A golf divot is the chunk of grass that is cut out of the ground when a golfer makes a golf swing and makes contact with the ground. They often scrape off the turf with their iron or wedge clubs, or leave marks on the putting greens.
This happens because those clubs are crafted to strike the ball on a downhill path. As you are hitting the downward onto the ball, the club keeps moving downward even after you have made contact with the golf ball, digging slightly into the turf as the swing bottoms out.
Divots are quite common. They are the expected outcome of a good swing with an iron or a wedge.
A good divot will start right in front of where the ball was resting. This happens because your club strikes the ball first and then the ground.
If you mishit your shot, then the divot will start behind the ball. It is apt to take a divot with iron shots, but taking a divot with a wood would likely lead you to mishit the ball. Taking a divot with a wood is a result most likely from an angle of attack that is too steep.
Golf Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System + Practice Plans
Should You Take a Divot in the Golf Swing?
It is also important to understand whether you should take a divot or not. Most average players do not take one, and few do, but end up doing it before the ball. You should be making a divot with every club in your bag except the driver and putter, and in some cases even the woods.
Once you have an understanding of divots, you need to then understand what is the right type of divot for each club type. The general notion is that you should have a larger divot with shorter clubs like wedges.
The proper divot size for each golf type:
- Wedges – Wedges have the biggest divots.
- Short and Mid irons – Short and Mid irons have divots that are half to two-third of the size compared to wedges.
- Long irons and Hybrids – Long irons and Hybrid have much smaller, but still noticeable divots.
- Fairway Woods – For Fairway Woods, you would still need a small divot.
- Driver – With a Driver, you will hopefully not need a divot at all. With this club, you would never want to hit down on, but would rather want to hit up.
Why Is It Important To Repair Golf Divots?
The divots need repairing to keep the turf in a good condition. Leaving a divot unrepaired might lead to the grass never fully recovering, but it normally takes months to heal.
Repairing divots helps the turf to recover quicker and helps to reinstate a smooth playing surface so other golfers don’t end up with a ball sitting down in the hole of an unrepaired divot.
Giving your best effort to repair the divots should be a routine part of your game. Players need carry divot tools with them for repairing the divots that they make on the green as well.
Giving only a small amount time to properly repair the divots makes a big difference on how a golf course plays and also sets a positive example to fellow golfers. I don’t think you’d be happy to find your golf ball sitting in an unrepaired divot.
What Are Fairway Divots
To create a fairway divot is called “taking a divot”.
Repairing divots may seem very simple, but it is important to recognize that all divots are not the same. You can take deeper or shallower divots depending on your swing.
A nice divot is one that is scraped off in a nice a clean manner and remains in one piece. You can grab this piece of grass and set it back in the divot hole you created when you swung.
Then pour some sand from the bottles on the side of golf carts to fill in remaining missing turf of the divot. This sand mixture has grass seed to help regrow new turf.
Golf Resource: Foy Golf Academy Practice System + Practice Plans
How to Correctly Repair a Fairway Divot
If the divot is intact and still has soil attached to it, you can simply replace it following the correct process and then firmly press the divot into the ground with your foot. It is important to press down as it builds a good contact between turf roots and the soil.
This helps the divot heal faster. Pressing down also helps in providing a firm and smooth surface that would not be much of a problem if some other player’s ball ends up of the divot while it is healing.
If you notice gaps between the divot and the surrounding turf, you should fill those gaps with divot mix and smear it with your foot. This will help the turf bind together.
If a divot doesn’t have any soil attached, or is shattered into small pieces, then it is foolish to expect that it can be healed properly. In such cases, filling the divot with divot mix would be the smartest path to take.
Divot mixes can be pure sand or may contain seeds depending on the grass type on the golf course. These mixes help in the recovery of the divot.
You should add the mix until it is slightly below the height of the bordering turf and then smooth the mix and press down with your foot. It is important to make sure that the level is absolutely right.
If you add lesser amount of mix then the divot will not heal fully and will also create poor playing conditions, and on the contrary, adding an excess amount of mix will lead to playability issues and can damage mowing equipment.
What Are Putting Green Divots
A putting green divot is when the ball lands on the green and leaves an indent in the green’s surface. It’s usually caused by the speed and steep angle that the ball is falling from the sky, hitting the green with enough force to leave the impression in the surface.
It can negatively affect your putts if these divots are not fixed, because the golf ball will not have a smooth surface to roll on to the hole. Instead, your golf ball could roll into these divots, causing it to bounce and veer off-line of the intended direction it was headed to the hole.
Think about how many golfers play a golf course in a given day, week, and month. This quickly adds up to a lot of divots on the putting surface and is crucial that each golfer repairs his or her divot to keep the putting green in nice condition.
How to Correctly Repair Putting Green Divots
There are repair tools or simply called divot tools that are available for you to repair the divot. People often misinterpret the divot tool to be a tool that would fix the divot, but what it does is to simply repair the indents that you make on the putting grounds.
It is therefore, important to know how to use a divot tool. In general, divot tools are one or two-pronged tools.
You first need to insert the prong into the divot at a steep angle right outside the mark.
You need to push your tool inwards towards the center of the divot and not upwards.
People often make the mistake of pushing upward when working around a divot and in the process kill the surrounding grass by uprooting it.
The next step is to flatten out the repaired divot by gently tapping on top of the it with your putter.
This packs down the newly repaired divot while ensuring that the other players following you on the golf round will have a good putting surface to play on.
Putting your best foot forward to repair divots, while knowing the correct technique is important in taking care of the course and help fellow golfers enjoy their round.