Golf Ball Construction & Compression-Common Misconception

There are 3 basic types of golf balls on the market today. Let's look at their constructions and what type of golfer should use them to lower his or her total score.

2 Piece Golf Balls:

This type of ball makes up the majority of the market from all the leading manufacturers. It features a large, solid rubber core (shown in blue) surrounded by a plastic or urethane (rubber) cover.

Golf ball engineers can alter the performance of the finished ball by changing the size of core, the compression of the core, and the softness of the cover.

2-Piece balls are typically your game improvement or distance balls. The large core provides a lot of velocity when struck by the club face.

These balls are typically lower spinning, which means your undesirable slice or hook spin will not be as pronounced and the ball will fly straighter. Lower compression models of 2 piece balls perform well for men, women, and children with slower swing speeds (<85 mph).

3 Piece Hybrid Golf Balls:

Hybrid golf balls have a solid core surrounded by a "mantle" layer (show in green). This 2 piece assembly is then surrounded by a soft plastic or urethane rubber cover. These balls combine the forgiveness of a 2 piece model, with the increased performance and spin control of a 3 piece construction.

Engineers can adjust the core and thin layer to end up with a playable, performance ball for a variety of golfers. They are quite a revolution.

3 or 4 Piece performance Golf Balls:

Professional and low handicap golfers with high swing speeds need a ball with low initial spin (for distance) and high iron spin (for precision). A 3 or 4 piece ball meets these requirements with a unique "dual core" design.

In a 4 piece construction, the 2 piece core (shown in green and light grey) is surrounded by a thin mantle layer, and then a urethane, dimpled cover. The urethane cover in conjunction with the other components give these balls the "drop and stop" action you see on the weekend broadcasts.


 Golf Ball Compression-common misconception:

There is a common misconception that a player must match the compression of the golf ball to his or her swing speed in order to properly “compress” the ball. Every golfer compresses the golf ball on every full swing shots. In fact, the differences in the amount of compression across driver swing speeds are virtually indistinguishable in photos taken from a high speed camera at impact.

Another myth is that lower swing speed players will hit a lower compression golf ball longer. No single element of golf ball design determines the golf ball’s performance or its distance. Its compression is simply a result of this process. Compression is a test of the relative softness of a golf ball and relates to how firm or soft a golf ball feels to a golfer. While there is no performance benefit to choosing a specific compression, many golfers (regardless of swing speed) do have feel preferences. Golfers who prefer softer feel may prefer lower compression golf balls.

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