Golf being a game with such a long history, it’s no surprise myths run rampant. Whether it’s about lining up a putt or causing backspin on the ball, there’s no shortage of falsehoods in this timeless game.
We’ve pulled together a few of our favorite golf myths below!
Grooves on the Club Face Create Backspin
This is one of the most common golf myths. Backspin is created by the ball’s compression on the club face.
The loft presented to the ball during contact with the club face distorts it in shape and gives us the launch angle and all of its backspin. The ball doesn’t ride up the club face, as commonly suggested, but instead gets embedded in the face where the groove lines reside.
Simply put: The more loft, the more backspin.
This means club face grooves have no influence on the launch angle or backspin. Well-known club designer Ralph Maltby built a set of irons with no face groves at all and played with them extensively to prove this point to skeptics.
Also, in the 1980’s the USGA undertook extensive groove type testing and concluded that in dry conditions it was loft, not grooves, that created backspin on the ball.
Forged Irons Feel Softer
Many players think a forged club feels sweeter to play than an investment cast head. It is likely more a case of: “most forged clubs look really good” and this mental image adds to the mystery of the real feel.
Golf Balls That Bounce Higher Fly Farther
Have you ever bounced a golf ball on a hard surface, judging which brand bounced higher?
The stress on a golf ball when bounced on a hard surface is extremely small compared to the amount of stress placed on a ball when it’s hit by a club head mid-swing. Additionally, different types of ball construction and construction materials will have an influence on how far a golf ball will fly.
The only way to find the best ball for your game is to try a variety at the driving range or on the golf course!
Golf Shafts Lose Their Stiffness
Many people claim that over a long period of time a golf club’s shaft will “wear out” and lose stiffness. This is not the case, even with steel shafts.
The reason for this is simple. The loads put on the shafts during normal play never reach anywhere close to the breaking points that would cause metal fatigue in steel. If you have kinked a shaft or there is rust present, then this is different, but a quality shaft — steel or graphite — will retain its flex.
A Putter’s Sweet Spot is Shown by the Sight Line
This isn’t necessarily true. If a manufacturer puts sight lines on a putter, then should line it up with the sweet spot. However, each club head is built differently, so these sight lines may not always correspond with the sweet spot of an individual putter.
To find the sweet spot, try this test. Hold your club between two fingers high in front of you and tap the club face with a pencil on the toe or heel of the club. It should twist around. Keep tapping toward the middle of the club face until the club face stops twisting and moves only back and forth rather than to the side.
You’ve found your putter’s sweet spot!
Share Your Favorite Golf Myths
Are there any popular golf myths we missed? Let us know in the comments below!