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Any Golf ball technical questions? Ask Dean Snell of Snell Golf

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Dean Snell has been designing golf balls for over 26 years for Titliest, TaylorMade and now his own company, Snell Golf.  

 

Please feel free to ask any golf ball related questions with respect to performance, testing, technology, past or present, tour player testing, etc...

 

Hope this can be educational and allow forum readers a chance to ask an expert on the MGS site.. 

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I have really enjoyed the My Tour Ball. Exceptional off the tee, especially into a wind. Great off of the irons, etc. One question- any possibility on making the cover a little more responsive off of wedges inside 100 yards? 1/2 shots, pitches and chips see more rollout and not as much "grab" as others. Keep the distance and performance off the driver, just improve spin...?


Driver: Honma TR20 460, Fujikura Ventus Black 70X

Fwy: Tour Edge Exotics EX9 Tour 17* (playing at 15*), Veylix Rome 888 X

Hybrid: Callaway X2 Hot Pro, 20*, Dynamic Gold X100 

Irons: Srixon Z585 4/5 iron, Z785 6-PW, Modus 120X

Wedges: Vega VC-06 50*/54*/58*, Dynamic Gold S300

Putter: SeeMore Platinum M5 HT Mallet, 36"

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Can you put the record straight once and for all concerning ball fitting based on swing speed and compression?

Ever since I have been playing golf (some 36 years now) I have always fitted a ball around putting and chipping first and foremost - and compression is merely a measurement relating to feel.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Yes, please advise on compression and distance impact as I do see distance increases with lower compression balls on slower swing speeds (my iron shots, wife/kids driver tee shots).  

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I liked the article posted on the MGS blog the other day by Wilson's Frank Simonutti. I found it interesting. Any thoughts?

By the way Dean... when was that picture taken of you? 1982? Ha.


My Sun Mountain bag currently includes:   TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 771CSI 5i - PW and TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png PFC Micro Tour-c 52°, 56°, 60 wedges

                                                                               :755178188_TourEdge: EXS 10.5*, TWGTLogo2.png.06c802075f4d211691d88895b3f34b75.png 929-HS FW4 16.5* 

                                                                                :edel-golf-1: Willimette w/GolfPride Contour

 

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I have really enjoyed the My Tour Ball. Exceptional off the tee, especially into a wind. Great off of the irons, etc. One question- any possibility on making the cover a little more responsive off of wedges inside 100 yards? 1/2 shots, pitches and chips see more rollout and not as much "grab" as others. Keep the distance and performance off the driver, just improve spin...?

we are looking into new cover materials that will try to balance this spin... if we get too soft, and add too much short game spin, then we also will add more iron spin... this balance has to considered since we do not want to increase this iron spin too much and start having higher spinning players see ballooning and have trouble in the wind...

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Can you put the record straight once and for all concerning ball fitting based on swing speed and compression?

Ever since I have been playing golf (some 36 years now) I have always fitted a ball around putting and chipping first and foremost - and compression is merely a measurement relating to feel.

What are your thoughts on this?

haha... this is my opinion on this subject.. I DO NOT agree with any swing speed theories on choosing a golf ball... i have read and seen many things about slower swing speeds need softer compression balls... well, heres what happens... every player can compress the ball on a driver.. well into the core of the golf ball.. no matter how slow your speed is... so, if you choose a golf ball based on softer, lower compression, this typically means you are choosing a ball that is also lower in spin rate.. lower compression cores means lower spin rates in the ball...so think about it this way... lets say you buy into the fact that this lower compression ball is going to "add" distance for you... if you play a hole that is 400 yards... and IF you think you can compress the ball more and add say 1.0 mph more ball speed (which you cant, but lets just go with this scenario), then your 250 yard drive (if hit perfect) just went 251 yards.. (at this swing speed, you will gain one yard if you can add one mph to your ball speed).. so congrats.. on a perfect shot, you just gave yourself 149 yards left instead of 150 yards.. now you have to finish the hole with a low compression, low spin ball...where you need spin the most is around the greens... but you dont have it anymore... cause you chose to have the 1 extra yard in driver distance...my recommendation is test golf balls from 100 yards and in... where they are truly different.. find the one you like on the short game... where you play most of you golf and can lower scores.. 

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Yes, please advise on compression and distance impact as I do see distance increases with lower compression balls on slower swing speeds (my iron shots, wife/kids driver tee shots).  

I think many players will see a slight increase in distances with lower compression balls.. this is typically because lower compression balls means lower spin rates... higher launch and lower spin means longer shots... just be careful on the low compression balls.. they may add alittle in distance but remember to lower scores, spin in needed around the greens.. some of these lower compression balls do not have a lot of spin near the green...and also tend to give that occasional flier from the fairway...

