How to Get Backspin on the Golf Ball

how to get backspin on the golf ball

Written by Mark

I've been involved in the world of golf for just over five years now, staying on top of game improvement methods, the latest technologies and news.

March 28, 2021

Have you ever felt like you hit a great shot onto the green only to see the ball keep rolling and rolling afterwards? Well do not be afraid, because you are not the only one that struggles with control! As seen on TV, many professional golfers make it look like this is normal in golf but that is rarely true for the average golfer. By the end of this piece, you will know how to get backspin on the golf ball just like them.

Some of the benefits of getting the ball to stop dead include increased accuracy on your approach shots. It can also be helpful to have the ball spin backwards on the green if you hit it past the hole for the optimal approach.

When it comes to creating spin on the green, it all begins with impact but it has to do with the conditions of the green as well. You must compress the ball when you swing and the green must be soft to allow the ball to spin back. By the end of this article you will learn how to create this spin on your own as well as the key factors that go into making it happen.

Part One: 6 Important Factors to Remember

How to Get Backspin on the Golf Ball

In this portion of the article, we will explain the important elements that must be present, before we talk about exactly how to hit the shot. There are six things on this list and by just removing one of them from the equation, it makes it very difficult to properly get backspin on the golf ball.

These six factors are as follows: condition of the green, the wind, the golf ball, the lie, the loft, and the grooves. With the difficulty of each factor being perfect let alone all six, this is why you typically find that only the pros on average can consistently generate backspin.

#1:  Condition of the Green

There are four main conditions of the green that you should be aware of, they are: dry, wet, soft, and hard. These conditions really turn out to become two pairs rather than four independent conditions, the pairs being dry and hard, and wet and soft.

When playing in dry and hard conditions, do not expect much spin because the ball will not be able to catch the green as easily. The ball will also roll out more or possibly spin back further if you are able to put spin on the ball at all.

On the other hand, wet and soft conditions are much better suited for back spin since they give the ball something to grip onto. You should expect the ball to generate backspin nicely or simply stop on a dime upon landing on the green. Either way, wet and soft conditions are ideal to generate backspin and you can expect quite some spin.

#2:  The Wind

You might be thinking, how does the wind affect spin on the ball, I thought that backspin only mattered with the green? Well you are correct in this thinking and although the wind does not necessarily affect the backspin on the ball it will still have some pretty big effects on your shot.

When playing with the wind you want to first determine which direction it is coming from so you have the best understanding of how it will affect your shot. You should really look out for a headwind, because the increased backspin plus the wind will make your ball travel shorter than you had anticipated.

On the opposite hand, if the wind is blowing towards the hole then the ball should travel further than it normally does but the backspin affects this distance as well. Since the backspin on the golf ball is counteracting the direction of motion, it will almost equal out with the effects of the wind. This means the shot will travel the average distance that you would expect without the wind.

#3: The Golf Ball

One of the biggest characteristics on a golf ball that is directly correlated to backspin is the compression of the golf ball. You will often see advertisements talking about how soft a golf ball is and how much increased feel it has, but these effects are also directly related to the compression of the ball.

When it comes to finding a golf ball that will help you with backspin, you want to look for these soft golf balls which means any golf ball with low compression. It has been proven that low compression golf balls have higher spin rates which allows you to put more backspin on the golf ball and will naturally help with this spin.

There is no need to purchase high compression golf balls since this will only fight against the purpose that you are trying to use it for. Higher compression golf balls with less spin are typically designed for higher handicappers who want the ball to spin less so their shots do not slice as much. In the end, you want to buy a low compression golf ball to help you generate backspin.

#4: The Lie

This is another misconception that many golfers have based on watching the Tour pros tee it up on television. It is not easy to make the ball spin back from the sand or even puddles, but the pros make it look so easy. This includes longer grass and uneven lies as well.

