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The Divot Mat

The secret is in the divot: When your swing strikes the DivotMat you can see the shape, path and location of your DivotMark. This "fingerprint" helps you correct slices, fat or thin shots, or any other problem shot.

Golf Training Devices

For best results, place the DivotMat™ on a soft surface such as a DivotPad™, driving mat, or carpet and attach an image sheet to the convenient, pre-attached adhesive strip. Take your iron, address one of the ball images and swing away. The rubber base absorbs the force of your swing while the image sheet records exactly how and where you are striking the ball. Once you know what you are doing wrong, it's easy to make the corrections for better ball contact and improve your game. 

How the DivotMat™ will Benefit You:

  • Feedback: The DivotMat™ provides immediate feedback on your swing. Taking this feedback and utilizing tips from Laird Small on the DVD you can begin to correct your swing flaws. 
  • Ballstriking: Fred Couples has always been known as a good ballstriker and extremely accurate when going for the green. The DivotMat™ will help you to consistently make crisper shots and improve your ballstriking and accuracy when hitting your irons. 
  • Practice: Since the DivotMat™ can be used almost anywhere you can safely swing a club, you will be able to get in more practice sessions and finish more quickly. Your practice sessions will now be much more informative and cost-effective. 
  • Consistency: The DivotMat™ will help you to groove a good swing. By practicing with the DivotMat, you will develop better muscle memory and stay flexible between rounds on the golf course. 
Other benefits: 
  • For all ages 
  • For all skill levels 
  • Less expensive than many other training products 
  • Can be shared by everyone in the family 
  • Excellent warmup tool 

The Divot Mat Mark Legend
(see below for explanations)

"Scooping", or releasing wrists too early
Scooping can cause lack of distance, inconsistent ball contact, fat, thin or topped shots. To fix scooping, make sure the ball location in your stance is correct (refer to the instructional DVD) for the club you are using -- i.e., seven iron in the middle of your stance, five iron slightly ahead of center. Ball location in your stance is critical since the swing is on an arc and the club is square to the target line only for a short time. 

Standing too close to the ball
Sometimes you are hitting on the far side of the ball because you have adjusted your posture or lengthened your arms to compensate for standing too close to the ball. Instead, check your posture and stance (refer to the instructional DVD) then move your feet farther from the ball while maintaining proper posture. Make sure your weight distribution is between the arch and heel of your feet. 

Standing too far from the ball
Make sure you have "three bends" in your stance: 1) push back your hips joints until your breastbone points at the ball and your arms hang down; 2) flex your knees; and 3) lower your right shoulder. After you have verified that your posture and stance are correct (refer to the instructional DVD), move a few inches closer to the ball. 

Hitting it thin
Usually this type of shot is caused by a swing plane that is too flat causing the club to barely hit the turf and even causing the occaisional topped shot. Check your posture and stance (refer to the instructional DVD) and make sure you are not too straight up and down at address. 

Slice or pull, depending on clubface
Most of the time, a slice or pull is caused by a sequencing issue -- the shoulder has started ahead of the arm on the downswing. Practice by starting the club slightly above the ground and swing the club around you in an arc. A slice can also be caused by the ball being too far forward in your stance which will open your shoulders at address. Make sure you have the correct ball location and shoulder alignment (refer to the instructional DVD). 

Hook or push shot, depending on clubface angle
Begin by checking your setup to make sure you are not too far under and the ball is not located in the back of your stance. To fix a hook or a push, look to see if your shoulders are parallel to your body lines and to the target: your arms will follow the lead of your shoulders. Make sure your feet, hips and shoulders are in the same parallel alignment. If your DivotMark points to the left, make an effort to feel like your lead shoulder points a bit to the right. 

Excellent contact
Remember, golf is one of the few sports where a coach is not involved during the practice sessions. The DivotMat can act as your coach if you know what to look for. The DivotMat will not replace professional instruction, but it will give you immediate feedback and let you know what you are doing right, and perhaps more importantly, what you are doing wrong. 


DivotMat System
  • One DivotMat™
  • 500 Ball Impression DivotSheets™ (56 sheets, 11"x17")
  • DivotMark™ Guide
  • Complete printed instructions
  • Laird Small Instructional DVD
  • Price: 
    U.S. $59.95

    "Bucket" of DivotSheets 
    (500 Ball Impressions) 
  • DivotSheets with 500+ Ball Impressions
  • Additional adhering tape and velcro strips
  • Price: 
    U.S. $19.95
    (ITEM DMRS500)

    Fred Couples: PGA Professional 

    Fred Couples is one of the golf world's most popular players, and he has compiled both a great playing record and a worldwide following of fans who admire his athletic abilities and personal style. One of only three PGA Tour players to have recorded multiple wins over the three decades of the 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s, Fred’s most recent victory at the 2003 Shell Houston Open reflects his renewed dedication to the game, and a resurgence of this talented player to the forefront of golf’s headliners. 
    Fred's early learning years in golf were spent on the public courses of Seattle. Growing up he enjoyed playing all sports, but it was the time he spent with friends at the Jefferson Park golf course that led him to pursue golf in the amateur ranks, soon becoming one of the premier junior golfers in Washington State. Fred's amateur achievements in the Northwest earned him an invitation to play on the golf team at the University of Houston, the collegiate starting point for many PGA Tour players. 

