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Does compression matter?


Tsecor
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11 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

I just read an article on TGW stating compression doesn't matter.

Was curious what the MGS community thought of this. 

 

https://www.tgw.com/golf-guide/golf-ball-compression-ratings-dont-matter/

 

 

I skimmed that article and my takeaway was that TGW believes the "compression rating" doesn't matter (i.e. 60 vs 70). Instead they have some categories, low, medium, high, and they believe that categorization still matters.

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The MGS ball test showed that you are losing a few yards of distance with a softer ball because it costs you some ball speed.  I'll admit that I prefer a softer ball, even though I know it probably costs me some distance and I probably should be playing a firmer ball.

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This is from the MySpy 2019 testing. To me the biggest issue I generally have with a ball is durability. Interestingly if you read the guff on the Pro V1 it you can find mention on Pro V1 still has a compression around 90 and the 1x of around 100. But in reality based on the info below it is 10% higher.

Q: What is compression and what does it mean for me?

A:  Compression is a measure of firmness and is most commonly associated with feel. The higher the compression value, the harder the ball will likely feel. There’s little evidence in our data to suggest that there’s a right compression for your speed. What’s important is finding a ball that provides the right balance of performance for your game. At most, feel should be a secondary concern when choosing a ball.

Compression Testing

It’s important to note that like many things in the golf equipment industry, there’s no standard set of equipment to measure and report compression. We should also note that some manufacturers talk about total compression, while others focus the discussion on core compression.

Our compression measurements reflect total compression. When numbers differ from those of the manufacturer, it doesn’t mean anyone is lying. The tools are different, the operators are different. Don’t sweat the absolutes; focus on the data (below) for comparative purposes.

During consultations with experts from the ball industry, we were told that compression differences within the same box of balls can be significant (as high as 30 points). While we didn’t test the volume of samples that manufacturers typically do, we did find some cause for concern.

As you’ll see below, there’s a strong correlation between compression and ball speed. If compression is wildly inconsistent, your distances will be too.

2019 MOST WANTED BALL FEATURES CHART

2019 Most Wanted Ball Test Features

  Ball Model Price Construction Compression Cover Material

 

BridgestoneTour B RX

44.99 3 Piece 99.6 Injection Molded Urethane
 

Snell MTB-X

32.99 3 Piece 114.3 Cast Urethane

 

Mizuno RB Tour X 42.99 4 Piece 111.6 Injection Molded Urethane
  Srixon Z Star Xv 39.99 4 Piece 111.4 Cast-Injected Urethane
 

Titleist Pro V1x

47.99 4 Piece 111.0 Cast Urethane (Thermoset)
  Bridgestone Tour B X 44.99 3 Piece 110.8 Injection Molded Urethane
  Volvik S4 49.99 4 Piece 109.8 Cast Urethane
  Maxfli Tour X CG 34.99 4 Piece 109.1 Cast Urethane
  Kirkland Signature 3-Piece 11.99 3 Piece 106.7 Injection Molded Urethane
  Mizuno RB Tour 42.99 4 Piece 106.3 Injection Molded Urethane
  Cut Blue 19.95 4 Piece 106.2 Injection Molded Urethane
  Vice Pro 34.95 3 Piece 106.2 Cast Urethane
  Snell MTB Black 32.99 3 PIece 105.3 Cast Urethane
  TaylorMade TP5x 44.99 5 Piece 104.4 Cast Urethane
  Titleist Pro V1 47.99 3 Piece 104.2 Cast Urethane (Thermoset)
  Maxfli Tour CG 34.99 3 PIece 103.9 Cast Urethane
  Cut Grey 19.95 3 Piece 103.6 Injection Molded Urethane
  Bridgestone Tour B XS 44.99 3 Piece 102.9 Injection Molded Urethane
  Vice Pro Plus 34.95 4 Piece 102.6 Cast Urethane
  Srixon Z Star 39.99 3 Piece 100.8 Cast-Injected Urethane
  Srixon Z Star Yellow 39.99 3 Piece 100.7 Cast-Injected Urethane
  TaylorMade TP5 44.99 5 Piece 100.1 Cast Urethane
  Callaway Chrome Soft X 44.99 4 Piece 100.0 Injection Molded Urethane
  MG Tour C4 19.99 3 Piece 99.2 Injection Molded Urethane
  Inesis Tour 900 29.99 3 Piece 98.7 Injection Molded Urethane
  Volvik S3 49.99 3 Piece 96.5 Cast Urethane
  Titleist AVX 47.99 3 Piece 95.6 Cast Urethane (Thermoset)
  OnCore Elixr 34.99 3 Piece 95.5 Cast Urethane
  Vice Pro Soft 34.95 3 Piece 94.2 Cast Urethane
  Volvik Vivid Soft 49.99 3 Piece 90.0 Cast Urethane
  Wilson Duo Professional 34.99 3 Piece 87.8 Cast Urethane
  Callaway Chrome Soft 44.99 4 Piece 86.4 Injection Molded Urethane
  Bridgestone Tour B RXS 44.99 3 Piece 86.3 Injection Molded Urethane
  Srixon Q Star Tour 29.99 3 Piece 86.2 Cast-Injected Urethane
  Titleist Tour Soft 39.99 2 Piece 84.7 Ionomer Blend
  Callaway ERC Soft 39.99 3 Piece 73.4 Ionomer
Edited by Firebird
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  • 6 months later...

