Golf Ball Spin: How To Pick The Perfect Golf Ball


When deciding what golf ball to play, one of the most important things to consider is how much the ball spins. Every type of golfer should consider different balls because they all spin at different rates, and if you use the wrong ball, it could hurt your game.

The spin of a golf ball is influenced by a number of different things. It can depend on the construction, the cover material, and also your swing. A ball that spins a lot can be good if you want max control, but for the average hacker out there, it could also increase that big banana slice.

Pro Tip: Picking the right golf ball for your swing is super important if you want to put up better scores. If you’re wondering which balls have high spin rates and which balls have low spin rates, check out our golf ball spin chart.

What Is Golf Ball Spin?

golf ball spin

The spin of a golf ball is what causes it to gain height or to move from side to side. When your ball spins a lot it can cause your shots to go higher, but it can also result in hooks and slices.

There are certain times when you’d want your ball to spin more, but there are also times when you don’t. The majority of golf balls on the market produce lower spin rates with the driver. Then, some of those balls can have low spin rates with the wedges and some of them have high spin rates.

RELATED: The Different Types Of Golf Balls

Having less spin with the driver should help you gain distance and it should help you hit the ball straighter. More spin with the wedges will help you land the ball on the green and have it stop quickly.

When someone is talking about spin they could be talking about a few different types:

  • Backspin: This is when the golf ball spins back towards you.
  • Topspin: This is when the golf ball spins towards the target (it doesn’t really happen in golf).
  • Sidespin: This is when the golf ball spins from side to side (left to right or right to left).

Both backspin and sidespin have their place on the course, but they can also hurt your game. Generally speaking, you’ll want more spin as you get better. We’ll get into why that’s the case next.

How Does Spin Affect A Golf Ball?

The spin of a golf ball will affect the height of your shot and also the shape. A golf ball with more spin will typically add height to the shot while a ball with more sidespin can cause a hook or slice.

The amount of spin you get will all depend on the ball you’re using and your swing path. Most balls produce lower amounts of driver spin, so if you do get sidespin, it’s probably because of your swing.

On the other hand, certain balls will have a lot more backspin than others with the wedges. More short game backspin will help you control the ball and get it to stop quickly on the green.

What does sidespin do to a golf ball? When your golf ball has a lot of sidespin, you’ll get shots that move from side to side. Most golfers slice the ball with their driver, which is caused by their swing path creating too much sidespin.

What does backspin do to a golf ball? When your golf ball has a lot of backspin, you’ll normally get higher than normal shots. This can lead to less distance off the tee or more stopping power on the greens.

Learn More: Still want to know more about spin and how it affects the golf ball? Click here to find out how sidespin and backspin affect a golf ball.

Which Golf Balls Spin The Most

If you’re a better golfer, you might be looking for a golf ball that produces more spin. Most golfers don’t want a whole lot of spin off the tee, but when it comes to the short game, being able to spin the ball back is what everyone wants.

The reason I say “if you’re a better golfer” is that more spin equals more money. Average golfers won’t be able to spin their wedges with any type of ball. That’s why you’re better off spending less money.

That being said, better players need to up their gear if they really want to improve. A 3 or 4 piece golf ball is probably best. Here are some of the balls that produce the most spin around the green:

  1. Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash
  2. Titleist Pro V1x
  3. Taylormade TP5x
  4. Srixon Z-Star

Again, these balls have a urethane cover (urethane vs ionomer vs Surlyn) and are designed for low handicap and professional golfers. Mid to high handicaps won’t benefit from adding them to the bag, and in some cases, it could even hurt the game.

Which Golf Balls Spin The Least?

If you’re a beginner or high handicapper, you should be looking for a golf ball that produces less spin. A 2 or 3 piece golf ball with less spin will help you hit the driver straighter and it’ll also be easier on the wallet.

The majority of average players slice the ball off the tee (not you, of course). Slicing the ball is caused by too much sidespin. Having a high spinning ball will make that even worse.

Another reason is that average players don’t know how to spin the ball with their wedges. If that’s the case, why would you need a ball that has a higher spin rate? It’s just going to cost more money.

Here are some of the lowest spinning golf balls off the tee:

  1. Titleist AVX
  2. Taylormade TP5X
  3. Bridgestone e12 Contact
  4. Vice Drive

The first two balls produce low spin off the tee and high spin around the green. This makes them good choices for better players. The last two produce low spin off the tee and low-mid spin near the green. They’d be a better choice for average golfers.

Learn More: Want to know more balls with high and low spin rates? Click here to find out which golf balls spin the most and least?

Do Low Spin Golf Balls Go Straighter?

golf shot

Low spin golf balls reduce the amount of sidespin, which as a result, makes the ball go straighter. This makes lower spinning golf balls perfect for beginner golfers and high handicappers.

