Increase Distance and Reduce Spin off the Tee for the Better Player


Higher than desired spin on the driver typically comes more from the golfer having a little more downward angle of attack into the ball or, from the golfer allowing the clubhead to slightly pass in front of the hands so the dynamic loft on the face is higher at impact than the actual static loft on the face.  In addition, playing with a shaft that is too flexible or too tip flexible for the player’s swing characteristics can increase the amount of backspin on the shot.  A shaft that is too flexible for the golfer with a later release will cause the shaft to bend forward more which increases the dynamic loft on the head to bring about more spin. 

Equipment wise, higher spin can only come from a higher loft on the face and slightly from a shaft that is too soft in flex or too tip flexible for the golfer’s swing. For example, if you have a lower ball flight with >3000 rpm spin when using a 10* loft driver, assuming the loft really is 10* at the point of impact, it is likely that a slightly downward angle of attack coming into the ball would be the explanation for the higher spin.

From the standpoint of the equipment, the only ways to reduce spin will be first to use a lower loft head, then second to use a more tip stiff shaft than what you are using now if you are a player with a later to very late release. Golfers with an early to midway release should not try to decrease spin by using a stiffer shaft because only golfers with a later to very late release experience a change in shot trajectory or spin from a change in shaft flex. But if you want to increase trajectory in an effort to carry the ball farther, you can only do that with a higher loft and/or a more flexible shaft (late release player) – and both of those are going to result in more spin than you experience now.

I recommend using a TrackMan or Flight Scope launch monitor to measure your launch angle, spin rate and your angle of attack into the ball because these are the most accurate for recording backspin. This way you will know for sure what the cause of the lower flight with higher spin is from. From my experience, a low ball flight with higher spin with a head with a loft of 11* or lower is caused by a more downward angle of attack. In such a case, to change the shot pattern to a higher launch and lower spin would require a swing overhaul to achieve more of a level to slightly upward angle of attack. For a low handicap player that may not be advisable because such a swing change could open the door for other swing errors until the less downward angle of attack change is achieved.  A very good player with a downward angle of attack should just live with the downward angle of attack and the higher spin that can come from it.