Where Does Your Divot Start?

There is something wrong with my divot location!

For years, I have had a raging debate with many players on where the divot should start. Over the years, I have heard at the back of the ball, the middle of the ball or in front of the ball. We all agreed that behind the ball was bad news. Of course, it is important to point out that the following is for your irons and not your woods. I do not believe in taking a divot with my woods because it causes my stroke to lose power. We can discuss this in the future. As we move through the discussion, think of where your divot starts and the type of contact you have with your ball.

It is important understand that your divot should start at the leading edge of your ball. This is a widely accepted fact and if you watch any video on taking a divot, this is what they espouse. I am in complete agreement with this way of thinking. Unfortunately, not everyone does:

Now that is a divot!

It is important that your divot start at the leading edge of your ball because it helps to promote many aspects of a consistent and effective golf swing. If you are wondering, here is what I believe:

1.  The bottom of the swing is at the same spot all the time. This allows me to gauge my set up and prevent miss hits due to poor alignment.

2.  The club face compresses the ball. Science tells us that by compressing the golf ball, we get more distance. This is true in all cases on the links and I need to take advantage of this scientific fact when ever I can.

3.  Promotes control of lateral body movement during our swing. I have always felt that my weight should not transfer past the inside of my trail leg during my back swing. If I get outside of this position, I usually hit behind the ball. As a result (after some harsh words spoken under my breath), I hit the ball fat. I hate that!

4. Lastly, starting my divot on the leading edge of my golf ball helps me hit the sweet spot on the club face. This is very important to great contact and I do pay attention to this aspect of my swing.

Creating a consistent and effective swing is a result of starting my divot at the right place. Rick Shiels describes this very well in the video below:

The next time you are out on the range, pay attention to where your divot starts in relation your golf ball. You can accomplish this by drawing a line in the grass, placing a tee on the ground to mark the leading edge of your ball, or use a thin piece of string. After a few swings, you will notice where your divot starts and make immediate adjustments if required.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

9 thoughts on “Where Does Your Divot Start?

  1. Watch the video again….at 2:53…..you can see that he is flipping his right hand through the shot….I know, cause I do it. His shaft angle is horrible, just like mine…oh, and yes, I take a divot too!


    • Jeff

      I am not sure you can say horrible. During the early segments of the video, it did not look so bad to me. Each player has their own idiosyncrasies that makes their swing unique. The object of the video was the position of the divot compared to the ball after contact. I think we can agree that this is an important lesson. Thanks for weighing in.



  2. Watch the video again….at 2:53…..you can see that he is flipping his right hand through the shot….I know, cause I do it. His shaft angle is horrible, just like mine…oh, and yes, I take a divot too!


  3. As long as it starts at the point the ball sits on the ground I feel I hit it ok. I prefer to see the divot start on the down range side a bit, but when the divot starts where the ball sat it means I hit ball first and that is good enough for me to be happy with the swing. I practice that in the backyard on a bare patch of ground where I can make a line in the dirt and just swing with no ball and at the range with a couple of tees in the ground to mark where the ball sits so I can check it after hitting.

    Liked by 1 person

      • One thing you wrote skipped my attention. You wrote that you put a tee in the ground to mark the balls leading edge. By that I assume you mean the point the club will make contact with the ball, not the down range side. When I use tees to mark the place it sits, I mark at the balls centerline. So if my divot starts there I had to have hit ball first. If the divot starts at the leading edge, then depending on loft and shaft lean, it is most likely that the swing hit the ground first. It’s a minor point and will likely make a minor difference, but every little bit helps where compressing the ball is concerned. Especially for those of us who don’t generate pro level speed.


      • Kevin

        I was thinking of the down range side of the ball, but after giving it some thought, the middle sounds better. I guess if we remain consistent in the marking we would be comparing apples with apples. Thanks for adding an important point to the conversation.



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