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How to Take a Divot in Golf Swing

To properly take a divot in a golf swing, it is important to first take your stance and address the ball with the proper positioning. The key to taking a divot is to ensure that the low point of your swing occurs after the ball so that the divot is created in front of the golf ball. Before hitting the ball, it is advisable to take a practice swing to ensure that your swing path is correct. When using irons, it is crucial to make a divot with your irons as it ensures solid ball striking and consistent distance control.

To practice this technique, it is recommended to visit the driving range and seek instruction from a golf professional. A proper divot is not only a sign of good ball striking but also an indication of a proper swing path and angle of attack. It is important to note that the size of the divot is not as crucial as its placement.

By consistently making divots in front of the golf ball, you will improve your ball striking and overall game performance. Therefore, mastering the technique of taking a divot in a golf swing is crucial for improving your golf game. 

What is a Divot?

A divot in golf occurs when the clubhead passes through the ball, contacts the ground, and removes a portion of grass and soil behind where the ball was sitting. This leaves a small indentation or divot in the turf. Divots show that the club is making proper downward contact with the ball and compressing it against the ground at impact.

Taking a divot does not mean hacking violently at the ground. A correct divot will be relatively small, around the size of a balled up fist. Giant, messy divots mean the swing is too steep. Properly compressing the ball requires moderate clubhead speed with a slightly descending blow into the back of the ball.

Why Take Divots?

There are several benefits to taking divots in your swing:

  • Maximizes distance: Taking a divot increases downward strike and compression on the ball, resulting in faster ball speeds off the face. This leads to more distance.
  • Improves consistency: Divots indicate the club head is moving downward through impact. This helps strike the ball on the sweet spot more consistently.
  • Enhances turf interaction: Removing turf after impact reduces friction between the clubface and the ground. This maintains maximum speed into the ball.
  • Provides feedback: The divot provides instant feedback on the swing path and angle of attack. Golfers can adjust based on the size, depth and direction of divots.

Overall, taking divots increases power and consistency. It is a key technique for solid ball striking with irons and fairway woods.

How to Hit a Divot in Golf?

To successfully hit a divot in golf, it is essential to have a good swing and proper contact with the turf. One common mistake is hitting it fat, which occurs when the club hits the ground before making contact with the ball. To avoid this, ensure that the line on the ground, known as the divot is in front of the ball when hitting a shot. The latest in instruction often emphasizes the importance of taking a divot in the right place, as this signifies a proper and powerful swing. When hitting an iron shot, the goal is to make the divot in front of the line, indicating that the club is striking down on the ball with a descending blow. 

It is important to practice hitting the club into the ground and taking a divot in the right spot, as this will lead to improved ball striking and accuracy. In instances where the divot is taken behind the ball, it can result in a poor shot, such as hitting a fat shot or landing in a bunker. By mastering the technique of hitting a divot in the correct position, players can enhance their overall performance on the course. 

10 tips for divoting properly with your irons and hybrids

Taking a proper divot with your irons and hybrids is one of the keys to solid and consistent ball striking. The divot shows that you are making crisp contact with the ball and then continuing that momentum through the turf. Without a good divot, your iron shots will lack compression and distance. Follow these 10 keys to start taking better divots:

Ball-first contact

The most important part of taking a good divot is making sure you are contacting the ball before the turf. If the club hits the ground before the ball, you will skull or chunk the shot. To ensure ball-first contact, focus on having a slightly descending blow into the back of the ball at impact. Maintain your spine angle and lag the clubhead behind your hands in the downswing. This will have the club approaching the ball at a downward angle for solid compression.

Good posture

Proper posture is crucial for consistent ball striking and divot taking. Stand tall with a slight bend at the hips and keep your chest up. This will put your arms and hands in the right position relative to your body. From there, you can maintain your spine angle in the backswing and downswing. If you slouch or stand too upright, it is easy to get steep and dig that divot too early.

Be willing to hit the ground

Some golfers become scared of digging into the turf after a chunked shot. But you have to be willing to hit down through the grass to take a proper divot. Start your downswing by shifting your weight forward and descending the club into the ball. Let the momentum continue swinging left arm and clubhead down through impact and into the turf. Lean into that left side as you swing to maintain spine angle.

