Golf ball compression is a tricky subject to understand so we put together this article and golf ball compression chart to help you choose the right golf ball for your swing speed.
Golfers of all skill levels will benefit from playing the right ball for their golf game. But first, you have to understand how different golf balls and golf ball compression numbers will have affect the way the ball behaves.
We all want to play a golf ball which gives us high ball speed, maximum distance and green side control. There are options out there to meet these needs for all skill levels and budgets - you just need to know which ball to choose!
What is golf ball compression?
Before we start selecting golf balls for your game, let's try and understand what golf ball compression is and how it can affect a golf ball's performance.
Golf ball compression is the interaction of the club face with the ball's core, and in general, the softer the golf ball, the more it compresses.
When a golf club hits a golf ball, the impact causes the ball to change shape as it compresses against the face of the club. The ball will then spring off the face towards the target (hopefully!)
Golf ball compression ratings
The golf ball compression rating measures how hard or soft the ball is. The numbers range between a score of 30 and 120. The softest being 30, and the hardest 120.
So soft golf ball = low compression ball , hard golf ball = high compression ball.
Am I making sense?
Ok, let's see how golf ball compression affects your game.
How to use the golf ball compression chart | Find the perfect golf ball
There are a few variables to consider when trying to select the right golf ball compression for your game. Swing speed, handicap, and desired ball feel will all have impact on choices. Here are a few basics to help use the chart below;
Faster swing speeds need high compression golf balls (105 mph plus)
Why? A higher compression golf ball is designed to give high swing speed players optimal accuracy, spin control, short game responsiveness, ball flight, feel, and backspin to lower their scores on the golf course. The options in this bracket will usually be a premium golf ball.
Average swing speeds (85 – 105 mph) have options
If you are medium swing speed golfer, you have a choice when it comes to the ball you play. If distance is what you're looking for, then go with a lower compression ball.
If you're seeking more ball control, choose a higher compression ball. Be sure to match the compression level with your swing speed. For example, the Bridgestone BRXS tour while being high compression, would not suit your swing speed.
There are some medium compression golf balls in the chart that can offer the best of both worlds.
Slower swing speeds need a lower compression ball to maximise distance
The super premium high compression balls are aimed at low handicappers and pros, so what about the slower swinger or senior golfer?
Distance is at a premium for high handicappers and beginners. Pick a ball that maximizes length, and at slower swing speeds this will be a lower compression golf ball. The softer the ball the more "spring" you'll get for a low swing speed.
Golf Ball Compression vs Swing Speed Chart
Now that we understand the basics, we need do one more thing. That is to make sure we fully understand our swing speed so we can choose the right golf ball compression.
There are a few ways to work out your swing speed.
- Go to a Trackman or other radar equipped driving range. Many golf professionals at golf clubs and driving ranges will now have a machine to track your swing speed.
- Use a personal device like the Voice Caddie SC300 at a driving range. This device is relatively inexpensive and will allow you to work out your swing speed and club distances on your own.
- Use a simple math equation. In order to work out your driver swing speed you can use this simple calculation. Take your total carry distance with driver and divide it by 2.3. So if your driver carried 240 yards take 240 and divide it by 2.3. Your approximate swing speed with the driver is 104 miles per hour.
Dow you know your swing speed? Great! With this information, you can now make an informed decision to select the correct golf ball compression from the ball compression chart and gain maximum performance from your golf ball.
As you will see in the chart below, there are cheaper options available within each swing speed bracket. To make the process easier, we have added a price guide.
