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When it comes to golf balls, a lot of people have the wrong idea about what soft golf balls actually are. In this post, we’ll talk about a few key things you need to know as well as talk about what ball is best for your skill level.
There are other great options to pick from but these three are my favorites for different types of golfers. Each ball offers different features and that is why they’re all for different golfers. When you factor in what you get for the price, these balls are hard to beat. Let’s jump into some more details you need to know.
What Are Soft Golf Balls, Really?
Over the years, I’ve heard a number of different things about soft golf balls. Some people think that softer balls spin more. Others think that softer balls have a low compression rating and are only for high handicappers.
While those could be true, it’s not always the case.
When someone says that a golf ball is soft, they could be talking about two different things:
- The ball feels soft when you hit it.
- The ball’s compression rating is soft.
When someone says the ball feels soft, the reason is that the outer shell is a softer material. You can have high compression balls that feel soft (Titleist Pro V1) and you can also have low compression balls that feel firm (Titleist Velocity).
This really doesn’t have an impact on performance, so it just comes down to personal preference. Most people prefer something that feels a bit softer, but it’s completely up to you.
The thing that matters more is the compression rating. A soft compression ball is the same as a low compression ball. The opposite is true for hard compression balls.
A ball that has a soft (or low) compression rating requires less speed to fully compress the ball. Generally, these balls spin less, are more forgiving, and go further for certain golfers. If you’re wondering do low compression balls go further, I’d recommend checking out the test we did.
What Compression Is A Soft Golf Ball?
A soft compression golf ball is one with a compression rating below 70. That being said, you can still have a high compression ball with a softer outer shell.
Again, we need to differentiate between a soft feel ball and a soft compression ball. Soft compression balls (below 70) can either have a soft or firm outer shell.
On the other hand, a ball that has a soft outer shell can also be high compression. An example of this is the Titleist Pro V1. The compression rating is around 90 but it has a soft feel to it.
Do Soft Feel Golf Balls Go Further?
As a general rule, softer compression golf balls will go further for people with a slower swing speed. Softer balls will take less speed to properly compress the ball, which will result in less sidespin, straighter shots, and more distance.
RELATED: Do Low Spin Golf Balls Go Further?
We previously talked about the two different ways a golf ball can be “soft”. If we’re talking about balls with a softer shell, it won’t make much of a difference when it comes to distance. The only case might be when it’s really cold out.
The time it could make a difference is when you’re using a soft compression ball. If you have a slower swing speed and use something like a Pro V1x, your shot will probably be low, will have a lot of sidespin, and won’t go very far (because of the hook/slice).
The reason is that you aren’t swinging fast enough to fully compress the ball.
For people with a low to average swing speed, softer compression balls spin less and go straighter. When the ball goes straighter, you’ll get more distance and the ball will roll out more.
Once your swing speed starts getting to 105+ MPH then it might be time to switch to a higher compression ball. If you think that’s you, check out the best golf balls for high swing speeds.
Who Should Use Soft Feel Golf Balls?
Soft compression golf balls require less speed to properly compress the ball, which means they’re ideal for golfers with slower swing speeds. Anyone with a spin speed below 90 MPH would benefit from a ball with a rating below 70.
This doesn’t really have anything to do with what you score either. You could use lower compression balls as a low handicapper, but you could also use them as a high handicapper.
Sure, you might want a ball that has more greenside spin as a low handicap, but as long as your swing speed is slower, you’ll probably like a softer ball.
Are soft golf balls better for beginners? Since beginners don’t make solid contact often, a softer compression ball will make sense. This will help you get the ball in the air, have less driver spin, and more predictable distance.
Are soft golf balls better for seniors? Senior golfers don’t always swing the club as fast as they used to, and since that’s the case, switching to a softer compression ball would be a good choice. You’ll have more height on your shots and that will lead to more distance.
What Is The Best Soft Feel Golf Ball?
There are a bunch of solid options to pick from, so as long as you pick the right type of ball, you should get pretty good performance out of it.
To give you a better idea of what ball to pick, I narrowed things down and picked my 3 favorites. Which one you go with will all depend on your skill level.
For High Handicaps: Wilson DUO Soft+
If you’re someone just getting started with golf or you want to bomb it straight down the fairway, this is the best ball I’ve played recently.
I have a pretty average swing speed, so I thought this ball might be a little bit too soft for me (the compression rating is 35). The very first time I hit this ball I launched it dead straight down the fairway.
Yeah, I definitely get the most distance out of it, but I’d way rather play from the middle of the fairway. Other than illegal balls, I’ve not tried one that went as straight off the tee.
This is why I’d recommend it to anyone who’s shooting above 90. You don’t need a ball that has greenside spin and you don’t need to spend 4-5 buckers per ball. Focus on keeping the ball in play and you’ll shoot better.
Even if you have an average swing speed (or maybe even a bit higher) or are shooting in the 80s, you can use this ball. It doesn’t spin much, but it’s an absolute fairway finder.
Read Full Review: Wilson Duo Soft+
For Mid Handicaps: Srixon Q-Star Tour
If you’re consistently shooting in the 80s, I’d consider you to be a mid handicapper. At this point, you probably need a ball that has better greenside spin. Being able to stop the ball on the green quicker will really help your game.
The reason I wouldn’t recommend this ball to a high handicapper is that it’s more expensive and they can’t spin the ball anyway. Hell, even most mid handicappers can’t do it consistently.
More spin can also cause your hook or slice to be worse, which I’m sure you know, is pretty common with the high handicap crowd.
The reason I like this ball is that it’ll probably give you a bit more distance as you start swinging the club faster. The compression rating is higher than the Wilson, coming in somewhere around 75, which makes it a solid choice for swing speeds below 100 MPH.
Read Full Review: Srixon Q-Star Tour
For Low Handicaps: Titleist Pro V1
I’m sure this is the most common ball you see on the course, and maybe you even play it yourself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome ball, but it’s not for most golfers.
It’s long off the tee, it feels really solid, and it spins on the green as well as any other ball. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t I recommend it to most?
The first reason is the price. How many balls do high handicappers lose each round? It’s a lot, and 5 bucks per ball really add up. The second is the higher spin rates off the tee.
Once you’re swinging the club close to 100 MPH and really need max greenside spin, you should definitely consider this ball. There’s a reason it’s been #1 for so long.
Note: This article is part of the series on soft vs hard golf balls. If you want to know more about the differences, the pros and cons, and who should use them, go check that out.
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