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I liked the article posted on the MGS blog the other day by Wilson's Frank Simonutti. I found it interesting. Any thoughts?

By the way Dean... when was that picture taken of you? 1982? Ha.

i have not seen the article.. will try to find and comment... as for pic, not sure where that came from.. haha.. somewhere from internet back in 2011 I think... but I am not a real coat and tie guy, so this may be the only one in existence..haha.. and for the record, I did not post this pic here...

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Thanks for your input Dean.  I will be trying your balls as soon as I get rid of my backlog.

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Driver: Cobra King F8 w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3W(14.5*) & 5W(18.5*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft Hybrids: Tour Edge CBX 119 4H(22*)  with Project X Evenflo regular shaft Irons: Wilson Staff D7 5 - PW w/Recoil 460 regular shafts Wedges: Cobra King F8 GW(50*) SW(54*) LW(58*) Putter: 33" Tommy Armour Impact No. 3 mallet putter Bag: Cobra Ultralite Cart Bag(Peacoat Blue).

 

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So reading the questions and answers here leads to a question from me.  In my experience I have yet to find a two piece low compression ball that I hit as far as a three or four piece urethane covered one off the tee.  In fact I have a moderate swing speed.  The difference isn't great - 5 yards or so but it's the reality I'm always longer with the pro line ball than the so called low compression ones.  Is it because I'm already a high launch relatively low spin player?  I am a tad longer with some two piece rock hard balls but other than in a scramble I would never dream of playing them, no spin around the green and fliers all over the place even when chipping.


Ping G410 - set at 12 degrees, fade setting - Alpha Distanza 40 weak R flex shaft

Tour Exotics EX 10 3 wood

Ping G410 5-9 wood

G30 6-PW -  Aerotech FT 500 shafts

SCOR 48,52,58

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

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To add on to Rev's comment, I am not a power player.  My driver ss is high 80's.  A friend of mine who works in our small, local golf store gave me a 2-ball sleeve of Wilson Duos to try.  He said that a couple of the guys that I have played with have used this ball and hit it further than their previous gamer.  Their ss is similar to mine.  When I tried it, it actually went shorter than the Srixon Z-Star I was playing at the time.  Besides feeling like mush when I hit it, it went shorter AND I had no spin around the green.  Why the difference between us?  I gave the balls to one of the other guys and he was happy to get them.  I have now moved on to your My Tour Ball and will play it until it gets cold up here in the Northwest.  Currently conducting a test of your Get Sum for the winter.


Aging sucks...  Are you tough enough to get old?

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Bought the ball and played it this week. Thought it was incredible. I'll be back for more.

 

Interesting perspective you relate on spin and iron shots. It's exactly what I heard from TaylorMade at the PGA show this year and their rationalization for the Project a ball. Chops like myself need a ball that spins more. Interesting perspective.


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I rarely get to play lately and between lower back issues with a disc and lack of conditioning, I'm not generating the speed or spin I used to.

 

My problem was usually too much spin. For chips and pitches it was fine. The ball would just stop. I always got comments like, "How do you do that?", because whoever I was playing with would expect the ball to roll way past the pin, but it would stop dead instead. Full shots with short irons though would land where I planned and very often spin back way too far and end up farther away from the pin and sometimes off the green. I used C-Tapers to mitigate that and for the most part, the ball would stop within a few feet of its pitch mark.

 

Now though, the few times I played this year, I saw the ball roll out when I expected it to stop. Probably need to soften up the shaft I play now, but how can the ball choice affect both of those scenarios? Would you select different balls in each case or change shafts?

 

Also, would you recommend a softer ball in cold weather?

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So reading the questions and answers here leads to a question from me.  In my experience I have yet to find a two piece low compression ball that I hit as far as a three or four piece urethane covered one off the tee.  In fact I have a moderate swing speed.  The difference isn't great - 5 yards or so but it's the reality I'm always longer with the pro line ball than the so called low compression ones.  Is it because I'm already a high launch relatively low spin player?  I am a tad longer with some two piece rock hard balls but other than in a scramble I would never dream of playing them, no spin around the green and fliers all over the place even when chipping.

Driver distance is strictly a function of launch and spin.. if a player has the same ball speed, then the launch and spin will have biggest affect on distance... I usually target a 12-25 rule of thumb... if you target 12 deg of launch and 2500 rpm backspin, you are in a good starting point for optimum carry and roll distance... is you spin is lower than 2500, then you want to increase your launch angle to be longer.. if your spin is higher than 2500 rpm, then you want to lower your launch angle... anytime you can get your launch conditions closer to 16 degrees and 1800 rpm of spin, you will be longer...drivers today allow some adjustability for this to happen, so a lot of players tinker around with the settings... sometimes what happens with these very low spin golf balls like you mentioned is that the spin is lower, but the ball also flies off the face a bit lower... thus can appear to be short for some players... but if you get the launch and spin to be the same, they should all go pretty much the same.  

