There has been a lot of talk lately about low compression (soft golf balls) vs high compression golf balls. Many golf retailers are even creating parts of their stores dedicated to these low compression golf balls. So why are these becoming so popular? Why should you learn about what they are? Should you ever care? Short answer: yes.
Note: all links and pictures in this article will take you to the respective golf balls on eBay, which has the best deals typically.
A lower compression golf ball has multiple benefits but there are two that golfers will truly notice a difference about. To begin with, a low compression ball allows for a larger deformation (squeezing) of the golf ball at impact. When the energy at impact goes toward deforming the core of the golf ball, the amount of spin imparted on the ball is drastically reduced. As a result, for many golfers, lower spin means straighter ball flight (less curvature). And less curvature means more distance!
Below is a video simulating what happens to a golf ball at impact. With high compression golf ball, the ball will deform less at slower speeds. With a low compression golf ball, the ball will deform MORE at slower speeds. Said another way: slower swing speeds deform a lower compression golf ball much more than they deform a higher compression golf ball. So if you have a very slow speed, you should be playing a very low compressed golf ball.
Lastly, as mentioned above, golfers with slower swing speeds often find that they can hit the ball further with a low compression golf ball. These golf balls maximize the spring-like effect at impact. On the other hand, golfers with faster swing speeds typically use a high compression golf ball, because they swing fast enough to essentially reach the core of the golf ball and maximize the distance (and minimize the spin).
Here are some of the 2 reasons why you might want to be playing a lower compression golf ball:
- much better feel: compared to “distance balls”, these low compression balls deform more, feel much better at impact, and allow you to create more spin around the green, especially with short irons. The golf ball will stay on the club face just a fraction of a second longer, giving the golfer more feedback than a high compression ball will.
- better for slower swing speeds: those with slow swing speeds will greatly benefit from lower compression golf balls. You might not be able to fully compress a high compression golf ball unless you have a faster club head speed. For that reason, stick with a lower compression golf ball for both more distance and better feel.
Wilson is the leader in the market for low compression golf balls by a mile. They produce the 2 lowest compression golf balls that you can find, so they are the perfect brand for those looking for distance and feel with a slower swing speed. If I were to do it all over again, I would use these balls when I was starting out, because I wasn’t swinging the club quickly back then. These are also the balls that I would highly recommend to most seniors and women.
For those that are wondering, here are the lowest compression golf balls that you can buy today!
If you want to try out the absolute lowest compression golf ball ever made, you’d gotta get the Wilson Staff Duo Soft golf balls. With a compression rating of only 29, they are officially the lowest compression golf ball of all time. For those with very slow swing speeds, this is the ball for you!
The ball is super soft, so it will maximize the spring effect once the ball is struck with the club head. It’s the best mix of distance and price that you’ll find among low compression balls.
This DUO golf ball is 25% softer than the original DUO and a tad longer in distance. It is a two piece golf ball that provides less spin, extra yardage, and a great feel all around.
A great benefit is that this ball is also available in many different colors including blue and pink! They are called the Wilson Staff Duo Soft Optix golf balls, and they come in a shiny matte finish that looks great in my opinion. Great for those that don’t want to play with a boring ole white ball.
- great ball on a tight budget
- lowest compression golf ball of all time
- the best golf ball for slow swing speeds (most beginners)
- 2 piece golf ball – made for distance
- comes in different bright colors as well
Low driver spin + green side workability + control on short irons = a great low compression golf ball
Wilson balls are extremely underrated in my opinion, and this is another example that supports that belief. These Wilson Staff Duo Spin golf balls feel great on nearly all shots. You don’t need a super fast swing speed to compress the ball and to get all of the benefits relating to feel and spin.
If you want a great overall golf ball when it comes to distance, price, and feel, then this is the ball for you.
Why you might like it:
- distance off the tee + great soft feel
- 3 piece ball with inner mantle for increased feel
- softest 3 piece golf ball ever made
- ionomer cover generates higher launch angles
- great durability for a soft ball
I can’t speak more highly of Callaway’s SuperSoft golf balls. They are priced to sell, and man do these balls sell. They are currently the #1 seller on Amazon for good reason. The ball is super soft (you don’t say!?!) yet results in great distance off the tee. It is by FAR the lowest compression golf ball that Callaway has ever made.
When you get below 40 on the compression ratings, you get into the absolute softest golf balls on the market. They feel great on nearly every shot you’ll hit, and you’ll love the green side spin as well. Because it is a lower compression ball, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone with a fast swing speed. You’d simply deform the ball far too much, leading to some wild, uncontrollable shots. For someone with a slower swing speed, though, this is one of my best recommendations to you!
Why it’s a great low compression golf ball:
- tri-ionomer cover for more feel and spin
- core designed to be low spin on long shots and high spin on short shots
- comes in four different colors (including pink for the ladies!)
- hex shaped dimples to be more aerodynamic and reduce drag