The Role of Compression in Finding the Best Golf Ball

A proper golf ball fitting takes into consideration many elements based on the golfer’s swing profile and preferences as well as the performance attributes of the ball. The influence of the ball’s compression on a proper fitting has changed since the demise of the wound ball in the late 1990s and introduction of the multi-piece solid golf ball. Back when balls were wound, manufacturers would mark the compression on the side stamp of the ball (i.e., 90, 100, etc). Due to advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques in golf balls, this is no longer done. best golf shorts

So, what is compression and how does it affect the selection of a golf ball today? To answer this question, first let’s define the term compression. Compression is a measurement of how much a golf ball deforms (compresses) when a load is applied to it. It is an indication of how a ball feels at impact. The lower the rating the more the ball deforms and feels softer, the higher the rating the less the ball deforms and feels firmer.

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Compression may not affect distance as much as most golfers think due to the changes in golf ball construction techniques over the years, but it does offer control and feel options to the golfer. While “feel” is sometimes considered a subjective term, a ball’s cover hardness and overall compression relate to how the golf ball feels when struck with a driver, mid-iron, wedge, and even off the putter on the green. Manufacturers often address the ball’s core compression when talking about its construction and design. The core is typically referred to as the inner most part of the ball in a two- or three- piece construction. There currently is no standard test for compression across the industry although most manufacturers recognize the ATTI compression test as the de facto standard.

There are a couple of well known notions regarding compression and today’s golf balls. First, golfers with a lower swing speed should use a lower compression ball to maximize distance. Conversely, golfers with higher swing speeds should use a higher compression ball to maximize distance. This is because if golfers are not able to generate enough club head speed to fully compress the ball, they will leak distance. Second, it is also known that golfers should use a lower compression ball during the winter since it is easier to compress the ball in lower temperatures.

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