Stopping and spinning a golf ball on the green is something many amateurs wish they could accomplish but believe there is some cosmic secret only professionals know.
In reality, stopping a ball on the green is a relatively simple combination of technique, strike and technology. Professionals on tour create a greater amount of back spin than many handicap golfers because of the impact conditions they create with the shorter irons and wedges. This mainly consists of a high club head speed and downward strike on to the ball. Swinging the club quickly helps increase back spin and a downward strike, ball first then turf, increases the amount of spin even more. Both these things working in tandem are crucial to creating a high amount of back spin.
To help groove a consistent downward strike on the ball, try this drill:
- On a grass range or driving range mat, place five balls in a straight line at right angles to the target.
- Then place a towel three inches behind the line of balls.
- The idea of the drill is to swing down into impact, avoid the towel and then strike the ball.
- If you are able to swing down and avoid the towel and strike down on the ball you should also be able to produce consistent $1 note sized divots after the point of impact.
- This will show you are striking down on the ball and creating back spin.
A pure and consistent angle of approach into the ball will increase the chance of a downward strike which creates back spin. However, unless a golfer is using the correct equipment, the results will be limited.
The loft of club a player uses will help determine how much spin is achievable. If you wish to produce a great deal of back spin, using a 3 iron would not be ideal. This is why the greatest amounts of spin are produced by the mid to low irons, 6 iron to lob wedge. The greater the amounts of loft, the greater the potential amount of back spin. The construction of the club is also important. A softer forged steel head will generally produce more spin than a cast iron head, for example.
Lastly and probably the most crucial piece of equipment to get right when attempting a greater amount of back spin is the ball.
A ball with a hard cover two layer construction will spin less than a ball with a soft outer layer and multi-core construction. To test the amount different balls spin, take a selection of balls out on to the course with different covers and core constructions.
In general, balls which feature a urethane cover and at least three layers will produce more spin.