Category: Golf Swing Speed

Golf Ball Compression and Swing Speed – How They Relate

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When it comes to golf topics, this one falls into the open-to-interpretation category. I say that because I have heard and read different thoughts about it over time. Some experts have one theory, while others have a different one. Nonetheless, there is definitely a relationship between golf ball compression and swing speed to look into.

The fact is that golfers use golf balls with different compression ratings and swing the clubs at different speeds. Those things will never change going into the future.

Going back to the diverse theories about compression and swing speed, there are two main ones. The first tells us that there is a certain compression rating class for each swing speed class.

That means if you swing your club slower, you should go for low-compression golf balls. In the same way, if you swing faster, you should go for higher-compression golf balls.

Image by Virgile Donadieu on Unsplash
Image by Virgile Donadieu on Unsplash

The second, on the other hand, tells us that to play your best golf you do not have to follow the rules from the first one. In fact, some experts say you could be fitted in different ball compression classes from your swing speed class. For example, you could still be fitted for a higher compression golf ball even if you are in the slow or middle swing speed category.

In this article, I will not support any of the two theories, but I will explain what the golf ball compression rating and swing speed are. I will also talk about how it is all designed to work together and leave you to decide what you make of it at the end.

Golf Ball Compression Rating

Golf ball compression refers to the measurement of the hardness or firmness of a golf ball. That critical characteristic affects the ball’s performance and feel when struck by a golfer’s club. It basically means, that when a golf ball is struck, it undergoes deformation, compressing against the clubface before rebounding off it.

The compression intensity directly influences how the energy is transferred from the club to the ball during impact. Balls with different compression levels behave differently based on a golfer’s swing speed and other factors. The golf ball compression is measured between 0 and 200.

However, most standard balls are rated between 50 and 100, with a few models from different brands with compressions under 50. The lower the compression rating, the softer the ball, and the higher the compression rating, the firmer the ball.

Swing Speed

Now, when we talk about swing speed, we usually talk about two different things. There is the golf club swing speed which refers to the velocity at which a golfer’s golf clubhead moves during the golf swing. In some parts of the world is measured in miles per hour (mph), while in others in kilometers per hour (km/h).

The golf club swing speed, more precisely driver swing speed, is typically used as a reference for choosing the golf ball. It is also valuable for club fitting, choosing the right shaft flex, and optimizing the equipment for maximum performance. Professional golfers usually have swing speeds between 110 and 130 mph, while amateurs mostly range from 80 to 100 mph.

There is also golf ball speed. It refers to the speed at which the golf ball leaves the clubface after impact with the golf club. The clubhead speed, the quality of contact with the ball, and the characteristics of the ball itself directly influence its speed.

Image by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
Image by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Low-Compression Golf Balls

It includes golf balls with compression ratings around 50 (or lower) to 70. They are primarily designed for slower swing speeds (typically below 85 mph). These balls help maximize distance for golfers who do not generate a lot of power in their swings. They tend to feel softer and are more forgiving.

Mid-Compression Golf Balls

These are balls with compression ratings between 70 and 90. They are suitable for a wide range of golfers with moderate swing speeds (around 85 to 100 mph). These balls offer a balance of distance and control. Unlike the low compression rating category which only consists of two-piece golf balls, here we can find two-piece and three-piece (also a few four or five-piece) balls.

Image by Angelina Yan on Unsplash
Image by Angelina Yan on Unsplash

High-Compression Golf Balls

Here we can find balls with compression ratings above 90. They are designed for higher swing speeds (above 100 mph) and provide more control and accuracy for golfers with faster swings. This is the category where we can find the fewest ball models out there.

How It All Relates

Golf ball compression is important, but is just one factor that influences golf ball performance. The construction and design of the ball’s core, cover, and dimple pattern also play crucial roles in how the ball behaves and performs. For this reason, golfers often experiment with different golf ball models to find the one that suits their game and swing characteristics the best.

The bottom line is that every golfer’s swing and style are unique. You can definitely go for a golf ball fitting and be fitted with a golf ball you least expected. At the end of the day what matters is the things you are looking for in a ball. You might want only distance, or you are more focused on short-game performance. Whatever it is, there is a golf ball out there for you.

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How to Improve Your Golf Swing Speed – 5 Tips for Beginners

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I know what you might be thinking. Here we go again, another article about increasing the swing speed. Fair enough, a lot of industry experts talk about this quite a bit. Now, there is a reason for that. If you want to hit the ball further and consequentially lower your handicap, you must know how to improve your golf swing speed.

