Spin is King. Prove me wrong

JohnnyCallaway

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WATCH THIS!!

Although this video may look like a simple shot out from the 2021 U.S Open Champion to #teamcallaway, it isn’t, it’s so much more. If you dig in a little deeper you will find that what he gave us was the secret ingredient that made this monumental switch into a full bag of Callaway sticks a successful one. The ingredient? SPIN.
When he referenced the 8-iron he hit into #1 on the final day, I knew exactly what he was talking about. The ability to make an aggressive swing into a crosswind, pierce the wind and have the ball stop is actually quite the achievement. Typically balls that are good into the wind, don’t spin like balls that arent. When I spoke with JR at the Players Championship it was the low 40-yard spinner and off-speed short irons that caught his eye but as the year went on it’s been full iron shots to tight flags that really have his attention. Rahm likes to play with spin and chooses to knock spin down when he wants as opposed to the ball doing it for him. He wants that responsibility and doesn’t want the ball to carry the burden. Sounds a lot like a 15-time Major winner whose name rhymes with Wiger Toods. Rahm simply has more shots in the bag than he did a year ago and it’s showing. The best example was at Memorial, that iron performance was simply amazing and one of the reasons was his ability to attack pins with shorter irons and know they would not only keep their integrity into the wind but also stop on the number. Did you see how many times he was pin high?
There are players (a lot of them) that would prefer adding spin when they want and not having to worry about knocking it down. Leishman, Bhatia, and now Xander come to mind.
At the Tour level, spin kind of dominates everything. The stock shots have to spin properly, the fades can’t spin too much and the draws need to hold on to as much spin as possible. It’s a puzzle that can be tough to solve but in the hands of a player like Rahm it can be the ultimate weapon. The shots into #1, #8, #14, and #16 come to mind when thinking of specifics. All aggressive iron shots to flags when even just a little less spin would have bounced and skipped into unsavory spots.
COOL STORY BRO BUT HOW DOES THAT RELATE TO ME?
So what does that mean for you and me? Simply put, it means everything. Spin is control and the market tells us that distance is king but it’s not. Spin and its management hold the key to making your bag and any real distance you find actually help your score. So when you are working with your fitter or PGA Professional pay attention to that column just a few ticks away from ball speed and total distance. The RPMs of that ball will tell you whether or not that club is course-worthy. I’m a huge advocate that the bag needs to fit the ball, not the other way around. People will argue that, but from experience, I know it to be true.
Use Rahmbo and Xander and examples of just how important that piece is. Xander switched into LS looking to knock spin down and has seen a big improvement in overall control. Rahm went straight into CSX because of his affections for spin and the guy is World #1.
If you want the recipe here is a look at the PGA Tour Average over the past few years, I’m sure these numbers will rise overall if they sent the data out today but it still tells the right story. What tour players do VS what the normal weekend player does is starkly different. Pay close attention to the spin numbers. I would guess most of us play with far too little spin and if I could put a number on it I’d say with the irons most of us fall 500-1000 RPMs short. That’s a lot. The best practice, try to keep the RPMs (in 1000’s) close to the number on the club. + or – 200 is fine. I think you’d be surprised at how little spin we play with. “The iron lofts are too strong” I get that one all the time. The iron lofts are fine if you add some spin with the golf ball. Trust me, I’m doing it now and my iron game hasn’t been this good in 15 years. I put the CSX in play with my new set of Apex ’21 and I’m right in the spin pocket with every club.
Boom
 

OldandStiff

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I'm a bit tired, but I think I kind of disagree. I don't think the average amateur really benefits from that kind of higher rpm thinking when they tend to live in a completely different launch angle and speed with their irons. The ball flights really aren't very similar at all. 'Starkly different' you might say. So while it adds control for a pro, or someone living in the realm of those other numbers, it tends to hurt distance, especially in the elements, for a lot of others. There are definitely players who would benefit from more spin, but lower spinning clubs and balls didn't become a huge thing because distance isn't the thing that most impacts amateur scoring, right?

I'm totally with you on this for my game, btw. I'm a launch, spin, and control lunatic, and too little spin bothers me to no end. I don't think it applies as well to most people I see out there though.
 
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JohnnyCallaway

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I'm a bit tired, but I think I kind of disagree. I don't think the average amateur really benefits from that kind of higher rpm thinking when they tend to live in a completely different launch angle and speed with their irons. The ball flights really aren't very similar at all. So while it adds control for a pro, or someone living in the realm of those other numbers, it tends to hurt distance, especially in the elements, for a lot of others. There are definitely players who would benefit from more spin, but lower spinning clubs and balls didn't become a huge thing because distance isn't the thing that most impacts amateur scoring, right?
Totally valid point and it’s def the flip side of the coin but in my experience I’ve seen us sail past the point of diminishing return. True the spin numbers mentioned aren’t 100% what your avg 20 handicap should chase however working back in that direction will only help. Point is are players longer? Maybe. Are scores getting better? No. Not really.
 

OldandStiff

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Totally valid point and it’s def the flip side of the coin but in my experience I’ve seen us sail past the point of diminishing return. True the spin numbers mentioned aren’t 100% what your avg 20 handicap should chase however working back in that direction will only help. Point is are players longer? Maybe. Are scores getting better? No. Not really.
It does seem like a needed correction is taking place with equipment and ways of thinking on it.
 

azrsx

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I was sold after being paired up with a couple Callaway reps by random chance and they hooked me up with a sleeve of the CS-X a few weeks ago. They sort of chuckled at me when they saw I was playing the DUO. I said I liked it off the tee but it definitely lacked going into/around the greens. I put the X into play on the back nine and holed out from 117yds on the 18th. I have never ever imagined I was capable but I saw that ball drop with spin and went right in, this is new to me LOL. Honestly wasn't a fan of the older X when I played it and switched to playing mostly DUO and other randoms but this ball is the real deal and a game changer. This past weeks AZTHP mens league I had shots drop and stop on the green that never have before and just feels money off the club. I'm drinking the koolaid now
 

blugold

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Being a tour player sure sounds fun though. Companies hanging on your every word, designing unique equipment giving you whatever you need just so there can be a story at retail.

I'll keep playing the ERC Soft. Flies high and straight. I don't need a lot of spin and knockdowns, I'm barely good enough to worry about one trajectory.
 
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Iceman!

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When I did my online ball fitting with Titleist and show the fitter my 7i Trackman results, he said without question "You need Spin to hold the greens and you should be playing an X Ball". Of course the "X" ball was the shortest distance of all of the balls I test. (See @Canadan video between RX and V1X). In the end I decided to go with V1, it has some spin and some distance - right in the middle. I find that I don't generate enough club head speed to impart spin on the "X".
 
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RealPretendPsychic

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Sheesh now I sort of regret making the standard Chrome Soft my ball for the rest of the season!
 

blugold

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Snickerdog

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Reg Chrome Soft fits the bill for me.
 

ArmyGolf

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Without diving into the details, I agree that we are in a place now where most players need more spin, not less, to achieve lower scores.
 

blugold

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"Prove me wrong"
I played with a random pairing on Saturday. The guys were members at another course in the area so I hadn't met them before. On the first hole. one of the guys topped 2 tee shots into the water, blocked his 5th shot (3rd tee ball) into an adjacent fairway. Topped his approach into knee high fescue, couldn't get out with the next shot, left the next shot short of the green, bladed his chip over the green and then 4 putted. 2nd hole, topped his tee shot. Hit his approach in a pond. Wedged on and 3 putted. That's 25 strokes on the first two holes, 7 putts, and 5 lost balls. The next 16 holes weren't much better. Finding the golf ball with the right spin profile is so far down the list of priority for that guy and most amateurs.

To counter, CONTACT is king. The reason why Xander, Marc, Bhatia, and Jon can worry about spin profiles is because they all make excellent contact.

Contact is king and orders of magnitude more important than spin.
 

GraniteRoost

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I think I have to agree. Having the right spin for your course conditions and skill is huge. For me, I don't play greens that are as hard or fast as on tour, so the critical need for all out stopping power is not as much a factor. I think that is true for alot of recreational golfers. I do however want to ball to stop quickly in "medium" conditions, and I am OK playing "medium" spin as opposed to "high" to gain a couple yards. I also tinker with ball choice, knowing I can subtract or add a little if I am playing somewhere that I want more or less spin than normal.

I will also comment that the Callaway Apex Pro, X Forged, and MB are ALL in a prime spin window for me. Having tinkered with sets that offer a little more spin, and a little less, I was super impressed by exactly where the spin numbers were this year, and how consistent. In my world, <5500 rpm is a low spin 7i, >6500 is high spin, and right around 6000 is pretty prime territory. I was seeing right at 6000-6200 with all three, a nice mid-high baseline to start from.
 

BuckNasty

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I played with a random pairing on Saturday. The guys were members at another course in the area so I hadn't met them before. On the first hole. one of the guys topped 2 tee shots into the water, blocked his 5th shot (3rd tee ball) into an adjacent fairway. Topped his approach into knee high fescue, couldn't get out with the next shot, left the next shot short of the green, bladed his chip over the green and then 4 putted. 2nd hole, topped his tee shot. Hit his approach in a pond. Wedged on and 3 putted. That's 25 strokes on the first two holes, 7 putts, and 5 lost balls. The next 16 holes weren't much better. Finding the golf ball with the right spin profile is so far down the list of priority for that guy and most amateurs.

To counter, CONTACT is king. The reason why Xander, Marc, Bhatia, and Jon can worry about spin profiles is because they all make excellent contact.

Contact is king and orders of magnitude more important than spin.
If you belong to a private club and shoot 200, it may be time to reevaluate that membership and switch hobbies
 

RealPretendPsychic

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meh, I wouldn't let what Jon Rahm plays affect you too much.
Not to sound selfish, but I’m more concerned about the right ball for me.
 

ranger1989

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I have been looking for more spin as I find it the key to lower scores. The problem I have seen is that manufacturers have been selling low spin "everything". It is harder to find high spin options than low spin options. Right now it would be almost impossible to put together a high spin set of irons and see it ship within the next year. I see most of my playing partners hit great irons to the green and see it roll out over the back. I need the ball to stop and check on approach shots (more spin not less). Spin also helps you manufacture shots (draws and fades).
 

The Milk Man

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Hello Mr Wunder and I agree spin is control especially with the short irons. Pick the ball that allows you to play your best coming into and around the greens. Figure out the long game from there.
 

blugold

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If you belong to a private club and shoot 200, it may be time to reevaluate that membership and switch hobbies
How he wants to spend his money is up to him. He wasn't slow, a nice guy, bought a few rounds off the bev cart. He's welcome in my group anytime.
 

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jdtox

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What a great compliment by Rahm. We often see players switch companies and struggle and that doesn't seem to be the case with him which is fantastic for Callaway. For me personally I can't wait to try the new CSX.... I ordered some a few weeks ago...but they still haven't shipped for some reason.
 

McLovin

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100% agree with op. spin is many golfers' friends, and i think launch monitors are to blame for some virtually unplayable spin profiles we see. i am always looking for a little more spin, because it gives me forgiveness and keeps my ball in the air longer for more distance.
 

Canadan

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When I did my online ball fitting with Titleist and show the fitter my 7i Trackman results, he said without question "You need Spin to hold the greens and you should be playing an X Ball". Of course the "X" ball was the shortest distance of all of the balls I test. (See @Canadan video between RX and V1X). In the end I decided to go with V1, it has me some spin and some distance - right in the middle. I find that I don't generate enough club head speed to impart spin on the "X".
Finding that perfect marriage between compression and spin is a pretty fun challenge.
 

WLG1952

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I totally agree with the importance of spin in golf. I was just never was able to put the right swing on a ball to generate a lot (max) of spin. It didn't matter which ever ball I was using. I knew that the correct spin would give me optimum distance, and control. I opted to go with usable distance, regardless of the spin numbers.

I also knew that ball lie conditions had some effect on generated spin. That, and how green surfaces utilized what ever spin I was putting on the ball.

I mean I created spin, but not a lot. I never could get balls to back up, or check up very much on longer approach shots. I always played for the the roll out after the carry.

If I needed a "drop & stop" ball, I would hit flop shots
 

Hamfist

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I accept the OPs view on spin.
I also some other posters view on spin in the hierarchy of what is important to various levels of players.
Single caps? Definitely would be into control and spin.
Mid-caps? Maybe a bit less.
High caps? Well, we should be more concerned with applying club face to ball in a more effective manner.
Not to say it wouldn't have an effect on the various games of the hierarchy above.
 

formula8

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I can't refute this. When it comes to playing golf on a course I do best with more spin. I've tried countless ball and equipment combos and always come back to the same conclusion. For me spin = control.

Lower spin is cool on a launch monitor but doesn't hold up in the real world.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

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