How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball: Expert Tips

Date Published: 05/06/2024

Achieving backspin on a golf ball can drastically improve your control and precision, especially on the greens. This technique allows the ball to stop quickly or even roll back after landing, giving you the upper hand in positioning your shots.

Whether you’re a beginner golfer or you’re looking to refine your technique, putting backspin on your ball can improve your game and lower your handicap.

Why does backspin happen?

Backspin occurs when the golf ball spins backwards immediately after being struck. This happens when the golf ball is hit with a lofted clubface on a descending path. The combination of a downward strike and the loft of the club causes the ball to compress and roll up the clubface, generating spin.

Why backspin matters

  • Precision landing: Backspin allows the ball to stop quickly, reducing roll after impact and giving you better control over where the ball lands and stays.
  • Enhanced control: With more control over the ball’s movement, you can better navigate hazards and tricky pin placements.
  • Professional shot execution: Being able to control spin is a mark of advanced skill, helping you execute a variety of shots with confidence.

How to generate backspin

1. Choose the right wedges

Using wedges with higher lofts, such as pitching, sand, or lob wedges, is essential for creating backspin. These clubs are designed to produce more spin, especially when the grooves are clean and sharp. Regularly clean your clubface and replace wedges as needed to maintain optimal spin.

2. Opt for spin-friendly golf balls

Not all golf balls are created equal when it comes to generating spin. Premium golf balls with softer covers, particularly those made from urethane, are more effective at producing backspin compared to harder, less expensive balls.

3. Set up for success

Position the ball slightly back in your stance and open your stance slightly. This setup promotes a steeper angle of attack. Ensure your weight is more on your front foot, and your hands are ahead of the ball at address to encourage a downward strike.

4. Execute a downward strike

Hitting down on the ball is crucial for creating backspin. Focus on striking the ball first and then the turf, making a crisp divot just past where the ball was. This downward motion compresses the ball, allowing it to roll up the clubface and generate spin.

5. Maintain acceleration

A smooth, accelerating swing through impact is key. Avoid decelerating or flipping your wrists at impact, as these can diminish the spin. A controlled, accelerating follow-through helps maximise backspin.

How to enhance backspin

1. The towel drill

Place a towel a few inches behind the ball to practice hitting the ball without touching the towel. This drill helps you get used to making a descending strike.

2. The tee drill

Set a tee just outside your lead foot and practice brushing the ground with your club after striking the ball. This drill encourages a downward angle of attack.

3. Focused range practice

Spend time at the range hitting wedge shots to create backspin. Observe the ball’s behaviour upon landing and adjust your technique accordingly.

Mastering backspin can transform your short game, providing you with the precision and control needed to lower your scores and improve your handicap.

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