How To Put Backspin On A Golf Ball: The Comprehensive Guide

As a golfer, you’ve probably seen professional players hit shots that seem to defy gravity. They hit the ball high into the air, and it lands softly on the green with a satisfying thud. This magic is possible because of backspin. Backspin is the secret sauce that allows golfers to control the ball’s flight and land it exactly where they want it. In this post, we’ll teach you how to put a backspin on a golf ball.

What Is Backspin?

Before we dive into more, let’s talk about what backspin is. Backspin is the spin that is applied to the ball when it is hit, causing it to rotate backward as it travels through the air. This backward spin creates lift, which keeps the ball in the air for longer, and can also make it stop more quickly when it lands on the green.

Why Do You Need A Backspin In Golf?

Backspin is an important element of golf because it allows golfers to control their shots’ trajectory, distance, and stopping power. When a golf ball is hit with a backspin, it creates a lift force that helps it stay in the air longer and fly farther.

Additionally, the backspin causes the ball to spin backward as it travels through the air, which helps it stop more quickly when it lands on the green. This can be especially useful when hitting approach shots, where golfers want to land the ball on the green and have it stop quickly to avoid rolling off the back of the green. 

Backspin can also be helpful when hitting shots out of bunkers or playing on a course with firm, fast greens. 

Overall, backspin is a valuable tool for golfers looking to improve their accuracy and control on the course.

How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball?

how to put a backspin on a golf ball
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Putting a backspin on a golf ball can be an intimidating task. However, it’s a skill that all golfers should learn to increase their accuracy and control over the ball. Here are some tips to help you add backspin to your shots: 

Choose the Right Club

Putting a backspin on a golf ball starts with the right club selection. To generate a backspin, you need a club with a sharp, thin leading edge, such as a wedge or a short iron. The sharper the leading edge, the easier it is to grip the ball and impart spin. So, before you start, make sure you have the right club in your hands.

Set Up for Success

You need to hit the ball with a descending blow to create a backspin. This means the clubhead must be moving downward at impact. To achieve this, you need to set up with your hands slightly ahead of the ball. This position is called a “forward press.” By leaning your hands forward, you create a descending blow that generates a backspin.

Take a Full Swing

Once you’re set up correctly, it’s time to take full swing. When hitting a shot with backspin, it’s important to make a complete swing. You need to generate enough clubhead speed to impart spin on the ball. So, take a smooth, full swing, and make sure you follow through completely.

Strike the Ball Squarely

To generate backspin, you need to strike the ball squarely with the clubface. This means you need to hit the ball with the clubface pointing directly at the target. If you hit the ball with an open or closed clubface, you’ll generate sidespin, which won’t produce backspin.

Hit Down on the Ball

As we mentioned earlier, you need to hit the ball with a descending blow to generate backspin. This means you need to hit down on the ball. The goal is to make contact with the ball, then take a divot after the ball. If you hit the ball with a level or upward strike, you won’t generate enough spin.

Practice Makes Perfect

Putting a backspin on a golf ball takes practice. You’ll need to spend time on the range, hitting shots with different clubs and at different distances. As you practice, pay attention to the ball’s flight and the amount of spin you’re generating. With time and practice, you’ll develop a feel for hitting shots with backspin.

Use a High Spin Golf Ball

Some golf balls are designed to produce more spin than others. Look for golf balls that are labeled “high spin” or “tour” balls, as they are designed to produce more spin on shots. These balls have softer covers that allow for more friction with the clubface, generating more spin.

Consider the Conditions

The amount of spin you can put on a golf ball can vary depending on the conditions. For example, if the ground is hard or the grass is short, it can be more difficult to generate spin. Conversely, if the ground is soft or the grass is longer, it can be easier to generate spin. Take the conditions into account when trying to hit shots with backspin.

Adjust Your Technique for Different Shots

The amount of backspin you can generate can vary depending on the type of shot you’re hitting. For example, a full swing with a wedge will generate more backspin than a pitch shot. Similarly, hitting a shot from the rough can make it harder to generate backspin. Adjust your technique for different shots to maximize your spin potential.

Don’t Overdo It

While backspin can be helpful, it’s important not to overdo it. Too much backspin can cause the ball to stop too quickly, leaving you with a longer putt than you would like. Additionally, if you’re hitting into the wind, too much backspin can cause the ball to balloon and lose distance. Aim for a balance between spin and distance, and adjust as necessary based on the conditions.

