The golf ball is the only piece of equipment that golfers use on every shot. Playing the right golf ball for your swing can lead to longer shots, straighter shots, and lower scores. Taking the time to understand what makes golf ball models unique and how these differences can impact your game is important in choosing the right model for you. In this guide, you will find information about the critical components of golf balls and which models will be best for you based on swing characteristics and individual preferences.
Top 6 Best Low Compression Golf Balls
- Category leading soft feel
- Commanding distance
- Advanced short game control
- Aerodynamic design is built for low drag and optimal lift
- Long distance from Tee-to-Green
- Increased short game spin and control
- Dual-distance core is larger and softer
- 2-Layer core reduces driver spin and adds speed
- Less driver spin = less drag = more distance
- Gradational Compression core provides distance and forgiveness
- SlipRes urethane cover increases spin control
- Dual Dimple technology allows enhanced aerodynamics
- Features low driver and long iron spin for straighter distance
- Advanced approach and green-side performance
- Delta Dimple design allows smoother air resistance
- Maxfli's softest golf ball at 35 compression
- Ultra-low compression provides exceptionally soft feel
- Reformulated core provides faster ball speed and low spin rate
Why it is Important to Find the Right Golf Ball for You?
Golf ball models vary in spin rates, compression factors, and internal material designs. Differences between manufacturers and golf ball materials lead to multiple playing profiles and a wide range of prices. These differences can be advantageous for different types of golfers. Knowing which golf balls can be built for you and how these balls will react with your golf swing can lead to lower scores and more enjoyment during your rounds. Players with slower swing speeds can gain more distance and get a softer feel by playing the right low compression golf ball.
How to Choose the Right Golf Ball Within Your Budget
Buying golf balls is expensive. Paying to play and practice can leave little money left for golf balls that can sail out of play. Spending over $45 per box can be too much to ask from most golfers. Casual golfers that have already paid for green and cart fees may be best served by playing a golf ball that is less expensive and still offers a well-balanced performance profile. Budget-conscious golfers should remember that premium golf balls offer maximum performance, but similar results can be achieved by having a properly fit golf ball at a much better price.
Frequently Asked Questions About Golf Balls?
What is the Diameter of a Golf Ball?
The diameter of each golf ball must be no greater than 1.68-inches (42.7mm). These regulations help to maintain a level of fair play set forth by the governing bodies of golf including the United States Golf Association and the R&A.
How Much Does a Golf Ball Weigh?
The USGA and R&A also regulate golf ball’s weight. The official weight of each golf ball must be less than 1.62 ounces or 45.93 grams. The regulations of the golf ball’s weight is important due to heavier golf balls advantage in windy and rainy conditions.
What Do the Dimples on a Golf Ball Do?
Dimples patterns are placed around the golf ball to help it rise into the air and stabilize during crosswinds. Dimples create a lift force that helps the golf ball maintain a penetrating flight. A smooth golf ball flies straight without climbing and provides less distance than a similar golf ball with dimples. Dimples reduce the drag force and allow golf balls to climb into the sky much like an airplane. Comparing driving distances of a perfectly smooth ball, approximately 130 yards, and a dimpled ball, 290 yards or more can highlight the importance of dimple patterns.
How Many Dimples are on a Golf Ball?
The numbers of dimples on a golf ball can vary. The numbers and patterns of these dimples are left to manufacturer design. Many companies agree that dimple patterns between 350 and 450 offer the ideal balance of distance and spin with each golf club in the bag. Dimples are placed in distinct patterns that help the golf ball produce different flights in the wind and rain due to the change in aerodynamic properties created by the dimple’s influence on the drag force and companies use this to leverage different playing profiles to different styles of golfers.
What Do the Numbers on Golf Balls Mean?
Golf balls are marked with numbers and logos that help players identify them as they are put into play. One-digit numbers often act only as identifiers. Two-digit numbers and three-digit numbers can mark special events, compression factors, or dimple counts around the golf ball’s cover. Players also have the ability to mark and stamp their own designs on a ball using specialize marking tools.
One-digit numbers help players to locate and select their golf ball among their playing partners during play. Numbers ranging from 0 to 9 are used with the most common being low numbers, 1 through 4 or high numbers, 5 through 8.
Two-digit numbers can come stock and mark the golf ball’s compression factor or be custom ordered to commemorate special events in players lives such as weddings, birthdays, or competitive victories. Numbers between 30 and 99 typically mark the compression factor. Compression factors will also be indicated on the golf ball’s box.
