Comparison of Golf Ball Compression

By Bill Herrfeldt

Just like golf clubs that should be matched to elements of your game, so should the golf ball you play. Whether you should use a two-piece or a three-piece ball is a direct corollary to how you hit the ball, and how much emphasis you place on spin, height, distance and other factors. So, too, is a ball's compression rating an important consideration.


The compression rating of a golf ball reflects how tightly the ball is put together. In the past, golf balls were wound with something similar to a rubber string. Now they can be put together in a number of ways. Compression is important because it affects how a ball feels when it comes off the head of the club. Generally, the slower your swing speed, the lower the compression of golf ball you should use.

80 Compression

These golf balls tend to be softer than those with a higher compression rating. When these golf balls are hit, they tend to compress more than tighter balls and they create more of a "slingshot effect." They fly a bit farther than others, but they are more difficult to control. Typically, women and senior players gravitate to these balls because they can hit the ball farther.

90 Compression

At this compression, balls are in the middle of the range because they are soft enough for most players, but they tend to provide more control over the direction and spin of the ball. More 90 compression balls are sold than the others put together, primarily to men and to women with enhanced, faster swings.

100 Compression

These are the hardest golf balls that are sold, and they should only be used by players with above-average swing speeds. These balls allow the player to have more control over his shots, and he will sacrifice a little distance because he has a higher swing speed.

Importance Of Compression Ratings

Golf ball manufacturers no longer sell their product on the basis of compression factors. Most of them feature the enjoyment of hitting the ball longer, and most tend to remain silent with regard to a player's ability to improve control. Some manufacturers make golf balls having as low as 40 compression to appeal to players who only want to hit the ball a long way.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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