Drills And Exercises To Help Improve Your Ability To Generate Backspin In Golf

Drills and exercises to help improve your ability to generate backspin in golf include: 

Ball Position Drill

This drill involves hitting shots with your ball positioned in different locations in your stance. Start by hitting shots with the ball positioned in the middle of your stance, then move it progressively closer to your front foot. As you move the ball forward in your stance, you’ll be forced to hit down on the ball more, which will help you generate more backspin.

Towel Drill

The towel drill is a simple yet effective exercise that can help you develop a steeper angle of attack, which is crucial for generating backspin. To perform this drill, place a towel under your lead armpit and hold it there with your arm. Take your normal address position and swing the club, making sure to keep the towel in place throughout the swing. This will encourage you to keep your hands and arms closer to your body, which will help you hit down on the ball more and generate more backspin.

Pitch Shot Drill

This drill involves hitting pitch shots with a wedge and focusing on generating as much backspin as possible. Start by taking a normal address position and hitting pitch shots to a target. As you hit each shot, focus on hitting down on the ball and generating as much backspin as possible. This drill will help you develop a feel for generating backspin, which you can then apply to longer shots.

Groove Your Swing Drill

This drill involves hitting shots with a foam ball, which will help you groove your swing and develop a consistent swing path. Start by hitting shots with a foam ball, focusing on making solid contact and hitting down on the ball. As you become more comfortable with the foam ball, switch to hitting regular golf balls and apply the same swing mechanics.

What Are Common Mistakes When Trying To Hit The Backspin?

how to put backspin on the golf ball
Image Source: Jill Rose
  • Improper ball position: Placing the ball too far back in your stance can make it difficult to hit down on the ball and generate a backspin. Conversely, placing the ball too far forward can cause you to hit up on the ball and reduce spin.
  • Lack of clubhead speed: Backspin is generated by the friction between the clubface and the ball, so it’s important to generate enough clubhead speed to create the necessary spin.
  • Poor contact: Striking the ball too high or too low on the clubface can reduce backspin. It’s important to make solid contact with the ball to maximize spin.
  • Wrong swing path: A too-shallow swing can result in a glancing blow on the ball, reducing spin. To generate maximum backspin, the club should approach the ball on a steep angle of attack.
  • Using the wrong club: Not all clubs are created equal when it comes to generating backspin. Wedges, particularly those with high lofts, are best suited for producing backspin. On the other hand, using a driver or fairway wood will make it difficult to generate significant spin.

How Do You Get More Spin On Your Shot?

To get more spin on your shot, you can do the following:

  • Use a higher lofted club, such as a wedge
  • Make sure you’re hitting down on the ball with a steep angle of attack
  • Make sure your clubface is square at impact
  • Use a softer golf ball, as they tend to spin more than harder golf balls
  • Increase your swing speed and create more clubhead speed
  • Practice hitting shots with a closed clubface, which can help create more spin

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Final Thoughts

Learning how to put a backspin on a golf ball is incredibly beneficial for golfers of all skill levels. Improving your short game will dramatically increase your scoring capabilities, helping you hit more accurate shots and lower your handicap. After mastering the art of the backspin shot, you’ll be able to mimic pro-level play on just about any course. 

With this newfound technique in your bag of tricks, you can confidently and precisely take your golf game to new heights. Ultimately, learning how to put a backspin on a golf ball is an invaluable lesson to help you play better and have fun with the sport daily. Get out there and hit some balls!

FAQs

Can Backspin Be Put On Any Type Of Golf Shot?

Backspin can be put on any golf shot, but it is most commonly seen on approach shots, pitch shots, and chip shots.

How Do I Know If I’m Hitting Down On The Ball Enough To Generate Backspin?

By looking at the divot you create, you can tell if you’re hitting down on the ball enough to generate backspin. If the divot is in front of the ball and is deep, then you’re hitting down on the ball correctly. Another way to tell is by the trajectory and flight of the ball. If the ball launches low and rises quickly, it’s a sign that you’ve hit down on the ball and created backspin.

Can I Still Generate Backspin If I Hit Out Of A Bunker?

It is possible to generate backspin when hitting out of a bunker. However, it can be more challenging due to the sand in the bunker. To generate backspin from a bunker shot, it’s important to hit down on the sand first, creating a divot and spinning the ball out of the bunker with backspin.

Author

  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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