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Ball spin on mid iron shots and 50 yards and in....does it mean anything?


Tsecor
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When choosing a ball for yourself, do you really put a lot of stock on the spin numbers for anything under 150 yards?  i mean if a ball has 1000 more RPM's but is only airborne for 5 seconds, how many RPM's are really considered effective when the ball hits the green? revolutions measured by the minute for a flight that takes 5 seconds is so minimal when the ball hits the green, i am not sure why this is such a huge factor in ball selection.....

angle of decent and height are far more important in holding greens.  Why is spin such a huge factor in short game ball selection?  

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I rarely put my game on a launch monitor so don’t know my numbers or what the impact between 1000 or 500 rpm is, but there’s multiple videos out there of people testing balls and comparing spin and the results.

but there’s going to be a difference in how a ball flies and reacts with 1000 rpm difference whether it’s short game or full swing. Spin along with launch play a roll in land angle 

https://blog.trackmangolf.com/spin-rate/

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2 hours ago, Tsecor said:

angle of decent and height are far more important in holding greens.

The flight of the ball is significantly influenced by spin, more backspin will generally result in higher peak height, and steeper descent.  So using a ball that spins more on shorter shots will increase green holding three different ways, more height, steeper descent, and more backspin at landing.

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Rpm is a measurement of rate of rotation. How long it’s in flight is only going to change how long it can affect the ball flight, not how much affect per second. 
 

the spin is a direct result of multiple factors, including loft at impact, compression, friction, etc.  but all other things being equal, the cause of the spin differences from ball to ball are greatly coming from coefficient of friction differences between the ball and the club face. This implies a relationship between launch angle and the spinny-ness of a ball, too, as the friction will interact with the trigonometry relative to the normal vector between the ball and the club face at impact. 
 

so you have a different launch angle, different behavior in the air, and different behavior on landing.  Seems pretty clear that spin is a big factor in the things you care about. 

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Pretty easy to test for yourself, but a quick example I had recently was testing out some TP5s and anything inside of 140 yards was ripping back. Swap over to TP5x and I get more of a hop-and-stop. I don't mind higher spin on longer irons (was able to stuff a 6i on a par 3 and a 5i approach on a par 4 using TP5) but for those to be gameable, I would need to figure out how to reduce spin on short irons and wedges. Interestingly, the TP5 is lower launch than the x, so I know it's not just a matter of a steep angle of descent causing it to rip back. 

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4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
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On 7/10/2021 at 1:45 PM, DaveP043 said:

The flight of the ball is significantly influenced by spin, more backspin will generally result in higher peak height, and steeper descent.  So using a ball that spins more on shorter shots will increase green holding three different ways, more height, steeper descent, and more backspin at landing.

That’s typically incorrect. Higher spin generally means lower launch and lower peak height. An exception would be comparing someone with more of a textbook/good swing versus someone who flips and presents too much loft at impact. 

F434407B-BC73-4DE4-A7B5-D0F352C80CDC.png

6E197664-1477-4CB2-A789-76E70F0B676A.png

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10 hours ago, greggarner said:

Pretty easy to test for yourself, but a quick example I had recently was testing out some TP5s and anything inside of 140 yards was ripping back. Swap over to TP5x and I get more of a hop-and-stop. I don't mind higher spin on longer irons (was able to stuff a 6i on a par 3 and a 5i approach on a par 4 using TP5) but for those to be gameable, I would need to figure out how to reduce spin on short irons and wedges. Interestingly, the TP5 is lower launch than the x, so I know it's not just a matter of a steep angle of descent causing it to rip back. 

are these the 2019 or 2021 balls

from all the testing I have seen the 2021 balls are very similar to one another and spin rates differences are minimal at best. Typically 300 rpms which equates to nothing in a 6 second flight. 

