If you’re like most golfers you want more distance off the tee and more backspin with your wedges. Both shots look great and make you feel like you’re ready to tee it up with the best player in the world.
Does that sound like you?
To get more distance and more backspin, you need to focus on something not enough golfers think about – Rates of spin. While we worry about buying new clubs or improving our swing at the range, spin is an important part of every shot and every club you hit.
To better understand spin rates in golf, we’ll break down how spin impacts driving distance, backspin, and other areas of your game. By the time you’re done reading this blog post, you will have all the tools to assess your clubs and make changes to shoot lower scores.
If you’re like a lot of golfers, I’m sure you’ve asked, “What is a good spin rate in golf?”
It’s a good question because spin plays a big role in distance and height of your golf shot. But the answer for “good” spin rate is tough to answer because of the complexity of golf.
As it can have a tremendous impact on your game and swing, spin should be something more golfers are aware of. Instead of telling you a “good” rate, you need to understand spin rates on different types of golf clubs. As you’ll see below, spin rates for woods vs. irons vs. wedges are quite different.
The spin rate simply refers to the amount of spin that occurs immediately after you hit a shot. This is measured in RPM and ranges depending on the club you’re hitting.
These are two rules of thumb for spin:
- The spin rate is higher the loftier the club you use. That’s why your wedges spin much more than your long irons.
- You get more spins the faster you are. That’s why it’s so important to accelerate through the golf ball to generate spin. This is why amateur golfers struggle to get backspin on shots within 125 meters like professional golfers.
Too much spin will cause your golf balls to go too high, and not as far. Too little spin can slow down the ball’s flight and cause it to lose accuracy.
The goal is for every shot to be as straight and spinny as possible. The good news? Different clubs and shafts can be made for all types swings. This will help you find the right balance.
You will need a launch monitor to measure your spin rates. Not all monitors have spin rates or data on the spin axis.
Some personal launch monitors can provide this data (click here for our top picks), but not all. You may need to have your club fitted by a professional club fitter who has higher end tech and can measure more swing data, such as spin rates.
When driving the golf ball, spin is crucial. You need to adjust your spin rates to get more distance.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of golfers make is playing clubs and shafts that don’t match their swing. This can lead to excessive spin, which can reduce total carry distance and total distance.
According to TrackmanHere are the averages of male golfers using a driver, according to the most reliable source in golf.
- PGA Tour: 2686 rpm
- Scratch of Better: 2896 RPM
- 5 HCP: 2987 RPM
- 10 HCP: 3192 RPM
- Average Golfer: 3275 rpm
- Bogey Golfer: 3127 rpm
Here are the stats for female golfers
- LPGA Tour: 2611 RPM
- Scratch or Better: 2831 RPM
- 5 HCP: 3027/min
- 10 HCP: 3207/min
- 15 HCP 3287 rpm
Needless to mention, spin is a key component in getting the most out your long game. Here’s what a Trackman master fitter (Christoph Bausek) said about the importance of spin with drivers.
“It is fascinating how much the spin rate can change the flight of the golf ball. Sometimes, a student can increase their drive distance by as much as 30 yards in just a few shots.
Spin rate is mainly determined by speed, friction, spin loft, and centeredness-of-impact. Drivers are greatly affected by vertical gear. If a golfer understands how spin is produced, they will also have a big advantage in their short game.”
What is a good rate of driver spin?
Depending on which club fitter it is, it can range from 2000 to 3000 RPM.Others would argue that it ranges from 1700 to 3500. I know it’s a broad range, but there are tons of factors to consider including age, gender, swing speed, club, shaft, and ideal shot shape/trajectory.
Fairway woods have more loft than drivers, so they spin better. A three-wood usually has spin in the mid-3000 range, while a five-wood with higher loft is about 4300.
What is a good rate of spin for irons?
Remember our first rule about spin –The higher the loft, higher the spin rates. Irons will spin faster because they have more loft than drivers or fairway woods.
A good rule of thumb is to take the iron you want to measure and multiply it by 1000 to determine a “good” rate. For example, if you’re hitting a 7 iron, you want the spin rate to be around 7,000rpm.
Just like when you’re hitting your driver, too much spin will lead to loss of distance as the ball will travel too high. Too much spin can cause the trajectory to drop and make it difficult to keep your approach shots on dance floor.
The wedges are the last clubs in your bag. They have the most spin and the most loft. These clubs don’t travel near as far but spin a ton, which is why you can get backspin or the “one hop and stop” shots on the green.
Spin rates can vary depending on swing speed, swing speed, wedge loft, and type of swing. But generally, they range from 8,000 to 11,000rpm. It’s where things get complicated as some golfers attempt to actively remove as much spin as possible by hitting wedges. That’s why you see a lot of PGA Tour players hitting knockdown shots to remove spin and not suck their golf ball off the front of the green.
