How to spin a golf ball
Creating backspin when you pitch and chip is usually the sign of a good golfer. In fact, there are few more satisfying sights than seeing your ball stop abruptly or even back up towards you. The key to creating backspin when you chip is to find the right angle of attack. It needs to be steep, but crucially you still need the loft of the club to be working correctly for you.
Let me explain: start by setting the ball back in your stance and open your feet so they point a fraction left of the target (this gives you room to turn through the shot).
If you do this correctly, the butt of the club will sit opposite the middle of the left thigh. Many players, in search of spin, exaggerate this position, moving the ball too far back and creating too much shaft lean.
This places you in danger of a thin contact and importantly, you’ll not have enough loft on the club to generate the spin you are planning for.
Set the angle
Hinging your wrists a little earlier than you would do for a normal swing is important. It is this action that will help you find the steep angle of attack into the ball that you are looking for.
It is essential, however, that once you have set the angle in the backswing you maintain this through the rest of the swing.
Above all, do not flick your wrists at the ball. A good way to check you aren’t doing this is to hold your finish position.
There should be a triangle created between the end of the club and your shoulders, and this should be perfectly intact.
Maintain the loft
I’ve already touched on the importance of maintaining the loft through impact – now it’s time to explain why this is important.
If you get the action right, you will not take much of a divot but instead you will brush the grass through impact, as I have done here.
Despite the steep angle of attack, the ball will still run up the face, grabbing against the grooves as it goes. It is this interaction that creates the spin.
You must therefore make sure that the face of your wedge is clean. Any mud or grass will kill the spin and your control
Map the shot
The ability to impart spin on your chips is helpful as it allows you to be aggressive and commit to delicate shots.
However, you need to know what the ball will do when it lands and as always this will largely depend on the firmness of the greens.
The ball is likely to take one big jump forward and then grab on its second bounce before trickling out to the hole.
Having a picture in your mind of what the ideal shot will look like will help you plan your approach and set a positive mental outlook