It has been about a week since I got my TrackMan IIIe radar and I already have learned so much through a few lessons and personal trial and error. But to complement that learning, and to confirm what I am seeing, I am trying to continue researching through asking questions of other TrackMan users and experts. A week ago I wrote about the underrated importance of center contact – today I write about spin loft and how it effects your distance and how important it is in your game.
First, let’s define spin loft in the most basic of terms: it is the difference between the vertical angle of the center of the club face at impact and the vertical direction the club head is moving at impact. In the picture below, you can see that even if you hit down more, that doesn’t increase your spin loft, therefore does not increase your distance with all things being equal.
As great TrackMan users and instructors like Brian Manzella and Andrew Rice will tell you: spin loft is compression. What does this mean? First off, hitting down more does not equal more distance. That is a new one for many people, but you have to understand that if you hit down more, you better make sure the handle of the club is staying ahead more as well, otherwise you begin to lose compression. So how do you hit it farther?
Hit down slightly, but it is more important to keep the hands/grip end of the club leaning forward at impact so that the collision between the ball and the club face is more direct and less oblique. A great example of this that I have heard from a couple of teachers is to think of playing pool – do you get better contact when the cue hits the center of the ball or the top half? Always more energy sent to the ball by a center impact between cue (club face) and the ball (ball)! So leaning the shaft forward to maximize the energy transfer to the ball is the way to get more distance and consistency.
In the picture, the top image would hit if farther if the shaft leaned forward more but kept the attack angle (0 degrees) the same. A perfect example of how it is a myth that hitting down more means more distance and more spin (it doesn’t get you either).
So take some time to work with a good teacher who has TrackMan to understand this concept more clearly and help you improve this portion of your game. It is incredibly important and can have a HUGE impact (no pun intended) on your game. Control your spin loft and watch the distance and control of your golf ball increase!
FOR MORE GREAT ARTICLES AND RESEARCH ON SPIN LOFT: