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Maximising backspin, with PGA Professional Adam Glass

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Maximising backspin is something I get asked a lot about when I'm teaching here at De Vere Wokefield Estatewrites PGA professional Adam Glass.

One of the first things you must ensure is that you don't get any grass or moisture trapped between the ball and the grooves so wiping the clubface with a towel between each shot is a must.

Clean wedges and grooves will ensure maximum backspin. Particularly at the moment with the grass being wet, it's going to be very difficult to maximise spin when you have moisture on the wedge. It can reduce the spin by over half when you've got moisture between club and ball.

New wedges will also help significantly. If you are using wedges that are 20 years old, I recommend you get rid of them!

If you are playing golf two to three times a week, I'd say you would want to change your wedges up to once a season. For example, Padraig Harrington was known to change his wedges as often as every three weeks - although it does help when you're given them for nothing! It's amazing how much spin you get with a fresh new wedge, compared to one that is older. I'll be honest, you're never going to spin a Pinnacle - the cover just won't allow it, you won't get the friction, and so a new premium golf ball is a must if your serious about stopping the ball. Any old ball you find just won’t suffice.

Wedges have evolved so much, especially with many new premium brands featuring milling on the face now.

There's no denying you need a good lie to maximise spin. It's always easier to create spin from a nice lie in the fairway. If you're coming out of the rough and you've got lots of grass trapped in between the face and the ball, then you will struggle to maximise spin.


In terms of executing the shot, your strike location is crucial. If you strike the ball too high on the face, the friction is reduced.

To help get that strike, I actually don't like to see the ball position too far back. Some guys pull the ball way too far back, and of course then you've got too much forward shaft lean and your impact location can be too high on the face. I would pull the ball position slightly further forward. I would rather see the ball being hit slightly thin, than heavy and the ball being too high on the face.

Also on setup, I would encourage players to not have too much forward shaft lean. You want the club to be used as it was designed to be played. There's always going to be some degree of forward shaft lean but it's not going to be excessive. You don't need that handle way forward as it will take off too much dynamic loft. The leading edge has potential to dig with too much shaft lean meaning If you catch the ground before the ball, your chances of getting any spin are reduced as you've got turf trapped between the face and the ball again.

Other good pointers would be to ensure your weight distribution is pretty even, as you don't want the ball too far forward or too far back, and I also see far too many players holding their wedges too tightly. I'd encourage golfers to use a lighter grip for these shots where you try to feel the weight of the clubhead - this will encourage freedom and speed in the clubhead.

You also need plenty of acceleration to maximise backspin. The more clubhead speed you have, the more spin you're going to get.

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