How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball? Easy Steps to Follow

Golf is both a rewarding and frustrating sport at the same time, especially for complete beginners. To enjoy it fully, you need to acquire a set of skills that will help you gain control of your swings.

One of the most important skills is learning how to put backspin on a golf ball.

In short, achieving backspin on a golf ball requires the player to use the right club type and ball type, and have the right course conditions. In addition, the player needs to position the ball closer to their rear foot, have a steep angle of attack, and have a confident follow-through.

By learning how to put backspin on your golf balls, you’ll gain more control each time you swing. You’ll be able to choose where the ball stops, rather than hope that it doesn’t roll too far forward once it lands in the green.

In this article, we will explain how to consistently achieve backspin by teaching you the swing mechanics, gear requirements, and mistakes to avoid.

Understanding Golf Ball Backspin

golf ball being hit with backspin

Backspin is the backward rotation of the golf ball during its flight.

Players may try to add backspin to their shots because it helps them achieve two things:

  • Get more lift and distance.
  • Control the ball’s trajectory upon landing.

As you probably know, golf balls have many dimples that help the ball create lift, fly farther, and have a more predictable flight line. By adding backspin to the golf ball, the dimples can create even more lift and gain more distance.

Backspin also helps you control the ball’s path after it lands, stopping it in place rather than allowing it to roll forward. Depending on the shot, players might choose to let the ball roll forward, but in most cases they want the ball to stop shortly.

This way, you can have a more beneficial outcome for your short game and avoid potential obstructions on the ground by maximizing the time your ball moves through the air.

Main Factors Influencing Backspin

Achieving the perfect backspin on your goofball requires a trifecta of factors that consists of choosing the right golf club, choosing the right golf ball, and having the right course conditions.

1. Club Selection

wedge golf club

No matter how good your technique, you’ll struggle to put a spin on your ball if you’re not using the right club.

While it’s possible to achieve a backspin with a driver or even a putter, a wedge with a high loft rating would be the absolute best choice.

Higher lofted clubs, like wedges, have a greater angle in degrees, which helps lift the ball into the air, giving you a higher chance of the ball rotating backward and reaching a longer distance.

Related: Best Golf Clubs for Seniors

The more loft your club has, the easier it will be to get the desired backspin. The wedges in your bag typically range from 45° to 64°, but 50°-60° of loft is the golden spot.

For optimal backspin, choose a high-lofted wedge with sharp grooves; it’s not just technique, but the right tool as well.

In addition to choosing the right club, make sure that the grooves on your wedge are in good condition. Sharp grooves will improve grip, which will in turn send the ball into a backward rotation.

Sand wedges, lob wedges, and pitching wedges are particularly effective for this purpose. Check out Bombtech golf clubs for some affordable options.

2. Ball Type Selection

a closeup of a golf ball on a golf course

The type of ball you choose can greatly affect the amount of backspin you achieve, which is why this is the second most important factor to consider.

Different golf balls are designed with different characteristics and different materials. Here’s how they affect backspin:

  • Soft-covered balls: These balls have a soft outer layer typically made of urethane. This allows the grooves on the golf club to grip the ball more effectively, achieving more backspin. This is why soft-covered golf balls are preferred by professionals and advanced players when it comes to producing as much spin as possible.
  • Hard-covered balls: These balls have a hard outer shell that’s more durable and less susceptible to cuts and scuffs. However, this makes it a slightly worse choice for those who want to achieve maximum backspin because the club can’t grip the ball’s surface easily. Many beginners prefer these balls because they last longer and are more cost-effective.
  • Low Compression vs. High Compression: Compression refers to how much a golf ball compresses upon impact. Low-compression balls are softer and might produce more spin, especially for beginners with a slower swing. On the other hand, high-compression balls may produce less spin, but they will achieve more distance.

As you can see, the best balls to achieve backspin easily are soft-covered, low-compression models. Here are the top 5 choices that I recommend and prefer using:

Golf BallCompression Rating
1. Bridgestone E650
2. Callaway Supersoft38
3. Titleist TruFeel60
4. Taylormade Soft Response50
5. Srixon Soft Feel60

If you’re a beginner, choose a ball with a lower compression rating, such as the Callaway Supersoft. On the other hand, if you’re already experienced, a mid-compression ball such as Titleist TruFeel will help you gain more distance.

3. Course Conditions

wet golf ball at the moment of impact

Course conditions, such as grass length and moisture levels can have an important effect on the amount of backspin you can achieve. The ideal course conditions would include short grass and minimal moisture levels.

Tall grass could get between your golf club and the ball, filling in the grooves on your wedges and lowering the amount of backspin you can impart.

Similarly, moisture can get the ball and the clubface wet, leading to less spin. However, moisture can be a double-edged sword, as a wet green can make the ball stick more upon landing, amplifying the effects of backspin.

The green firmness also plays an important role, as a hard green can cause the ball to bounce and roll forward more, whereas a softer green will receive the ball much better.

Finally, wind can significantly affect the ball’s spin and should be taken into account. Keep in mind that a headwind can amplify the effects of backspin, whereas a tailwind can reduce the backspin.

Techniques to Achieve Backspin

Once you’re certain that you’ve chosen the right golf club and golf ball and that the course conditions are working for you, you should start thinking about the techniques necessary to put backspin on a golf ball.

