If you are as big a golf fan as I am you love to see the ball spin back when it lands on the green. I might be wrong, but I think that is so cool. It does a couple of things. First, it shows an amazing skill to have as a golfer. Second, and very importantly, it helps with distance control. Now, the question is how do they do it? How to get backspin on a golf ball? The answer is both simple and complicated.

How to Get Backspin on a Golf Ball?

It all starts with the technique and without not knowing how to hit a golf ball to get backspin, you will not be able to do it. Then there is the club choice because you will need clubs with more loft. Finally, some golf balls are more suitable for spin than others. Therefore, only when you have all the ingredients you can see your golf ball spin backward after landing. Now, let’s look into those components more closely so you can start working on your backspin.


Here is a breakdown of how to prepare and execute for generating backspin.

  • Stance: It all starts from there. To generate more backspin you can position the golf ball a bit toward your trail foot. This way you are promoting a downward strike which is important for the result.
  • Hit the Ball First: You have to make sure to hit the ball first before you hit the ground. By doing it you hit the ball with the descending part of your swing which helps to compress the ball and add spin.
  • Swing Speed: A firm, accelerated swing through the ball helps generate spin. It is important that you time the acceleration right for your technique to be effective.
  • Follow-Through: The follow-through helps the clubface to guide the ball. When finishing, arms positioned higher up will help you generate the backspin you desire.

Golf Clubs

The story is simple, higher lofted clubs will help you to get more backspin. Therefore, you will achieve the best results with wedges that traditionally have higher lofts. Anything from a pitching wedge to a lob wedge can help you get it. However, you can get some backspin with a 9 iron as well, even though that is something to expect from professional golfers first.

Golf Balls

This is a fact, professional golfers use only premium golf balls. There is a reason for that, they allow them to shape shots and add as much spin as they want. With their softer urethane covers and harder cores, they are built to provide more spin. Additionally, they are the best choice for distance control. Nonetheless, premium golf balls require more skill to control. If you are still perfecting your technique, maybe stay away from them until you feel confident.

Tips for Backspin

Besides knowing the fundamental skills you need to add spin, these tips can help you when you find yourself in different scenarios.

  • Approach for Different Lies: When the ball lands in a fairway it gives you the best chance for some backspin. The rough is a different story because it is harder to get spin from it. Especially if the rough is thicker rather play a safer shot than try spinning the ball. In the sand, aim to strike the sand first before the ball. This creates a cushion that will help you get some spin.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Colder and drier conditions may reduce the spin, so try to compensate by adding some force to your swing. On the other hand, in warm and humid weather, the ball will likely spin more, even with less force.
Image of a golfer about to hit a golf ball on the fairway by Courtney Cook
Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As much as you try, sometimes there are factors you do not take into consideration. This leads to mistakes you can avoid to increase your chances of success.

  • Swing Tempo: Rushing your swing or overcompensating with extra force can lead to poor contact and less spin. Therefore, it is important to maintain a smooth, consistent tempo.
  • Ball Position: The ball too far forward in your stance can cause you to hit up on the ball which reduces spin. Hence, play the ball in the middle of your stance or more back to promote a descending blow which enhances spin. Golf ball position is very important in general for your game.
  • Club Maintenance: Worn-off or dirty groves won’t bite into the ball effectively which will negatively affect the spin. Thus, ensure your groves are in good shape and your clubface is clean for your best chance for success.

Backspin Drills

As with anything else you want to perfect in your golf game, practice is essential. Here are five drills that can help you improve your ability to generate backspin.

  1. The Half-Swing Drill: Practice half-swings with your wedges to focus on clean contact with the ball. Use a high-loft club, like a sand wedge, and aim to strike the ball with a descending blow. This drill helps you develop the feel for the right impact position necessary to create backspin.
  2. The Divot Pattern Drill: Place a line of tape or a visible marker on the ground square to your target line. Focus on hitting the ground just after the marker, creating a divot. The goal is to ensure that your club is hitting down on the ball, not scooping it.
  3. The Wet Ball Drill: Practice hitting shots from a slightly wet lie or by wetting the ball itself. The moisture helps reduce friction between the clubface and the ball, making it crucial to hit the ball with a clean, sharp strike to generate spin. This drill emphasizes the importance of precision in wet conditions.
  4. The Spin Rate Monitor Drill: If available, use a launch monitor that provides spin rate data. Hit various shots with different clubs and try adjusting your swing speed, angle of attack, and point of contact. Analyze the spin rates to understand how your changes affect the ball’s spin.
  5. The Chipping Target Drill: Set up a chipping area with specific targets marked at different distances. Use your wedges to ship the ball aiming to land near the targets with enough backspin to stop quickly. This drill is great for practicing control over both distance and spin.

A Fun Process

Having the skill of adding spin to your ball can improve your game and make it more enjoyable. However, it is a process that takes time and practice. The good news is you can have a lot of fun during that process and find out a lot about your game as well. I always remember how Tiger Woods used to talk about the importance of the process. Trust me, if you give importance to the process, the results will come.

Have you tried to add spin to your golf ball? What were the results? Share below!

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