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To add on to Rev's comment, I am not a power player.  My driver ss is high 80's.  A friend of mine who works in our small, local golf store gave me a 2-ball sleeve of Wilson Duos to try.  He said that a couple of the guys that I have played with have used this ball and hit it further than their previous gamer.  Their ss is similar to mine.  When I tried it, it actually went shorter than the Srixon Z-Star I was playing at the time.  Besides feeling like mush when I hit it, it went shorter AND I had no spin around the green.  Why the difference between us?  I gave the balls to one of the other guys and he was happy to get them.  I have now moved on to your My Tour Ball and will play it until it gets cold up here in the Northwest.  Currently conducting a test of your Get Sum for the winter.

What you can do is try this... take you same driver you hit today and lets say it is 10.5... hit your gamer.. then take the lower compression real soft 2-pc ball and try a driver with 12 or 13 degree loft... I think you will see a change in distance... so some of the balls will require a little tweaking.. when they get lower in spin, you need to add a bit of loft to see the increase in distance.. good luck..

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Bought the ball and played it this week. Thought it was incredible. I'll be back for more.

 

Interesting perspective you relate on spin and iron shots. It's exactly what I heard from TaylorMade at the PGA show this year and their rationalization for the Project a ball. Chops like myself need a ball that spins more. Interesting perspective.

haha.. not sure of the chop comment, but average players miss a lot of greens, and play a lot of golf from inside of 100 yards... so that is where you need the ball to have the best performance that fits your game... if you can add 1000 rpm to a wedge spin, you can stop the ball approx. 5 ft closer... this may help make the 3 putt a 2 putt and help lower your score a few shots over the round..

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I rarely get to play lately and between lower back issues with a disc and lack of conditioning, I'm not generating the speed or spin I used to.

 

My problem was usually too much spin. For chips and pitches it was fine. The ball would just stop. I always got comments like, "How do you do that?", because whoever I was playing with would expect the ball to roll way past the pin, but it would stop dead instead. Full shots with short irons though would land where I planned and very often spin back way too far and end up farther away from the pin and sometimes off the green. I used C-Tapers to mitigate that and for the most part, the ball would stop within a few feet of its pitch mark.

 

Now though, the few times I played this year, I saw the ball roll out when I expected it to stop. Probably need to soften up the shaft I play now, but how can the ball choice affect both of those scenarios? Would you select different balls in each case or change shafts?

 

Also, would you recommend a softer ball in cold weather?

Hope your back is feeling better... some players have steeper angles of attack and take nice divots.. these usually add a lot of spin to the ball.. especially if  swing is a faster..there are many balls on the market that have different levels of spin on the irons.. a low compression 2pc ball will be the lowest.. it will fly much higher than tour balls, but with roughly half the spin...my recommendation would be to take a low compression 2-pc ball, a 3-pc ionomer or sulryn ball, and a high spin tour ball out on the course and hit multiple shots from this distance that you have trouble controlling the spin on... find the combination that fits your preference.. then work closer to the green.. because you still have to play the ball inside of this shot, so you want to check to overall performance all the way to the green.. it is worth a couple of hours to do this.. and this is where they are different so you should easily see performance differences...

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Dean your awesome for answering all these questions. I don't have any questions but I do love te MTB and have been coverting several of my ProV1 loyalists over haha

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 Ping G410 LST 10.5 set -1* Flat Accra TZ5 65 M5

Callaway Epic Flash 15* set -1 Aldila ATX Blue 75TX

Ben Hogan FT Worth Hi 19* KBS Tour V X

Ben Hogan PTX Pro 4-P KBS Tour V X 2* Flat 4* loft increments

Hogan Equalizer 50* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 X 2* Flat

Hogan Equalizer 56* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 2* Flat

Hogan Equalizer 62* KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 2* Flat

EVNROLL ER7 P2 Aware Tour
Scotty Cameron Newport2 Buttonback P2 Aware Tour Grip
Snell MTB-X

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What you can do is try this... take you same driver you hit today and lets say it is 10.5... hit your gamer.. then take the lower compression real soft 2-pc ball and try a driver with 12 or 13 degree loft... I think you will see a change in distance... so some of the balls will require a little tweaking.. when they get lower in spin, you need to add a bit of loft to see the increase in distance.. good luck..

 

I am already playing a 14* SLDR.  In the little testing I have performed so far, I get a small increase in distance with your Get Sum over the My Tour Ball, but I can't give up the MTB around the green.  I'll be putting the MTB away soon and use the Get Sum this winter; it was 42* yesterday morning!

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Aging sucks...  Are you tough enough to get old?

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