When discussing whether a sweeping swing or taking a divot is best for golf shots, it really depends on which club you are using.
If you are hitting your irons, then taking a divot is best. Your irons work most effectively when you make a downward strike on the ball. If we look at how the club is designed, the face angle or loft is used to force the ball to spin up and into the air. This only works if the club head is presented back to the ball correctly so that it connects with the lower part of the ball. In order to strike the lower part of the ball, the club head needs to be travelling with a descending movement, so taking a divot would be evidence that the club head was on a downward/descending path.
When using your woods, especially your driver, there is very little loft on these clubs when compared to the irons. Woods require more of a sweeping swing to ensure a good connection and ball flight. A divot being taken with this club would mean that either the ground had been hit before the ball and as a result the club head speed would decelerate and the distance on the shot be lost or the club head would be descending as it struck the ball resulting in less loft on the club face as it struck the ball, the result of which would be a very low ball flight.
In order to influence whether you achieve a downward strike or more of a sweeping swing, initially check your ball position. Woods need to be played more forward in your stance, towards your left foot, and irons played more towards the middle of the stance. A ball position in the middle of your stance is correct for your sand iron, pitching wedge and 9 iron. The ball then moves left by half a ball width for each subsequent club until you reach your driver being played from opposite your left big toe.
Secondly, your weight position will influence the club head movement as it approaches striking the golf ball. If you set up with slightly more weight on your left side at address, this will create a steeper action in your swing and will allow you to strike downwards on to the ball. Setting up with slightly more weight on your right side will allow you to achieve a more sweeping action and this suits swinging your woods more. A swing with your irons should have 60% weight on your left side at address and a swing with your woods should have 60% weight on your right side at address.
Finally, using your wrist slightly earlier in your takeaway will give you a more upward movement with the club head on your backswing, and therefore create more of a descending downward strike into the ball. Whereas, a slightly later wrist hinge during your takeaway will create a slightly lower club head movement during your backswing and will produce a more sweeping downswing action, suited to playing your woods.