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How to Read Your Divots

Your divots are speaking to you… in this context we are referring to a divot as the mark your club leaves on the grass after making your shot. There are many things we can learn from our divots, including angle of attack, swing path, lag creation, ball position and wrist release.

 

It’s funny to think that something we rarely think about can give us so much insight into our swing faults.

 

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Take a look at the picture to the right, what can you see? My first comment would be the position of the tee in relation to the divot. This swing, made ball first contact, and proceeded to make contact with the ground afterwards. This means this player was creating lag and had a solid, well timed wrist release. Furthermore, the divot is not too deep, meaning this player’s swing arc is bottoming out in a good spot, which tells me their ball position is close to bang on target. Do your divots look like this? With a little wider view we can see even more details about a swing.

The next time you’re hitting balls at the range, start by setting a club down along your feet line, parallel to your target line. Start making some swings, then take a step back and look at your divot. Is your divot parallel to your feet line? If the divot is pointing to the right, your swing path is in to out – which means you’re hitting a push. If it’s pointing left, your swing path is out to in, the common over the top path – which means you’re likely losing distance due to an early release, and hitting a pull slice.

Let’s go through a few potential divot patterns and I’ll explain what they mean. A deep divot that points left is a common sight among amateurs. This is your classic, steep angle of attack, over-the-top swing path. A shallow divot, with a tee still standing is indicative of an early release or a too far forward ball position. A divot well after tee is telling you that you are holding on to your lag too long, or your getting ahead of the shot into impact. In short, the direction your divot is aiming tells you your swing path, location relative to your tee informs you of your lag creation and wrist release, depth conveys your ball position and angle of attack.

The next time your out on the range, listen to your divots, they tell you a lot about your swing.

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