Thin, Shallow Divots For Crisp, Consistent Irons

From Mark Blackburn On August 24, 2021
One of the most challenging nuances of golf is learning how to hit the ball crisply when it's sitting on the ground. When you're a beginner, tees and fluffy lies in the rough can be your best friends. But... at some point, you have to learn to strike the ball off the turf.

For most of us, the intuitive solution is to try to scoop the golf ball off the turf, but it doesn't take long to realize that thin and topped shots are painful and they don't go very far or straight. To make contact with the sweet spot of your irons, you actually need to swing down, catch the ball first and continue swinging down into the turf, carving out a divot as your ball flies off.

This is a precise and often humbling challenge. We've all skulled shots into lakes and we've all played shots where the divot flies farther than our golf ball. So how do you find the happy medium? Consistently?

Luckily, Titleist staff member Mark Blackburn has the answers. Work from your divot backwards. You need to have some turf interaction, some divot, but it should be shallow and fairly long, like a dollar bill. AS Mark says in the video, think bacon, not pork chop. Taking bacon strip divots will help you to compress the ball while also providing some generous room for error. Some keys from Mark:

• The goal is a shallow angle of attack into the ball (4°-5°), with the shaft leaning forward.
• In the downswing, you want a little lateral movement into your lead side, but then you need to rotate. Too much lateral slide will produce too shallow an angle of attack.
• You must keep the handle ahead of the club head through impact. This is what allows you to contact the ball first and to pinch the ball off the turf.
One of the most challenging nuances of golf is learning how to hit the ball crisply ... when it's sitting on the ground. When you're a beginner, tees and fluffy lies in the rough can be your best friends. But at some point, you have to learn to strike the ball off the turf.

For most of us, the intuitive solution is to try to scoop the golf ball off the turf, but it doesn't take long to realize that thin and topped shots are painful and they don't go very far or straight. To make contact with the sweet spot of your irons, you actually need to swing down, catch the ball first and continue swinging down into the turf, carving out a divot as your ball flies off.

This is a precise and often humbling challenge. We've all skulled shots into lakes and we've all played shots where the divot flies farther than our golf ball. So how do you find the happy medium? Consistently?

Luckily, Titleist staff member Mark Blackburn has the answers. Work from your divot backwards. You need to have some turf interaction, some divot, but it should be shallow and fairly long, like a dollar bill. AS Mark says in the video, think bacon, not pork chop. Taking bacon strip divots will help you to compress the ball while also providing some generous room for error. Some keys from Mark:

• The goal is a shallow angle of attack into the ball (4°-5°), with the shaft leaning forward.
• In the downswing, you want a little lateral movement into your lead side, but then you need to rotate. Too much lateral slide will produce too shallow an angle of attack.
• You must keep the handle ahead of the club head through impact. This is what allows you to contact the ball first and to pinch the ball off the turf.
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