Facilities Manager, Certified Instructor
TourAcademy at TPC Scottsdale
Everyone, including myself, loves to hit the low spinning pitch or wedge shot.
With Trackman, we can take a close look at what really causes spin, and once we know that, we can cater technique to produce the max amount of spin on a given shot. There are a couple of key ingredients in the soup to get max amount of spin. Number one would be the loft of the club at impact or as Trackman likes to call it, Dynamic Loft. This by no means is the same as the loft number on the bottom of your wedge, we’ll get to that in a bit. Second ingredient would be Angle of Attack or whether you are hitting up or down on the ball at impact and to what degree. Third would be the amount of shaft lean at impact which could be forward or back. Finally, club speed.
Think of applying spin to a wedge shot in terms of the extremes. A club that has zero loft or a club that has 90 degrees of loft applied to the golf ball would produce close to zero spin. Zero loft would smash into the ball and send it straight forward while 90 degrees of loft would slice under the ball creating zero friction. As you work down from 90 and up from zero you would guess that 45 degrees of loft would impart the most amount of spin, all things being equal. Lets look at some examples.
Let’s look at two wedges, a 52 degree wedge and a 60 degree wedge. Both wedges would be hit with 6 degrees of downward attack (PGA Tour average), and both would have 5 degrees of forward shaft lean at impact, shaft lean being a trait of many great ball strikers. The 52 degree wedge would lose 5 degrees of loft with shaft lean to 47 and would lose an additional 6 degrees of loft with angle of attack, making implied loft at impact roughly 41 degrees, a little short of our 45 degree target. The 60 degree in the same circumstances would lose five degrees of loft with lean to 55 and 6 more from angle of attack roughly 49, a bit too high. A 56 degree wedge would be perfect, losing 5 degrees from shaft lean to 51 and 6 degrees from angle of attack to create perfect friction loft of 45 degrees.
In terms of club speed, the spin on all three of the above examples would be in proportion, basically more speed, more spin. I understand there are many other factors that contribute to spin rate including grooves, debris on the face, golf ball, temperature, etc. I’d encourage you to experiment with different wedges, and if you have a chance, hit some shots on Trackman, a lot of great feedback.
Good luck and have fun!