Golf Ball Compression: What Is It? [Complete 2021 Guide & Chart]

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golf ball compression what is it main image

Despite being such a simple game, there are many golf terms that we hear such as ‘golf ball compression’. As a beginner if may feel overwhelming to hear so many terms like “high/low compression” or “two piece construction” about the size of the core. 

This may leave you asking yourself ‘what is golf ball compression?’.

In this guide we will cover why once we start to scratch beneath the surface there are actually some important details that any golfer needs to understand about golf ball compression. By understanding them you can see a positive effect and improve your performance. By knowing all about compression and how it affects you you can choose golf balls that suit your needs whether you are a beginner, senior or looking for golf balls for distance.

What Is Golf Ball Compression?

In it’s most simplest terms golf ball compression is all about the distance and the control that can be generated on a shot. When searching for golf balls you want to find golf balls that have a compression which compliments the speed of your swing. For example if you swing the club at 70mph on average then a 70 compression golf ball is ideal.

The impact from the club face onto the golf ball forces the shape of the golf ball to transform upon impact. The reason this happens is because the energy will transfer from the golf club as you make your shot onto the golf ball. The compression of this energy ensures that there is a much smoother transition from the golf club to the ball.

Why is Golf Ball Compression Important?

Golf ball compression is important because it affects the distance and control that you will gain on a golf shot. Your ability level will determine which kind of golf ball you will get the best feel and distances with.

low compression golf ball callaway supersoft

Firstly, on the low end of the spectrum it is possible to find low compression balls that create long distance if you have a slower swing speed. On the compression chart, these balls would often be rated between 30-70 and are ideal for beginner golfers or senior golfers. An example of a low compression golf ball in this category would be the Callaway Supersoft.

Yet at the other end of the spectrum, you have high compression balls which mean you would have to strike the ball with more speed to achieve the same kind of distance.

high compression golf ball callaway chromesoft

These types of balls, however, give the golfer more control over their shot, especially with their faster club head speeds that they are generating. These balls may be rated greater than 70 on the compression chart and are ideal for more experienced golfers. An example of a higher compression golf ball is the Callaway Chrome Soft and offers a direct comparison to the Supersoft. You can view more about the differences and similarities between the Callaway Super Vs Chrome Soft golf balls here

Top Picks By Compression Type:

Golf Ball History

haskell golf ball
Haskell Golf Ball

This kind of technology goes as far back as the 19th century. Back then, inventors such as William Taylor added the familiar dimple pattern to what was called a ’Haskell Ball’. The result of this was that the lift of the ball could be improved, while the the drag would be minimized. 

Only one year after Taylor’s famous discovery, T Saunders created a form of golf ball, which had a significantly compressed air core. (Golf Europe) While unknown at the time of production, it was later found that the ball couldn’t handle the summer heat very well, and exploded due to the expansion that was generated by the sun. 

While plenty of experimenters spent a large part of the 20th century experimenting with various metal materials as cores, it was only in 1972 that Spalding finally launched the first two-piece ball, which applied the technology of both Haskell and Taylor’s designs to give birth to the term ‘compression’ in the golfing world. This changed the way that golf balls are made and how much they weigh

Golf Ball Compression Chart

Below we highlight some of our favorite golf balls to recommend and rank them on our golf ball compression chart so that you can easily see which golf balls are low compression, mid compression and high compression. Our golf ball comparison chart will help you with picking the right golf balls for your exact needs.

NAMECOMPRESSIONVIEW
NAME:
Callaway Supersoft
COMPRESSION:
Low
VIEW:
NAME:
Srixon Soft Feel
COMPRESSION:
Low
VIEW:
NAME:
Titleist Tour Soft
COMPRESSION:
Low
VIEW:
NAME:
Vice Pro Soft
COMPRESSION:
Low
VIEW:
NAME:
TaylorMade Distance+
COMPRESSION:
Low
VIEW:
NAME:
Titleist Pro V1
COMPRESSION:
Mid
VIEW:
NAME:
Callaway Chrome Soft
COMPRESSION:
Mid
VIEW:
NAME:
Vice Tour
COMPRESSION:
Mid
VIEW:
NAME:
Titleist Pro V1X
COMPRESSION:
High
VIEW:

Considerations When Choosing The Best Golf Ball To Buy

Now that you know what golf ball compression is we’re going to cover some of the key considerations to factor in when choosing which golf balls are right for you whether you are a high handicapper, senior or want to drive the ball great distances. The great news for golfers on a budget is that it is also possible to find cheap golf balls with a range of compressions.

Consideration #1: Club Speed

Summary: By using a golf ball suitable for your swing speed you can ensure that you can achieve maximum distance by compressing the golf ball correctly.

speed image

As you will now know, balls with low compression rates allow for more distance for a typical amateur golfer. However, pros will be more inclined to use higher compression golf balls as we’re sure you can imagine their swing speeds are much higher than an average golfer. In fact an average swing speed on a drive on the PGA Tour is 113 MPH (SwingManGolf)

A good rule of thumb which can be applied to knowing your compression level, is that golfers with a club head speed of 70mph should use a 70 Compression Ball. A golfer with a club head speed of 80mph should use an 80 Compression Ball and those with speeds of 90mph should use a 90 Compression ball with 100mph swing speeds indicating the use of a 100 Compression golf ball. By using a suitable golf ball you can make sure that you increase your average golf ball speed.

In order to get the maximum distance possible out of a golf ball, it must be fully compressed. This is when the ball will be half flattened upon impact due to enough force being applied to maximize the compression.

Consideration #2: Weather

Summary: Cooler weather can impact golf ball performance. To be safe you should choose a lower compression golf ball than normal in cooler temperatures.

weather image

In addition to that, the weather can play a huge role in what golf ball you should use. To give you a better sense of how weather can play an important role in which compression you should use just think of a time when you may have accidentally gotten a ‘numb’ feeling when hitting a golf shot.

Well, if you hit a golf ball with a high compression on a cold day, the feeling may be like that. When it’s cooler outside, you may want to take it down a tone or two on the compression level to help increase performance. 

On a cold day, your 70 Compression Ball will feel a lot more like 80. Conversely, on a hot summers day, a 90 Compression Ball will feel more in line with what it should.

This is an important thing to consider when you are selecting a ball to use, especially if you play golf year round in different temperatures. In winter you will want to choose a golf ball for cold weather.

Which Golf Ball Compression Should I Choose?

The golf ball compression that you choose will depend on your ability level. If you are starting out at golf then chances are you are more likely to generate slower club speeds which mean you want to try a golf ball with lower compression. In terms of an actual number you would be looking for anything of a compression 70 and below. If you are more experienced and have a faster club head speed then you will want to use a golf ball with higher compression. You should be looking for golf balls with a compression over 70.

In Summary

In conclusion, if you were asking yourself ‘what is golf ball compression?’ before you came across this guide then you shouldn’t be asking yourself this any longer.

Golf Ball Compression can have a huge impact on the performance of your game and now that you have read this guide you know what it is and how it can benefit you.

Just some of the areas of your game that it can impact are driving distances, stability as well as feel and control. 

Therefore, when selecting a golf ball whether it be a cheap golf ball or premium golf ball such as the Pro V1, it is highly important that you can take these factors, along with any other into account in order to maximize you own performance and improve your game.