Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Make The Turn Weekly Challenge #35: Super Wedge Spin-Off

November 05, 2014

Nothing in golf is more fun than making your ball spin. Sometimes it's an appropriate play, whereas in many occasions it's not. Either way, it's always cool to see a ball dance on the greens. I remember how awesome I thought it was to see Greg Norman in his prime land a ball pin high, only to see it zip back into the water. He was hitting those Spalding Tour Edition golf balls and had a bevy of swing characteristics that amped up his spin to an unreasonable level. Although I'm sure it drove him nuts, it was truly amazing to see.

Golf is such a diverse game. The more shots you have at your disposal, the better chance you'll have of tackling any situation. As it relates to stopping power, the proper conditions (seen in video below) need to be in play to really make your ball check up. Most shots, however, may best be executed by understanding how trajectory and landing point work together to deliver the desired overall distance you're looking for.

There's a principle in physics known as the law of reflection. For example let's say you observed a ray of light approaching and reflecting off of a flat mirror. The behavior of the light as it reflects would follow a predictable "law" known as the "law of reflection." The law of reflection states that when a ray of light reflects off a surface, the angle of incidence or the angle of approach so to speak is equal to the angle of reflection.

So hypothetically, if you had a perfectly flat green and you landed the ball 90 degrees to the surface, with no spin at all, the ball would eventually come to rest right where it landed. The point is, in most situations, "trajectory" is going to offer the most predictable determinant for stopping power for most players. The steeper the ball's angle of approach is to the surface, the less it will roll out upon landing. The shallower the angle of approach, the more it will run after striking the putting surface. In reality, relative to a flat surface you'll not be able to produce the exact hypothetical scenario discussed above, however, understanding angle of reflection is a good way to start imagining how "based" on angle of landing approach, your ball might hop and advance towards the hole on basic close range chips and pitch shots which may not have a high level of spin affecting the outcome.

This week's challenge is really about having some fun elevating your "Golf IQ" and proving that you have command over your golf ball. See if you can master the Super Wedge Spin-Off and you can count this week's challenge as complete.


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Jeff Ritter is the CEO/Founder of__ MTT Performance__. The program operates out of Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif. Follow him on Twitter at @mttgolf*