Golfers with slower swing speeds should usually select a golf ball with a low compression rating, while those with a faster swing speed should choose a ball with a higher compression rating. The lower the compression rating, the easier it is for the golf ball to compress at impact and create a spring effect to maximize distance. If the swing speed is not fast enough to match the compression rating, the distance off the tee suffers.
Golf ball compression ratings range from 70 to 110. Junior, senior, women of average strength and men who do not drive the ball a great distance should start with a compression rating of around 80. Men of average strength and long-hitting women should select a compression rating of 90. Golfers who normally drive the ball at least 275 yards are capable of using a compression rating of 100 if they have the appropriate club head speed. A compression rating of 110 requires a very high club head speed, but also offers excellent control, making it a popular pick among professionals. High compression golf balls often feel very hard in cold weather, so a lower compression ball is often the best bet on cold days regardless of club head speed.