Compressing a Golf Ball 

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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I was recently on the range when a young man who plays for a local college approached me with a question. How can I compress the golf ball more? I asked, “Why” and he stated, “My coach is telling me that I do not compress the ball enough and I need to compress it more”. 

I asked him to hit a few balls and he was striking an 8 iron about 170 yards on good strikes and about 160 on miss hits. 

He then told me the fault was he was across the line which caused him to plane shift and his angle of attack was not sufficient to achieve the correct launch angle and it was evident by his inability to compress the ball.  

To my eye he was aimed way too far to the right of target and this was the root cause of all his problems. When I suggested he get aimed better, he stated that it could not be that easy to fix the problem. 

In today’s world simple solutions are viewed as never good and complex answers are always viewed as the cornucopia of knowledge. As a teacher, I knew that the next minute of conversation would either win over a student or have someone walk away with the impression that I could not solve or answer a question. 

I took the time to explain why alignment is important and why the swing was a reaction to the aim he was using. I also took the time to explain why this had the greatest effect on impact and compression. 

His apprehension was evident as he halfheartedly tried and as with all of us when immediate results were not evident, it was not worth pursuing. His frustration was evident and his comment, “There has to be another answer” rang true.

Yes, I answered, switch to lower compression ball and it will compress more. You see, when you want immediate gratification without putting in the effort, you will always be given a solution that neither fits the situation nor solves the problem.

See you all on the first tee! I’m the old guy playing the high compression ball.        

Tom Velarde is a Golf Professional at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico, just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email