How to Make Solid Contact from a Divot
Your setup determines how crisply you'll hit it
By Brady Riggs
This story is for you if...
• You panic when your ball lands in a divot
• You have no idea how to make clean contact in this situation
• From a normal lie you sweep the ball instead of hitting down on it
Your ball has come to rest in the back of a divot in the fairway, leaving the bottom of the ball below the lead edge of your clubface. Unless you make some adjustments, you'll catch this shot thin.
1. Take one less club than for a normal lie, and play the ball an inch or two inside your right heel. Set your hands even with your zipper. This leans the shaft toward the target and de-lofts the clubface. (That's why you took less club the ball will run when it lands.) Place your weight favoring your left leg.
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2. Hinge quickly on your backswing to set the clubhead higher than your hands and keep your weight over your left leg. This creates a steep downswing that will get the clubface to the equator of the ball.
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3. On your downswing, resist the urge to unhinge your wrists and throw the clubhead at the ball. Instead, pull your arms down and let the clubhead lag behind your hands. Your goal is to collide with the ball rather than pick it clean. Your follow-through is fairly insignificant. Focus on ball-first contact. Once you've made contact, forget about your arms and just turn your hips toward the target.
Notice in the photos that the hands are always ahead of the clubhead!