Golf Ball Compression Chart
|Golf Ball Compression Chart|
|Golf Ball||Layers||Golf Ball Compression||Swing Speed||Price Bracket|
|Mizuno RBX Tour X||4 Piece||High 110||+ 105 mph||$$$$|
|Cut DC||4 Piece||High 105||+ 105 mph||$$$|
|Taylormade TP5X Pix||5 Piece||High 100||+ 105 mph||$$$$|
|Titleist Pro V1 X||4 Piece||High 100||+ 105 mph||$$$$|
|Volvik S4||4 Piece||High 95||+ 95 mph||$$$|
|Callaway Chrome Soft X||4 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$$$|
|Cut Blue||4 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$|
|Mizuno RB Tour||4 Piece||High 90||+ 85 mph||$$$$|
|Vice Pro Plus||4 Piece||High||+ 85 mph||$$$|
|Volvik Crystal||3 Piece||High||+ 85 mph||$$$|
|Srixon Z-Star XV||4 Piece||High 100||+ 105 mph||$$$|
|Taylormade TP5X||5 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$$$|
|Wilson Staff Tour||4 Piece||High (no figure)||+ 95 mph||$$$$|
|Callaway Warbird||2 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$|
|Snell MTB-X||3 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$$|
|Srixon Z Star||3 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$$|
|Titleist Pro V1||3 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$$$|
|Volvik XT AMT||3 Piece||High 90||+ 95 mph||$$$$|
|Bridgestone Tour B X||3 Piece||Medium 85||+ 85 mph||$$$$|
|Bridgestone Tour B XS||3 Piece||Medium 85||+ 85 mph||$$$$|
|Taylormade TP5 Pix||5 Piece||Medium 85||+ 85 mph||$$$$|
|Volvik S3||3 Piece||Medium 85||+ 85 mph||$$$|
|Cut Grey||3 Piece||Medium 80||+ 85 mph||$$|
|Snell MTB – Black||3 Piece||Medium 80||+ 85 mph||$$$|
|Taylormade TP5||5 Piece||Medium 80||+ 85 mph||$$$$|
|Titleist AVX||3 Piece||Medium 80||+ 85 mph||$$$$|
|Titleist Tour Speed||3 Piece||Medium 80||+ 85 mph||$$$|
|Volvik Vivid||3 Piece||Medium 80||+ 85 mph||$$$|
|Bridgestone e12 Speed||3 Piece||Medium 75||+ 80 mph||$$|
|Callaway Chrome Soft||3 Piece||Medium 75||+ 80 mph||$$$$|
|Srixon Q Star||2 Piece||Medium 75||+ 80 mph||$$$|
|Volvik Vi Max Soft||2 Piece||Medium 75||+ 80 mph||$$|
|Srixon Q-Star Tour||3 Piece||Medium 70||+ 80 mph||$$$|
|Taylormade Tour Response||3 Piece||Medium 70||+ 80 mph||$$$|
|Taylormade Project (a)||3 Piece||Medium 70||+ 80 mph||$$$|
|Volvik Power Soft||2 Piece||Medium 70||+ 80 mph||$$|
|Volvik XT Soft||3 Piece||Medium 70||+ 80 mph||$$$$|
|Callaway Strata Eagle||3 Piece||Medium||+ 80 mph||$|
|Titleist Velocity||2 Piece||Medium||+ 80 mph||$$|
|Volvik Solice||3 Piece||Medium||+ 80 mph||$$$|
|Wilson Tour Velocity Distance||2 Piece||Medium||+ 80 mph||$$|
|Wilson Tour Velocity Feel||2 Piece||Medium||+ 80 mph||$$|
|Bridgestone Tour B RX||3 Piece||Low (65)||< 80 mph||$$$$|
|Bridgestone Tour B RXS||3 Piece||Low (65)||< 80 mph||$$$$|
|Cut Matte||3 Piece||Low (65)||< 80 mph||$$|
|Titleist Tour Soft||2 Piece||Low (65)||< 80 mph||$$$|
|Callaway ERC Soft||2 Piece||Low (60)||< 80 mph||$$$|
|Cut Red||2 Piece||Low (60)||< 80 mph||$$$|
|Srixon Soft Feel||2 Piece||Low (60)||< 80 mph||$$|
|Wilson Duo Professional||3 Piece||Low (60)||< 80 mph||$$|
|Bridgestone e12 Soft||3 Piece||Low (50)||< 70 mph||$$$|
|Wilson Fifty Elite||2 Piece||Low (50)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Callaway Superhot||3 Piece||Low (50)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Bridgestone e6||2 Piece||Low (45)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Callaway Supersoft||2 Piece||Low (40)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Callaway Supersoft Magna||2 Piece||Low (40)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Taylormade Noodle Long / Soft||2 Piece||Low (35)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Wilson Duo Soft+||2 Piece||Low (35)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Wilson Duo Optix||2 Piece||Low (30)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Mizuno RB 566||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$|
|Mizuno RB 566 V||3 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$|
|Snell Get Sum||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$|
|Taylormade Soft Response||3 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$|
|Titleist TruFeel||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$$|
