One of the things every golfer wants to do is hit the golf ball farther. I have never in all my years teaching golf met a player who wants to hit the ball shorter.
I was on the lesson tee at Lake Shastina a few days ago and my student was hitting a six iron shot and as he was hitting, shot after shot, I noticed he was just sweeping or brushing the grass. He was hitting it straight so he wasn’t happy then I told him that he just lost 25 yards on that shot.
We had a little chat. I showed him the grass where there was no divot and told him golf clubs are designed by the manufacturers to always take a divot with the irons weather the ball is on the grass or teed up for a par three hole.
When you take a divot you want to hit the ball first, keeping your weight about 70% on your left foot at impact (this is for right handed golfers). Slightly digging through the turf slows the club face a little, creating some resistance in the turf, then it’s the shaft’s turn.
The shaft has a lot of bending going on and acts like a catapult, allowing the shaft to sling the golf club getting the maximum distance out of the golf shot.
When a player just brushes the grass in a sweeping motion the shaft isn’t allowed to bend much, making the golfer lose about 25 yards with each iron shot.
We don't take divots with our drivers because the shaft is really long in length so it bends a lot on its own.
A great drill here is to put a tee in the grass. Tee it very low and practice hitting the tee, taking turf so the dirt shows.
Remember, no one ever wants to hit the ball shorter and the next time you are watching a PGA tour play on TV, watch how they will always – I mean always – take a divot.
Have fun I’ll see ya on the first tee.
Ben Alexander is a PGA teaching profesnional who formely taught in Pebble Beach and now teaches golf lessons at Lake Shastina Golf Resort. He was awarded the PGA Teacher of the Year twice and was nominated for National PGA Teacher of the Year, To contact Ben call (831) 277-9001.