1. Proper Stance and Ball Position

golfer preparing to hit a golf ball with backspin

The first thing I like to do when trying to achieve maximum spin is think about my stance and the ball’s position relative to my stance.

  • Stance width: Your stance should provide a firm base for your swing, so it shouldn’t be either too wide or too narrow. Ideally, you should keep your feet around shoulder-width apart, or even slightly narrower. This allows for a steeper angle of attack, which is crucial when aiming for more backspin. In addition, put slightly more weight on your lead foot and ensure your entire body is aligned forward, toward the ball.
  • Ball position: To achieve maximum backspin, you should position the ball slightly toward your trailing foot. But be careful not to place the ball too far back. Ideally, you should place it just behind the center-line of your stance. This position promotes a descending blow, which is important for generating spin.

2. Striking the Ball

golf club swing motion for creating backspin

The next phase in producing backspin is the moment of impact between the clubface and the ball. How you swing and strike the ball makes all the difference.

Here are the most important aspects to keep in mind.

  • Descending Blow: To produce maximum backspin, you need to strike the ball with a descending blow. This means that the golf club needs to be moving downward at the moment of contacting the ball. This is why it’s recommended to place the ball slightly back in your stance, as it allows the club’s grooves to efficiently grip the ball.
  • Ball-First Contact: An important thing to remember is to hit the ball before the ground, so as to avoid anything interfering with the club’s interaction with the ball. This is also why it’s beneficial to have a descending blow, as it decreases the chances of “hitting the ball fat.”
  • Centered Strike with a square face: The relation between the clubface and the ball at the moment of impact is another important consideration. You should aim to hit the ball with the center of your clubface while keeping it square. Hitting the ball with an open or closed clubface will diminish backspin and instead lead to a slice or hook.
  • Hit the ball low: In addition to hitting the ball square, you should also aim to hit it as low as possible, without hitting the ground first. This will maximize backspin, but it takes some practice to achieve. This is why I recommend first taking a few practice shots before proceeding to hit the ball.
  • High Clubhead Speed: Finally, a faster clubhead speed at impact will promote backspin. But that doesn’t mean you should swing as fast as possible and lose control. Instead, aim for slightly more speed than usual, while maintaining a smooth swing path.

3. Follow Through

the follow through of a golfer hitting golf ball with backspin

The follow-through is an often overlooked part of a golf shot, especially when aiming for backspin. Here’s how to optimize yours.

  • High finish: After striking the ball, aim for a high follow-through, with your hands finishing above shoulder level. This indicates a good angle of attack and optimal clubhead speed, also ensuring you’re not cutting your swing short
  • Proper wrist release: The release of the wrists in the follow-through can influence spin. A proper release, where the wrists unhinge and the lead wrist rotates naturally, can enhance backspin. Conversely, holding onto the wrist hinge too long can stifle spin.
  • Upward face orientation: The clubface should be pointing toward the sky at the end of your swing. This means that you’ve maintained good clubface angle throughout the swing, ensuring maximum backspin.
  • Full upper body rotation: Finally, your entire upper body should be facing the target at the end of your swing. This ensures that you’ve used your entire body efficiently for generating maximum clubhead speed and golf ball backspin.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

golfer hitting backspin

Recognizing common pitfalls is just as important as understanding what to do right when trying to achieve consistent backspin with your shots.

Here are some of the most common mistakes I’ve been making when starting out and that most golfers make as well.

  • Scooping the ball: Trying to scoop the ball and give it as much lift as possible is the worst thing you can do when aiming for a backspin. Instead, you should maintain a descending blow and hit the ball first, leaving just a small divot upon your follow-through.
  • Not committing to the shot: Maintaining a slightly higher clubhead speed is crucial when putting a backspin on your ball, which is not possible if you’re hesitating and not committing to the shot.
  • Using a worn-out ball or club: Finally, using clubs with worn-out grooves will reduce the amount of spin you can produce. The same goes for old, scuffed golf balls.

Practice Drills to Improve Backspin

To make sure you can consistently produce backspin with your swings, here are three drills I recommend incorporating into your golf routine.

Towel Drill No. 1

To perform this drill, you should place a towel 4-6 inches behind the ball. The goal of this drill is to strike the ball without striking the towel, which will ensure you have a descending blow and a steep angle of attack.

If you don’t have a towel nearby, you can place another ball at the same distance and keep the same goal in mind.

Towel Drill No. 2

The second drill I recommend also requires the use of a towel. However, this time, I want you to place the towel under your lead armpit and hold it there throughout the duration of your swing.

This will ensure that you are using your entire body to produce backspin and that you’re rotating your upper body toward the target.

Weighted Swings

The last drill I recommend is aimed at increasing your clubhead speed, which is crucial for producing backspin.

To perform this drill, you need to put a donut-shaped weight on your club and perform practice swings with it. Once you take it off, your club will feel much lighter, allowing you to generate more speed with greater control.

Final Thoughts

golfer in orange pants hitting a ball

As you can see, mastering the art of backspin in golf is a combination of understanding the science behind it and refining your technique through consistent practice.

By selecting the right equipment, adjusting to course conditions, and perfecting your swing mechanics, you can gain greater control over your ball’s behavior on the green.

Remember, while the technical aspects are crucial, so is the awareness of course conditions and using proper equipment.

With the insights and drills shared in this article, you’re now equipped to add a new dimension to your golf game, impressing both yourself and your fellow golfers with your newfound skill.

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