It is just how things work in the wonderful world of golfing. To increase your distances, you have to hit the ball further. That can only happen if you increase your clubhead and ball speed.

I am not saying you have to get to extreme levels of golfers who participate in the World Long Drive Championship. That would be hard to achieve to start with unless you had a lot of time on your hands.

However, if you want to bring your game to the next level, you have to start working on that speed. For example, to carry your ball 250 yards, your clubhead speed should be around 100 mph, and your ball speed around 145 mph.

Image by Ryan Hoffman on Unsplash
Image by Ryan Hoffman on Unsplash

Those numbers will look scary to a lot of average golfers. That is fine, perhaps you are happy with less distance and do not care to hit that ball so far. Nonetheless, if you do want to increase your numbers, there are ways to do it. There are drills you can do to get there, but below we will focus on a few tips that can help you along the process.

1. Know Your Backswing Limit

This might sound weird, but you can easily overdo your backswing. As you can imagine when that happens it does not produce the best swing results. Let me explain why. What usually happens when you overdo the backswing has everything to do with your lead arm. To put it in simple words, if you finish your backswing too late, your lead arm bends in the elbow.

That situation leads to a couple of things. First, once it does bend, it is very hard to extend it to the proper position for the downswing and impact. It just requires too much right timing to do that. Subsequently, because of that, you lose a lot of power in your swing. Less power means less clubhead and ball speed, thus less distance.

The general rule is that you should finish your backswing at the very moment before your lead arm starts bending in the elbow. That way you will make it easier for the downswing and impact. On top of that, you will be able to produce more swing speed because of more power in your swing.

2. Transfer Your Weight

For me personally, this is one of the most challenging parts of the golf swing. I have seen recreational golfers shift their weight in different ways. Whatever works for an individual is fine. Nevertheless, here I am referring to the textbook weight shift. If you have a picture of professional golfers doing it, you know how challenging that is.

The weight transfer, when properly done, creates a slingshot effect in your swing. With that, you gain more power which brings more clubhead and ball speed. For that reason, it is essential that you do it right in order to hit that ball further down the fairway. Work on it to bring it to a decent level and you will enjoy hitting that ball more than ever.

Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash
Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

3. Swing With Your Upper Body

One of the most common things recreational gofers do is to swing the club only with their arms. Because of that, there are several areas of the swing that suffer. For one, you guessed it, there is a lack of power. Next, it is harder to control the clubface when the arms are too involved. Then it often leads to poor contact at impact.

The arms should be synchronized with the upper body through the swing. It comes down to engaging the core and having the arms almost locked to the body. When you swing with your upper body you unleash more power for a greater swing speed.

There is a popular drill you can do for that. Put something like a piece of clothing or a tee peg under your armpits and keep it there while swinging. The goal is to keep it under your armpits until you finish your swing without it falling out.

4. Be Relaxed While Swinging

As trivial as this sounds, you should not be overly tense while swinging your club. I am sure you have heard that before, but it is true. If you are too tense, your motions won’t be able to work as intended. That will lead to many things that can go wrong when you are hitting the ball, like thin or thick shots, slices or hooks, etc.

Besides that, not being relaxed will rob you of swing speed as well. If you do not let the club release, you will lose potential power and swing speed. A lot of times you will be able to hit the ball further if you hit it when relaxed at a moderate speed. Try it at the driving range, and see for yourself that it can actually work that way.

Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash
Image by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

5. Know When to Release the Club

This is so important when it comes to swing speed. Here I am referring to the moment when your club accelerates the most before the impact. If it reaches peak acceleration too early or too late you will leave a lot of speed on the table. Clearly, if you watch professional golfers, you can notice they do it with perfection.

What we are looking for here is the swoosh sound the club makes during the swing to happen at the right time. That is the moment when the clubhead is traveling at the highest speed. Ideally, that happens from the time just before impact until a few feet past impact. Again, it is easier said than done, but it can be achieved with some practice and persistence.

Whatever Works the Best

I am sure no matter how long you have been golfing, you know there is no magic formula that works for everyone. The game is so complex when it comes to the swing motion. Because of that, each and every golf swing is different. For that reason, one thing will work for one, and another thing for the other swings.

In reality, it all comes down to what works best for you as an individual. You can find that out with the help of a golf instructor or you can take your time to discover it on your own. This applies to all the things related to the swing including the swing speed. Find what is best for you, work on it, and hit the ball further than ever before.

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