How to Choose a Golf Ball for Spin? The Complete Guide 2024

Golf Balls
How to choose a Golf Ball for spin?

Do I really want my Golf Ball to spin?
A high-spinning golf ball means a shorter driving distance off the tee and worse slices!
But … how about the spin from those amazing pitch shots that fly onto the green, and the ball then stops dead?
If the answer is still yes, then I have all the information you need below to choose the best golf ball with the most spin just for you …

Quick Read

  • A golf ball with a high spin will make your drives higher but shorter through more backspin and also create more curvature in the air with the extra side spin – more slice, anybody?!
  • The choice of choosing a low or high-spin golf ball is personal. If you want greater distance and less curvature of the ball flight, choose a low-spin ball. If you want more stopping power on the green, a high spin ball will help.
  • Golf balls can be made to increase spin through different covers – harder Ionomer for low spin and softer Urethane for higher spin.
  • Conclusion:
    If you regularly slice the ball, get a 2-piece Ionomer covered, low spin ball (also cheaper!).
    If you can hit the ball long & straight, get a 3-piece Urethane covered ball for high spin & control around the green.

Understanding Spin & Spin Axis of a Golf Ball

What causes spin on a golf ball, and what different types of spin are there?

Spin and Ball Flight

Spin on a golf ball WILL alter its flight path.

Backspin, your ball can soar higher and land more vertically with LESS distance. Bad for your driver but perhaps good for your wedge shots as it enables more control of where the ball will finish with less roll.

Why does Backspin cause a Shorter drive?

For a straighter shot with more distance, you want to minimize the spin.

Why? Air turbulence is caused by the headwind as the ball flies forward, together with the spin of a ball. This causes the ait to travel faster over the top of the ball.

Faster air = less pressure

Less pressure on top of the ball forces it upwards (like the wing of a plane).
As the ball energy is spent going up, less is spent going forward.
The end result is the ball goes higher but shorter.

Sidespin will increase your ball’s curvature either left or right.

The same air turbulence effect happens when side spin is created.
When the golf ball is hit at an angle (left-to-right for a draw, right-to-left for a fade), it will create an element of side spin to the ball. This creates less pressure on one side and so the ball will curve towards that side.

Gear Effect & Spin axis

Hitting the golf ball off-center:

Even if the golf ball is struck perfectly square with the club face but off-center, the contact can still create spin – technically, it changes the spin axis to give the effect of a sidespin.

This happens because of the Gear Effect – the golf club changing angle on contact with the ball – becoming either more open or closed..

Ball contact off the Club Toe – the club creates a ‘Draw’ effect on the ball (curving to the left for a right-handed golfer)

Ball contact off the Club Heel – the club face creates a ‘Fade’ effect on the ball (curving to the right for a right-handed golfer)

Ball contact low on the face – will cause more spin (& low launch)

Ball contact high on the face – will create low spin (and a higher launch)

To counter the ‘Gear Effect,’ modern drivers have adapted with changes in the shape of the club face and center of gravity.

Watch the video below for a detailed explanation:

A great video explaining the different types of spin and how they are generated

Spin Rate and Its Importance

The Spin rate of a golf ball is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).

Knowing the spin rate of a ball for YOUR swing speed will help you pick the perfect ball.

Components of a High Spin Golf Ball

Golf Ball Cover

The cover of the golf ball is the most important factor for spin:

An Ionomer (Surlyn) cover is harder and more durable but creates less spin.

A Urethane cover is softer and creates more spin

Golf Ball Core

The heart of your golf ball is the rubber core.

Softer Core = low compression = slightly less spin
Harder Core = high compression = slightly more spin

Compression scores in 2024 generally range from 30 to 120
(I like to think of a compression score rather than a compression rate which can be misleading)

Note the Core has much less effect than the cover.

The ideal combination for a high-spinning ball is high compression and a soft cover.

Dimple Design

From my article on Golf Balls for Distance, you will know that the dimples on a golf ball were discovered by mistake, but they have the great effect of creating a thin layer of air around the ball so there is less air turbulence, resulting in greater distance and much greater lift – up to 50%.

The effect of dimples on a golf ball’s spin is much less – perhaps even none except the effect they have on a ball’s flight. The deeper the dimples, the lower the ball flight

Titleist has created 3000 different dimple designs over 20 years!

Most golf balls have between 300 & 400 dimples – there is no USGA limit, which is telling as there is a strict limit on everything do to with the ball & club!

How does Swing Speed affect Golf Ball Spin?

Swing speed and club loft (the angle at which the club hits the ball) matter more than the golf ball!

Have a look at this video from Trackman

Practical Tips for Testing and Selection

So, now you know HOW to choose a ball for spin.

You know whether you want the ball to spin (or not)

So, which is the best ball for YOU?

On-Course Testing

Try some different golf balls on your favorite course.

Use your driver, irons, and wedges to see the different effects on the different balls.
Are your drives straight? Do your wedges stop on the green or even spin back?

Launch Monitor Sessions

Also, try an indoor session with a launch monitor to get specific figures.

What are the Lowest Spinning Golf Balls in 2024?

The lowest spinning golf balls will be 2-piece low compression ‘Soft’ golf balls with a hard Ionomer cover:

Slow swing – Callaway Supersoft (compression 40, Ionomer/Surlyn cover)

Medium Swing – Wilson Duo Soft (compression 60, Ionomer cover)

Fast Swing (with some greenside spin) – Titleist AXV (compression 80, Urethane cover)

What are the Highest Spinning Golf Balls in 2024?

The highest spinning golf balls will be 3 to 5-piece high compression ‘Hard’ golf balls with a soft Urethane cover:

Slow Swing speed – Kirkland Signature+ v3

Medium Swing speed – PXG Extreme

Fast Swing speed – Taylormade TP5

Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the right golf ball for spin can really add a touch of wizardry to your game. These nuggets of wisdom will help you select the best spieler’s sphere.

What affects the spin of a golf ball the most?

The most important factor is the cover, then the core, followed by the dimples (which have surprisingly little effect on spin, but a big effect on the aerodynamics and ball flight).

What features in a golf ball give more spin on the green?

Look for that all-important Urethane cover. It is also likely to be a 3-piece ball

Can you explain the benefits of high vs low-spin golf balls?

High-spin golf balls will give you more backspin control on the green (but more curvature on your slice!). If a ball has too much backspin off the tee, it can fly higher but may end up with a shorter total distance.

How does swing speed influence the type of golf ball I should choose for optimal spin?

Swing speed has very little effect on the spin for most players with the Softer balls (up to 100mph Driver).
However, with the harder balls, and when the swing speed approaches 115 mpg, spin rates can.

How do I match my skill level to the ideal spin characteristics of a golf ball?

If you are a beginner golfer, choose a low-spin (low compression) ball so your drives are more accurate and longer.
If you are an advanced player who already hits the ball straight, get more control on the green with a high spin ball (with high compression).

… and finally, my end-of-page Amazing Golf video!

This is real golf ball spin!
Geoff - everything golf cart

Iā€™m Geoff ā€“ Short Game ‘Expert’ and Golf Coach.
(only because I play 9-hole 4 times a week, and I love passing on my favorite Pete Cowen tips to friends & family)
My most memorable golf experience ā€“ racing through the streets of Hong Kong in a golf cart to catch the next ferry!