What Is a Divot in Golf?

There are many terms in golf that people who just started playing are confused by. It can seems like golf has it’s own special language that takes some time to learn. What is an up and down in golf, what is a birdie or bogey, etc? One common question is, What is a divot in golf?

What Is A Divot In Golf?

When playing golf, a divot is the piece of turf that you remove when you make your swing. The word divot can also refer to the hole you leave behind where the piece of turf comes out. So, a divot forms due to your golf club slightly digging into the turf as your swing bottoms out. The iron clubs and wedges create more divots designed to strike the ball as they descend.

Though your irons clubs are most likely to create a divot, fairway woods and hybrid clubs can also create one. However, making a divot with a wood club indicates that you’re probably using a steep angle when hitting the ball. You will also want to make sure you fix the divot, which can be done best with one of the best golf divot tools.

The size and depth of the divot will depend on your swing and the club you are using. It should start where you placed the golf ball. Often, divots are about one inch deep and between four to eight inches long. A good golf swing with a wedge or iron club should produce a divot.

what is a divot in golf

What Does a Divot Say About Your Swing?

Divots are a great way of learning more about your golf swing. They can tell whether your hits are too light or you use excessive force. On the other hand, if you produce no divot at all, that too can tell you a thing or two about your technique.

Therefore, you must always check for divots whenever you’re playing. Some of the key things you should look out for with your every swing include:

1. Divot Direction

A perfect divot should be straight at the target line, which shows that your swing was precise. A crooked divot at the target line indicates that your clubhead wasn’t square at impact with the ball and the ground. Your dominant hand also affects the direction of the divot when you swing.

If you’re right-handed and your divot is pointing towards the left, it means your swinging path is from the outside towards the inside. An extreme variation from the straight target line is called a slice, meaning your swing was slightly off. A minor variation from the straight target line is called a fade and can be easily managed.

If you’re left-handed, and your divot is pointing towards the right, you’re swinging from the inside out. If the angle of the divot is high, your ball flight will result in a hook. If the angle of your ball flight isn’t that far off from the straight target line, it will form what’s known as a draw. You can easily rectify a draw with a little bit of practice. It can also be helpful to use a divot board to check your direction.

2. The Divot Depth

Next, you need to measure the depths of your divots. If you pay attention, it can tell you a lot about the angle of your swings. A perfect divot depth is an inch deep; anything more than that means you didn’t perform a good swing. When using longer irons, the depth will be less than an inch as they naturally shallow out your swings.

The divot’s depth gradually increases as you work your way through your clubs down to the wedges. If you’re taking out big chunks with each swing, it simply means that you are taking very steep swings. You can rectify this by altering your stance towards the ball or maintaining more height with your swings.

If you don’t address this early, it will affect your golf shots and likely result in wrist injuries in time, especially if you are playing on a course with firm grounds.

Another issue is producing shallow divots with each swing. If that’s the case with you,  you must work on your striking angle and avoid catching the ball too thin.

3. No Divot

If you notice that you’re not taking any divot, check whether the ball sits as it should on the marker. After correcting, if you’re still not taking a divot, it means you are taking flat swings. This results from swinging your clubs more like a baseball bat, which shallows your angle of attack. Instead of making downward strikes, you end up with a sweeping motion.

You can rectify this by standing closer to the golf ball in a slightly upright position and keeping your back straight. This will help ensure that the swing moves downwards instead of around your body.


In conclusion, you should learn to take advantage of your divots. Properly using the data gathered from your divots can help you improve your swings and, eventually, your golfing skills. Also, you need to ensure that you’re not leaving the course without flattening it to the same condition before the match.