|Vice Pro||3 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$$|
|Vice Tour||3 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$|
|Vice Pro Soft||3 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$$|
|Vice Drive||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$|
|Wilson Zip||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$|
|SPECIALIST LADIES GOLF BALLS|
|Srixon Soft Feel Lady||2 Piece||Low (60)||< 80 mph||$$|
|Bridgestone e6 Lady||2 Piece||Low (45)||< 70 mph||$$|
|Callaway Reva||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$|
|Taylormade Kalea||2 Piece||Low||< 80 mph||$$|
Golf ball comparison chart - other factors
We know that there's a low of information to take in from that golf ball compression chart. If price and swing speed aren't enough of a guide for you to choose a golf ball, you are left with brand and number of layers to help you make a choice.
The second column of the table refers to the number of layers each golf ball model has. As simple rule is that the more layers, the higher the price, but there is more to it than that.
Players of different abilities will get more from balls with a specific number of layers. If you're a high handicapper with a slower swing speed, a premium 5 piece option isn't going to be a golf ball suitable for you. You won't be striking the ball consistently enough to generate the spin needed to make the 5 layers work for you.
Here's a quick break down of how to choose the right layers for you:
2-Piece Golf Balls
The perfect golf ball for beginners and high handicappers with slower swing speeds. These balls often come in a really competitive price point. A great example of a two piece ball is the Srixon Soft Feel.
3-Piece Golf Balls
The Titleist Pro V1 is the gold standard of 3 piece golf balls and can be used by golfers with a variety of swing speeds. Another good 3 piece ball is the Srixon Z star.
4 And 5-Piece Golf Balls
Super premium balls specifically designed for experienced golfers to optimize distance and control. These balls only perform well for players with fast swing speeds.
Balls manufacturers have moved towards "softer" feeling golf balls in recent years but the compression rating of the ball might not always match up to the name. MyGolfSpy state that softer balls are slower balls, so consider that if distance is something you really desire.
Lowest compression golf balls
The lowest compression golf balls on the market are the Wilson DUO Soft coming in at a marshmallow number of 35! The Callaway Supersoft is also pretty darn soft at a rating of 41.
Best 70 compression golf balls
By far the best 70 compression golf ball is the Srixon Soft Feel. It's not even worth having a conversation about this. It's such a good ball.
Best 80 compression golf balls
Personally I think the best 80 compression golf ball is the Titleist AVX. This is a premium ball, at the same level of the Pro V1 and I love it. It's super long and barely moves in the air with long irons. Try it out, trust me.
Best 90 compression golf balls
It's hard to look past the Titleist Pro V1 in the 90 compression zone, but the Callaway Warbird, Snell MTB-X and Srixon Z Star are all great options at a variety of budgets.
If I have learned one thing about golf balls in my 25 years of playing golf and watching other golfers, it's that more expensive doesn't always mean better.
Everyone who starts the game thinks they should be playing a Titleist Pro V1, Callway Chrome Soft or TaylorMade TP5, but it's just not the case. These balls can cost upward of $6 each and will they make that much difference to the game of most golfers?
I play the Volvik S4 as it matches my swing speed and my needs around the green. This high compression golf ball wouldn't suit many of my playing partners and they would get similar performance from a cheaper two piece ball.
As with nearly everything in golf, play around with options then stick to what works. Unless you're a total beginner, try not to bounce around different balls. Find one which works and learn how it reacts to your game. It'll save you strokes I promise.