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Q&A with Dean Snell of Snell Golf

20 posts in this topic

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Good read.

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Very good read.  Finally just got to try the My Tour ball and love it.

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Wonderful insights, especially about low compression balls. I tried some of the super low compression balls last year and did not like them at all! Felt like I was hitting a hackey sack, the balls didn't go anywhere, and didn't hold greens very well! I gave them away to my buddy's Brother who is just taking up the game.

This year I did try a sleeve of the new TM TP5. Very nice ball! But, a little pricey for me. Will be interested to see what Snell comes up with.

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Very good read! Thanks

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Thanks for sharing.   This is some great information.

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23 hours ago, iacas said:

DEAN: The GET SUM is very low compression, very soft feeling golf ball. The issue in tour balls going too soft is you lose the feel of hitting good solid shots…

Could one of you good golfers explain why this is important?  I understand enjoying feeling a great shot, but I do not see how immediate feedback help you.  The ball has already left the face of the club and there is nothing you can do at that point to correct any mistakes.  Is it purely a practice thing, so you train your muscles to swing correctly?

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26 minutes ago, MRR said:

Could one of you good golfers explain why this is important?  I understand enjoying feeling a great shot, but I do not see how immediate feedback help you.  The ball has already left the face of the club and there is nothing you can do at that point to correct any mistakes.  Is it purely a practice thing, so you train your muscles to swing correctly?

The ball is gone on that shot, but what about the next one? Or what about any in-round adjustments?

I appreciate, for example, knowing whether I'm hitting the ball a little off the toe or heel on a given day, and that's one of the reasons I still like/prefer to play more of a blade than a CB.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

I appreciate, for example, knowing whether I'm hitting the ball a little off the toe or heel on a given day, and that's one of the reasons I still like/prefer to play more of a blade than a CB.

Safe to say it's not overly important on a single shot, but vital for several shots to reflect a trend for which one can adjust?

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I think it's a FEEL thing. You either like the way the ball feels when you strike it, or you don't! It kind of gets like Goldilocks and the 3 bears. Some balls are too hard, some are too soft, and some are just right! I think a ball that feels just right frees you to just let go and swing your best.

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There are several statements that I disagree with which I feel are important to discuss:

  • All golf balls do not go about the same distance.  A low compression, 2-piece Surlyn covered model will launch higher and with less spin than a 5-piece, high compression urethane covered model which will result in a noticeable difference in distance off the tee.  Dean even stated in another answer "The soft golf ball market has taken off due to the lower spinning balls means players can be longer in distance."
  • Regarding balls for different swing speeds and compression:  3) Bridgestone (and I think Callaway) has come out with tour caliber balls for players who swing under 105mph. Is it possible to design a tour caliber ball for a specific segment of swing speed or is this just mostly a marketing thing?  DEAN: The whole swing speed story to me is one of the most over-rated stories in golf. Companies force or teach golfers to play low compression balls so their low swing speed can compress the ball. The problem with this is that low compression balls have the lowest spin in all shots, so they are pushing players to play a ball with no performance at all… and when you need that spin around the green, it's not there…            I almost don't know where to start on this one.  The concept of designing golf balls based on swing speeds doesn't teach or force players to use a low compression ball...it's about using a ball that has the appropriate compression for your swing speed.  Some players will have better results with a higher compression ball, others will have better results with a lower compression.  Keep in mind, there is a difference between "lower compression" and "low compression".  Most of the urethane tour balls have a compression rating somewhere between the mid 70s to mid 90s.  Tour models like the Chrome Soft, B330-RX and B330-RXS are in the mid 60s, which is lower.  Balls like the Supersoft and e6 are in the upper 30s and 40s, which is considered low.  Dean's statement that "low compression balls have the lowest spin on all shots" is somewhere between a little misleading and flat-out wrong.  It's true that a lower compression ball will spin less (and launch higher) than a firmer ball on full shots.  But on short game shots around the green, the ball is not compressed.  On pitch shots, chip shots, and greenside bunker shots for example,    the only part of the ball that is being activated is the cover.

