Golf tips: How to hit a golf ball cleanly out of a divot

Golf tips: How to hit a golf ball cleanly out of a divot

One of the most frustrating moments for golfers is arriving at their golf ball to find that it's landed in an old divot. All of a sudden, a golfer goes from thinking they have a good shot of getting the ball on the green from the fairway (or a decent chance from the rough) to being worried they'll make bogey or worse.

Hitting a golf ball cleanly out of a divot isn't necessarily an easy shot, but there are three things you should do to maximize your chances for success.

How to hit a golf ball cleanly out of a divot

Trying to hit a golf ball out of an old divot is a lot like hitting a fairway bunker shot. Our goal is to get as much ball as possible -- as opposed to hitting the ground first or trying to sweep the ball -- so that we get the most out of our contact. We know the odds of us making clean contact in either situation are not as good as from a fairway lie, but we can still advance the ball to the green.

There are three things to do in your setup and swing to hit a golf ball out of a divot

  1. Lean your weight forward more onto your left side and left hip -- Just like with a fairway bunker shot, it's easier to load up weight on the left side of the swing at the start. This reminds our body of what we need to do to make clean contact, transitioning to the lead hip quicker to make good contact.
  2. Make a more compact swing -- Generally, we don't want to take as long of a backswing. We want something more compact that gives us more control over the quality of contact.
  3. Get steeper going into the ball and hit more ball than ground -- This last piece of advice can be tricky for people who sweep the golf club through the hitting zone. However, getting steeper with the downswing means hitting more down on the ball, as though you're trying to take a divot. Hitting more of the ball will take out some of the variable of the width and depth of the divot.

As it turns out, this is solid advice for almost any golf shot. However, it's especially important in this situation, when contact is everything.

Of course, there are some situations where it's almost impossible to hit the ball well out of a divot. If the divot is particularly deep (putting the ball under the surface of the ground) or narrow, it will be extremely difficult to pick the ball. However, if you use these tips, you'll maximize your distance and leave yourself in the best position you can for your next shot.

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