These conditions make it tougher to generate backspin, because your club cannot strike the ball as firmly. There will either be lots of grass between your ball and the clubface when making contact, or you are not able to hit the ball in the center of the club face due to the uneven lie. It is the grooves of your club that help generate spin so you want as clean of contact as possible between the grooves and the ball.

Therefore it is easier off tight and flat lies, because under these conditions it is the easiest to make clean contact with the ball. Nothing stands between you and the ball that prevents you from striking the grooves perfectly and generating lots of backspin.

#5: The Loft

When it comes to generating backspin it is easiest to do so with high lofted clubs for a few reasons. The first reason being that high lofted clubs allow you to get underneath the ball better at impact which causes your ball to roll off of the grooves rather than just being sprung forward upon impact.

Another reason is that the extra loft creates a sharper angle into the ball which naturally generates more spin. This is similar to how a hard left to right, or right to left swing generates the side spin to make your golf ball either draw or fade.

It is also the arch of high lofted shots that generate more spin as well as the faster speed over a shorter amount of time in the air. With the same swing speed as a driver but with a higher lofted club, the ball will be covering less distance which lets it keep more of its original speed at impact. The faster the ball is when it lands, the faster it is spinning.

#6: The Grooves

We have mentioned it a few times up until this point, but grooves really do play a big role in generating backspin on the golf course. You will not be able to generate as much backspin on the ball with dirty grooves which is why you often see caddies wiping down a player’s club after every single shot.

To keep your grooves clean like a caddy, we recommend that you start with purchasing a golf towel. This will let you easily wipe away blades of grass that pile up on your club but that will typically only work when they are wet. When it comes to dry dirt and junk in your grooves, simply purchase a groove cleaner which looks like a little brush.

Once your grooves are clean you will be able to make much better contact between the ball and your club. As we have discussed, the better and cleaner the contact with the ball the more backspin you are able to generate on your shots.

Part Two: Step by Step Guide

How to Get Backspin on the Golf Ball

Up until this point we have discussed how many different factors affect backspin on the golf ball, but we have left out the most important factor, you! Well in this section we will be going through what you should do when you stand over the ball. This portion of the article will serve as your go to step by step guide of how to put backspin on the ball.

Step 1:  Ball Position

The exact ball position for backspin varies slightly from person to person, so you will need to experiment with it a little bit for the perfect placement. However generally speaking you will want to have the ball further back in your stance then normal.

It will also vary from club to club, but to generate backspin on the ball you want to hit the ball on your downswing rather than on the upswing. We will discuss the details of this in the angle of attack section, but for now just remember to keep the ball back in your stance.

Step 2:  Grip & Hands

As for the grip and your hands, you do not change your hand placement at all but instead change how firmly you are holding the grip. To generate more backspin you want to grip the club a little more firm than you are used to.

This step is important, because you want to reduce the amount that your wrist moves in a strong backspin swing. You do want to generally increase your hand speed, but this speed will not be generated by your hands itself, since that would only cause more inaccuracy.

Step 3: Swing Speed

Speaking of speed, to generate more backspin on the ball you are going to want to generate more power in your swing. This is due to the relationship that swing speed has on the ball speed, and in turn has an effect on the spin rate of the ball. The faster you swing the club, the faster the ball will spin and more backspin will be generated.

You need to be careful though and make sure that you are increasing your swing speed properly, because a lot can go wrong with your mechanics if you just start to swing as hard as you can.

Step 4: Angle of Attack

This may be the most important step in the entire process when it comes to maximizing the amount of backspin you can put on the ball. As we hinted at with the high lofted clubs, you want the angle of attack that you strike the golf ball with to be as steep as possible. This is why you often see players with high amounts of spin creating such large divots after striking the ball.

The steep angle of attack allows for the most amount of grooves to impact the golf ball and immediately generate spin. So remember that you want the steepest angle of attack that you can possibly get.

Step 5: Weight Distribution

When it comes to weight distribution for generating maximum backspin, you want to keep your weight almost perfectly neutral. This will help you maintain balance throughout your swing and generate more power while keeping your body stable at the same time.

