Compression

I am wondering how to really compress the ball well. I see the pros hit a shot and it looks like a whole slab of sod flies through the air. I know i am far from being able to do this but i want to be able to really compress the ball to maximize distance. Thanks.

The divot is from the follow-though after striking down on the ball to max back spin. Try to find online instructions for ideas. Golf Channel has short videos that may help (www.golfchannel.com/instructions). Just make sure your divots start after the ball, not before. I move the ball just behind center on pitches to help hit the ball fist and then create a small divot - no long snakes with my swing.

Proctor, if you swing a club at 75 mph, and the face is angled 25* above the swing arc, then you will compress the ball exactly the same no matter if you take a divot or not.

If the club is accelerating then it will hold the ball on the face another .001 nano-micro-milli-seconds and thus you will get more power and spin.

To maximize acceleration at impact your hands need to be leading and you need to be driving the clubhead out and down at impact. Taking a divot results from this.

I was taught to maintain my wrist angle like an L on the way down.  It really helps you lag your club and hit down on the ball.  You'll feel it squish/ pinch coming off the club face if you it right.  Like others have said, you may have to play with your ball position in order to keep from hitting it fat.