Try this 1 simple gear hack to help manage spin through the bag
Kyle Berkshire’s incredible speed makes him almost unbeatable on the World Long Drive circuit. But like most high swing speed golfers, the two-time long drive champion is consistently trying to find ways to maintain spin rate. Too little spin will reduce carry yardage, while too much spin can cause the ball to balloon, sapping distance in the process.
Needless to say, there’s a fine line when it comes to optimizing spin.
In Berkshire’s case, swinging, say, an 8-iron 110 mph — his “stock” speed with the club — is going to increase the odds of spinning the ball, particularly on mishits. (To put Berkshire’s speed into perspective, the average pro is around 113 mph with the driver.)
To combat excessive spin, Berkshire already employs a set of True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shafts — arguably the stiffest steel product in the industry — in his Cobra King Forged CB irons. He also tends to choke down on the club considerably — a simple gear hack that most have been told will improve accuracy in a pinch. Anthony Kim made a lot of money gripping down on every club in the bag, so the method has been thoroughly vetted.
The thing is, Berkshire doesn’t simply choke down an inch to curb spin. He goes all the way down to the end of the grip.
“A lot of people wonder how I can manage spin,” Berkshire said on GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast. “One of the things I’ll do is choke down to the steel. I can still swing it the same, but you can see how much extra club is down there. You lose roughly 1.5 miles per hour clubhead speed per inch, so you’re actually swinging it 6 miles per hour slower.”
Choking down on the club also allows Berkshire to minimize the changes to his overall tempo and swing the club like he normally does, without worrying about taking something off.
“It allows me to swing with less speed without messing it up my tempo,” he said. “People ask why I don’t swing slower with less effort, well your tempo starts getting messed up, and I have an ingrained tempo I stick to.”
You don’t necessarily need to go “Full Berkshire” and choke down to the grip — be aware that your carry yardages will need to be adjusted if you plan on choking down considerably — but if you continually struggle with consistent spin and contact, gripping down is a simple way to light a fire under your game.
Who knows, it might turn into a long-term solution. It certainly has for Kyle Berkshire.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2021? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.