6 Simple Tips to Put More Backspin on a Golf Ball
Written by Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt O has been playing golf since the age of 7. Almost 30 years later, she still loves the game, has played competitively on every level, and spent a good portion of her life as a Class A PGA Professional. Britt currently resides in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children. Current Handicap: 1

Many amateur golfers think that putting backspin on a golf ball is something only professionals can do. However, if you are interested in learning how to get some spin on your shots, you certainly can.

Even high handicap golfers can spin the ball. When I was younger, all of my golf shots had a forward spin. I prepared for it and expected it, but it still made accuracy more difficult.

Eventually, I learned how to put backspin on the ball, and it made all the difference from an accuracy standpoint. Here is how I did it…

 

Why Putting Backspin on The Ball Is an Important Skill to Learn in Golf

When you put backspin on a ball, it can help control the direction as well as the distance of the golf shots you hit. When backspin can be added to your shots, you can truly plan where the ball is going to end up.

Without backspin, all of your shorts will have a forward roll. With the forward roll, there is very little way to ensure your ball finishes next to the hole.

When I started getting backspin on my shots, I noticed that I had shorter putts for birdie and par. In addition, I made quite a few more par saves because I was good at getting myself up and down.

Lastly, from 100 to 200 yards in with iron approach shots, I could not pick areas on the green where I wanted to land the ball and benefit from the slope. In the past, the ball would roll through, but now I could land the shot on the high side of the green and have it roll down toward the pin.

Backspin helps you score.

 

How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball: 6 Tips

Some of getting backspin on your shots are controlled by you, and some are from outside influences. Here are six tips to help put backspin on a golf ball.

1. Choose The Correct Lie

As great as backspin is, it cannot be used anywhere on the golf course. The first step in this process is to analyze the lie you have and make sure it is correct for attempting to get backspin. The way I like to think about this is whether or not the golf ball and the clubface will have a clean interaction.

If the face of the club and the golf ball can connect with each other with nothing in between, backspin is a possibility.

When the face of the club and the golf ball has grass or even water that will impact their connection, the chances of backing the ball up can be smaller. When you are trying to get backspin on shots around the green, make sure that the ball is in a lie with shorter grass.

In addition, lies where there is a major slope involved, your ball is in a divot, or you are hitting out of thicker grass, don’t expect much spin.

2. Steepen The Angle of Attack

When your angle of attack is steep, it is much easier to get spin on the ball.

Shallow golf swings are great for long distances, penetrating ball flight, and even a bit of a draw on your golf shots. However, most draw spin is a forward roll, and it doesn’t back up.

To get a golf ball to spin back, you must steepen the angle of attack. I don’t like to think about this too much with my short irons because I feel it changes the swing more than I would like. However, around the greens, I often think about being steeper with my angle of attack and allowing that to stop the ball on the green.

With the wedges on shorter shots where I want a little spin, I feel like the club comes up a little on the takeaway. Instead of it getting wrapped around, I feel a little more upright, and it leads to a steep angle of attack and more spin.

3. Play with a High Spin Golf Ball

A high spin golf ball can help improve the chance of creating backspin in your shots. Something like a Titleist Pro V1 has a much higher chance of spinning than a Callaway Supersoft. The higher-spinning golf balls have a cover that is more reactive, and the grooves on the face combine with the cover on the ball to increase overall spin.

When I switch out the golf ball in my game to try something new, the first thing I will look at is how well it spins around the green. If the golf ball does not spin well, I won’t keep it in play.

If I switch from a four or even five-piece ball down to a two or three-piece ball, the most significant difference I see in performance is the spin.

4. Increase Clubhead Speed a Bit

You have to have enough clubhead speed to get a higher spin rate. Golfers often try to think about having a smooth and easy swing but sometimes, to get the right amount of spin, you will need speed.

Don’t be afraid to get aggressive with your approach shots and your shots around the green. A downward angle of attack combined with some speed will get your golf ball spinning backward.

I never like to think too much about speeding up as it throws off other things in the game at times. However, I can have the thought of being more aggressive to create high spin. I work on getting my weight towards my front foot and ensuring I hit down and through the ball with some extra speed. This helps improve the accuracy and the overall spin on the golf shot.

5. Improve Friction Between Clubface and The Ball

To improve friction between the clubface and the ball, you need to ensure nothing is blocking the ball from interacting on the grooves of your club head.

Simply put: clean your golf clubs!

Playing with dirty clubs makes no sense. There are plenty of cleaning tools on the market to help you get the face of the club clean and the groove clear. Golf grooves need to interact with the dimples if you are going to get backspin.

I see many amateurs make this mistake with their wedges. They think because there are no clumps of dirt on the wedge that it’s good to go. Take a tee and clean the grooves out to ensure that they are clear.

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6. Check The Grooves on The Clubhead

Lastly, ensure that the grooves on your golf club are still in good shape. In addition, some golf wedges are better at producing backspin (especially from the rough) than others.

Every year golf manufacturers make improvements to their equipment that help increase overall spin rates. If you are not taking advantage of this and are still hitting wedge shots with a 13-year-old wedge, it may be time to change things up.

Some golf clubs can be regrooved if they are old and need some help to get the grooves back to their original condition. However, for others, it’s just time to make a change.

 

Best Situations to Use Backspin

Backspin is very often a great help in your game. However, there are times when it is unnecessary. For instance, I would not want my driver to back up. I’m doing all I can to get that one to spin forwards! Here are some times when backspin can help, and you should focus on trying to get more of it in your game.

Short Chips

Hitting short chips around the greens usually means that you don’t have much green to work with. If you need a ball to land on the surface of the putting green and then stop, then you need some backspin.

On longer chips, less backspin is fine because the ball can roll partly to the hole. Ensure that with your short chips, you are being aggressive, you trap the ball a little and hit down and through.

Approach Shots to Fast Greens

Personally, I like having backspin on all of my approach shots to the greens. However, when you are playing faster greens, a higher spin rate is beneficial. With fast greens, its hard to get the ball to stop, as it just continues to roll when it makes contact with the turf.

Hitting a shot with a higher spin rate and fresh grooves certainly increases your chance of being more accurate. Professional golfers would be in a world of trouble without backspin on their iron shots, and wedge shots, the fast greens on the PGA Tour are very difficult to hold without spin.

Sand Trap Shots

Finally, it’s important to have spin on sand shots around the greens. The most important thing when hitting out of a bunker is the ability to be aggressive. If you can hit sand trap shots out of a bunker and be aggressive, you will get the ball to stop on the green and never worry about having to hit out of the bunker a second time.

The great thing about developing backspin out of a bunker is that if you have a clean lie, you can generate spin even easier than you can out of the grass.

 

Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt O has been playing golf since the age of 7. Almost 30 years later, she still loves the game, has played competitively on every level, and spent a good portion of her life as a Class A PGA Professional. Britt currently resides in Savannah, GA, with her husband and two young children. Current Handicap: 1