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Maximize Your Short Game: How to Create More Spin with Your Wedges

Get tips and techniques to make your wedge shots stop on a dime like the pros.

by Jake Tingey & Judd Lyon · Updated: 4/9/23

How to spin your wedges - primary image

Get more spin on your golf shots with this comprehensive guide on the factors that affect spin. From the right equipment to the perfect technique, we cover everything you need to know to improve your spin rate and stop your shots on the green like a pro.

At Front Nine Golf, we understand the excitement and awe that comes with watching a pro hit a wedge shot with maximum spin and stopping on a dime. That's why we've decided to delve into the secrets of creating spin on a wedge shot. The key to generating spin on a wedge shot is not just about technique, but also about having a combination of several contributing factors present at impact.

With our expertise, we'll explain the various factors that play a role in creating spin, and give you a solid understanding of what spin is and why it happens. We'll also suggest the best wedges designed for high spin, so you can take your short game to the next level.

So join us as we explore the world of spin and maximize your short game with the perfect wedge.

Maximizing Spin with Wedges

Creating spin on a golf ball combines several factors, including club head speed, attack angle, club face angle, and club loft. As Front Nine Golf, we'll delve into each of these factors and how they play a role in maximizing spin. It's important to remember that generating maximum spin isn't just about having the right technique, but also having the right equipment. That's why we'll also offer suggestions for high-spin wedges to help you improve your short game. So, if you're ready to take your wedge shots to the next level, join us on our journey to maximize spin with wedges. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced golfer, this guide will provide valuable insights and tips to help you improve your short game.

Factors That Influence Spin in Golf

As golfers, we all want to generate maximum spin on the ball. But what exactly creates spin in golf? There are three key factors to consider: the equipment you use, the lie you're hitting from, and your technique. Let's dive into each of these factors in more detail.



The quality of your equipment can make a big impact on spin creation. If you're looking to increase spin, investing in a new set of wedges is a must. Why? The grooves on your wedge club face are crucial in spin generation. Fresh, sharp-edged grooves on premium wedges create more friction with the ball, resulting in backspin as the grooves grip the ball and roll it up the club face. If the grooves have become worn over time, their ability to create friction decreases, leading to less spin.

It's important to keep the grooves clean and free of dirt and debris to ensure maximum spin. Dirt-clogged grooves will be unable to create friction and, as a result, less spin.


Not all golf balls are equal when it comes to spin. If you want to maximize spin, choose a golf ball designed for that purpose. Some golf balls are designed for distance (typically 2-piece, harder-feeling balls), some for spin (usually softer-feeling balls), and some for a combination of both (premium, multi-layer balls).

While premium, multi-layer golf balls with advanced technology and engineering can offer both spin and distance, they come with a premium price tag. If you're on a budget and your main focus is spin, look for a lower-priced ball emphasizing spin over distance. Using a distance golf ball will not achieve more spin, as these balls are designed to spin less for increased distance.

The Lie

Wedge Lie
A closer look at wedge lie angles: a simple adjustment can make a big difference in your short game

To generate maximum spin, the club face must make ball-first contact. Anything that hinders the grooves from making crisp contact with the ball will reduce friction and spin. Shots impact in the rough, where the grass gets between the club face and ball, preventing the grooves from doing their job effectively, leading to less spin and more roll out on the green. If your wedge shots from the rough haven't been spinning enough, it's important to understand why and plan accordingly by flying your next shot a shorter distance in the air to allow for the extra roll out.

The Technique

At us, we believe that the right technique is crucial in generating maximum spin. It's essential to have the right set-up, ball position, and angle of attack to increase the amount of spin (friction) you can produce.

To help you understand the right way to generate spin, let's clear up a common misconception among amateur golfers. It's not correct to push the ball position far back in your stance and then transfer your weight to your target-side leg while hitting the club steeply. Launch monitor tests have shown that this method results in LESS spin. So if you've been using this technique and wondering why your shots aren't generating enough spin, it's time to change your approach.

