Dealing with Divots by George Kasparis

We're coming to that time of year in the Middle East where the courses are at full capacity and the chances of your ball rolling into someone else's divot increase. Now this is not a great lie, and it's hardly a just reward for hitting the fairway, but if it happens to you, there's no reason why you can't still hit a good shot and move on with no damage done to your score. Here's how.


What you need to do is address all these shots the same way and play them like you would a punch shot. Because it's a bad lie, we need to get the clubhead onto the ball first. So to do that, I'll move my ball position back in my stance, closer to my right foot at address, and move my hands forward so the shaft leans towards my target. From here, I'm going to be trying to hit down into the back of the golf ball, with my one swing thought being; Make the divot bigger!

This shot is not about a clean strike. You want to extend that divot by driving your club into the turf, ball first. This is also one of the few shots where I would recommend taking less club than you actually need. If it's an 8-iron shot, take a 9-iron. There's every chance the ball will come out low and hot, so you need to compensate.

These type of lies do happen, and yes  it's bad luck, but with these techniques there's no reason why you have to turn bad luck into a bad score. Remember though, by seeding your divots after playing, you'll leave the fairway in much nicer condition for those coming up behind you.

GD Dec 14 GK

Click here to view PDF 



Golfdigest new logo