How to Hit Out of a Divot on the Fairway

The divot of the day

Photo by Matt Beckwith

It’s a nuisance that makes you want to drive your golf cart into a lake. You hit a beautiful shot off the tee and straight up the middle. One of the best shots of your golfing career. Satisfied, you drive the cart up to hit that second shot and see that you’ve hit your ball right into a rather large divot on the fairway. You did everything right and you’re still punished by the golf gods with a difficult shot. Don’t throw your clubs down in disgust and vow never to play golf again; keep reading and learn how to hit out of a divot so your game won’t end up in one.

What is a divot?

A divot is the area of turf that is scarred by golfer’s club in the attempt to hit the ball. Divots vary in size and shape, and should be repaired as best as possible before continuing play.

Are You Required to Hit Out of a Divot?

Yes. Rule 13 states that you must play the ball as it lies unless the lie is “otherwise provided in the rules.” Hitting out of a divot isn’t discussed in the rules. If you land in a divot on the fairway, you cannot move your ball without penalty.

Hitting Out of a Divot

Just like an iron shot, you must make a descending blow on the ball.

  1. Put the ball farther back in your stance that usual.
  2. Choose a club size one higher than you would normally use, but choke down on the club slightly.
  3. Put more weight on your front foot than the back.
  4. Keep your hands ahead of the ball.
  5. Take a steep swing with a full follow through. This creates a lower trajectory and the ball will roll out more.
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