Here's the right way to generate spin:

Start with the ball position in the center of your stance or slightly ahead of it.

Transfer 60% of your weight to your target-side leg.

Move the club handle slightly forward, causing a slight forward shaft lean, but not too much. Your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball.

The club head should be set square to the target line, avoiding an open club face, which will hinder spin generation.

At impact, your hands should lead with a slight forward shaft lean.

Your angle of attack should be descending, but not steep enough to take a divot. The club head should brush the surface of the grass.

Finally, accelerate through the ball without decelerating at impact.

By following these tips and using a high-spin or premium golf ball, and a wedge with clean, sharp grooves, you will significantly increase the spin on your shots and be amazed at the results.

Here's a good look at some of our main points from a different angle:

The Amount of Spin on a Golf Ball

The actual spin rate of a golf ball is measured using a launch monitor, a high-tech tool that calculates various aspects of what happens to the ball when it is hit by a club. One of the measurements performed by launch monitors is the number of revolutions-per-minute (RPM) that the ball rotates during its flight.

For driver shots, where lower spin is preferred to increase carry distance, the spin rate is usually between 2,000 to 4,000 RPM. On the other hand, for short shots between 50 to 75 yards, where high spin rates are desired, the spin rate on a wedge is typically between 8,500 to 9,500 RPM.

The Debate Surrounding Groove Design

Wedge Groove
Groove design is an important factor that can greatly impact the short game.

In the past, some club manufacturers changed the design of the grooves on their wedges to improve spin disparity on shots hit from the rough versus shots hit from the fairway.

Previously, all wedges had "V" shaped grooves. However, club designers modified the grooves to have a "U" shape, which could impart higher spin on shots from the rough.

In 2010, the United States Golf Association (USGA) ruled that clubs with "U" shaped grooves were no longer considered conforming and could no longer be used. The USGA wanted to restore the challenge of wedge shots hit from the rough and the importance of driving accuracy.

Now, there is a list of wedges considered legal and conforming by the USGA. If your wedges are recent, they are likely to comply with the Rules of Golf. You can check if your wedges are on the "conforming" club list by visiting the USGA website.

Wedge Models That Offer High Spin Capabilities

When maximizing spin on the golf course, having the right wedge can make all the difference. Fortunately, many models are now available that are designed specifically to deliver high spin rates. Here are a few of the top-performing wedges on the market:

Titleist Vokey SM8

The Titleist Vokey SM8 is a top-performing wedge tested to produce high spin rates. With a launch monitor-tested spin rate of 8,894 RPM on a 50-yard shot, this wedge is a popular choice among golfers. It also offers a range of customizing options, including different bounce and sole grinds, making it a highly recommended option for golfers looking to increase their spin rates.

Callaway Mack Daddy 5 Jaws (MD5)

The Callaway MD5 wedge was designed specifically with spin creation in mind. Its unique groove design, with a 37° wall angle, results in a sharper groove edge that grips the ball more aggressively, resulting in higher spin rates. In testing, the MD5 produced a spin rate of 8,928 RPM on a 50-yard shot, making it a highly recommended option for golfers looking to increase their spin.

TaylorMade Milled Grind 2

Many PGA Tour pros use wedges with a unique raw finish that rusts over time, resulting in more friction and higher spin rates. The TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 wedge features a raw finish on the face that will rust over time, while most of the club head has a polished chrome finish. This combination results in a high-performing wedge that is favored by many pros.

So putting all the pieces together, it's important to have the right technique, equipment, and lie conditions to maximize spin rate. A wedge with fresh, sharp-edged grooves and a ball designed for high spin will make a significant difference. Additionally, having a center or slightly forward ball position, weight on your target-side leg, and a slight forward shaft lean will help you get the maximum spin. By combining these factors, you'll get the same level of spin as the pros and see your shots stop on the green.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you improve your wedge spin and play better golf.

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