When you watch professional golfers take a shot, you may see them look down at the ground afterward. What these players are often doing is analyzing their divot. It is important to analyze a divot and ensure that you learn everything you can about the swings you are making.

image of golf divot - AEC InfoGolf is a very difficult game, and players need to consider clues like divot patterns to start improving and becoming great players. When you are on the golf course, it makes sense to look at the divot, but you first must understand what the divot means.

We will break down everything you need to know about golf divots so you can start using them to help you play better golf.

Divot – What it means

There are quite a few things that golf divots can teach us about the swing we just made. The first is whether or not the divot is heading down the target line. Next, you will look at the location of the divot in relation to where the ball was and whether the divot is behind or ahead of the ball. Lastly, the depth of the divot can tell golfers whether or not their swing is too steep or too shallow.

Hitting a golf shot with a divot is not a bad thing; learning what a proper divot looks like will help you make some valuable swing path and alignment changes in your swing.

Divot direction

There are three ways that your divot could potentially be headed; directly to the target, to the left, or the right. If you find that your divot is left of the target, you have an outside to inside swing path. This can often lead to a slice-type spin being put on the golf ball.

If your divot is severely pointing right of the target, chances are your swing path is a bit too inside to outside.

Ideally, a divot pattern should be straight down the target line. For some players, the path may be a little bit to the right of the target, and this would indicate a bit of a draw. This is still considered a great golf shot as long as the golf ball is under control.

You will want to learn how to hit the ball with a square clubface on a square club path. Ball striking is difficult, but it becomes quite a bit easier if the club moves on the proper path. The direction of the divot helps give players insight into some golf swing fundamentals they could be working on.

Divot depth

You may be a golfer that barely touches the ground at impact, or you may have some large divots that start flying after the ball at impact. There is really no exact depth that you will need to be a great golfer; however, some general guidelines may help you stay more in control.

Most of the time, you should never have a golf divot that is more than an inch deep. The deep divot typically means your angle of attack is a bit steep. This can cause a very high ball flight, a left to right shot, and a decrease in overall distance.

When swinging with shorter irons and wedges, it is common for the divot to be quite a bit deeper than it is with the longer irons. This has everything to do with the design of the golf club itself.

Divot in relation to golf ball

One of the most difficult concepts for new players to get down is that the golf divot comes after the ball. If your divot is behind the ball, you are not striking the ball properly. This will end up causing issues with the overall distance and direction of your golf shots.

Sometimes this issue is very simply about the position of the golf ball in your stance. Maybe you are playing a hybrid or fairway wood too far back in your stance. Other times you may have your seven or eight iron too far forward in your stance.

Both issues can lead to trouble with iron shots and ball striking. One of the first things to check when you start hitting behind the ball is where the ball was at setup. Sometimes this issue is as simple as changing the position of the ball in your stance.

Although a divot should be in front of the ball, if it starts more than one or two inches in front, chances are you will hit the ball quite thin.

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frequently asked questions

Some golfers become a bit hyper-focused on getting the perfect divot. The golf divot is a great indication of how well our golf swing is functioning, whether we are heading down the target line, and if there are swing path issues. However, you can still be hitting the ball great and have very small divots or something that is pointing just right of the target. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to produce a perfect golf divot; it won’t be worth it.

Should i take a divot?

Most of the time, taking a slight divot ahead of the ball at impact means that you struck the ball with the proper angle of attack; the result will typically be a great golf shot with the proper ball flight. If you can learn to take a divot, you will typically find that your golf shots get more spin and greater overall performance.

Why do golfers make divots?

A golfer takes a divot because the golf club and golf swing are designed to hit the ball with a descending blow. Hitting the golf ball while the club is ascending makes iron shots thin and much less powerful.

Golfers make divots because this is the way the game is designed to be played, and it has been this way for hundreds of years. However, when swinging with a driver, a divot is not necessary as this club is hit as the club is moving up as opposed to down.

Why do i never take a divot ?

Some golfers never learn to take a divot. Although a few reasons could be causing this, one of the most common has to do with the player’s weight hanging back at impact. Often, players will have a hard time with weight transfer and if the transfer is a little late, striking the ball and taking a divot becomes harder. Work on trying to take a divot with your wedge shots, and eventually, you will learn to hit the ball more accurately and precisely.


Average golfers heading out for a round of golf will rarely have the opportunity for an instant replay on any of their swings. Therefore we must use the tools we have around us to get feedback on our golf game. The golf divot is a great way to tell if we are hitting the ball properly on our iron shots. Start to understand the path and depth of your divots, and you may find that you can make some necessary golf swing adjustments this season. For more reviews on the best golfing equipment check out AEC Info.