Grouchy Golf Blog

Friday, January 31, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Put Backspin on a Golf Ball!

One of the things that fascinates golf viewers is the backspin that professionals can impart on the golf ball. Oohs and aahs are usually heard when a ball lands on the green, skips to a momentary stop, and then rolls back as if on a yo-yo string. Amateur golfers struggle to replicate this impressive feat largely because they don't know that there are several necessary conditions for it to happen.  Here are some of the things to maximize your chances of spinning the ball back on the green:

  1. Use a premium golf ball:  The primary benefit of a premium ball over it's lower-cost brethren is that it is composed of multiple layers of different materials.  The outermost layer is made of a soft yet durable material that is designed for maximum grip.  This makes a premium ball spin much more with irons.  A Top Flite rock just wont cut it.  If you want to suck it back up on the green, you're going to have to suck it up and spend some green.
  2. Use a high-lofted iron:  The combination of high trajectory and high spin makes the ball spin back on the green.  The higher, the more it will roll back.  When it comes to golf clubs, the higher the loft, the higher the trajectory and higher the spin.  It's simple physics.
  3. Swing hard:  The higher the swing speed, the higher the spin.  Again, simple physics.
  4. Make proper ball contact:  With irons, the clubhead should make contact with the ball on the descending part of the swing path.  This minimizes interference from grass and debris and maximizes spin.
  5. Have a clean lie:  When there is grass between the ball and the clubface, it becomes vaporized upon contact.  This grass juice reduces the grip and consequently the backspin.  This is why it is nearly impossible to back it up on the green from the rough.  There's just too much grass getting between the ball and the clubface.
  6. Have clean and deep grooves:  Much like the grooves in tires channel away water to allow clean contact with the road, grooves in irons allow clean contact with the golf ball to maximize backspin.  The greater the groove volume, the more grass juice it can whisk away.  That's why it's important to clean grooves before every shot and play with the deepest and widest grooves allowed.