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HOW TO… HIT OUT OF A FAIR­WAY DIVOT

Today's Golfer (UK) - - FIRST TEE - IAN CLARK World of Golf, New Malden

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.

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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.

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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.

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