We know that the characteristics of spin are determined by many factors, such as angle of attack, speed, dynamic loft, launch angle, grooves, wedge design and course conditions, among other things. But did you also know that hitting the ball low on the toe tends to spin the ball much more on average than hitting the center of the blade?
Now, this low-toe strike can be very detrimental to golfers, especially when the player isn’t calculating for the toe miss. This mis-hit will cause the ball to come up short almost every time, costing the player strokes.
Golf Digest “Top 100 Clubfitter” and 2016 Met PGA Section Teacher of the Year, Kirk Oguri has done countless amounts of research on this topic and I’ve asked him to give us the reasons why this occurs.
“When you miss the center of the blade, you must swing harder to make up for the loss of energy, but most people don’t swing harder around the green planning for a low toe impact.”
However, with better players, he suggests that in order to hit partial shots with more spin, you should impact the ball on the low toe.
“Basically, adding more clubhead speed to these shots will increase your spin rate, not to mention the other spin-inducing benefits stemming from the low impact as well,” says Oguri. “This will help you spin the ball more from shorter distances when you absolutely need it.”
So there you have it. If you are an average player, I suggest staying in your posture throughout the swing to hit the center of the blade more often. This will give you a more consistent strike, and more predictable distances.
But, if you are an advanced player, experiment with hitting the ball off the low toe for more spin. It’s not the easiest shot to master, and certainly not always the recommended shot, but it’s nice to have it in your arsenal for when you absolutely need to hit a softer shot with more spin.