8 Easy Steps: How To Put Backspin On A Golf Ball

how to put backspin on a golf ball

Meet Jake

Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.

Want to learn how to put backspin on a golf ball? Well, the natural way of striking through a golf ball means you will put topspin on it. 

Think about when you’re driving off a tee; you want the ball to go as far as possible. The natural follow-through makes the ball spin forwards, so when it bounces, it will move further forward, closer to the green. Mastering your topspin drive is one of the first steps in learning how to play golf. 

However, there are times when you don’t want the ball to spin forwards at all. Instead, you want it to check back on itself.

A common time to do this is if you’re chipping onto the green and need the ball to fall back down closer to the hole. You need to learn how to put backspin on a golf ball to do this. 

The bad news is that backspin doesn’t come as naturally to a golfer as topspin does. 

The good news is that you can learn and train yourself to start hitting nice backspin shots while you’re out playing. 

The even better news is that we are about to teach you the key steps and elements needed to generate a backspin on a golf ball. 

You’ll be getting pin high before you know it.

How to Put Backspin on a Golf Ball in 8 Steps

golf ball near hole at sunset
Hopefully your shot looks like this!

Clearly, you understand why some golf shots require backspin. We have all watched the PGA Tour when Tiger Woods hits a phenomenal shot, lands on the green, and proceeds to shoot backward toward the hole.

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To put backspin on a golf ball:

  1. Use a higher lofted club.
  2. Place the ball more toward your back foot
  3. Hit downward at a steep angle with speed
  4. Hit as low as possible on the ball before striking the turf

As golfers, we all want moments like that. So let’s dive into the steps of how to put backspin on a golf ball.

Step 1: Choose the right club

You aren’t going to put a backspin on a ball with a putter or a driver. Instead, you need to choose a lofted club. The more loft your club has, the easier it will be to generate elevation through the stroke.

We’ll talk more about the importance of elevation later on, but it really helps you generate a wicked spin on the ball. Most golfers recommend using a wedge for this, but anything above a seven iron will do nicely.

It’s probably best that you start with one of your wedges and then gradually apply the techniques to the shorter clubs as you improve. 

Step 2: Use the right golf ball

The majority of golf balls from the big brands are not designed to spin that much.

This is because they are made with a hard center, which adds weight to the ball and allows it to move through the air at fast speeds.

Your choice of golf ball is really important when learning how to put backspin on a golf ball.

golf balls
Practice makes perfect.

Effectively, the whole aim is to get the ball up in the air and as close to the green as you can. After all, distance is key in golf as it means you can reach the green and get a putt off in as few strokes as possible. 

See More: Titleist Velocity Golf Balls Review: Great In 2022

Nevertheless, you need the right balls if you want to hit some good backspin shots. It will be really hard for an amateur to achieve a backspin shot with a hard-centered ball, so you need to opt for a soft-centered one instead.

You can read our review on the best golf balls for beginners to find soft golf ball options – or you can go to any online golf shop, and they usually have a filter on the balls to let you see the best products for spin shots. 

It’s also worth noting that premium golf balls tend to have higher spin rates. Therefore, investing in higher quality balls can make your life a lot easier on the golf course. 

Step 3: Position your ball

At this point, you’ve picked out the right club, you’ve got the right ball, and now you can start preparing to hit the shot. 

lining up golf shot with wedge
Golf Ball Position for Backspin

Where would you say is the best place to position a ball when hitting a shot? All of you will probably think that the center of your stance is the ideal position.

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Well, this is true for regular shots. Place the ball just inside of your forward foot if you want to be accurate and have a good drive or, or in the middle of your stance for a putt. 

However, when you’re trying to put backspin on a golf ball, you should place the ball closer to your back foot. 

Step 4: Hit down on the ball at a steep angle

You want the ball to be close to your back foot because it makes this step easier to achieve.

golf wedge going to hit golf ball with backspin

You need to hit downwards at a steep angle to generate backspin on the ball. When the ball is in the center of your stance, it is hard to generate the steep angle and strike downwards sharply.

