Great Adam Scott! Doc, Show me how to compress the golf ball

Time to fire up the brains to 88mph and learn how golf's greatest players actually compress the golf ball.

Golf ball compression

In this article, outlining one of our recent premium video releases, "Adam Scott Iron Swing", I'll show you just how to strike your golf ball like a stud or stud-ette (you're welcome ladies).

Are you telling me that you built a compression machine?

Sheeesh, I never get tired of tying in Back to the Future references to the sweet, sweet sound of a compressed golf shot. It's sorta like a Kenny G song playing in the background while Bob Ross paints our favorite little happy tree.

Now that we have that all out in the air, let's find out just how Adam Scott produces a "compressed shot soundtrack" that makes women, small children and, yes, men weep on Sundays, as he takes his victory stroll up the 18th hole.adamscott3

Adam Scott, like most of the stars on the PGA tour, moves into impact with forward shaft lean and a shallow angle of attack. These 2 little features contribute not just to the audio, but to that lovely piercing ball flight that peels the paint right off the flag stick.

4 lefts do make a right...don't they?

Ok, so let's take a look at the important ingredients in compressing the golf ball.

Notice in the face on impact picture below that Adam Scott has his left shoulder stacked over the top of the left hip, left knee and left ankle.

Compressing golf ball
Adam Scott showing the left shoulder stacked on top of the left hip, knee and ankle in neutral joint alignment

The forward shaft lean shown here, along with a stacked left side, is exactly the reason why tour players make their golf balls hissss while taking flight.

Are you diggin' trenches or printin' dollar bills?

A big misconception about compressing the golf ball is that we must hit down on the golf ball at such a steep angle filling your divot becomes an all-day project.

Fact is, we can actually shallow the angle of attack and still create the kind of compression that leaves a divot in the shape of a dollar bill, not the Grand Canyon.

Let's look into this further to give you a clearer understanding.

golf ball compression
These alignment sticks show the angle of attack and the loft of the clubface. This will show spin loft of the golf ball

There are 2 main factors that we have to take into account:

  • The first one is the angle of attack. That is the angle in which the club head descends into the ball.
  • The second factor in compression is loft. Each club has a certain degree of loft. Let's use a pitching wedge with 47 degrees of loft in the example below.

 

What poor compression looks like with our 2 factors

Let's see what happens when you hit a golf ball with these conditions:

  1. Your club delivers a descending blow with -10 degrees of attack and
  2. You use a pitching wedge that has no forward shaft lean at impact; so, the loft at impact is +47 degrees.

Take the difference between the two, and you get a total of 57 degrees. This is referred to as spin loft.

The higher the spin loft, the less the compression of the golf ball. Pretty simple right?

Spin loft compression golf ball
When the angle of attack is increased and there is no forward shaft lean, you'll increase the spin loft and the ball will ride up the face

So, now you can see that just hitting down on the ball with more of a descending blow will not shrink the spin loft number. You would have to decrease the loft somehow in order to create the compression, or the ball will just ride up the face of the club.

Great Scott! Now We Have the Science!

Golf ball science on compression

Understanding what makes for poor compression of the golf ball is exactly what you need to get on track.

What you need to do is decrease the spin loft. That should be pretty easy to figure out how to do at this point.

  1. We need to shallow out the angle of attack. At RotarySwing.com the shallowing of the swing arc is created by sitting into the left side before the downswing starts.
  2. We also need to decrease the loft of the club into impact. With the proper release of the golf club, forward shaft lean becomes a no-brainer.

forward shaft lean golf
Adam Scott showing his forward shaft lean with a shallow angle of attack making a perfect dollar-bill-sized divot

Just understanding the science behind compression of the golf ball, you can now set out and make the changes in your swing, so that you can start to hit those penetrating shots that soar like an eagle and land like a butterfly with sore feet.

Your game is ready for the most efficient and safe golf swing so that you truly get on the correct path to success.

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Chris Tyler

RST Certified Instructor - Level 1 See my complete bio here.

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