By Brent Dale
Do you struggle to take a divot when hitting an iron shot? If you answered yes, is it definitely after the ball?
Making ball first contact is not only important for distance control, but for other aspects of your golf swing, such as weight transfer.
Practising taking a divot after the ball will ensure you shift your weight onto your front foot and around to your left side.
If you are a ‘picker’ of the golf ball, the most common fault is that you are trying to lift the ball into the sky, coming out of your posture and flicking your hands at the ball and losing the vital positions we need to hold when coming into the ball.. this can lead to inconsistency. Yes, you may square the club face from time-to-time, but it isn’t the way to get your irons flying straight. I’ve got a drill you can do at home, or even at your local park – without having to hit golf balls.
Drill: For right-handed golfers, place your right arm behind your back or in your pocket. Using a mid-iron, make a normal swing with your left arm and take a divot after the spot where the ball would normally sit in your stance. This may sound simple, but the majority of amateurs I get to practise this drill don’t take a divot until they’ve done it a few times. By doing this, you ensure your left arm is driving into the ball and bottoming out after it, which will also help square the club face.
Always make sure that your left arm comes around the body on the follow through instead of flying up high into the sky. Do this for 15–30 minutes a day and your ballstriking will improve.