How To Create Backspin On A Golf Ball

Most ordinary golfers look at the way pros can spin the ball back on the greens and wonder how they manage to do it.

Most of the time we see our wedge shots trundle past the flag and even off the back of the green!

Would you like to know how to create backspin on a golf ball? Let’s look at what you need to do to maximize your chances of emulating the boys on TV!

Why Does A Golf Ball Spin?

Primarily it is the friction between the ball and the clubface during impact that causes the ball to spin. The amount of spin depends on a number of factors:

Clean And Dry Clubface

The clubface needs to be clean and dry to impart the maximum amount of spin on the ball. Contrary to popular opinion the grooves actually make no difference And a number of studies have shown this. Grooves are there to channel away dirt and moisture from the clubface in order to improve the contact. Similar to the tread on tires which are there to channel away moisture to improve grip.

Club Loft

Generally speaking, the more loft the club has, the greater the amount of spin applied to the ball.

Even tour pros will struggle to spin a 3-iron back but give them a wedge and they will have an excellent chance of generating sufficient spin to get the ball talking.

Quality Of Strike

To create a high spinning shot you need to strike the ball correctly. This is the area where the tour pro or good golfer will separate himself from an average club player. At the end of the day, we can all buy a good quality ball and a brand-new wedge!

You need to strike the ball first before making contact with the ground. Should you hit the shot fat then your chances of producing a lot of spin are slim indeed.

You need to be playing the ball from a clean lie. You’re unlikely to have a lot of success if you’re playing the ball out of the rough for example. This is because you will inevitably get some grass (and possibly moisture) trapped between the clubface and ball which will reduce the friction and therefore the spin. This is often called a flyer because the ball travels further than you would expect for the club you are using.

You need to strike the ball from the sweet spot in order to maximize energy transfer and therefore speed.

Clubhead Speed

The faster the clubhead is moving the more backspin you have the opportunity to create. It is difficult to create much spin when hitting a 40-yard shot because you aren’t swinging the club all that fast.

High-Quality Golf Ball

Another undeniable truth in the search for spin is the quality of the golf ball matters. A premium tour-quality golf ball with a urethane cover will spin more than a distance ball.

You will also find that higher compression golf balls will tend to spin more than low compression golf balls.

If you want to emulate your heroes on the PGA Tour by zipping the ball back then you’re not going to do it with a Pinnacle Gold I’m afraid

What Is Spin Loft?

Spin loft is a term used in relation to the Trackman launch monitor. A simple definition is that it is the difference between the dynamic loft and your angle of attack.

Using launch monitor data it’s been found that the optimum spin loft for generating spin is around 45° to 50°.

Clay Ballard on backspin

Assuming we are talking about hitting a golf ball off the ground (rather than a tee) then you’re not going to be able to get a positive angle of attack so you are likely to achieve maximum spin with a gap wedge or sand wedge. This of course assumes that you are delofting the club slightly at impact to give you a high-quality ball first strike.

Does The Green Affect Backspin?

While the green won’t affect the amount of backspin on the ball it will have an effect on the way the ball reacts when it lands.

Even professional golfers struggle to spin the ball back on firm fast links greens But give them a nice damp parkland golf course and they’ll be zipping their wedges back off the front of the green.

This makes perfect sense because you need more backspin to hold a firm green than a soft one. If you’ve played enough golf in the UK during the winter then you’ll know it’s quite possible for your ball to plug in the green! No backspin required!

How To Create Backspin On A Golf Ball: Conclusion

So now you should have some understanding of the things you need to get right in order to create backspin on a golf ball.

In summary, you need to:

  • Use a good quality urethane golf ball
  • Use a relatively new wedge
  • Keep the wage clean and dry
  • Play from a nice tight lie
  • Make ball first contact
  • Strike the ball from the sweet spot
  • Try to achieve a spin loft in the region of 45° to 50°
  • Have plenty of clubhead speed

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

What Club Is Best For Backspin?

Trackman suggests a spin loft of 45° to 50° will achieve optimum spin.

With that in mind, you probably need to use a pitching wedge, gap wedge or sand wedge depending on how much you deloft the club and your angle of attack.

How Do You Get Backspin On A Golf Ball With A Wedge?

Make sure you are using a relatively new wedge with a clean face and grooves from a tight fairway lie.

Use a decent-quality golf ball with a urethane cover. Make sure to strike the ball first from the sweet spot while generating as much clubhead speed as you can.

Do Raw Wedges Spin More?

Looking at most of the testing that has been done it would appear that rusty wedges spin less!

It is likely that tour professionals prefer raw/rusty wedges because they like to have clubs bent and ground to particular specs which would ruin the chrome plating.

How Do I Get More Backspin On My Irons?

Try this to get more backspin on your irons:

Make sure you keep the clubface clean and free of moisture
Try to strike the ball on the sweet spot
Generate plenty of clubhead speed
Use a high-quality golf ball
Strike the ball first

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