The Thai Spinner Golf Shot is a unique wedge shot variation that was invented in Thailand by Thamanoon Sriroj (a Thai professional golfer with 5 wins on the Asian Tour) also known as “The Godfather of the Thai Spinner,” to combat the extremely grainy grass types local to the area and produce a high spinning yet low ball flight wedge shot!
Grainy grass types often cause the club face to dig into the turf when using standard pitch and chip shot technique, resulting in flubbed or skulled chip shots that end up nowhere near your intended spot on the green.
We’re going to explain exactly how you can practice and perform the proper Thai Spinner technique so you can chip from grainy grass types (bermuda grass being the example of America) with more confidence, consistency, and reliability!
Table of Contents
Thai Spinner Wedge Shot Technique Step-by-Step
To start, let’s have the man himself, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, showing us how he plays the thai spinner.
I asked the legendary Kiradech Aphibarnrat to teach me how to play the 'Thai Spinner.' Of course, he delivered. pic.twitter.com/gEMkbcmCmM— Lewis Fraser (@lewisfras98) October 5, 2023
What’s Needed for a Thai Spinner: A high lofted wedge (most use a 60°), a high spinning golf ball, a clean club face/grooves free of debris
Step 1: Position the golf ball in-line with the outside of your trailing foot with the club face open.
Positioning the golf ball in-line with the outside of your trailing foot for the Thai Spinner helps create cleaner “ball-first” contact (needed for spin generation) while simultaneously de-lofting the open club face so the ball flight is lower and more predictable! If we want more arc, we would even position the ball a club head-width behind you’re trailing foot.
Step 2: Weight Forward on Leading Side/Leg and Lean Shaft Toward Your Leading Pocket
Maintaining the majority of your weight on your leading side helps you avoid leaning backwards during the backswing and chunking the wedge shot a short distance. This advice is true for all chip/pitch/wedge shots.
Leaning the shaft toward your leading pocket lowers the leading edge of the club head comfortably underneath the golf ball, meaning less likelihood of blading the ball over the green!
Step 3: Lift the Club Up Steep in the Backswing To Create a Steep Angle of Attack!
Here’s where the Thai Spinner technique begins to strongly differ from traditional pitching and chipping technique.
Unlike traditional chipping where you wouldn’t hinge your wrists so strongly in the backswing, doing so when initiating the backswing (also known as getting steep) with the Thai Spinner helps you further ensure steep ball first contact that’s needed for spin creation!
A steep angle of attack with the correct contact will not dig into the turf, meaning a chunked shot is eliminated when the Thai Spinner is executed properly.
Step 4: Feel Like You’re Striking Down and Left While Maintaining An Open Club Face
This is certainly the hardest step of all because the Thai Spinner impact action is only really used for this type of shot.
After following Step 3 of lifting the club up very steep in the backswing, you should let the club fall onto the golf ball just below the equator with the club moving left through the contact zone.
Correct open clubface contact will produce a low ball flight with a strong amount of left-to-right spin on the golf ball, stopping much faster on the green than right-to-left spin.
Thai Spinner experts like Kiradech Aphibarnrat say they feel like they’re “chopping” at the golf ball like trying to put a lot of spin on a tennis ball with a tennis racquet!
Step 5: Absolutely NO Follow-Through
A follow-through encourages more loft added to your Thai Spinner, meaning it will not react with as much spin and stopping power as we want.
Cut your follow-through as short as possible to keep the ball flight low so the ball will quickly hit the green and start spinning and stopping!
A Warning About Attempting the Thai Spinner
The Thai Spinner is a difficult shot to execute and certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. If you struggle with general chipping technique, it might be wise to master the wedge basics before you try and implement this shot into your repertoire.
That being said… close range chips from just off the green are a nightmare situation for plenty of golfers. Thoughts of hitting it fat and watching the ball roll back to your feet or catching the ball with the leading edge of the wedge and taking out one of your playing partners knees can quickly put golfers in a mental pretzel!
Wouldn’t it be nice to know you have another weapon in your tool bag like the Thai Spinner that can help you avoid pulling out the “Texas Wedge” or bumping a mid iron or hybrid toward the hole like an old man?
New Wedges Can Actually Impact Your Around-the-Green Performance
Are you using multiple year-old wedges and wondering why you aren’t generating spin like the pros? It might be time to consider upgrading your wedges and getting some fresh grooves to hit these shots with.
If you have time, check out our guide on the best sand wedges the equipment market has to offer and see if any of our selections could improve your greenside golf game!
What’s the difference between a Thai Spinner and the Bump and Run?
The thai spinner and the bump and run are both untraditional short game techniques use to get the ball onto the green. With the bump-and-run golf shot, we will be using a 7, 8, or 9 iron to bump the ball onto the green. Like the thai spinner, the ball stays low and this shot is preferred on grainy grass, but it carries a significant amount of forward spin compared to the backspin in the thai spinner.
Summary of the Thai Spinner Wedge Shot
In conclusion, the Thai Spinner offers a unique solution for golfers dealing with grainy grass. This technique, hailing from Thailand, combines a high spin and low ball flight to tackle the challenges of these surfaces. By following the step-by-step guide, golfers can improve their confidence, consistency, and reliability in chipping from such conditions. But a word of caution – the Thai Spinner isn’t for the faint of heart, and it might be wise to master basic wedge techniques first. Furthermore, don’t forget the impact of using updated wedges with fresh grooves or it just won’t work!