5926692174d72_shortgamespin.PNG.fe22f4afc48419d329f81a8e6b36c078.PNG

Notice on this chart that the lowest compression ball is very close to the highest spinning, and the lowest spinning ball has almost the same compression rating!  The point is, compression has little to no affect on short game shots...the cover is the main factor.  All 4 of these models have a urethane cover, but the two that provide the most spin have softer covers.  To put this in context, the chart below was a test Golf Digest did in 2015 which shows the performance on a partial wedge shot (I think it was 40 yds) with most of the balls on the market at the time

59266e87189b4_Spin-golfdigestspinchart2015.thumb.png.e353e43f66cfb6115d20aaa2a727bbf8.png

The different colors represented the price point.  These results don't match the first chart I posted exactly which can happen when player testing (this one shows the B330 has higher spin than the RXS). Is there a difference between the lower spinning "red dots" and the highest spinning?  Sure.  There should be though.  Golf balls are designed to have different types of performance for different types of players.  The B330-RX has the lowest spin among the red dot models, but that doesn't mean it's lacking in performance...it spins exactly how the ball designers intended it to, because not everyone wants/needs maximum spin.  Notice the e7...this is a high compression ball very comparable to the B330, but has very different spin characteristics. So again, higher compression doesn't mean higher spin around the green and lower compression doesn't necessarily mean low spin.  About the only thing that I could agree with Dean's comment on would be that all the ultra-low compression balls are Surlyn covered models designed for distance, so it's true that these balls have low spin on all shots and will not offer the same level of performance around the greens, but again, that has more to do with the cover than the compression.  The fact is, there are lower compression balls that perform at the highest level. The B330-RXS is the same type of ball as the Pro V1 in many respects, and performs just as well as, or even better for many players, so I'm surprised by his comments that fitting for swing speed is over-rated and lower compression balls have no performance.  That's like saying getting fit for the correct shaft flex is over-rated, and softer flex shafts don't perform as well as stiffer shafts!  Does anyone consider the Dynamic Gold S-300 to be a lower performing shaft than the Dynamic Gold X-100?  No, of course not. They are designed to do the same thing, but because some players don't swing as fast as others the softer flex will give them better results, just like the B330-RXS is the equal to the B330-S, but will fit players who don't swing as hard better.

  • I'm also not on-board with the opinion that fitting with a driver is a "mistake" and when testing to choose a ball based on 100 yds and in.  I'm not saying that short game performance isn't important, but wow...to claim that testing with a driver is a mistake is ridiculous.  I'll make a simple point on this...anyone can hit good wedge shots with a Pro V1 or B330 or Z-Star.  Fast swingers, slower swingers, high handicappers, low handicappers...it doesn't matter, they can all get good results on wedge shots.  Does that mean that's the ball they should play, and it will work equally as well for the other aspects too?  No.  A wedge can mask any issues in performance because of the loft and backspin, but the driver exaggerates issues.  The same players who hit respectable wedge shots with various tour balls might struggle to keep shots in play or lose potential distance. And before anyone tries to use the old "the driver is used 14 times a round, but half of the shots are inside of 100 yds" argument...save it.  If you play a high spin ball and you're struggling to hit the fairway with your tee shots, that ball will not help you save shots around the green.  Too much spin for players who can't control it is worse than a lower spinning model.

Sorry Dean...not trying to blast you or anything, just putting in my two cents.  Ok, maybe more like four cents!

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Good read - been meaning to try these balls out and with the Kirkland Signature Ball such an unreliable unicorn in the availability department, I think now is the time.

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Interesting read. I don't know what I was doing on May 22nd, but I missed this the first time around.

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Anyone know where Snell ships from?  Just wondering when I might expect mine to arrive...

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They ship from MA. I get them in NH in a day or two. 

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5 hours ago, drmevo said:

They ship from MA. I get them in NH in a day or two. 

Yep

5 hours ago, ERLoft said:

Anyone know where Snell ships from?  Just wondering when I might expect mine to arrive...

I receive my orders pretty quickly, and I'm just east of you.

If you don't want to wait, I believe Big 5 Sporting Goods stocks them now 

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15 hours ago, drmevo said:

They ship from MA. I get them in NH in a day or two. 

Curious.  Where are they made?

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6 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Curious.  Where are they made?

I can't remember for sure but I think somewhere in Asia - maybe South Korea? I'll see if the box says when I get home. 

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