Another possibility is to follow the “60/40” rule which means keeping 60% of your body weight on your front foot and the other 40% on your back foot. With this weight distribution you will keep your body in tension to generate more power and swing speed, but it will also help you strike the ball with a steep angle of attack.

Step 6: Contact Point

We have mentioned it a few times up until this point, but grooves really do play a big role in generating backspin on the golf course. You will not be able to generate as much backspin on the ball with dirty grooves which is why you often see caddies wiping down a player’s club after every single shot.

To keep your grooves clean like a caddy, we recommend that you start with purchasing a golf towel. This will let you easily wipe away blades of grass that pile up on your club but that will typically only work when they are wet. When it comes to dry dirt and junk in your grooves, simply purchase a groove cleaner which looks like a little brush.

Once your grooves are clean you will be able to make much better contact between the ball and your club. As we have discussed, the better and cleaner the contact with the ball the more backspin you are able to generate on your shots.

 

Part Three: Training & Practice Drills

How to Get Backspin on the Golf Ball

Now that you understand what you can do to put backspin on the ball, the only question left remaining is how to do this. Well we have found three helpful drills that have helped us improve backspin in our own games, so they will certainly help you as well. These three drills are known as the tee drill, impact bag drill, and the weighted club drill. We have found the tee drill to be the most helpful for us, but results may vary.

Practice #1: The Tee Drill

The tee drill involves three major steps and helps you improve in two major areas. The benefits include improved angle of attack on the ball to emphasize how steep it needs to be and then helps you get a feel for the perfect impact of the grooves and the golf ball.

Step one includes heading to a driving range and starting by placing a tee just around an inch in front of your ball. You want this tee to be flush with the ground, but not enough that you can no longer see the top of the tee.

From there you use another tee and put it outside of your golf ball in the same exact way. If you are right handed then the tee will go to the right of your ball and vice versa if you are left handed. So after this step you should have one tee in the ground and inch in front of your ball and another tee just an inch beside your ball.

The final step is to start your swing to try and break the tee just in front of your ball. Ideally the divot that you make would start at the location of the tee that is just outside of your ball. Try to make your divot about five inches long and one inch deep. After swinging at the tee a few times, just put a ball down and you will be good to go!

Practice #2:  Impact Bag Drill

As the name implies, for this drill you will be using an impact bag which can be found on Amazon. An impact bag is basically like a smaller version of a punching bag, but it is one that you can swing into without breaking your golf club.

Once you have an impact bag, begin this drill with a few warm up swings into the bag. From there you are going to want to keep a close eye on the alignment of your club face with the bag at impact. You want to have a square clubface to maximize the amount of grooves that you will put on the ball.  Just keep taking swings until you get comfortable and are consistently hitting the bag with a square clubface.

Practice #3: Weighted Club Drill

This drill is designed to help you improve your swing speed naturally, rather than just swinging harder whenever you want to generate more backspin. Similar to baseball, there are weights that you can buy to attach to your golf club. There are also clubs that have been built with weighted shafts, in fact we have a putter with a weighted shaft.

If you are not interested in making any additional purchases for this drill, simply swing with two clubs at once. Once you have some form of weight all you need to do is take normal golf swings, which can be anywhere not just with a ball in front of you. Naturally increasing your swing speed in this way will also naturally increase your backspin, it is as simple as that!

Overall Summary & Conclusion

How to Get Backspin on the Golf Ball

So there you have it, a full and helpful guide teaching you all there is to know on how to get backspin on the golf ball.

It’s more than just a 5 step guide, you have to read and understand the conditions of the environment around you and your equipment to determine the likeliness of success. From here, if you’re confident, you can then go through the steps I’ve shared whilst using the practice drills in between your rounds

Thank you for reading, and play well!

Special thanks also goes to Kampus Production from Pexels for the main image.

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