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HOW TO… HIT OUT OF A FAIRWAY DIVOT
When your luck’s out, you can almost guarantee that when you finally hit a fairway, you’ll find your ball lying in a dirty, old divot. The baked fairways mean it’s an even bigger problem than it normally is, and of course the rules say you’re not entitled to a free drop either. But rather than feeling defeatist, you can make the best of a bad situation with a couple of tweaks. First, you need to adjust your set-up so you can swing steep and achieve a ball-first contact.
2 Simply move the ball position slightly back of centre, with the weight favouring your left side and your hands ahead of the ball. Once set, focus on keeping your shirt buttons on top of the ball and swinging with controlled violence. By that I mean shortening your backswing to prevent any lateral movement, and then driving down into the back of the ball with conviction. The key is to commit and extend the existing divot towards the target.
At address, set the shaft angle so the butt of the grip points midway between your belt buckle and left hip.
Take one more club than your ego suggests. Be aware that the ball is going to come out lower than normal.
Don’t try to help the ball into the air. Just concentrate on swinging down and through. Remember: ball first, turf second.