Golf is a sport where most people can’t seem to agree on what they think works best. It doesn’t matter if you talk about irons, drivers, or golf balls; there will always be disagreements.
And while some of these disagreements might seem silly and pointless, others largely affect the game we love.
So do hard golf balls go further than soft golf balls?
The answer is not quite as black and white.
There are many levels of compression in golf balls, but the two major differences between them are whether or not there is a core (center) to the golf ball and how hard the cover (shell) of the ball is.
Golf balls with no solid core are considered to be “soft” golf balls. On the other hand, a hardball would have quite a solid core.
However, this is not always the case as there are quite a wide variety of compressions for both soft and hard balls.
Table Of Contents
- What is Golf Ball Compression?
- Why Are There Different Golf Ball Compression Levels?
- Which Compression is Right for You?
- Are Soft Golf Balls Good For Distance?
- Soft Or Hard Golf Ball For The High Handicapper?
- Do Hard Or Soft Golf Balls Go Further – Final Thoughts
What is Golf Ball Compression?
Golf ball compression is the measure of how much a golf ball deforms when it is struck by a golf club. The more a ball compresses, the greater its reaction to impact and, therefore, distance will be.
Golf ball compression is usually measured by applying constant force to the surface of the ball with a special instrument. As the ball deforms, its compression increases. The amount at which this happens is known as golf ball compression rating.
A soft golf ball has low compression and will deform considerably when struck. A hard golf ball has high compression and won’t compress very much when struck.
Why Are There Different Golf Ball Compression Levels?
Golf ball compression levels range from low to high, and each of them results in different performance characteristics.
A ball with a very low compression rating is going to be “softer.” In other words, it will require a lower club speed to achieve maximum velocity.
On the other hand, a ball with a high compression rating is going to be “harder.” In other words, it will require a greater club speed to achieve maximum velocity.
Low compression – This is the softest type of ball and therefore requires the least amount of club speed. It also provides a lot more feel around the greens but sacrifices some distance as a result.
Mid compression – This is the most common type of golf ball on the market and offers great levels of both control and performance. Almost all of the golf balls manufactured by Titleist fall within this compression range.
High compression – This is a very common type of ball and provides great levels of performance, though it doesn’t offer as much feel around the greens as low compression balls do. These are ideal for people who play more powerful shots with their driver.
Which Compression is Right for You?
The answer to this question is largely based on the distance you’re looking for and how much control you want over your game.
To ensure that you get started with the right type of compression, here’s a little guide for choosing golf balls.
Driver swing speed is 105 mph or faster
In this case, choose a high compressions ball. This means that you will require a harder ball to maximize your driver distance.
Driver swing speed is between 90 and 105 mph
In this case, choose a mid-compression ball. This type of ball will offer the perfect balance of distance and control for those who hit their drives at medium speeds.
Driver swing speed is less than 90 mph
In this case, choose a low compression ball. This type of ball will give you the greatest amount of feel and control around the greens because it compresses very easily at impact.
A softer ball will give golfers with lower swing speeds a little more distance.
Are Soft Golf Balls Good For Distance?
Soft golf balls are good for distance for golfers with slower swing speeds.
The lower compression rating will give you more distance because the ball requires less force to compress.
If you have a slower swing speed, then consider playing softball, as they will likely help your game.
Soft Or Hard Golf Ball For The High Handicapper?
Here’s some advice for average golfers.
A high handicapper who plays with less than 100 mph of clubhead speed should use a softer ball, as they will likely play shorter.
A golfer with closer to 100 mph of clubhead speed should go with a mid compression or even hardball since it’s important at that clubhead speed to maximize distance with driver shots.
A good goal for a high handicapper is to use the same type of ball as someone with 100 mph clubhead speed.
In general, golfers who hit their drives below 100 mph should choose softballs, and those who swing faster than that should choose a hardball.
Do Hard Or Soft Golf Balls Go Further – Final Thoughts
The type of golf ball you choose is largely based on your clubhead speed and the distance you’re looking for.
A softer, low compression golf ball will give all players with lower swing speeds more distance because it compresses easily at impact.
If you have a driver that’s over 100 mph, then consider playing a hard or high compression ball, as they’ll help maximize your driving distances.
For most average golfers who play between 90-105mph, mid compressions are perfect because they offer great levels of control without sacrificing too much distance.
It’s important to take these factors into account when picking out new clubs or types of balls, so make sure to keep them in mind before heading out onto the course!