How to Generate Backspin with Your Irons and Wedges
This is a question we are asked every single week… How do I get backspin or more backspin out of my irons and wedges. We have all seen the likes of Jason Day and Jordan Spieth use backspin dozens of times throughout a round of golf, but this isn’t something that novice players should be concerned with. In fact, more times than not, PGA players are just trying to ‘stick’ their irons and aren’t really trying to get the ball to spin back. Focus on striking the ball consistently prior to ever paying any attention to working the ball.
However, if you feel confident in your iron game, and think you are ready to start working the ball more, backspin is a great place to start. Not only does backspin look cool, it is an extremely useful tool when you really want to stick a wedge shot onto the green.
What Creates Backspin on a Golf Ball?
Let’s start with breaking down how exactly backspin is generated, and from there, go into what you need to do with your swing to make that happen. There are two main factors that go into generating backspin from your golf swing.
- Spin Loft -- Spin loft is a number that you can actually calculate, it is the difference between the angle that you strike the ball, and what loft club you are using. Higher spin loft means more spin generated.
- Speed -- The harder you strike the ball, the more spin you are going to generate.
How to Manipulate Spin Loft to Generate Backspin
So, from the image above, we can clearly see that spin loft is the difference between club loft and the angle that you hit the ball. While we want to swing down on the ball, the most important factor here is the loft of the club. You are always going to generate more spin with your wedges, so those are the clubs that I would focus on when initially practicing this skill.
The amount of spin you get on the ball is directly tied to the amount of time the ball spends on the grooves of the club. Keeping this in mind, we want to open the club face slightly and aim left of the target. Use a soft ball that really gets into the grooves of that open club face.
Take your usual swing, don’t try to come down on the ball too much as that just shifts the club loft in the wrong direction. Make contact with the ball prior to the ground, leaving at worst just a small divot in front of the ball. Shallow out your swing and get your hands out in front. This same strike can be used out of the sand, but isn’t going to work as well out of the rough, as you need clean contact with the ball.
Here is a great video breaking down the science of generating backspin on a golf ball…