Just think about how often you hit a shot that curves. The only reason that’s happening is that the ball is spinning from side to side.

Hitting the fairway more often is one of the best ways to go from high to mid handicap range. It just makes the game so much easier to play.

One of the easiest ways to hit the ball a little straighter is by playing the right ball. Sure, it’s not going to magically fix your slice overnight (only changing your swing will), but it should help a bit.

One of the other benefits of hitting the ball straighter is the increased distance. Just think about how much your shots are curving. Instead of having your ball curve 30 yards right, having it fly straight could potentially add 30 more yards.

Learn More: Are you curious about why lower spinning balls go straighter? Click here to find out do low spin golf balls go straighter?

Why Does Your Golf Ball Spin Right?

The reason your golf ball spins to the right is that you have an out-to-in swing path through impact. Imagine a clock, an out-to-in swing path would be when your club travels from 5 o’clock to 11 o’clock.

This is the most common shot for average weekend hackers. You’ve probably done it yourself, but basically, it’s when a right-handed golfer hits the ball and it curves away to the right.

The first question you need to ask is where is your ball starting? Does it start at the target and turn right? Does it start right and curve right?

Wherever the ball starts is where your clubface was pointing. If the ball starts straight, your clubface was square. If the ball started right, your clubface was open.

Once you have the ball starting towards the target, you need to straighten out the shot. This is done by changing your swing path.

To hit straighter shots (and even draw the ball), you need to swing from the inside to the outside. On a clock, that would be from 7 o’clock to 1 o’clock. Coming from that angle with a squared clubface will help you hit the ball straighter and gain distance.

RELATED: 5+ Reasons You Hit The Golf Ball Right

Do Soft Golf Balls Spin More Or Less?

As a general rule, softer compression golf balls will have less short game spin compared to harder compression balls. However, when it comes to driver spin rates, the hardness and softness don’t make a difference.

When it comes to “softness”, you could be talking about the golf ball compression rating or the feel of the ball. Soft compression balls can have a softer cover or they can have a firm cover. The opposite is true for hard compression balls.

In most cases, the “feel” of the golf ball won’t have a huge impact on spin rates. Want to know more? Check out our soft vs hard golf balls article here. What matters more is the softness of the compression.

If you look at the Pro V1 (90 compression) and the Pro V1x (100 compression), you’ll notice that the firmer Pro V1x produces slightly more driver spin and quite a bit more wedge spin.

The same goes for the Taylormade TP5 and TP5x. The softer compression ball has a bit less driver spin but much less wedge spin.

RELATED:

Should You Use A Low Or High Spin Golf Ball?

The choice of whether to use a lower or higher spinning golf ball comes down to a number of different factors. The most important thing to think about is what your skill level is, but another factor is price.

Generally speaking, if you’re a beginner or high handicapper (you shoot above 90), a lower spinning golf ball will be good enough for you. The main reason is that you’ll lose a lot of balls, so if you’re playing $5 balls, it might hurt the wallet a bit.

Playing a ball that produces low driver spin and low wedge spin will be a lot cheaper and you’ll probably get the same performance. The distance will be very similar (compared to a high-end ball) and you’ll hit more fairways. You can see the best low spin golf balls for each type of golfer here.

Once you start shooting in the 80s (mid handicap), you might be able to put some short game spin on your shots. This is when you should upgrade to a ball that produces a bit more wedge spin. That being said, low driver spin is still recommended.

RELATED: Best Golf Balls For Mid Handicappers

Don’t get me wrong, you can still use a cheaper 2-piece ball and put up some pretty decent scores. If you really want to dial in your short game control, a bit more spin could help.

At this point, I still wouldn’t recommend playing a tour performance ball like a Pro V1. They’re just too expensive, in my opinion, and you’ll get everything you need with a tour-value ball.

When you’re able to consistently shoot in the 70s (low handicap) or have a faster than normal swing speed, it might be time to upgrade to a tour performance golf ball. Something like a Pro V1 could be what you need. You can see the best golf balls for high swing speeds here.

If you don’t want to spend that kind of money then you don’t have to. However, if you want your wedge shots to bite the green more, these balls produce the most wedge spin.

Some of these balls have higher spin rates with the driver than others. If you tend to hook or slice the ball, you’ll want to stick to a ball with low driver spin and high wedge spin (Pro V1 for example). A ball that produces high wedge spin and higher driver spin would be the Srixon Z-Star.

Note. This article is part of our series on which golf ball should you use? If you’re still unsure about all the different types of balls and their pros and cons, I’d recommend checking that out.

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Jon Webber

Just an average golfer trying to take my game to the next level. Was shooting around 100 not that long ago but have now been in the 80s consistently. Best round to date was 12 over. Best 9 holes were 4 over.

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