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Golf Tip of the Fortnight
The effect of backspin on a golf shot is a function of
- The quality of contact (ball before ground -- see this tip)
- The consistency (softness or hardness) of the ball and/or its cover
- The condition of the green being approached
Actually, all shots that achieve and maintain a reasonably airborne state off the club's face have some backspin. Whether the amount of backspin is sufficient to cause the ball to hold the green or stay near
where it lands is another question. If you make good contact with the ball, use a ball with a reasonably soft cover and are approaching a green in relatively good condition (i.e., not extraordinarily dry or hard) you should have no problem getting the
ball to hold or even back up, depending on your club head speed. To get the ball to really pull back a significant distance (this is almost always undesirable) you need extremes (i.e., more clubhead
speed along with good quality contact, a very soft-covered ball, very soft greens or all of these).
Other influencing factors are
- The length of the grass you are playing from (e.g.,
shots played from the fairway or shorter grass will typically spin much more than shots hit from longer grass, as contact can be made more cleanly)
- Wind direction (e.g., downwind shots do not hold as well as shots hit into the wind)
Good swing mechanics and a correct concept of what's happening in the swing are important for making the kind of clean contact you need to create adequate backspin.
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