The compression of the golf ball
Compression is one of the most important values given to a golf ball. The value indicates how much a ball deforms under pressure. The higher the value, the more stable and hardened the ball is.
The scale of compression ranges from 0 to 200. Golf balls are loaded with a standard weight of 890 newton. A golf ball with a value of 200 does not deform at all. A ball with a value of 0 deforms under this load by 2/10 of an inch. That’s about half an inch.
Historical importance of the compression of golf balls
Originally, compression was an important factor in assessing the quality of a golf ball. The higher the value, the better the quality was the ball. A higher compression value meant a better, tighter wrapping of the ball.
Since then golf balls are manufactured in consistently high quality, the value no longer makes a statement about the quality of a golf ball. These can be of high and low quality.
Manufactured for the market are golf balls with a compression of 60 to 120. Nowadays, mainly golf balls are played with a compression of 80 to 100. In the meantime, the value has almost no influence on the length of the cut. Tests with automated tee-off robots resulted in less than two metres of difference in length between different compressions.
Meaning for the golfer
The value is especially important for the personal feeling of golfers. The lower the value, the stronger the compression, the softer a golf ball feels when playing. Players describe high-value balls, i.e. low compression, also called “Stones.”