Golf Spin Rate Explained (1)

What is Golf Spin Rate?

Golf is a very technical sport. Spin rates, clubhead speed, ball speed, launch angles, and the list goes on and on. Players and coaches use these data points in various ways to improve their own and their student’s golf games. 

Most recreational golfers, however, aren’t familiar with golf’s technical terms and the implications that it has on their golf swings and performance out on the course. Below we are going to take a closer look at spin rates, the impact it has on your ball flight, and what it means for your golf game. 

What Is Spin Rate? 

The spin rate in golf is defined as the amount of spin measured in rpm (revolutions per minute) on the golf ball immediately after impact with the clubface. The spin rate differs based on a variety of different factors including the loft on the club used, swing speed, golf ball type, and club shaft type. 

To learn more about the factors that affect spin rates watch this video. 

How Is Spin Rate Measured? 

The spin rate is measured with the help of a launch monitor. Trackman and Flight Scope design and manufacture the best launch monitors in the game, both of these launch monitors carry hefty price tags but the information that these launch monitors capture truly is astonishing. 

Why Is Spin Rate Important? 

Spin rate has an immediate effect on height, shot distance, and control, especially in windy conditions. It doesn’t take a pro golfer to know that distance, control and height are key when it comes to ball flight. 

Windy conditions will expose your golf game if your spin rates are off due to playing with the wrong clubs or shafts, or if a swing fault is causing abnormal spin rates. 

What Does Spin Rate Mean For Your Golf Game? 

By now it is clear that spin rate is very important, but what does it mean for your golf game. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this question but there are some general principles that apply. 

Swing speed and spin rates are directly correlated. Players with above average swing speeds generate higher spin rates and as a result, fast swinging players need to play with golf clubs and golf balls that are designed to optimize spin rates. If spin rates are too high a player will battle a high weak ball flight. 

To learn more about swing speed and which shaft type you should play with based on your average driver swing speed read our What Are The Different Golf Shaft Types article. 

The opposite is true for players with below average swing speeds. Slow swinging players struggle to generate enough spin which in return results in a low ball flight and a loss in distance. 

If you are in the market for a new set of golf clubs or if you want to ensure that your current set is optimal for you and your golf game visit your local PGA professional. With the help of their expertise, a launch monitor, and the insights revealed by data points such as spin rate you will give yourself the best possible chance to improve your golf game. 

Spin Rate Chart 

The chart below serves as a guideline in terms of what the optimal spin rates are based on average driver swing speeds. 

Swing Speed Optimal Driver Spin Rate Range 
106 mph + 2 600 – 2800 rpm
91 – 105 mph2800 – 3000 rpm 
81 – 90 mph3000 – 3200 rpm 
65 – 80 mph3200 – 3400 rpm 

Final Thoughts 

Spin rate is one of many important data points that has a direct impact on your ball flight both in terms of distance and control. Playing with a golf club and a ball combination that delivers optimal spin numbers will make a massive difference to your golf game so don’t be afraid to enlist the assistance of a launch monitor and qualified PGA professional coach or club fitter, lower scores might be as simple as replacing your shaft or preferred golf ball. 

This article was last updated on January 14, 2021 .

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Bertine Strauss
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Bertine Strauss
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