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!