How to take a proper divot – with Mark Lye

Problem: Taking too much turf
Are you digging at the ball too much with your shorter irons? I have noticed that a lot of players at all
levels really gouge at the ball when they get into the shorter irons, and take a whole lot more turf than
necessary. Here is a tip on how to make those divots shallower and smaller, like they should be.
A lot of times, players get stuck on the target line during take away and follow thru. It’s only natural to
do this since we are always in search of hitting the ball straight, we are fooled into taking the club back
”straight” along the target line, rather than” inside” that line. This promotes more of a steeper approach into
the ball, which makes one “dig”. Huge divots are the result.
An excellent drill for me to achieve the proper swing path is to take a 7 iron, tee it up as high as I can, and practice
swinging around rather than down the line. This drill will promote more of a “baseball” type of action, which is VERY
GOOD. It’s just a very slight adjustment but will give you much better technique. Once you have made solid proper
contact with the seven iron, work through the bag towards the fairway woods and driver. You should notice that
through your practice, your divots will be shallower hitting off the grass, and that the ball is more “driven”.

Cure: Proper set up and take away

The proper swing path for the club is to swing “away “ from that line on the back swing, then after the strike of the ball, the
path comes back away from the target line, as shown.

Tip Summary

Once you have done this a few times working through the bag, you will probably feel like you are making a kind of baseball
swing or perhaps a tennis stroke. That is the feel that I would like you to have. Remember, the ball is away from the feet,
so, make the swing accordingly. In doing this you will have better balance, and really be able to extend to the ball through
impact. That’s the way players on tour do it. Give it a try.
FINE Magazine Golf Writer, Mark Lye, played on the PGA Tour for 18 years, and just finished up his 18th year as an
analyst for The Golf Channel. He is currently the Director of Membership at The Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, FL

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