Golf Tip: How to get backspin on your ball near the green
A lot of my students ask me how to get backspin with their wedges. They see the pros hit short shots to greens that back up towards the pin and they want to do that too.
High-handicappers usually have a misconception of how to get backspin with a wedge. They think that they need to get underneath the ball and scoop the shot. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to do.
To get backspin you actually want to hit down. When you strike down on the ball, the ball rolls up the club face, the ball flies forward, but it spins backwards, so when it lands it bites. To do this, you want to squeeze the ball off the turf: hitting the ball first and taking a thin divot afterwards.
Follow these three simple steps to get backspin with your wedge.
Firstly, set up your body slightly open to your target. This means that you point your body left of the target and lean your weight towards your front leg.
Secondly, play the ball just right of center. You want the ball further back in your stance so that you catch the ball first on your downswing, your hands should be in front of the ball at address and as you strike the ball at impact.
Thirdly, you want your backswing to be more upright or steeper, so you must hinge your wrists freely as you swing back. The worst move you can do when you are trying to pitch and get backspin is take the club low and inside. Take it back straighter and let the club work up. This is what is going to help you pinch the ball off the turf and get you the backspin you desire.
Try this drill: Place a club perpendicular to your target line just outside your right foot. Hit some shots letting the club work up on the backswing. If your hit the club going back, then you are not hinging your wrists enough. Let the club work down on the ball on the downswing to give the ball a downward descending blow. This technique will help you achieve the backspin you need to get the ball to stay next to the pin after it lands.
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Yes, you're dead right about the two-piece balls. Some recreational players don't realize that you can't even begin to draw balls back on the greens the way the pros do unless you use new tour-quality balls and play on good greens (having new wedges doesn't hurt, either).
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