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Miscellaneous - Backspin

In order to impart noticeable backspin on a golf ball it is imperative to hit the ball prior to taking a divot. This means the club is descending and contacting the ball as it is traveling toward the ground. When done properly you should notice your divot will begin somewhere ahead of where the back side of the ball was prior to the shot. The further ahead of this point the divot begins indicates the amount of spin placed upon the ball.

The short form technical description of why this causes backspin on the ball goes something like this: The groves of the face of the club grab the ball on the way down pulling the back of the ball towards the ground while the face of the club impacts the back of the ball providing it the required forward momentum. As such the ball is flying through the air with the backspin that will assist in offsetting the forward momentum once the ball hits the ground (hopefully the green) causing it to check up and impress all your friends.

When in the rough, applying backspin to the ball becomes much more difficult because of the extra give of the longer grass beneath the ball. As the club descends on the ball and the groves grab the surface the ball it moves with the downward blow into the rough a fraction of a second prior to beginning its flight towards the intended target thus reducing the spin placed on the ball.

Although it is fairly obvious from the discussion above, it is prudent to mention that the grooves on the face of your clubs should be clear of debris (i.e. dirt, sand, mud, etc.) in order for the grooves to have any edge on them which is really what grabs the ball at impact.

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