My Golf Instructor
Sign up for the Ask Maria Featured Question of the Day
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.

Question on Diagnosing Problems:

Cannot seem to take a divot after hitting the ball with my iorns on a regular basis. How can I fix that inconsistency?
--Bill J. from Visalia, CA

Hi Bill,

Thanks for writing in to MyGolfInstructor.com. Taking divots consistently is definitely tough for the average golfers. To better help you I want you to focus on two parts of your swing.

1) Your weight transfer
2) The release of your right elbow and right wrist

Your weight can determine whether or not you have the ability to hit down into the ground or if you will swing up too quickly through impact. If your weight is too much on your back foot as you come into impact or if you are falling onto your back foot as you hit the ball you will be swinging upwards. It's imperative that you make a good weight transfer onto your front foot before and through impact. A recommended drill is to practice hitting off your front foot only. You can rest your rear foot on the tip toe and behind your front foot for balance, but don't place any weight on it. My guess is that this drill will be difficult for you at first and you may lose your balance and try to fall back. Once your weight and that includes your sternum is over your front foot be sure to stay there and get the feeling that you are leaving the club down in the ground. Don't try to swing it up. It will come up with the swings momentum.

At the top of the swing you have an angle in your rear elbow and an angle in your rear wrist. These angles represent power, but also control. As long as you maintain them, the club head is trailing your hands and that means two things. 1) That you still have control of it. 2) That the club head is still descending. If those angles straighten out too soon before impact, the club will start to pass your hands. At that point you've lost control of the face and the club head will start ascending. The Impact Point Drill, Roll Down Drill, Hand full Of Pennies Drill and Move the Angles Drill are just a few useful drills here on the site under Instruction in the Diagnosing Problems section you might want to check out to improve your contact. Give them a tray for a while and let me know how things go.

By:

Other Related Tips on Diagnosing Problems
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)