Finding the ball nestled in a divot after smoking the driver is exceptionally annoying for a senior golfer. Not only are they witnessing someone else’s laziness but are left with one of golf’s most difficult shots.
Out of a very deep divot, the wisest ploy for the senior golfer is to dig the ball up and out using a high lofted iron to advance a little down the fairway. However, with shallower divots, it could be possible to advance the ball further using a hybrid by taking advantage of its design and technology.
Hybrids have more weight around the perimeter of the club creating a greater moment of inertia (MOI) at impact. Because of this, the club head is less likely to twist at impact which is very important when hitting shots from divots. This is because when the club hits the ground hard it will need the extra stability a hybrid club can create. The hybrid’s lower centre of gravity should also help lift the ball higher in the air and increase distance.
Hitting out of a divot with a hybrid
1. Grip the club tightly with the ring and little finger of the left hand (for right handed golfers) to help prevent the club face twisting at impact.
2. Take a firm and balanced stance with 60% of body weight on the front foot. This will enable the senior golfer to strike down and through the ball.
3. Play the ball in the middle of the stance, with the hands ahead of the ball. Again, this will help the senior golfer strike down on the ball and dig it out of the divot.
4. Swing the club away with a quicker wrist hinge than normal; this should help the senior golfer dig down at the ball.
5. As the senior golfer swings down and through the ball they need to keep up their swing speed, they don’t want to ‘quit’ on the shot and leave the ball where it was. They should see a divot flying through the air after the ball. Just make sure the damage is repaired before the next group comes along!
When striking the ball from a divot, the effort of getting the ball airborne can be eased by alterations at set up. Try aiming a little more left of the target and leaving the club face slightly open through impact. This will add extra loft to the hybrid club, increasing backspin and helping the ball into the air. However, the ball will leave the club face with fade spin moving from left to right in the air. This technique and alteration in ball flight will lead to less distance being imparted on the ball. This should be taken into consideration when judging the shot distance.
The same type of shot can be played from a partially buried lie in a fairway bunker but the safest option from the sand is a higher lofted club to shift the ball down the fairway, unless the lie is favourable.