Club head speed is everything. If you hit a Cally Supersoft with a 100 mph swing speed, of course you will lose distance. For those of us that swing a lot slower, all those lower compression balls work just fine to "somewhat level" the playing field. I have played 90 comp down to the 29 compression of the Duo. Duo got marshmallowy in the hot summer sun. The Cally Supersoft that I now play, with an 80 mph swing speed does not do that. And, I am always out in front of my playing partners with the driver most if the time, and we are all high handicappers. Its all subject to the FEEL YOU WANT, and not always how far you can hit the ball.

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Some of the data in the list from @Firebird doesn't seem to be in line with the ball lab, the most recent Bridgestone tour brx is 99.6 on the chart, but 75 in the ball lab! That's the only one I looked into (most recent lab test) sure there is more. I guess the question that I have is the cart the OEM compression that they give? If so more respect to MGS for exposing this. It's really becoming very muddy water, and seems like finding what's working for you is the best way to go.

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3 hours ago, drb1956 said:

Club head speed is everything. If you hit a Cally Supersoft with a 100 mph swing speed, of course you will lose distance. For those of us that swing a lot slower, all those lower compression balls work just fine to "somewhat level" the playing field. I have played 90 comp down to the 29 compression of the Duo. Duo got marshmallowy in the hot summer sun. The Cally Supersoft that I now play, with an 80 mph swing speed does not do that. And, I am always out in front of my playing partners with the driver most if the time, and we are all high handicappers. Its all subject to the FEEL YOU WANT, and not always how far you can hit the ball.

This^ Low compression balls like the 29 compression Duo don't lose distance until high swing speeds come into play.

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As someone who has not been ball fitted and not found an appreciable difference in the handful of balls I have narrowed down to, I'm curious about the compression question as well.  I've had days when a Chromesoft or newer Titleist Tour Soft have played better in distance and, to a slightly lesser degree, green holding than ProV1, Maxfli Tour, Snell MTB, and Bridgestone BX S.  

To those who have been "ball fitted" what if any surprises did you find?

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9 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

As someone who has not been ball fitted and not found an appreciable difference in the handful of balls I have narrowed down to, I'm curious about the compression question as well.  I've had days when a Chromesoft or newer Titleist Tour Soft have played better in distance and, to a slightly lesser degree, green holding than ProV1, Maxfli Tour, Snell MTB, and Bridgestone BX S.  

To those who have been "ball fitted" what if any surprises did you find?

I’ve done a few bridgestone ball fittings when they were doing them in person. 
 

In the last fitting i did which would be around 2015/16 the rx was the ball I was fitted for. We looked at the bx and bxs and spin increased with both that was detrimental to optimizing my distance. 
 

i played the rx multiple seasons on and off since every fitting i did with them that was the recommended ball compared to either the Srixon z star or Prov1. 
 

ive played a bunch of different balls and what I have seen the “softer” balls like the chromesoft, q star and Wilson have all been shorter off the tee and with irons compared to the tp5 and 5x and the Prov1 and 1x for me. I’ve tried the last two versions of bx and bxs and both have been ok.

I recently tried the exp-01, tour soft and they rolled out further than the tour balls 

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

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2 hours ago, 2puttbogey said:

Some of the data in the list from @Firebird doesn't seem to be in line with the ball lab, the most recent Bridgestone tour brx is 99.6 on the chart, but 75 in the ball lab! That's the only one I looked into (most recent lab test) sure there is more. I guess the question that I have is the cart the OEM compression that they give? If so more respect to MGS for exposing this. It's really becoming very muddy water, and seems like finding what's working for you is the best way to go.

I asked Tony about the compression differences between  2019 Ball Test and 2020 Ball Lab.  MGS is using a different machine this year which has led to  lower compression readings on the same ball between years.  Bridgestone’s Tour B line has had a new release this year which would lead to different compression measurements anyway, even if MGS had kept the same compression measuring tool as last year. 

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2 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I’ve done a few bridgestone ball fittings when they were doing them in person. 
 

In the last fitting i did which would be around 2015/16 the rx was the ball I was fitted for. We looked at the bx and bxs and spin increased with both that was detrimental to optimizing my distance. 
 

i played the rx multiple seasons on and off since every fitting i did with them that was the recommended ball compared to either the Srixon z star or Prov1. 
 

ive played a bunch of different balls and what I have seen the “softer” balls like the chromesoft, q star and Wilson have all been shorter off the tee and with irons compared to the tp5 and 5x and the Prov1 and 1x for me. I’ve tried the last two versions of bx and bxs and both have been ok.

I recently tried the exp-01, tour soft and they rolled out further than the tour balls 

Just as a point of reference, how much difference were you seeing in distance?  My driver swing speed runs about 103.  Perhaps at these lower speeds the separation in distance just isn't that much?

