The Best Low-Compression Golf Balls
The compression of a golf ball is a measurement of its density. Compression measurements for all objects range from zero to 200, and golf ball compressions range from as low as 40 to a high of nearly 120. Low-compression golf balls are designed for players with slower swing speeds. As Academy Sports & Outdoors explains, low-compression balls are softer, so it's easier for golfers with slow swings to compress them at impact, imparting more energy to the ball and thus more distance. The best low-compression ball for you depends on your ability level.
If your swing speed is less than 85 mph, a low-compression golf ball is likely to be your best choice. Most low-compression balls range from 70 to 80 compression, although you can find compressions as low as 40. Low compression balls run the gamut from inexpensive models designed solely to increase distance to sophisticated and expensive models offering a combination of distance and high levels of control and feel for shots into and around the green.
If you are a high handicap or beginning player with a slow swing speed, the best low-compression ball for you is likely to be a basic two-piece ball with a large, soft rubber core and a cover that resists cuts. These balls feature low spin rates, which help the ball travel straighter and mitigate the damage from hooks or slices. These balls tend to last longer than low-compression balls made for better players and they cost much less. In fact, two-piece distance balls, offered at online sellers, can cost three to four times less than premium models.
There are plenty of excellent golfers with slow swing speeds. If you fall into this category, a low-compression ball is your best choice. As PGA.com explains, you'll benefit from a more sophisticated three-piece, low-compression ball. These balls feature a soft rubber core for distance; an inner cover made of a synthetic material, such as ionomer, to impart more velocity while reducing side spin from your driver and longer clubs; a top-of-the-line urethane cover to give you more spin; and control on short iron shots around the green.
Fit to Be Tried
In the 21st century, golf club fitting, once reserved for pros and elite players, became available to the masses. Ball fitting soon followed. The best low-compression ball for you is the one that flies longest and truest, not necessarily the most expensive ball or the ball from the biggest name manufacturer. As Bridgestone ball expert Shunsuke Tayama tells "Golf Digest," there is no substitute for getting clubs that best fit your game and then matching those custom fit clubs to the ball that gives you optimal performance. "The worse you are and the slower you swing, the more you benefit from ball fitting," Tayama said.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.