When using short irons, 6 irons to wedges, you need a descending angle of approach. Therefore, you should position these clubs farther back in your stance toward the center.

If you hit these irons correctly, the club head will strike the ball and then the turf, taking a divot in front of the ball.

Divots made with wedges will be more pronounced and larger than those made with a 6 iron.

Taking a divot prior to the ball causes a “fat” shot that won’t go the required distance.

Unhinging your wrist too early on the forward swing with an outside-in swing path usually causes this.

Your goal should be divots the size of a dollar bill and no more than one inch deep.

There are three factors of a divot that can give you feedback on your golf swing:

Direction – where the divots point will show you the path of your swing

Depth – how deep or shallow your divots are shows your angle of approach, whether it is shallow or steep

Starting point – tells you if you are descending too early or too late

Listed below are two drills that I use with my students to help them read their divots:

Powder drill:

Take some baby powder and draw a straight line on the grass perpendicular to you and hit all your irons off the powder line.

Work on changing your ball position until the divots are in front of the line.

Also look at the direction of the divots and whether they are pointing left or right of your target line.

If they point to the left, you are using an outside-in path that causes a pull or slice. If the divots are pointing to the right your swing is too inside out, and this causes pushes and hooks.

Slanted tee drill:

If you top all your irons and don’t take a divot, you need to start focusing on the front of the ball.

Put a short tee about one inch in front of the ball on a slant with the head of the tee facing the ball.

Concentrate on hitting the slanted tee instead of the ball with your shaft leaning forward at impact.

Work on these drills and you will start hitting more solid iron shots and your scores will be lower.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris @gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com