Golf Ball Compression vs Swing Speed
When it comes to choosing a golf ball, there is something of a contentious issue in the compression of the golf ball. There have been numerous conversations around low-compression vs. high-compression golf balls, and how they are affected by your swing speed.
There really is no agreement to which compression is right, no matter how many golf ball compression charts are given, or golf ball compression ratings are presented. It is such a mess of stats, figures, and opinions that it can be hard to wade through the information.
We are here to present the information to you in a clear and concise way. Once you have all of the information, you can make an informed choice on whether or not golf ball compression and swing speed are important to you.
What Is Golf Ball Compression?
Compression refers to how much the ball compresses against the face of your club when the ball is hit. Most balls fit into three categories: low, medium, and high. These balls need different swing speeds to compress the ball at impact. A low compression ball will need a lower swing speed and so on. With increased compression can come higher ball speeds. So, it would make sense that a lower compression ball will give you more speed and are the obvious choices, right? Well, it is not quite that simple.
What Comes With High Speed?
If you hit the ball hard and compress the ball, then you are going to get a lot of speed as the ball leaves the club. This speed translates into distance but also translates into high spin rates. High spin rates can throw off your accuracy. In golf, you need to have distance and accuracy. So, what is the answer?
Distance and Spin
When most golfers come across compression for the very first time, they are often focused only on the distance it will give them. More compression means more speed and more distance, but they fail to realize that the spin is also important in the distance. A shot with a lot of spin can travel higher into the air. Backspin provides your shot with a lot of lift while a shot with less spin will not get as high off of the ground.
When you are talking about your compression and swing speed, you also want to consider spin. You do not want a lot of spin, but you do want to have some spin. Having a lot of speed and compression can give you too much spin while not enough speed and compression can leave you without enough.
If we take the example of a ball which creates a lot of compression and a golfer who can swing their club extremely fast, you are going to get a lot of power in the stroke, and the ball is going to travel far, but not in the way you want it to. A stroke like this is going to generate a tremendous amount of backspin.
The ball is going to travel to a great height before coming back down. It may travel a lot up and down, but the distance from the tee is not going to be far, compared to other hit balls. You can have all the speed and compression in the world, but that does not mean that your ball is going to travel a great distance.
Choosing a ball based on compression to give you more distance can help you hit the ball further, but it should not be your only consideration.
How to Choose Your Ball
We have looked at how to compress a golf ball and golf ball compression numbers, and you have an idea of which type of ball will be best for you, but you do not want to have to buy numerous golf balls just to try them out. Thankfully, you do not have to anymore. If you talk to your local golf store, you can arrange to try out some balls and find out which ball compression is right for you. A ball fitting at a golf store can help you to find the best ball for your game.
When you are at a ball fitting, there are a few things to think about to get the correct ball compression. You should always be honest throughout the session. Give honest answers to any questions and be honest about how a ball feels. With the help of a pro, and only with honest answers can you choose the correct ball.
You should also hit the ball just as you would hit it when playing a round of golf. If you try to hit the ball harder than you normally would, you are going to end up with a ball compression which works better at a faster swing speed. When you get out on the links, you are not going to be able to hit the ball as far or as accurately as you normally would.
Make sure to ask a lot of questions. This article answers some common questions and concerns about ball compression, but it is still only revealing the tip of the iceberg. A professional in a golf shop will be able to give you advice tailored to your game.
For some further insights into choosing your golf ball according to your swing speed and ball compression check out the video below from Mark Crossfield. Lots of useful info here.
When it comes to choosing the compression of your ball, it is clear that a high-compression ball does not immediately translate to a lot of distance. The same goes for your swing speed. Just because you swing the club with power, that does not mean that you are going to hit the ball far. Being able to hit the ball far and accurately is about finding a balance between your ball compression and your swing speed. Now that you have some information about ball compression, you can begin to make an informed choice on the correct ball for you. Find a golf shop where you can try out a lot of balls and find the compression which is the best for you.
Want to know more? Check out this interesting conversation about the impact of ball compression on results in terms of distance, spin and angles. The two presenters dive into the stats using different ball types, firm and soft to give you a deeper understanding of compression effects.