Best Golf Ball For 80 mph Swing Speed
While most golfers are obsessed with speed and distance you may be among those who don’t swing it quite so fast. This might be due to age, poor technique or injury. Unfortunately, the balls played by professional golfers are not necessarily designed for slower swings. Many commentators say to get the best out of the Pro V1, TP5, Z star or Chrome Soft you really need to be swinging nearer the 100 mph mark or more!
My own swing speed has dropped over the last 10 years or so down to around 85-90 mph from around 95. This has made me re-evaluate my ball choices somewhat. In this guide, I’m going through what you should be looking for when selecting a golf ball to play with and the models you should have on your shortlist if you swing your driver around the 80 mph mark. You might also want to check out my guide to low compression golf balls.
Here are my top 3 picks if you are in a hurry:
Srixon Q-Star Tour. Tour ball specifications but for slower swingers!
Callaway ERC Soft. Performed well at slow swing speeds in robot testing.
Titleist AVX. If you love Titleist but don’t have the speed for Pro V1/Pro V1x.
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Is 80 Mph A Slow Swing Speed?
The typical driver swing speed for an adult male is around 95 mph so if your driver swing is 80 mph then you would be towards the lower end of the spectrum. At slower swing speeds it generally becomes more difficult to launch the ball as you are not transferring as much energy as you would at higher swing speeds. You need to tailor your equipment to match in order to give you the best outcomes in terms of distance and control. Let’s take a look at the features of a golf ball you should be considering before purchasing.
What To Look For When Buying Golf Balls
Kaboom baby! Most golf marketing targets your desire to hit the ball further. As a slow swinger, you probably are looking for extra distance but you shouldn’t totally lose sight of the feel of the golf ball you choose. Many players with faster swings might actually benefit from slightly lower compression balls but as a slow swinger, you probably should stick to models described as “soft”.
I’ve always tended to pick a ball based primarily on how it feels and performs when putting and chipping but you might feel that an extra 10 yards are worth compromising short game feel. The best advice I can give you is to try some different balls over a number of rounds to see what you find most important in your game would you rather have a nice soft golf ball that goes 200 yards or a firmer feeling ball that goes 210 and runs out more on chips and pitches. Remember that the slower your swing gets the less difference you will see in terms of distance between different models of golf balls.
Most manufacturers will produce different golf balls targeting different segments of the market based on the construction of the ball and how it performs.
Larger manufacturers with wider ranges tend to offer golf ball selection tools that allow you to narrow down their product range based on the criteria you select such as how far you currently hit your driver.
Bridgestone in particular seems to focus on driver speed as the main factor. I’m not entirely sure that should be the main reason to pick a particular ball though.
In order to maximize your distance, you need to marry the correct spin rate and launch angle with your ball speed. Having too much spin for a given club head speed is going to lead to your shots ballooning in the air and failing to reach their optimum distance. You will also lose out on rollout. Should you be getting too little backspin then you would find that your ball isn’t flying as far as it could although you will probably get a little more roll this way.
The general rule as regards compression is the slower you swing the lower compression ball you should use. Certainly from a distance perspective if you have a slow swing then you may be costing yourself distance with higher compression balls since you will simply not have sufficient energy transferring into the ball to get the most distance if you have a slower swing.
Moving to a lower compression ball might suit you better through the bag not just with your driver.
These days manufacturers won’t print a compression number on the ball but they will describe it as soft/medium/firm to give you an idea of its compression. Although some 3rd parties like MyGolfSpy will do comparative testing so you can get an idea of compression across different manufacturers.
Tour caliber golf balls usually have a soft urethane cover which promotes the highest levels of spin in comparison with distance or value balls which usually have a firmer surlyn cover. With a slow swing speed, you may need help getting more backspin so you might want to consider a urethane-covered golf ball with a low compression although there aren’t too many of these on the market.
