Divots Can Tell You Everything
By Greg Schulze
Are you aware of the four primary Ball Flight Laws? If you decided to change careers and become a PGA Professional, you’d have to for a passing grade. Without this understanding, I believe that golf instruction would still be a primitive art and certainly not a science. Dr. Gary Wiren’s “Laws, Principles and Preferences” are probably the most recognized and accepted golf improvement work in history. Dare I say that EVERY swing model and theory you have ever read, heard or seen from any golf professional has at its base the four primary Ball Flight Laws.
Here they are in no particular order:
ANGLE OF APPROACH – Did the clubhead approach to the ball too “U” shaped or too “V” shaped? This is also used in terms of a downswing being too “wide” or too “narrow” (or of course, just right).
CLUBFACE ANGLE – At the moment of impact was your clubface pointing at the target, to the left or right of your intended target?
SPEED – How fast is the clubhead moving through the impact zone?
PATH – Is the clubhead following the correct horizontal arc as it’s swung around the body? It could be on too great an arc or too straight a line.
Please know this… ALL changes you are attempting or considering adapting into your swing, and EVERY golf lesson ever given MUST have as its ultimate goal to increase your clarity, feel, and execution of one or more of the four primary Ball Flight Laws! Period!
The “divot” is your greatest source if feedback for these laws. After warming up with short pitch shots on the range, it’s best to spend most of the bucket using a shorter iron (7-9 iron) creating full swings. The divot which does (or doesn’t occur) can teach you about which of the four ball flight laws need additional clarity and attention… Sound interesting?
Every divot can be observed with one of these characteristics in each category:
- Direction – Left, right, or straight at target
- Starting Point – Before the ball, at the ball, after the ball
- Depth – Too shallow, too deep or “just right”
- Length – Too long, too short or “just right”
- Diameter – Too narrow, too wide or “just right”
Without the need to mortgage your house to buy an expensive golf data gathering machine, the post-swing analysis of the divot alone will give you all the information you will ever need to explain the swing and how it was influenced by the four primary ball flight laws.