What Is Spin Loft… In English Please

Spin loft is a difficult idea for many players and even some teachers to understand. In this article, we will break it down by each component and give you the definitions that you need (in English). By the end of the article, you will better understand what the term spin loft actually is.

What Is Spin Loft?

So… Trackman defines spin loft as “the three-dimensional angle between the direction the club head is moving (both club path and attack angle) and the direction the clubface is pointing (both face angle and dynamic loft).” In the picture below, the yellow line represents the dynamic loft while the thin gray line at the bottom represents the angle of attack.

What Is Dynamic Loft?

TrackMan defines dynamic loft as “the vertical angle of the club face at the center-point of contact between the club and ball at the time of maximum compression. Dynamic Loft is the amount of loft on the club face at impact and is measured relative to the horizon.” So as promised in English, it is basically the angle that the club face is vertically pointing up and down at impact or maximum compression.

What Is Angle Of Attack?

TrackMan defines the angle of attack as “The vertical direction of the club head’s geometric center movement at maximum compression of the golf ball.” In English, angle of attack is the direction the club head is moving (up or down) at maximum compression. If the club head is moving in a downward motion, it will be referred to as a negative angle of attack. If the club head is moving in an upward motion, it will be referred to as a positive angle of attack.

Spin Loft

Pitcure Via Mark Russo’s Golf Blog
 

How To Determine Spin Loft

In the example above, it shows the spin loft as 20* and the angle of attack being -5* (5 degrees down). This would mean that the dynamic loft must be 15*. Or to put it into the spin loft equation…

Dynamic Loft – Angle of Attack = Spin Loft
[15*-(-5*)] = 20*
 

With the advances of technology such as TrackMan, FlightScope and others, this is where we have learned that when a player “hits down more” on a ball, this does not directly mean the ball will spin more. For example, if the player swings down at the ball with above equation and the numbers still equate to 20*, no more spin will be on that golf ball. In reality, the spin loft would need to increase in order to create more spin.

Another thing that spin loft has cleared up for us is that a flatter faced club, such as a driver, has a smaller spin loft than a more lofted club like a wedge. A wedge has a larger spin loft. This is important as the smaller the spin loft the greater chance that the ball’s spin axis will tilt right or left. This is why drivers tend to curve or turn more easily in the air than a wedge.

Now you understand the definitions of spin loft, dynamic loft and angle of attack. In addition, you know the formula to determine spin loft. Although not everyone has access to the newer technology, it is becoming more and more available to golf professionals and the golfing public.

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