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Spin to Win

Greetings Golfers,

Can you spin it?

I don’t mean your story … I mean your golf ball.

Ball sports are about controlling spin: 

  • ping-pong

  • tennis

  • pool/billiards

  • baseball(pitching)

  • basketball(shooting)

  • football(passing)

  • golf

When I was a kid we used to play a game called “Four square”, where you basically tried to spin the ball in and out of boxes/squares.

I think we put too much emphasis on power and not enough on control. 

And control comes from controlling spin.

Most golfers slice - especially with their driver. The driver is basically a flat face with little loft. The lack of loft can’t balance the slice side-spin. It’s difficult to slice your wedge - the loft nullifies the side-spin.

An old friend stopped by the other day for a lesson. He couldn’t hook/draw the golf ball.

So, we went to the chipping green - not the driving range.

He needed to learn how to spin the ball on very short shots.

So, he hit a bunch of chip shots by just holding the clubface square through the shot. No turning of the wrists - just holding it firmly through the shot.

Then, he hit a bunch of cut/slice chips where he opened the club-face under the ball as he hit it.

Next was to hook some chip shots. I wanted him to hit it like a topspin tennis shot or ping-pong topspin shot. Not just turn his wrists to close the club-face … but to also hit up on the ball. So, we teed-it up like a driver shot.

He then would swing the club up to the ball while rolling his wrists to close the clubface through contact. He got to where he could loft it up in the air and land it about 10 feet from contact and it would roll about 5 feet left toward the hole.

Those 3 different chip shots are basically golf in a nutshell. If you can do those shots … you can control the golf ball with spin. 

Your full shots are just longer versions of those chip shots.

Do you remember Johnny Sain … the pitching coach for the Twins in the 60s? He was all about spin. He wasn’t big on mechanics or running … he said “You don’t run the ball across the plate. If you did, they’d look for pitchers on track teams.”

This old friend of mine used to be a catcher. He could throw the ball back to the pitcher with more speed than the pitcher, though he was sitting the crouch. Maybe the pitching wind-up isn’t that important?????

He was also a quarterback. We talked about quarterbacks throwing while on the run and not using their three-step mechanics. He said the other night on a football telecast that the Manning brothers were talking to Favre about such ideas involving Aaron Rodgers.

What I’m trying to say is that my friend was too hung-up on swing mechanics. He couldn’t control his slice. He wasn’t using his ability to throw. His golf swing wasn’t athletic.

No matter what your golf swing looks like … you need to learn how to spin the ball.

And control the spin.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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