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10 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Just as a point of reference, how much difference were you seeing in distance?  My driver swing speed runs about 103.  Perhaps at these lower speeds the separation in distance just isn't that much?

My SS is about the same as yours. With the chromesoft it was 1/2 to 1 club distance with irons. Hitting balls side by side on the same holes I would see 10-15 yards difference. I have a couple friends who are faster and they would see similar differences.

With the Bridgestone bx and bxs i was on avg losing 10 yards off the tee with irons I was a full club shorter

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

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33 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

My SS is about the same as yours. With the chromesoft it was 1/2 to 1 club distance with irons. Hitting balls side by side on the same holes I would see 10-15 yards difference. I have a couple friends who are faster and they would see similar differences.

With the Bridgestone bx and bxs i was on avg losing 10 yards off the tee with irons I was a full club shorter

Wow!  That is significant.  Why I'm not seeing that in my informal comparisons may just be inconsistent ball striking??  I often have courses to myself and can play two ball comparisons; I did this several times while testing the Maxfli Tour and Tour X.  Looks like a ball fitting needs to be added to the list.

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13 hours ago, JohnSmalls said:

I asked Tony about the compression differences between  2019 Ball Test and 2020 Ball Lab.  MGS is using a different machine this year which has led to  lower compression readings on the same ball between years.  Bridgestone’s Tour B line has had a new release this year which would lead to different compression measurements anyway, even if MGS had kept the same compression measuring tool as last year. 

Thanks for the info. 25 is a big difference from year to year though.

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3 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

Wow!  That is significant.  Why I'm not seeing that in my informal comparisons may just be inconsistent ball striking??  I often have courses to myself and can play two ball comparisons; I did this several times while testing the Maxfli Tour and Tour X.  Looks like a ball fitting needs to be added to the list.

This year I’ve compared the tp5 and 5x to the 2017 and 2019 prov1 and 1x.

swing has been pretty inconsistent all year for me but fortunately I played some solo rounds where I could do some side by side comparisons with these balls. The titleist balls were pretty even/consistent tee to green. The tp5 was one I couldn’t tell if it was my swing or the ball but some days it was as good as the 5x and some days I wasn’t seeing driver distances keeping up with the others.

The 5x for me works as well as both provs.

I think a ball fitting is valuable but doing one yourself from shots around the green back to the tee is just as good.  I really want to do a ball fitting and driver fitting at TPI to see how that goes.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

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7 hours ago, 2puttbogey said:

Thanks for the info. 25 is a big difference from year to year though.

Sure it is. But again when you go back to the actual device taking the measurement changing, and it is responsible for maybe 40% (iirc) of that change it’s not such a drastic difference.  

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I have a 108 driver swing speed. I see up to a 2 club drop off in distance when I've played the balls around 75 compression and lower. At least compression based on the 2020 MGS numbers. I know I lost around this much distance when I've tried Chrome Soft & Q-Star Tour in the past.

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  • 1 month later...
On 12/13/2020 at 9:49 AM, 2puttbogey said:

Some of the data in the list from @Firebird doesn't seem to be in line with the ball lab, the most recent Bridgestone tour brx is 99.6 on the chart, but 75 in the ball lab! That's the only one I looked into (most recent lab test) sure there is more. I guess the question that I have is the cart the OEM compression that they give? If so more respect to MGS for exposing this. It's really becoming very muddy water, and seems like finding what's working for you is the best way to go.

The data is copied directly from MSG Ball Comparison 2019.

Callaway Epic Flash 9 Degree

Callaway Epic Flash 3 wood 15 Degree

Callaway Apex 21 Hybrid 19 Degree

Callaway Steelhead Pro 4-AW Irons

Cleveland 54 Degree Wedge Steel Shaft

Recoil Graphite Shafts in all Callaway

Cobra Vintage Series Stingray 40

Preferred ball - Seed 001

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  • 5 months later...

Would like to know if anyone has tested any selection of current (2021) balls with an 85-90 mph swing to derive a distance comparison?  Most specifically, ProV to ChromeSoft to Supersoft (for my own preference in balls) and which gives the best distance.  I completely understand that a softer ball starts to over-compress (my words) to sacrifice distance to a firmer ball at swing speeds approaching 100 and over... but what about us old duffers with that lower swing speed.  Where is the cut-off that a low compression ball (like the supersoft) limits the distance trend-line to a mid compression ball (like the ChromeSoft) and further to a higher compression ball like the ProV (or beyond to the series of "x" balls).  

Granted, it is just one metric... but it is one of the important metrics in my book.  Then I can decide how much that distance sacrifice, or gain... I am willing to accept to sacrifice some of the other metrics (feel, greenside spin, etc.)  

Generally speaking - this information would open up a whole segment of possible ball solutions that I would look at (that is in the compression range) without trying to navigate the manufacturer claims of being "Bigger, Better, Faster, More".  Data is king.

By the way, this will most likely be addressed in the new testing that is being prepped by MGS... but I'm an impatient soul.

Tim.

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On 12/13/2020 at 10:11 AM, fixyurdivot said:

; I did this several times while testing the Maxfli Tour and Tour X. 

How did they compare? 

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