Here’s how to teach yourself the skills to control golf ball spin around the green
Assuming that you are playing with a high end golf ball, you will want to vary the amount of spin you use for a given chip shot or pitch shot depending on the situation. Sometimes you want the ball to roll a bit after it hits the green and sometimes you want it to stop as quickly as possible. In the first case, you want to hit the ball with a limited amount of backspin so that it doesn’t check too much when it hits the green. In the second case, you’ll want to impart as much backspin as you can under the specific conditions you’re facing.
So, how do you control backspin?
Given any golf club, backspin is directly related to how hard you strike the ball with that club. Put another way, the faster the club is moving when you strike the golf ball, the more backspin the shot will have. Again, I demonstrate my firm grasp of the obvious! Regardless, read that sentence again.
This is where the mental aspect of golf comes into play. Meaning, think before you reflexively grab a club and hit a standard chip shot. Imagine how you want the ball to roll and plan accordingly.
Here’s how to control backspin: for more backspin, make the club move faster through impact. For me, I would take a bit shorter back swing and aggressively strike the ball. For less backspin and the same distance of shot, I would take a little longer back swing and move the club head more slowly through impact. Obviously, you need to practice this before you take it to the course.
Here’s how I would do it:
- Find a flat section of green and select your favorite chipping club. I like to use my gap wedge.
- Using a premium golf ball, select a mid length chip shot to practice
- Take a shorter back swing than usual and aggressively hit down on the ball
- You should be able to see the ball check noticeably when it lands on the green
- Try the exact same shot again, but this time take a longer swing and try to feel lazy as you go through impact. You should see the ball roll significantly farther than the first attempt
- Rinse and repeat until you dominate the green side game
By consistently working on this, you will develop the creativity to imagine shots on the golf course and the skills to pull them off when the money is on the line.