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How to increase wedge spin by hitting the ball off the low toe (for the advanced player)

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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.

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: tom.stickney@puntamita.com

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Astrolabius

    Aug 27, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Es tan simple de verificar como ponerse delante de un Trackman y probarlo.
    Yo lo probaré hoy mismo. Después opinaré.

    • Diego

      Aug 27, 2018 at 8:10 pm

      It’s as simple to verify as to put yourself in front of a Trackman and test it.
      I will try it today. Later I will think. (Google Translation)

    • jason06230

      Aug 27, 2018 at 11:03 pm

      It looks like a beautiful and peaceful place, would be nice to go play golf or just sit and relax for while in a good weather. Places like these should be promoted more.

  2. thuthu

    Aug 27, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Just to chime in here, but IMHO ;>) you are doing the exact same thing as what you describe you are not doing. No one can have more than one focused concsious thought at the same time.
    https://bit.ly/2rLHbW0

  3. Jamie

    Aug 26, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Short spinning chips: Choke down and hit with the club heal up and low toe contact. Good contact stops very quick.

  4. steve

    Aug 25, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    The ball spin axis tilt will be different if hit on the toe, heel or center of the clubface. How do you take into account these deviations? Think D-plane.

  5. Happyday_J

    Aug 25, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    I’ve always found and utilized low and slightly heel side to increase spin. Same effect, deadens contact allowing a firmer strike, and with gear effect, really causes a lower flight with spin. Low toe I have found yes you can get more spin but with a higher “floatier” flight.

    • steve

      Aug 25, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      There is no gear effect with irons because the CofM is too close to the face. Only the driver with face bulge and roll and with rearward CofM can effect gear effect. You are confusing gear effect with ball spin axis.

  6. Dyson Bochambeau

    Aug 25, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    My studies show El hozel produces maximum spin

  7. Tom

    Aug 25, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Hahaha….now that’s funny!

    • ogo

      Aug 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      What is funny/pathetic is that Tom is a Trackman University Master/Partner… and doesn’t understand Jorgensen’s D-plane… the basis of Trackman algorithm.

      • Tom F. Stickney II

        Aug 26, 2018 at 7:47 pm

        Hard to tilt the spin axis with a high spin loft from 50yrds!?!? Not much…

        • Gog

          Aug 27, 2018 at 1:20 am

          Kaboom! Put him in his place!

        • ogo

          Aug 27, 2018 at 8:08 pm

          Thanks. Please explain why hitting low on the toe of a wedge can cause a slight fade? Which of the many ‘factors’ that you listed causes this ball flight? Thanks again.

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Instruction

Swing speed vs. quality impact

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In today’s age of hitting the ball as hard and as far as you can on tour, I am amazed at the number of amateur golfers who totally disregard the idea of quality impact. In fact, you can hit the ball further with better impact than you can with poor impact and more speed (to a point.) Sure, if you can kick the clubhead speed up 10 MPH-plus versus your normal speed, then this is not a requirement, but in reality most players only swing a few MPH faster when they actually try. Yes, this is true, I see it day after day. You might think you can swing 10 MPH faster but rarely do I see more than 2-3 MPH tops.

I had a student that came in the other day and was obsessed with swinging harder but when he did his impacts were terrible! When I put him on Trackman and showed him the data he was astounded that he could swing slower yet produce more distance.

Here was a typical swing he made when swinging faster 105.8 mph where the impact was low on the face and the ball carried 222.3 yards.


Here was a typical swing he made when swinging slower 102.9 mph where the impact was much better on the face and the ball carried 242.7 yards.

Now, obviously we know that this works to a certain degree of swing speed but it does show you that focusing on quality impact is a key as well. I’m always telling my players that I want them to swing as hard and as fast as they can AND maintain quality impact location — if you can do both then you can have it all!

The best way to understand impact quality without dismantling your swing is to use foot spray to coat the face of the club then hit a few balls to see where impact normally occurs and see if you can adjust.


If you can, great, if not, then go see your teaching professional and figure out why so you can find quality impact once and for all!

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Instruction

How to warm up for golf PROPERLY

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Leo Rooney, Director of Performance at Urban Golf Performance, shows you how to get ready to hit balls and/or hit the golf course.

Who is Leo Rooney?

Director of Performance at Urban Golf Performance
B.Sc Exercise Physiology
TPI, NSCA

Leo Rooney played 16 years of competitive golf, in both college and professionally. He got a degree in exercise physiology and has worked with anyone from top tour players to beginners. Leo is now the Director of Performance at Urban Golf Performance and is responsible for the overall operations but still works closely with some elite tour players and the UCLA Men’s Golf Team.

He also has experience in long driving with a personal best 445-yard drive in the 2010 European Long driving Championship.

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Instruction

Tip of the week: Let the left heel lift for a bigger turn to the top

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In this week’s tip, Tom Stickney gives a suggestion that would make Brandel Chamblee proud: lift the left heel on the backswing for a bigger turn.

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