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1 hour ago, Tsecor said:

are these the 2019 or 2021 balls

This is a good point. The TP5s I had were 2021 but the X's were 2019s. In the TXG test, the difference in spin between the 2019 TP5x and the 2021 TP5x was about 300 rpm but the TP5 spin stayed pretty similar between 2019 and 2021. So yes, the difference has narrowed between the two, but there's still a difference and the flight time doesn't really matter, since the readings are taken at impact and, if anything, spin will gradually decrease the longer the ball is in the air.

If I took a rubber bouncy ball and tossed it on my hardwood floor, I could pretty well model the same effect where something I spin aggressively has more 'grab' and comes back at me vs something I just toss may even bounce forward. The rpm differential between the bouncy balls wouldn't be as high as with golf balls, but golf balls have slicker covers and aren't landing on wood (well. ideally...). But as a a player, if I were already playing in conditions where I was going to have less spin coming into a green (i.e. worn grooves on my wedges, downwind, shallow angle of attack, slower clubhead speed, etc) I may not be able to tell the difference in balls because I'm not ultimately generating much difference. This might not be the case for someone gaming fresh wedges, high clubhead speed, and a steep AoA as they'll naturally generate more spin of all balls and the ball construction matters more for them.

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Driver: :cobra-small: RADspeed 9* with Motore X F1 60S
4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
2i: :srixon-small: ZX with SteelFiber i95 Stiff
Wet/Soft: 3i-PW
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged, KBS Tour-V 110S
Hard/Fast: 4i-7i :srixon-small: ZX7, 8i-PW Z-Forged, Modus3 Tour 120 S

52*, 58* :cleveland-small: RTX ZipCore Modus3 Tour 115
Putter: :cleveland-small: HB Soft Premier 11s

Ball: :srixon-small: Z STAR/XV (but I'm not just going to leave a perfectly good ProV1 laying around...)
Bag: :ping-small: Hoofer (2018) in black/white/copper

Using :Arccos: to keep track of my shots
:SuperSpeed:

All clubs RH

Tested:
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 3i-PW, KBS Tour-V 110S - Official Review
:titelist-small: Blind Ball Test (Ball #3 vs Ball #4) - Unofficial Review

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5 minutes ago, greggarner said:

This is a good point. The TP5s I had were 2021 but the X's were 2019s. In the TXG test, the difference in spin between the 2019 TP5x and the 2021 TP5x was about 300 rpm but the TP5 spin stayed pretty similar between 2019 and 2021. So yes, the difference has narrowed between the two, but there's still a difference and the flight time doesn't really matter, since the readings are taken at impact and, if anything, spin will gradually decrease the longer the ball is in the air.

If I took a rubber bouncy ball and tossed it on my hardwood floor, I could pretty well model the same effect where something I spin aggressively has more 'grab' and comes back at me vs something I just toss may even bounce forward. The rpm differential between the bouncy balls wouldn't be as high as with golf balls, but golf balls have slicker covers and aren't landing on wood (well. ideally...). But as a a player, if I were already playing in conditions where I was going to have less spin coming into a green (i.e. worn grooves on my wedges, downwind, shallow angle of attack, slower clubhead speed, etc) I may not be able to tell the difference in balls because I'm not ultimately generating much difference. This might not be the case for someone gaming fresh wedges, high clubhead speed, and a steep AoA as they'll naturally generate more spin of all balls and the ball construction matters more for them.

The difference in spin between the 2019 X and the 2019 TP5 is almost 1000 on the 50 yard wedge...but i disagree with time in air because its been proven that each second the ball is in the air, it loses 3-4% of its spin.....so it would be helpful for these ball tests to possibly show spin degredation between models.....if its quantifiable....does an X model, lose less spin over a 6 second flight? its all very interesting. 

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36 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

The difference in spin between the 2019 X and the 2019 TP5 is almost 1000 on the 50 yard wedge...but i disagree with time in air because its been proven that each second the ball is in the air, it loses 3-4% of its spin.....so it would be helpful for these ball tests to possibly show spin degredation between models.....if its quantifiable....does an X model, lose less spin over a 6 second flight? its all very interesting. 

For me it's about how the launch monitor numbers translate to the course.  I prefer to do my ball testing on the course without a launch monitor.  Does the ball perform on the course and allow me to hit the shots I want to hit is really all that matters.  

