What is Spin Loft?

Spin Loft is one of the least understood and most important factors for achieving good driver distance, affecting both carry and roll.  Learn more.


Most of us know that spin rate is one of the keys to smashing drives.


No sidespin and the just the right amount of backspin.


You might have heard me say that there’s only one type of spin, and in this article I’m going to be talking about what’s commonly referred to as “backspin”, or spin only on the horizontal axis.  I’ll just refer to this as spin.


The amount of spin you impart on your ball will have a significant influence on both your ball height, distance, and even roll.


Windy conditions will increase the effect of spin, especially if you’re hitting into the wind.


As it’s been quite windy here in Singapore lately, it might be the right time to understand the dynamics of spin, so that we can use it to our advantage on the course.


Spin is a function of clubhead speed, and spin loft.


Most of us know what clubhead speed is, but what is spin loft?


In short, spin loft is the angle between your clubface, and the direction of your clubface. 


So if your clubface is moving downward at -10 degrees from horizontal, and your clubface at impact has an effective loft of +5 degrees from horizontal, then your spin loft is 15 degrees.


(If your driver has a 9 degree loft, and your shaft flexes back towards impact and during impact by 4 degrees, then +5 degrees from horizontal is the effective loft.)


Make sense?


If I’ve confused you, think of table tennis.  You see how players spin the ball?  The bat is always held with a high loft.  The more spin the want, the more loft they have on the bat.


The other thing they do is to “flick” the ball.  This increases the bat speed at impact. 


So fast impact speed, and more spin loft, increases spin.


This is exactly what happens with your driver.  Which is why in my last article, I said to tee the ball up higher.


That way, if your clubhead is travelling up towards the ball at +2 degrees from horizontal, and your loft at impact is +5 degrees from horizontal, then your spin loft is only 3 degrees.  The difference between 3 degrees, and 15 degrees in our earlier example is 5x!


Remember the table tennis example of speed x spin loft? 


Now we need to multiply that by your clubhead speed – imagine the impact that will have on your spin rate and distance!


To add to that, your clubhead speed also affects the amount your shaft flexes back, and therefore the effective loft. 


(Remember the 9 degree driver with 5 degree effective loft we spoke about earlier?)


I know this article was quite technical, but I hope it helped you get a better understanding of how spin happens on a driver.


We can help you work out your exact spin rate and what it should be if you’re using the right equipment.


Just reply to this email, and we can fix a time for us to speak about this more.


As I always say, club fitting is a process of giving you back the game that you deserve.


Happy golfing!



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