Adjust your ball position

Ball position has a major influence on divots. If the ball is too far forward, you will hit the ground first and chunk it. Too far back and you will strike the ball thin with no divot. For most iron shots, position the ball off your left instep. This means align the ball with your left armpit for mid irons, middle of your stance for short irons, and slightly ahead of center for long irons and hybrids. Adjusting ball position gives you room to take a divot.

Check your stance width

The width of your stance is another setup element that impacts divots. Too wide of a stance prevents proper weight shift and usually leads to digging too soon. Too narrow, and you won’t have the stability to maintain your spine angle on the downswing. For irons, start with feet about shoulder-width apart. Hybrids benefit from a slightly wider stance. Play around with your stance to find what allows you to take crisp divots.

Trail arm extension

For solid ball striking, you want to feel like your trail arm (right arm for righties) is extending out straight through impact. This keeps the clubhead moving out in front of the ball. If your right arm folds up, you will likely decelerate into impact. Extend that right arm as you start the downswing by rotating your shoulders and shifting your weight left. Keep the arm extended all the way through the hitting zone.


Maintaining balance during your golf swing is key for divot consistency. If you fall backward, sway, or slide during the downswing, you will struggle with solid contact. Work on keeping your head steady and centered over the ball from address through finish. Unless your weight properly shifts onto your lead side on the downswing, you’ll have a tendency to hit either too high or too low on the clubface.

Correct weight shift

Shifting your weight correctly during the swing powers your divot-taking ability. In the backswing, load about 55-60% of your weight onto your right side. As you transition into the downswing, let that pressure move back to the lead side. You want to feel around 75% of your weight on your front foot at impact. This lateral motion keeps your body behind the golf ball and delivers an ideal descending blow.

Paint the line

To maximize your divots, visualize painting a line with the sole of the club along your target line. This imagery encourages you to release the clubhead through impact for that required downward strike. Swing a little left of your target to allow for the divot and draw spin (for righties). Then brush the turf like you’re painting towards your target. Doing so will extend your compression and divots.

Fixing yourself

If your divots are consistently fat or thin, figure out what needs adjusting in your swing. Fat divots mean you need to shallow out your swing plane and avoid swaying back. For thin divots, work on maintaining spine angle and avoiding sliding your hips. One simple drill is placing an alignment stick just in front of the ball – if you hit the stick, your swing is too steep. Self-analysis and video reviews help identify divot issues.


How do I make sure I take a divot?

To ensure you take a divot, use these techniques: Play the ball forward in your stance to allow room for the divot. Maintain 60% of your weight on the front foot through impact. Focus on creating forward shaft lean and a descending blow into the ball. Brush down through the grass after you make contact with the ball. Check that your divots are starting just past the ball, not well before it. Do some drills like hitting an extra ball length or using foot spray to reinforce divot-taking.

Why am I not taking a divot?

If you are not taking divots with your irons and fairway woods, it is likely because Your swing path is too shallow and not descending enough into the ball. You are handing the clubhead at impact rather than releasing it. Your weight is too far back at impact preventing a downward strike. You are not accelerating the clubhead through impact to take turf. Your clubhead and body are exiting right rather than continuing left.

How do you hit the ball first then divot?

To take the divot just after the ball, try these steps: Maintain spine angle and lag coming into impact to avoid early divots. Make crisp contact with the ball before the turf by keeping the face square. Visualize brushing the grass slightly after hitting the ball. Use swing thought of covering the ball and then taking the divot. Place two balls with the second a couple of inches behind to learn the sequence. Check divots are starting just past the first ball, not well before it.


From proper setup and weight shift to club delivery and release, there are several intricacies involved in taking good divots. Mastering both ball-first contact and appropriate depth is the key to maximizing your iron and hybrid play. Don’t be afraid to dig those divots – it means you are compressing the ball for solid shots. Keep these 10 tips in mind to improve your divot consistency. With the right techniques, you can puncture the turf like the pros and gain confidence over every iron and hybrid in your bag.

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