Three-digit numbers are rarely seen in pro shop or retail stores. These numbers most often indicate the number of dimples that surround each cover of the golf ball. Three-digit figures do not provide much insight into the playing profile of the golf ball model and are often used as company marketing tools.
What’s Inside of a Golf Ball?
Golf Ball Core
The inside of every golf ball is made of layers that help it react to each golf club impact differently. The innermost area of the golf ball is referred to as the core. The core is the layer that all other layers will build upon. Golf balls that feature less than three-layers may place a cover directly around the core or simply forge the two layers together for a one-piece design. Many golf ball cores are made of tightly packed rubber or synthetic resins that vary in composition, performance, and cost.
Golf Ball Cover
The golf ball cover is another important aspect of the golf ball’s composition. The cover is responsible for the golf balls feel and sound and has the largest impact on its aerodynamic properties. Golf ball covers are often made from one, two, or all three of Surlyn, Balata, or urethane materials.
Surlyn is the most common golf ball cover material. It is the cheapest material and offers budget-conscious players a balanced golf ball at a lower price. Surlyn is used to cover one and two-piece golf ball designs and will be the most common in golf shops outside of premium golf ball models. Surlyn covered golf balls are recommended most often to those new to the sport, junior, and senior golfers.
Balata and urethane covered golf balls use these synthetic rubbers in a mixture to give golfers a premium golf ball with a soft feel and a long-lasting coating. These tour-level, premium offerings allow manufacturers to build additional layers inside the golf ball without creating a ball that is harsh when struck at high impact speeds. Urethane covered golf balls are often the choice for professionals, high swing speed players, and low handicap golfers. The pitfall of balata and urethane covered golf balls is the more expensive price tag.
The Different Types of Golf Balls
Golf balls are categorized into construction types based on the number of layers that is packed between the core and the cover. More layers give rise to a more diverse performance profile but can be costly during purchase. Golf balls are available in one-piece, two-piece, three-piece, four-piece, and five-piece designs. For your reference, each of these subgroups is outlined below.
One-Piece Golf Balls
One-piece golf balls are not often used on the golf course due to their diminish performance. These golf balls are used mostly for practice and are seen primarily on driving ranges. These golf balls are inexpensive to manufacture and give wholesale consumers increased durability but do not offer enough performance for players trying to shoot better scores. One-piece golf balls are made with a solid piece of Surlyn with dimples molded onto its cover. One-piece golf balls are inexpensive and can be soft yet durable.
Two-Piece Golf Balls
Two-piece golf balls are the most common golf ball class for casual golfers. These golf balls combine inexpensive products with high-quality materials to give golfers a nice balance of performance and cost-effectiveness. The two-piece design can help players achieve more distance while retaining enough control around the greens to hit it close to pins and score well. The two pieces of these golf balls are often broken down into an explosive core housed inside a Surlyn cover created with a distinct dimple pattern.
Three-Piece Golf Balls
Three-piece golf balls fall under several different golf ball categories. These golf balls can be tour-level or mid-tier softness and feel offerings. These golf ball often vary in price from $20 per box to up to $50 per box. The three pieces of these golf balls build onto one another to give players more separation from each club in their golf bag from driver to putter. Many players will shoot their best scores under normal playing conditions with tour-level, three-piece golf balls. The three layers of these three-piece golf balls typically consist of a core, a mantle layer connecting the core to a premium grade cover.
Four-Piece Golf Balls
Four-piece golf balls are the most common design in tour-level offerings. These golf balls offer performance that becomes the standard of professionals and low handicap players. Four-piece golf balls offer the maximum in golf ball performance and complete bag separation but come with a higher price tag. Inside the four-piece golf balls, a core is surrounded by two mantle layers and a premium cover combine to produce a high-performance golf ball that combines distance and ultra-soft feel.
The fast energy core of the four-piece golf ball is made of solid or liquid synthetic resins that help give golfers maximum distance. The second layer helps energy to travel from the golf club at impact to the core for longer distance and greenside control. The third layer is made from specifically blended materials to create diversity for each golf club in the golf bag. The cover of the four-piece ball originates the soft feel and is made of premium-grade urethane.
Five-Piece Golf Balls
Five-piece golf balls have been most recently introduced and are quickly becoming the choice of the game’s best players due to their added performance. The fifth layer acts to build upon the playing advantages of four-piece balls and add stability in various weather conditions. The introduction of another layer helps give players more options especially in windy or rainy conditions.