Launch monitors are a good starting point if you want to rule out some balls, but GC Quad does noting to tell you about aerodynamics.   

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id love to see the ball test with cameras on a green to see how the 8 iron and wedge shots look for each brand.

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It definitely means something, though that is different for each player. My focus is on consistency of result, regardless of what the result actually is. I almost never get backspin on my wedge shots, but I almost always get them to take one or two bounces and check up. 

If you know what is going to consistently happen, you can plan your game around it. So having consistent spin so you have consistent results is very important. 

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On 7/16/2021 at 9:40 AM, Tsecor said:

id love to see the ball test with cameras on a green to see how the 8 iron and wedge shots look for each brand.

I'm not saying you need to swallow the whole pill here, but I did think the videos were fun 🙂

https://www.titleist.com/teamtitleist/b/tourblog/posts/when-should-you-replace-your-wedges

Edited by greggarner
typos
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Driver: :cobra-small: RADspeed 9* with Motore X F1 60S
4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
2i: :srixon-small: ZX with SteelFiber i95 Stiff
Wet/Soft: 3i-PW
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged, KBS Tour-V 110S
Hard/Fast: 4i-7i :srixon-small: ZX7, 8i-PW Z-Forged, Modus3 Tour 120 S

52*, 58* :cleveland-small: RTX ZipCore Modus3 Tour 115
Putter: :cleveland-small: HB Soft Premier 11s

Ball: :srixon-small: Z STAR/XV (but I'm not just going to leave a perfectly good ProV1 laying around...)
Bag: :ping-small: Hoofer (2018) in black/white/copper

Using :Arccos: to keep track of my shots
:SuperSpeed:

All clubs RH

Tested:
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 3i-PW, KBS Tour-V 110S - Official Review
:titelist-small: Blind Ball Test (Ball #3 vs Ball #4) - Unofficial Review

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spin absolutely matters for holding greens, though less so for the 150 yard shot. I'm not really sure about the focus on flight time, they don't all trend to a certain spin number, if the ball starts with more it will end with more. I'd much rather stop a ball with spin than trajectory from 50 yards, I don't want to play those shots up in the air unless the shot absolutely requires it. 

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I feel like Dave Pelz answered this question in his Short Game Bible. IIRC, steeper descent angle leads causes more energy loss at impact with the ground, the ball bounces more vertically and stops quicker. 

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On 8/4/2021 at 11:58 PM, noodle3872 said:

I feel like Dave Pelz answered this question in his Short Game Bible. IIRC, steeper descent angle leads causes more energy loss at impact with the ground, the ball bounces more vertically and stops quicker. 

97E45C36-2020-45C3-9609-9C8DE889C826.jpeg

True when all spin is held constant, but what does it look like when the lower trajectory shot has more spin than the higher trajectory one? (Which is why you see Tour pros trying to get lower launch angles, sub-30 degrees on partial wedges.)

Driver: :cobra-small: RADspeed 9* with Motore X F1 60S
4-wood: :callaway-small: Mavrik Subzero (16.5*) with Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI X
2i: :srixon-small: ZX with SteelFiber i95 Stiff
Wet/Soft: 3i-PW
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged, KBS Tour-V 110S
Hard/Fast: 4i-7i :srixon-small: ZX7, 8i-PW Z-Forged, Modus3 Tour 120 S

52*, 58* :cleveland-small: RTX ZipCore Modus3 Tour 115
Putter: :cleveland-small: HB Soft Premier 11s

Ball: :srixon-small: Z STAR/XV (but I'm not just going to leave a perfectly good ProV1 laying around...)
Bag: :ping-small: Hoofer (2018) in black/white/copper

Using :Arccos: to keep track of my shots
:SuperSpeed:

All clubs RH

Tested:
:wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged 3i-PW, KBS Tour-V 110S - Official Review
:titelist-small: Blind Ball Test (Ball #3 vs Ball #4) - Unofficial Review

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