You’ll find that positioning the ball like this will make it so much simpler for you to do just that. 

It’s all about minding your backspin as you prepare for the shot. Take a few practice swings to ensure you get a very steep angle. The steeper the angle, the more backspin you’ll generate. 

Step 5: Hit as low on the ball as possible before striking the turf

Listen, you can never hit a golf shot without taking a bit of turf with you. It’s perfectly normal, and a lot of the time, you hit the turf before the ball. For regular shots, this isn’t always that big of a deal.

See More: What Is An Albatross in Golf? 3 Tricks To Score One

But, when backspin is your aim, it’s super important that you hit the ball before you take any turf. You should imagine striking down on the back of the ball, but that’s not the only thing to consider in this step. 

Where is the best place to strike the ball when you make a connection for a backspin shot? Ideally, you want to hit it as low as possible. This will help you create far more spin than if you connect with the top of the ball. 

Combine these two tips, and you will have more control over your shots, as well as a high spin rate to get the ball rolling back towards you. 

Step 6: Hit low on the clubface

As these steps are coming together, it’s funny how many of them go against everything that you’ve learned about hitting golf shots so far.

golfer hitting backspin shot over pond

Normally, to improve your shots, you want to hit the ball in the dead center of the clubface. Well, when backspin is your goal, you need to throw this unwritten rule out. 

Instead, hitting low on the clubface is the preferred method. Why? Because it helps to create more friction.

Friction is so important when it comes to spinning a golf ball. The more friction you generate, the higher the spin rate will be. Also, hitting low on the clubface ensures that the previous step happens and you hit the ball before hitting the turf. 

Unfortunately, this is where the shot gets tricky.

Trying to hit the ball low on the clubface can be difficult if you’ve never done it before – especially as you’re trying to connect low on the ball with a steep angle.

What tends to happen is you hit a lot of bladed shots – this is when you connect with the top half of the golf ball first.

Naturally, this won’t make your ball spin backward, and it will result in a lot of frustration. It could take a lot of practice before you nail this technique, so be warned!

Step 7: Generate high clubhead speed

Clubhead speed refers to the speed of the clubhead as it strikes the ball. If you generate a high clubhead speed, the ball will spin a lot more.

This is partially why we use longer wedge clubs for backspin shots; they can help you generate more speed in your strokes. 

Also, the distance to the hole will play a role in your clubhead speed. Shots that are really close to the green/hole won’t have a high clubhead speed because you need to hit them quite delicately.

So, it’s not always possible to generate much backspin with these shots. Instead, ones that are around 100m away will give you enough speed to create the spin you need. 

Step 8: Aim for height

Try to hit your shot, so the ball goes as high in the air as possible. 

Why does this help with backspin? The longer the ball is in the air, the more it starts spinning. It will spin backward a lot further if it drops from a high position when it lands. 

Put all of these steps together, and you will start putting backspin on your golf shots. Remember, this is only useful in certain scenarios – you don’t want or need every shot to be a backspin one! 

Other factors that can increase or decrease the spin rate

  • The condition of your clubs – new and well-maintained ones will provide more backspin.
  • The condition of the turf – long grass makes it harder to hit the ball cleanly, so .your shot will generate less backspin
  • Friction – you need lots of friction to make the ball spin, meaning you should always dry the ball and club before you hit it.
  • Wind – don’t try hitting a backspin shot with the wind behind you; even professional golfers struggle with this. Ideally, it would be best if you hit into a headwind to get more backspin.
  • The slope of the green – if the green slopes away from you, no amount of backspin will get it rolling up a hill! Instead, flat greens or ones that slope towards you will give the best results.

What are you waiting for? Head outside and start practicing these steps to finally put a backspin on your shots and add a new string to your golfing bow. 

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