What is a Golf Divot?

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a teeny-tiny 🤏 affiliate commission.

If you’ve been golfing for a while, you have heard pro golfers talk about golf divots. It’s one of the concepts that golfers often pursue. Perhaps, its popularity is birthed from the fact that it can help golfers know the state of their swings. If you’re hearing it for the first time, we’ll discuss how a golf divot can help you know whether your golf swing needs adjusting. But before that, let’s see what exactly a golf divot is.

So, what is a golf divot? A golf divot is a piece of turf that’s cut out from the ground when a golfer plays a stroke. You’ll probably notice that most golf shots will scrape off layers of the turf as your wedge of iron makes contact with the ball.

The main reason for this scrap is the club’s design to strike the ball on a descending path. To strike correctly, you’ll have your iron move downwards towards the ball. The downward movement typically continues, even after you’ve struck the ball; therefore, slightly digging into the turf as your swing bottoms out.

The depth or shallowness of a golfer’s divot depends on their swing shapes. However, it’s something that you’ll most likely see with every good swing a golfer takes with their wedge or iron.

Why Do Pro Golfers Always Take a Divot?

Why Do Pro Golfers Always Take a Divot?

You’ve probably seen pro golfers taking divots. The main reason for this is the amount of contact it helps them get on the ball. The key to getting better contact on the ball is not necessarily the divot itself, but the downward strike which leaves a divot after the ball’s movement. Golf language refers to this as taking a healthy divot.

Against popular belief, pro golfers don’t always hit perfect shots. In fact, they find hitting perfect shots difficult too. Usually, they have to continually work on so many things to perfect their shots.

Generally speaking, you’ll hardly see a golfer striving to pick the ball cleanly from the turf because the precision required to do this can make their strike inconsistent. Instead, they’ll fancy taking a thin divot after their ball.

The divot is usually a reassurance that they’ve gotten a good strike on their ball. This doesn’t automatically translate to perfection with every shot, but it means that they can hit every shot close enough to the correct distance. It also means that they can find the green more often, even when faced with hazards like water.

What Golf Divots Say About Your Swings

What Golf Divots Say About Your Swings

If you’ve ever tried, you’ll know that correcting your golf swing is a difficult task, even when you have a professional helping you. The process is even more challenging when you don’t have a professional following your every play.

However, even if you don’t have a professional, you can still identify why you are hitting the golf ball the way you’re doing. One of the best methods for doing this is to study your divots carefully.

You can also use a mobile phone or a digital camera to film your shots, but that’ll be more complicated than you’ll probably want. So, it’ll make sense to just turn your attention to what your golf swings can produce. This includes your ball flight and the mark your swing would leave on the course. Of course, you know how difficult it can be to continually observe the ball, especially since it won’t stay in the air throughout its movement.

So, the golf divot becomes an easy option since it would remain there for long, and it can provide much information about your golf swing. Here are some of the direct interpretations of your divot’s position in relation to the ball’s position before your strike.

In front

A good divot begins in front of the ball at rest. If your divot is in this position, it means your club struck the ball before the ground. Generally, this shows that your shot was hit solidly and more in the club’s center.


Unlike the first instance, a divot that starts behind the swing makes creating a decent shot pretty difficult. Usually, most people complain of their hits being thick, fat, dropkick, heavy, or other poor results in this position. It’ll also cause your divot not to travel as far as it should.


Having a divot left or right of the target usually means another swing path issue. Left movement implies that you’ve swung across the ball and have a descending blow. This will usually result in a fade, slice, or pull.

On the other hand, a right movement may mean that you have an inside-to-outside path. This would typically result in a push, hook, or draw.

How To Correct the Dent Caused By a Divot

Fixed Divot

While many golfers lookout for a divot when they play their shots, it’s also important to note that the ball marks can cause the grass in the depression to die. The long-term effect is that it can leave pits big enough to knock well-struck puts offline. This is why experts often advise golfers to learn about golf marks restoration.

However, adopting the wrong approach to repairing golf marks can cause more harm than good. To help, here are the right steps using a golf divot tool.

1. Insert the prong

Most divot tools would have two forks, although you could still see a few with one prong. Irrespective of the type you decide to use, start by inserting the forked end of the tool into the divot at a steep angle, just beside the mark.

2. Push inward

One common error we often see golfers make is pushing upwards. Pushing upwards can easily unroot surrounding grasses, hence causing their death. Instead, work your tool around the divot while pushing inward toward the center of the mark.

3. Use your putter to flatten it

Finally, use your putter to gently tap on top of the corrected divot area. This way, you’ll flatten out and pack down the newly repaired mark. Hence, ensure that you leave an optimal putting surface for other golfers to play on.

Recap: What is a Divot in Golf?

Recap: What is a Divot in Golf?

Like most other concepts in golf, divots can explain certain aspects of your game. However, it depends on how well you understand the concept and what you’re willing to do with the information. Here, this article is a beginner’s guide to helping you understand what a golf divot is and what it means to your swing.