High-end golf balls will usually be described as 3-piece, 4-piece or 5-piece. They are manufactured using different materials to enhance different characteristics of the ball such as trying to minimize spin with the driver whilst maximizing it with irons.
Balls for slower swingers are more likely to be 2-piece or 3-piece.
This can be an important consideration for some people. Modern golf balls as a rule are much more durable with many golfers probably more likely to lose the ball before seeing significant damage.
According to an article in Scientific American, a change in the depth of dimples of just 0.001 inches can produce radical changes to a ball’s trajectory and distance. Dean Snell points out that shallower dimples will help a lower-spinning ball fly higher and stay airborne for longer. Conversely, for a ball that spins a lot, you might increase the depth of the dimples to lower the ball flight a little.
What Golf Ball Should I Use With An 80 mph Swing Speed?
Srixon Q-Star Tour
I am probably biased as a long-time Z-Star user but I think the Q-Star Tour would be a great choice for slower-swinging players. It offers most of the features of a premium tour-style ball such as the Z-Star but has a lower compression more suited to slower swingers.
It has a urethane cover and a 3-piece construction to achieve decent levels of spin but has a compression rating of 72 (Z-Star is rated at 90) that even players with an 80-mile-an-hour swing can generate a decent amount of distance off the tee.
In fact, I like this ball so much I am currently testing it with a view to swapping over to it permanently.
I also like the Tour Divide version as it gives you great feedback on your putting and during practice, it’s also good for feedback on your chipping too!
Callaway ERC Soft
Long gone are the days of premium balls being soft(er) and distance balls being rocks. For slower swingers, it’s possible to get balls that feel great off the clubface while still getting excellent distance and being on the conforming ball list!
Callaway’s attempt at a long but soft ball is the ERC Soft. It uses a 3-piece construction with a large graphene-infused core. This is meant to deliver the Holy Grail that all ball manufacturers are looking for high launch and low spin on full shots.
It uses a new hybrid cover made by Dow chemical which is said to produce a combination of distance and greenside control along with durability.
As an added bonus your alignment tool ball comes with Callaway’s Triple Track technology to help you line up your ball on the green.
This softer compression ball should suit you better than the Chrome Soft if you lack a little clubhead speed and it will save you $10-$15 per dozen as well!
The Titleist AVX could be described as a softer feeling Pro V1. Features a soft urethane cover in line with premium golf balls but offers a softer feel with lower launch and spin than the Pro V1.
If you have a tendency to spin your shots too much or launch the ball too high then this ball could help counteract those tendencies. Described by Titleist as very soft but still offering high levels of short-game spin while reducing spin on longer shots due to its construction.
Still a relatively expensive ball so may not suit everyone’s pocket.
Here’s a quick reminder of my top picks for slower swingers.
Best Golf Ball For 80 Mph Swing Speed: Conclusion
My advice whatever your standard would be to shortlist three or four different models and try them out on the golf course to see which one you prefer. Then try and stick to that model consistently so you can build up a better idea of how that ball reacts to your game rather than swapping from ball to ball which just adds in an extra variable to your golf.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
What Golf Ball Should I Use With An 85 mph Swing Speed?
Any of the balls in this guide should be suitable for a player with an 85 mph swing. At slower swing speeds the difference in distance between specific balls is reduced compared to players swinging at 100+ mph.
In robot testing at 85 mph there was only 4 yards difference between more than 20 different ball models. In the same tests, there was only 10 yards difference at 115 mph!
What Swing Speed Is Needed For A Pro V1?
Anyone with any swing speed can use a Pro V1. It can be argued that it might be better suited to players with faster swings (95+ mph).
That being said it is best to test a variety of balls to give the best results across all aspects of your golf game. Most players are going to hit a driver 14 times per round at most.
Your golf ball needs to perform for your swing on another 60, 70 or more shots. If the Pro V1 performs best for you when pitching, chipping and putting then does it really matter what your driver swing speed is?