How’d He Hit That: Harman Holes Out From Divot

Aaron Ungvarsky

Aaron Ungvarsky

PGA of America Professional, SwingU Instructor

Brian Harman had positioned himself perfectly off the 12th tee. Well, almost; his drive came to rest in a divot. However, he was undeterred and turned the bad fortune into an eagle.


For you, the scenario might go something like this: it has taken almost the whole round to tame the big stick and you finally crush a drive right down the middle. In the midst of asking your buddy when the grand opening is for the Wal-Mart being built between his drive and yours, you catch a glimpse of instant golf karma. Your best drive of the day now sits in solitude, surrounded by grass but resting on bare earth, a divot!

It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but if you can mentally rebound and follow these tips you can turn that lie into a look at birdie, or even an eagle like Brian.

Let’s take one club less than if the shot was in a normal lie. We do this because the adjusted setup will de-loft the club.

Play the ball a couple inches inside of your back foot. This creates the shaft lean that de-lofts the club for us (why we clubbed down) and now the ball is located along our swing arc in a position where we are guaranteed to contact the ball first.


On the backswing, hinge your wrists and feel the clubhead stay higher than your hands throughout. The feel of the downswing and impact should be as if you are “all arms” and driving down into the back of the ball.

If you execute this shot properly, the half of the old divot the ball was in will be deeper than the rest of the divot. This is simply because we had to dig down deeper than the level of terrain that the ball was resting in.

Remember, it’s okay to do some excavating when playing this shot. Take out your frustrations of drawing this bad lie on the back of the ball and the dirt underneath.

Finally, it’s worth noting that similar to the results of Brian Harman’s shot, the ball will not have much spin and will likely release. So anticipate some rollout and plan your landing spot accordingly.