The five-piece golf ball is manufactured by using three interior mantle layers in between a core and a urethane cover. Each layer builds onto the high-speed resin core to produce a complete tour-level golf ball. Each individual layer is designed to react to different golf clubs and swing speeds to combine an optimized performance for every golf club in play. The concert of these five layers is what makes the five-piece golf ball so unique.
What is Golf Ball Spin
Golf balls strive to create spin rates that help golfers of different styles all fit their ideal ball flights. Low spin, mid spin, and high spin golf balls are available to suit any players needs. Getting the right spin rates for your game tee-to-green can help you hit consistent distances and shoot lower scores.
Low Spin Golf Balls
Low spin golf balls help players get less backspin and more distance in the air and on the ground. Players that struggle with hitting their golf shots with too much spin can help control this by playing a lower spinning golf ball. Players struggling with short driving distances can pick up much-needed yardage by reducing driver spin and hitting a longer carrying shot.
Mid Spin Golf Balls
Mid-spin golf balls are the choice for the majority of golfers. Shots that spin too much fall short and shots that spin too little can fall out of the air and are difficult to control. By giving golfers a well-balanced flight, the mid spin golf ball gives players a welcome dose of distance and greenside control.
High Spin Golf Balls
High spin golf balls help players to increase backspin and create a more stable ball flight. Slower swing speed players or players fighting a hook can benefit from more spin especially with their drivers and long irons. Seniors, juniors, and high handicap players can benefit from the added lift and straighter ball flights that are common in higher spinning golf balls and elite players may find that these golf balls let them stabilize their misses.
What is Golf Ball Compression?
When a golf ball is struck with a golf club it deforms and reshapes. This deformation rate is referred to as the compression factor for each model. The labeled rates are taken from a driver impact at a standard club head speed. When fitting yourself for a golf ball, it is important to remember that a golf ball will experience a variety of swing speeds throughout your round and that fitting a golf ball only for your driver is dangerous. Compression factors often fall between the values of 200 and 0. Compression factors of 200 represent a golf ball that will deform very little. A golf ball with a compression factor of 0 will compress much more.
Types of Golf Ball Compression
Compression is divided into three categories to make it easy for players to find their ideal golf ball. To help you find the compression factor right for you, we have provided a simple guide below.
High Compression Golf Balls
- High compression golf balls are the best fit for high swing speed players with a driver club head speed of 105 miles per hour and above. High compression golf balls have a compression factor rating of 90 and above and can help players with advanced speeds get more distance without losing energy.
Medium Compression Golf Balls
- Medium compression golf balls are best fit for players swinging their drivers between 85 and 105 miles per hour. Medium compression golf balls have a compression factor rating between 80 and 89. Players that do not know how quickly they swing their driver or if they do not want to formalize their golf ball fitting should choose a golf ball in this category.
Low Compression Golf Balls
- Low compression golf balls are fit to players that swing their driver at 85 miles per hour and below. The compression factor of the low compression golf balls fall beneath 80 and can deliver more distance and more efficient energy transfer to slower-swinging players such as juniors, seniors, or beginners.
Types of Golf Balls
Golf ball playing categories exist so that players can choose the right golf ball without worrying too much about the specifics of the internal compositions. Tour-level, distance, and soft and feel are used to assign golf balls based on their playing characteristics for consumer fitting. Tour-level golf balls offer the most performance but may be too expensive for some players.
Tour-Level Golf Balls
Tour-level golf balls offer the maximum in performance and feel. These golf balls are made using three or more layers and give players the ability to hit all types of shots from anywhere on the golf course. No matter your skill level, these golf balls will lead to your best performance but players must weight the financial impact of choosing to play this group of golf balls.
Distance Golf Balls
Distance golf balls are great for players just picking up the sport or for practice. These one or two-piece designs are highly durable and inexpensive. Players that just want to play and not worry if they lose golf balls frequently will love the superficial investments distance golf balls provide.
Softness and Feel Golf Balls
Softness and feel golf balls are the best golf balls for most players. These two, three, or four-piece golf ball designs offer players great performance at a great price. If you are serious about your game but do not want to pay the premium prices of tour-level golf balls then the soft or feel golf balls are best for you. Softness and feel golf balls package the same high-performance materials as the tour-level models in economical designs that give similar performance at almost half the cost.
