The Origins Of Side Spin On A Golf Ball (Video)
The Origins Of Side Spin On A Golf Ball (Video)

I’ve often asked a golfer why does the ball spin, why does the ball curve and often golfers will tell me well it must be down to my grip or it must be down to my stance or it must be because I lift my head. But you consider all about, the golf ball does not know what you are doing, the golf ball doesn’t know anything about who you are or what you look like and it doesn’t care. All the ball cares about and knows about is this, and how it gets hit by the club.

So when we say to somebody what makes the ball spin and why does the ball spin, the only real answer is down to the impact conditions and the two major impact conditions that affects how a ball spins are the club path and the angle of the club face. Now there are couple of other issues in there as well but the main ones that make this ball curve are the swing path and the angle of the club face and more importantly the difference between the swing path and the club face, because if the swing path and the club face are both pointing in the same direction then the ball won’t have any real curving spin, side spin effectively. It will just have pure backspin. So regardless of where your target is, if my target is down the middle here but I am aiming over here, if my swing path is going straight down that right hand side and my club face is straight down that right hand side, the ball will go straight to the right. If both of them are straight on and square to target the ball will go straight to target and my swing path and club face are both pointing to the left the ball will go straight left. The problem arises when the club face and the swing path are different and when they are different the ball will have some curve on it. Now generally speaking the club face is responsible for the direction the ball sets off. So if my club face is square to target, let’s say that red flag in the distance the ball will start largely towards that red flag, so round about 85% of the influence of where the ball starts is the club face but then the ball may curve in-flight. Now the rule of thumb is to think about the ball curving away from the path, so the face is square to the target, the ball starts on the target, the ball curves to the right because the swing path was to the left. Now imagine kicking a soccer ball, if you kick the back of a soccer ball and the path and the face don’t point in the right direction you put spin on the ball and as the ball spins through the air, its back spinning but it’s also got the element of side spin on it, tilts the axis like the aeroplane wings and it would fade. And if you wanted to draw the ball your face would be square, your swing path would be to the right so that would make the ball curve the opposite direction, it would curve to the left. So if we can understand how the spin on the ball is created by the face and the path and most importantly the difference between face and path, we have a good understanding of how the ball curves, we can now start to correct and minimize the amount of curve we have.
2016-10-05

I’ve often asked a golfer why does the ball spin, why does the ball curve and often golfers will tell me well it must be down to my grip or it must be down to my stance or it must be because I lift my head. But you consider all about, the golf ball does not know what you are doing, the golf ball doesn’t know anything about who you are or what you look like and it doesn’t care. All the ball cares about and knows about is this, and how it gets hit by the club.

So when we say to somebody what makes the ball spin and why does the ball spin, the only real answer is down to the impact conditions and the two major impact conditions that affects how a ball spins are the club path and the angle of the club face. Now there are couple of other issues in there as well but the main ones that make this ball curve are the swing path and the angle of the club face and more importantly the difference between the swing path and the club face, because if the swing path and the club face are both pointing in the same direction then the ball won’t have any real curving spin, side spin effectively. It will just have pure backspin. So regardless of where your target is, if my target is down the middle here but I am aiming over here, if my swing path is going straight down that right hand side and my club face is straight down that right hand side, the ball will go straight to the right. If both of them are straight on and square to target the ball will go straight to target and my swing path and club face are both pointing to the left the ball will go straight left. The problem arises when the club face and the swing path are different and when they are different the ball will have some curve on it. Now generally speaking the club face is responsible for the direction the ball sets off. So if my club face is square to target, let’s say that red flag in the distance the ball will start largely towards that red flag, so round about 85% of the influence of where the ball starts is the club face but then the ball may curve in-flight. Now the rule of thumb is to think about the ball curving away from the path, so the face is square to the target, the ball starts on the target, the ball curves to the right because the swing path was to the left. Now imagine kicking a soccer ball, if you kick the back of a soccer ball and the path and the face don’t point in the right direction you put spin on the ball and as the ball spins through the air, its back spinning but it’s also got the element of side spin on it, tilts the axis like the aeroplane wings and it would fade. And if you wanted to draw the ball your face would be square, your swing path would be to the right so that would make the ball curve the opposite direction, it would curve to the left. So if we can understand how the spin on the ball is created by the face and the path and most importantly the difference between face and path, we have a good understanding of how the ball curves, we can now start to correct and minimize the amount of curve we have.