You can remove spin by using wedges by simply choking up 1-2 inches, and taking an additional club.. It’s better to swing at 80% effort as you will likely make better contact and the ball won’t spin as much. Plus, don’t forget to check out the golf ball spin chart below to see if your ball is adding too much spin.
Do you have any questions about dialing your spin rates? We have the answers you need below.
Not all golfers require professional fittings. I believe the driver is the club that you should prioritize with spin rates over all else.
Since your driver sets up most shots on par 4s and 5s, it’s essential to play a club that suits your game. Otherwise, you’re leaving tons of distance on the table and making golf much harder on yourself.
Spin also plays a crucial role in the golf ball.
Some are hard and reduce spin, while others are soft and increase it. This 2018 article is by Golf DigestIt is easy to see how different golf ball spins based on spin rates or launch angles. See how your golf ball impacts spin.
This is a great question because your golf gear directly influences total spin.
Callaway provided a professional outdoor fitting right before I started writing and researching this article. I wanted to make sure I had the right shaft and club head for my Rogue ST driver. It made a big difference. Based on my driver swing speed (about 100mph) and swing, I was fitted for the Triple Diamond model with an extra stiff shaft (70 grams, XStiff).
When you do a fitting and can see the trajectory plus spin numbers, it’s eye-opening! Other shafts and club heads added too much spin, which hampered distance. Other shafts, such as the Tour X-stiff, were too stiff and made it go too low. That’s why it’s so important to find the right balance between trajectory and spin.
Yes, stiffer shafts will have a lower spin rate and launch. (Read our full article about stiff flex shafts vs regular shafts. But the clubhead is also important.
Although switching clubs or shafts can be helpful, there are many other strategies. These are three ways to lower the spin rate of your driver.
- Tee it higher. This will increase distance from the ground and promote a higher launch angle. This should reduce total spin.
- Keep your weight back and don’t sway forward on your downswing. This will make sure you don’t chop down on the golf ball which will also increase your spin rates.
- To help the golf ball fly down and increase distance, choose heavier shafts.
Also, be sure to pay attention to this Top Speed Golf YouTube VideoTo learn more about lowering the driver’s spin (and maximizing distance),
A higher spin rate means a higher launch angle. It will make your golf ball feel like it is floating in space before falling back onto the green. You will have a higher landing angle and your ball will land softly.
A lower spin rate can also mean a lower trajectory and landing angle. You want drivers to have a boring flight, with less backspin. This will improve your carry and distance off the tee.
Spin rates and spin axis are two different things. The spin axis is how far the golf ball curves to the left or right. According to Trackman,
“A negative spin axis represents a ball curving to the left, a positive spin axis represents a ball curving to the right, and a zero spin axis represents a shot that has no curvature.
The ball’s spin axis should be constant throughout its flight. It is determined at impact. Even though wind may “push” the ball in different directions, the spin axis will remain unchanged. Spin axis is measured relative to the horizon.”
Yes and no, depending on the club you’re hitting. Wedges and irons will produce more spin, but too much spin with your driver can limit distance off the tee. The rule of thumb is that a higher average spin with a driver equals a shorter distance.
Plus, don’t forget that your swing speed, clubs, and golf balls play a major role in spin. The more spin you create naturally the faster your swing speed. Depending on the equipment you use, the shafts/clubheads and ball will affect how spin is added or decreased.
If you need to reduce spin when you’re playing golf, for example, windy conditions, there are two things you can do. To reduce spin, remember our two rules for the beginning – more loft and more speed equals more spin.
If you’re out on a windy day, especially when hitting into the wind, you want to reduce spin by using less club. Or, if it’s very windy 2-3 clubs. This will mean you’re using less loft which will also spin less. A shorter follow-through will keep the ball under the wind and lower.
Remember the famous golf tip? “When it’s breezy, swing easy.”Now that you’re familiar with spin rates, this tip is obvious. By swinging slower, you will have less clubhead speed and thus, less spin on the golf ball so it won’t get as affected by the wind.
Remember these two rules when you’re playing golf in the wind.
If you aren’t breaking 90 yet, spin rates aren’t the biggest deal. As you get more skilled, the key to accuracy and distance is having the right clubs and shafts.
Don’t let your clubs hold you back from playing your best golf!
Once you can shoot in the high 80s (or low 90s) consistently, it’s a good idea to get fit for clubs. You can easily test different equipment with a launch tracker and certified club fitter. This will allow you to see your spin rates. You can also hit all sorts of clubs and shafts to determine how they impact distance, accuracy, feel, or trajectory.
Your driver sets up many holes so make sure it is dialed in high. To get the best out of your swing, you should check your spin rates with wedges and irons as you begin to shoot lower scores.