How to Put Backspin on a Golf BallPublished on 03/14/2023 · 6 min readCan't seem to nail that backspin on your golf ball? Read through this guide by Golf Expert Andrew Howard for some tips and tricks on nailing your backspin this season!
Photo courtesy of Callaway
I’m sure you have seen Tour professionals on TV spinning their wedges from around the green and with fuller wedge shots. If you’re wondering how the pros backspin their wedges and how to increase the amount of backspin on your shots, you should ask yourself the following: 1. Do I clean the grooves on my golf clubs? 2. How old are my wedges? 3. How many rounds have I played with my wedges? 4. Am I hitting the ball from the fairway or the rough? 5. What kind of golf balls am I using? 6. Am I making contact with the golf ball and taking a divot after the ball?
Let’s start with the importance of fresh grooves. All golfers of all skill levels should absolutely take this critical step. If you never or rarely clean your grooves you will see a drop-off in spin numbers. Not only will there be less spin produced on each stroke with your wedges there will be a drop-off in accuracy.
The first step to avoid all of these potential negative things that can hinder you from having a high spin and accurate golf shot is to simply wet a golf towel and wipe your clubs to loosen up the dirt in the grooves of the clubface. Please do yourself the favor to take just a few minutes to do so!
After you have loosened up the dirt in your grooves, you can take a quality golf brush (or even the end of a golf tee to be extra resourceful) to remove the dirt. It is a simple task that all golfers can easily take advantage of with minimal effort to increase their spin rate. We all like it easy at least once in a while!
Age of Wedges
You should also consider how old your wedges are and their quality. If you have been playing with your wedges for a few years or bought them in the used section, the chances of you putting backspin will dramatically decrease. The best thing you can do is get a new lob wedge and sand wedge.This isn't something that will be a magic cure to your golf swing, but it will help amateur golfers produce a higher spin rate.
If you are wondering which wedges to go with, rest assured that the best golf club manufacturers for high-spinning wedges are Callaway, Cleveland, TaylorMade, and Titleist, to name a few. Don't hesitate to reach out to a Golf Expert if you are thinking about getting some fresh wedges in your bag; we can set you up with the wedges that are the best fit for your game.
Now let’s consider how many rounds you play and how much you practice. TXG Tour Experience Golf, a reputable brand from YouTube, tells us that we should consider new wedges every 65 golf rounds to be able to produce optimal spin rates. This may seem like a lot, but it depends on where you live and if you can play year-round.
You should also factor in your expectations and make them realistic. When you start noticing a visual drop-off in spin, you should definitely consider getting some new wedges. For example, let’s say you hit a solid wedge shot near the pin and then proceed to run off the green because your wedge has too many rounds on it. That’s what you want to avoid.
Fairway or Rough
It is important to be realistic with yourself as well. Are you taking a swing from the fairway or the rough? This plays a huge factor in being able to hit the backspin shot that you desire.
When assessing the lie in the rough, more times than not the spin numbers are going to be dramatically decreased because the friction between the ball and the rough is much greater. You may even see an increase or decrease in distance depending on the type of lie that your ball is in.
The fairway is the optimal place to create high-spin numbers because there is a lot less friction between the clubface and the ball. Usually, the grass is cut much tighter and shorter here than in the rough. That is why you see and hear many professional golfers and coaches talk about the importance of keeping the ball in the fairway because it is easier to control the spin and distance.
Using the Right Ball
What kind of golf ball are you using? It’s important to know if you are using the correct compression ball for your swing speed. Take, for example, the most well-known golf ball, the Titleist Pro V1x. This premium golf ball reportedly has a compression of about 100, which means it best suits golfers who can swing their driver 100mph. These golfers can hit the ball about 260 yards in optimal conditions. It is important to have the correct ball to be able to optimize spin and distance, too.
On the flip side, the Titleist Velocity, the coined "distance" ball, is best for golfers with slower swing speeds as it is a 65-compression ball. Not only will this not be an optimal golf ball for faster swing speeds, it will be too soft in comparison to the firmer Pro V1x.
This is important to take into consideration when shopping for new golf balls. It is always not the right answer to shop for the cheapest golf ball, because chances are this ball won't be suited for your golf game.
Hit the Ball First
When it comes to the golf swing, the attack angle is another critical piece. Ball position is important when using wedges. You want to place it further back in your stance, nearly in line with your back foot, to ensure the clubhead doesn't bottom out too early.
If your attack angle is too steep, chances are you are going to hit the ground first before making contact with the ball. Not only is this going to hurt your chances at generating more spin, you likely will be frustrated with chunking the golf ball, which nobody wants.
If you are struggling with making contact with the ball with wedges as well as irons, the following video shows a great drill to combat the dreaded chunk shots:
In review, there are several steps you can take to give yourself a greater chance of putting backspin on a golf ball.
First, make sure that the grooves on your clubs are clean and dirt free for increased spin and accuracy. Second, take into consideration how old your wedges are and the quality they’re in; it is important to have realistic expectations with the current equipment in your golf bag.
Third, the amount you play and practice with your wedges affects spin. If you’ve logged many rounds with your wedges, the grooves will be worn out and produce lower spin numbers. Fourth, assess if you’re in the fairway or rough. If you are in the fairway, the ball has a greater chance of spinning compared to the rough, where there is more friction.
Fifth, what kind of ball are you using? It is important that you use a ball with compression that matches your swing speed for optimal spin and distance. Finally, make contact with the ball first and position the ball almost in line with your trail/back foot.
I hope that you can take away something from these tips to help improve your golf game. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Golf Expert here at Curated!