Top 10 Best Low Compression Golf Balls
1. Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls
Titleist’s ProV1 has become the industry standard for high performing golf balls. Although not specifically designed to be a low compression golf ball, the ProV1 packs the best all-around performance form players with slower swing speeds looking to get more energy transfer. Players of all levels and abilities will get consistent results throughout their entire bag with the ProV1 golf ball. The ProV1 offers drop-and-stop short game control, a very soft feel, and better distances than other tour-level offerings. If you can afford the higher price tag, the ProV1 can help you shoot your best scores and improve your club distances.
2. Callaway Supersoft Golf Balls
Callaway’s softest golf ball is perfect for players looking to gain distance off the tee without giving up performance around the greens and on the putting surface. The ultra-low compression of the Supersoft golf ball can help even the slowest swinging players, junior, and senior, golfers find more distance and improved ball speed.
3. TaylorMade Project S Golf Balls
The Project A golf ball has been a huge success for TaylorMade Golf in the amatuer market. The Project S takes the performance of the Project A and packs it into a softer, lower compression offering that helps slower swing speed players get more from their games. The Project S incorporates the dual-distance core into an improved aerodynamic cover to help golfers get more control around the green and explosive distance off the tee box.
4. Callaway Chromesoft Golf Balls
The Callaway Chromesoft is the lowest compression tour-level golf ball available. Slower swinging golfers will love the feedback this tour-level golf ball provides. Chromesoft packs graphene material under an urethane cover to give players more distance and an ultra-soft feel. Callaway loyalists will love the improved performance of the Chromesoft golf ball and feel comfortable knowing that they can play a golf ball that gives them the best chance to score from everywhere on the golf course.
5. Bridgestone E6 Golf Balls
The E6 from Bridestone is designed to be their best feeling and most accurate golf ball ever. The dimple-in-dimple pattern is designed to reduce side spin and lower compression to keep more golf balls in play. The E6 is a well-balanced all around golf ball that delivers outstanding distance, high spinning greenside performance, low compression and a uniquely soft feel.
6. Maxfli SoftFli Golf Balls
Maxfli is known for making low compression, gamable golf balls at prices all players can be comfortable with. Maxfli lets golfers get out on the course and enjoy their rounds. The SoftFli uses ultra-low compression to give slow swing speed players, beginners, juniors, and seniors more distance and an optimized performance. The Maxfli SoftFli golf ball is a two-piece design made to be cost-effective. Players looking for cheaper, low compression golf ball alternatives should be testing the Maxfli SoftFli.
7. Wilson Staff Duo Soft Golf Balls
The Wilson Staff Duo is the introduction of tour-like performance in a cost-friendly package. The Wilson Staff Duo has been named best in its class and gives players comparable performance to premium golf ball models from various manufacturers. The Wilson Duo is the original low compression Gold Medal golf ball.
8. Vice Soft Golf Balls
Vice Soft golf balls give players low compression energy transfer in a professional configuration. The Vice Soft golf ball uses the same 336 dimple pattern as all the Vice Pro offerings but is available at a $25 price point. Vice contends that players will get tour-level performance at half the cost of other brands. Players looking to get a low compression golf ball and save money will love the Vice Soft golf ball.
9. Titleist DT Trusoft Golf Balls
Titleist’s DT Trusoft is the softest and lowest compression model in their golf ball lineup. This low compression golf ball gives slower swing speed players more distance with tour-level greenside performance. The DT Trusoft has been improved and provides golfers with distinct distance and short game stopping power advantages over prior DT Solo golf ball models. Players looking to get the best from Titleist without paying top dollar for ProV1 offerings can find a fantastic alternative in the DT Trusoft.
10. Wilson Staff Duo Urethane Golf Balls
The Wilson Staff Duo Urethane builds on the low compression performance of the original Wilson Staff Duo. The Duo is known for its exceptional performance and extremely low price. Historically, the Duo is one of the best selling golf balls in its performance and price categories. The urethane cover wrapped around the newest model delivers the same performance with a golf ball that features enhanced feel and improved shot feedback. Urethane is the the same materials used by the most premium golf ball models and the Wilson Staff Duo gives it to golfers at a fraction of the cost.
What Golf Balls Should You Buy?
The most important thing in golf ball fitting is that players commit to playing the same golf ball every shot. It is important to balance budget, durability, and performance when selecting your golf ball model. The correct golf ball will give golfers more distance, better spin rates, and more consistency throughout the entire golf bag. Choosing to get your golf ball formally fit by a club building professional is the best way to know which golf ball is best for your swing. Slower swing speed players looking for a more simple approach should choose a low compression, mid-spin option in the soft and feel category. Be sure to check out our other reviews to complete your bag, thanks for reading, and happy testing!