work to refine them, so that they take on the correct shape and direction! When that starts to happen, you are playing some special golf!