We’ve all been there… you hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway, and are thinking birdie walking to the ball, only to find its found its way into some old divot. Now you’re thinking making par will be tough. The truth is, hitting from a divot is not as difficult as it looks… you just have to know the proper techniques to escape this challenging lie.
To start, most players think to hit this shot you need to pick the ball cleanly off the grass much like you would in a fairway bunker shot. This simply won’t work. The swing you want to emulate is one that “digs a deeper divot”. To do this properly, there are a couple things you need to setup in your address position beforehand. First, only attempt this shot with an iron in your hands, unless your ball is sitting up on the front side of the divot – hitting woods is very difficult. Setup with the ball in the center of your stance, this will encourage a descending blow into impact which is essential to taking another divot from your divot lie.
Next, you must lean the shaft towards the target – this move is also called a ‘forward press’. When looking down at your address position, you should see your hands ahead of the golf ball – this move will close your clubface, so you may need to rotate the club in grip slightly to ensure the clubface is still square. Doing this will also help encourage a steeper angle of attack, which is essential to getting the ball out of this nasty lie.
Lastly, you should take an extra club, choke down on it and swing easier for this shot. Considering you’re planning on digging out another divot, trying to swing at 100% could easily damage your wrists and hands. So take an extra club and swing easy.
Your swing should be quite similar to the one you would use for a knockdown shot. A 3/4 swing coupled with an abbreviated follow-through is ideal. This will keep the ball low and in control. When finished you should see an elongated divot, and a low flying ball headed towards your target!
Give it a try!