15 reasons why you should never get relief from a divot

With some of the sillier Rules of Golf getting amended in recent years this is one that we'd like to stay the same. And here's why...


1) One of the fundamentals about golf is to play the ball as it lies. Preferred lies is for winter.


2) What actually is a divot? Because the rule doesn’t exist, there’s no official wording and that just opens things up too much.


3) How often does this happen in relation to how much talk there is about it? If you said once a year you’re probably exaggerating.


4) Golf is played in the great outdoors. It will be unjust at times. Like a side slope you just have to learn how to deal with it.


5) Golf can be slow enough without calling over to your playing partners to get a ruling on your bit of bad luck.


6) Who knows, in the next few years we amateurs might be playing with different balls and clubs to the pros. This is one area of the game where we should always be playing to the same rules.


7) Who said golf should be fair?


8) There are so many unfair variables: wind, rain, quirky bounces, irritating playing partners, slow play, bumpy greens, bad swing mechanics and your own thoughts to worry too much about a divot.


9) Part of the fun is to listen to your playing partner bleat about his/her bad luck and start beckoning you over to look at where your ball’s finished. Much like a hole-by-hole analysis it’s not interesting but we all have to sit through it anyway.


10) This charade is then guaranteed to continue with the outcome of the shot when he/she repeat what we all know. Enjoy the entertainment, if you were allowed a drop none of this would never happen.


11) It’s possible to play out of a divot. There is the very odd occasion when some unfortunate leaves a crater at 45˚ but generally it’s not ideal but is playable.


12) Enjoy the challenge of it. We all know this isn’t really going to happen but it might be the shot that you can shout about after the round.


13) Here’s some free instruction from none other than Butch Harmon. So, if you ever should find your ball in a divot, you can fall back on Butch’s wise words.

“The secret to making good contact here is hitting down on the ball. Play it back an inch or two in your stance, and put more weight on your front foot. That promotes a steeper backswing, which, in turn, steepens the downswing. You'll catch the ball first and drive it out.

“Also, open the clubface a little. This might go against what you've heard, that closing the face helps you dig out of bad lies. But as long as the ball isn't down deep, an open face is better. It'll help the ball jump up and out.

“As for the swing, don't be timid. Focus on hitting through the ball. You've set up the right kind of swing with your adjustments at address, so don't try to do anything special. Just think down and through. No reason you can't knock it on the green.”


14) Whisper it gently but you also get good breaks in golf. You might hit it into some thick cabbage and find yourself with a good lie. Things will even themselves up, have a bit of trust in karma.


15) Think of what golf was like 30 years ago when it was as every bit as enjoyable but a lot harder. These days we get enough help with enormous headed drivers, hybrids, custom fitting, balls that travel forever and aren’t affected by the wind, chippers and every shape of putter to suit your eye and stroke. Just shut up and hit it.

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