These 2 simple tweaks will help you compress the golf ball

If you're wondering how to compress the golf ball, GOLF Teacher to Watch Adam Smith shares two simple tweaks to successfully do so

If you want to flush it like the pros, you've got to learn how to compress the golf ball.

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

Learning how to compress the golf ball is an elevated skill that the best players in the world have mastered. But just because you’re not a pro-level player doesn’t mean you can’t develop the ability to strike it like they do.

Compressing the ball means ball-first contact, where the ball actually changes shape from perfectly circular due to the speed and contact of the clubface. A compressed ball will — for just a split second — have a sense of stickiness to the clubface, and grab the grooves, which create spin and predictable ball-flight. However, the pursuit of compression requires understanding how to create the proper angle of attack and control the clubface.

Often, mid-to-high handicappers tend to take a divot before hitting their ball, causing frustrating chunks and disappointing results. With the help of GOLF Teacher to Watch Adam Smith, you can work to avoid that with just two subtle tweaks.

How to compress the ball

“Most amateur golfers wish they had the club speed that Tour pros have,” Smith says. “But the truth is, unless you play golf for a living and can practice a lot, it’s very difficult to just develop the athleticism to increase your speed for better ball-striking.”

Just because the average player can’t immediately increase their speed for more distance, doesn’t mean they can’t launch it farther. This is where Smith says learning how to compress the golf ball comes into play.

“Sure, the greatest players in the world efficiently compress the ball because of their expert technique and tremendous clubhead speed. But it is possible for amateur golfers to compress a golf ball more efficiently — all without increasing speed,” Smith adds.

Use a little shaft lean

To compress the golf ball, at address, lean the grip end of your club shaft forward by about two inches. Then work on hitting down on the back of the ball more intentionally.

Most amateur golfers chronically lift upwards as they swing downwards towards impact — which can lead to those common mishits like tops and chunks. By leaning the shaft forward at address, it will pre-set your hands, positioning you to descend more effectively at impact.

Shift weight forward

As you begin your downswing, work on shifting your weight forward towards your lead leg more aggressively — which will feel differently for the amateur who struggles with making good contact. That’s because, as mentioned above, bad ball-strikers often reverse their weight on the downswing and move upwards.

The most effective ball-strikers don’t just stay down as they swing down, but also shift their weight forward towards the lead side at impact. When done properly at the same time, the downward motion of the clubhead and the forward motion of the body create more fluid compression — which will also add power and length to your game.

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Nick Dimengo Editor