    In Fred's rookie year on the PGA Tour, 1981, he led the PGA Tour rookies in prize money earned, and he was immediately noticed by the galleries and his fellow competitors as a player with the promise of greatness. Fred's first tournament win was in a five-man playoff at the 1983 Kemper Open, and his Tour victories now total 15, plus additional wins in international tournaments and team events. 

    Winning the Masters

    In 1992, Fred accomplished one of a golfer's ultimate achievements, winning the green jacket of a Masters champion. This victory was even better for Fred, when he was able to join his great friend from the University of Houston, Jim Nantz of CBS Sports, in the Butler Cabin for the presentation of the jacket, a moment they had dreamed about years ago in college. This special year was capped by Fred leading the PGA Tour money list, earning his first (of four) World Cup of Golf team titles with Davis Love III, and being selected by his fellow PGA Tour players as Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. 

    Team competitions are very important to Fred, and along with his World Cup Titles, he has also been part of the U.S. team for 5 Ryder Cup and 3 President's Cup Matches. 

    Despite playing a more limited schedule since the onset of back problems in 1994, Fred has continued to compile impressive statistics, including two consecutive tournament wins to open the European Tour season in 1995, and his exciting come-from-behind victory at the 1996 Players Championship. In 1998, Fred again had a multiple-win season, with a playoff victory at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in his first tournament of the year, and a four-stroke win at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village in Ohio. 

    Fred Couples is now also involved in other ventures, including consulting work in the field of golf course design. He has worked with many different prominent golf course architects on the layouts of over a dozen courses around the United States, including private, resort and public courses. Fred now calls Santa Barbara home, where he lives with wife Thais and children Gigi and Oliver. 

    Laird Small: PGA Teacher of the Year

    One of the most popular golf instructors in the country, Laird Small has been on every GOLF Magazine list of the nation's "Top 100 Teachers in America" since 1985 and was recognized by Golf Digest on its "Top 50 Teachers in America," in 2002. Beginning his 17th year at Pebble Beach, Calif., the 46-year-old Small has been a PGA member since 1988 and director since 1996 of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy. Small was named the 1996 Northern California PGA Teacher of the Year Award and the 1997 Junior Teacher of the Year, an honor by the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association. 

    The son of a U.S. Army engineer, Small was born in Frankfurt, Germany. His family moved to Mexico before settling on the Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula five years later. Small said the sight of golf carts traveling to the course on the famed golf-rich peninsula heightened his enthusiasm for the game. He began learning the game as a caddie. He went on to attend San Jose State University, graduating in 1977 with a degree in recreation and leisure studies, and a minor in Spanish and photography. He turned professional that year, and through 1980 was an assistant professional at Fort Ord Golf Course. Small attempted to compete as a Tour professional before becoming head professional and later director of golf at Quail Lodge Golf & Country Club in Carmel Valley, Calif. From 1987 through October 1996, Small was head professional and manager of Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach. He remained at that post until opening the Pebble Beach Golf Academy. 

    The PGA's 2003 National Award Winners 

    "I look at the past recipients of this award and see how they set such a nice example," said Small. "I see how they cared about their students and how indebted I am to many of them who took me under their wing and helped me. I am indebted to them to be able to give back to the game." 

    Small said the PGA Teacher of the Year Award is "The U.S. Open or PGA Championship of your field. I feel such an honor to be considered." The work of a teacher continues in any endeavor, and Small put the progress into perspective. 

    "I think as an industry we have made great strides to help people learn to swing the club and hit the ball," said Small, "but we have a way to go to show people how to play the game. And, that follows our Association's efforts to grow the game. The responsibility is on our shoulders to grow the game." 

    Small was instrumental in the development of the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association. The program, in which he also served as president, hosts 1,600 juniors year-round, while offering an introduction to the game, involvement in golf clinics, scholarship programs and tournament opportunities. 

    In 1993, Small authored GolfCordz the Power Source, an exercise physiology book designed to strengthen, condition and stretch golf muscle. He is a frequent contributor to GOLF, Golf Tips Magazine and Golf Digest. He is a frequent guest of The Golf Channel's Golf Academy Live, and is a regular instructor on the Northern California PGA's televised Toyota Team Challenge Matches. 

    "I have been fortunate to have had friendships with great professionals like Jim Flick and Rick Martino, who have both given me great advice," said Small. "The world comes to Pebble Beach and you can't help but see the enthusiasm everyone has for both playing and learning the game." 

    A committee member of the 2000 and 2002 PGA Teaching & Coaching Summits, Small's students have included Tour professional Kirk Tripplet, Bob Wolcott, Tom Sullivan, television talk show host/entertainer Oprah Winfrey, former major league baseball pitcher Orel Hershiser, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, NFL football coaching legend Bill Walsh, former NBA star Julius Erving and amateur Wandra Liang, the youngest woman to qualify for the San Francisco City Amateur. Small and his wife, Honor, are the parents of two boys: Riley, 6 and Emmett, 4.

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