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2018 Official Forum Member Review - Snell MTB Black & Red

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Official Forum Member Reviews

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Snell MTB Black & MTB Red

 

MTB Black:

 

03trdblack                           Stage 1     Stage 2

HighontheHog                     Stage 1     Stage 2

Theedpatt                           Stage 1     Stage 2

dhartmann34                      Stage 1     Stage 2

Derek666                            Stage 1     Stage 2

 

MTB Red:

 

kingcscott                            Stage 1     Stage 2

Rickp                                   Stage 1     Stage 2

MaxEntropy                         Stage 1     Stage 2

golfergirl1                            Stage 1     Stage 2

PING Apologist #9               Stage 1     Stage 2

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I was selected to test out the Snell MTB Black golf ball and asked to give it a thorough thrashing around the golf course and write up my thoughts so that others can have something fun and entertaining to read on the mygolfspy.com forum.  I will say I gave it a thrashing and hopefully you all will enjoy reading about my experiences as well as how it compares to my current gamer.

 

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What Snell claims on the website about the MTB Black:

  • 3-piece construction with 360 dimple pattern
  • Urethane cover providing short game control, excellent feel and durability
  • A NEW 7% lower Compression Core maximizing distances by lowering spin off the Driver
Driver Distance - Very Long
Driver Spin - Reduced from original MTB
Driver Feel - Slightly softer
Long Iron Distance - Longer
Long Iron Feel - Slightly Softer
Mid & Short Iron Spin - Same as original MTB

Short Game Feel - Soft Feel

 

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Now I can say straight away that there is no way I'm going to be able to test a 7% difference in compression rating but I will test how the spin rates and distances compare to the ball I use most, the Srixon ZStar.  I played the ZStar XV for many years but have slowly gravitated to the regular ZStar due to the softer feel.

 

I was disappointed right away when I found out the MTB Black was not available in yellow as yellow has been my preferred ball color since Srixon started making the ZStar in yellow back in 2010.

 

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Moving on, a little about me.  I currently play in and around the Nashville, TN area and if there is anyone around this area reading this than you know how much rain we have received over the last few months.  Lots of courses have been flooded and continue to stay very soft and muddy.  Playing lately has been like hitting shots off of a wet sponge.

 

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I've been playing golf since I was 14 years old and am now 35 so around 21 years now.  Some other fun facts about me:

  • I've been a club-maker since I was 15 years old.  I was trained at Dynacraft Golf (now Hireko Golf) because Golfsmith wouldn't let me attend its training school because I was too young.
  • I played golf for my high school team but not in college.
  • I worked in golf stores and golf courses in my younger days including Carolina Custom Golf (now Continental Golf).  You may be familiar with Continental Golf due to the amazing club re-finishing work they do.
  • I maintain a handicap between 1-3 year round.
  • Both of my Grandfathers as well as my Mom and Dad all played/play golf.
  • I'm probably the biggest golf equipment enthusiast on the planet (that isn't employed by the golf industry).  I wouldn't call myself a club “ho” but would say it's more like a man with many, many wives and I take good care of them all.

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Due to my club-making and love for equipment my bag is in a constant state of flux and I've recently caught the bug of JDM equipment and have been giving a lot of JDM drivers a try.  I love to build and experiment and at the time of me writing this review my bag contained the following:

  • Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero 9* w/ Aldila Synergy 60 Stiff (Swing Speed 100-105mph).  I play a different driver almost every time I play because I LOVE drivers!
  • 3 wood:  Taylormade M2 Tour 15 * w/ Mitsubishi Diamama Kai'li 60 Stiff
  • 5 wood: Taylormade 300 Tour “Duffy” smooth top w/ UST Irod Stiff
  • 4 Hybrid: Taylormade Rescue 11 23* w/ Aldila RIP 85 Stiff
  • Irons 5-GW: PXG 0311 w/ KBS Tour Stiff
  • SW 55* & LW 59*: Ping Glide 2.0 w/ stock shafts.
  • Putter:  So many putters…Xenon Golf (made here in Nashville) brass mallet or PXG Bat Attack
  • Ball: Srixon ZStar Yellow

Everyone I play with says I have a very smooth tempo swing and never look like I'm swinging very hard.  My ball flight is usually pretty straight with not too many misses either right or left.  I do fight getting too steep sometimes and will hit a hard over-the-top hook every now and then.  My very consistent ballstriking is definitely my strength as well as chipping.  My putting can be streaky but has improved a lot this winter and when I'm putting well I will put up pretty good scores.

 

Now that you know more about me than you probably care to, on to the review of the MTB Black in the next stage.  I never got around to trying the first MTB ball so I'm really looking forward to this test.  The ZStar has been my egg (or Easter egg since its yellow) through all these years so it will take a lot to unseat it.  I'm hoping the claims of lower driver spin, lower ball flight and soft feel live up because that is exactly what I'm looking for when I play.

 

Boring Black Box.  Glad these aren't sold in stores because it doesn't draw much attention to itself

 

 

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Yep, it's a white golf ball…

 

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Testing & more to come in Stage 2!

 

 

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Stage Two - The Review

 

Snell MTB Black – Official MGS Forum Review by 03trdblack

 

Intro

 

Alright so now I have quite a few rounds under my belt with the Snell MTB Black and have compared it to my gamer, the Srixon Z Star, as well as some late round testing against the new Titleist AVX golf ball.  My core testing process consisted of mostly playing live rounds of golf vs. simulators so that I could see real world flight and short game characteristics.  I hit multiple shots with the Snell and other balls side by side and comparing how each reacted to on course situations from driver to approach shots to chipping and putting.  The on course testing and multiple rounds gave a great test of durability for the Snell.  I really had a great time giving this ball a proper test and hope others gain something from my comparisons.

 

Looks & Durability - 14 out of 15 points (when comparing it to other white colored balls), 10 out of 15 points (when comparing it to the yellow Srixon ball)

 

I've never been the type to really care what the packaging of the golf ball I play looks like but I did actually liked the simple and understated black box the MTB Black comes in.  It has a very Will Smith/Tommy Lee Jones Men in Black (MIB) feel.  MIB and MTB…coincidence?

 

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The ball itself has a top shelf premium glossy urethane look and feel that stands toe to toe with any top end premium ball.  Of course I would still prefer the yellow as I previously stated in my Stage 1 review but the white does look good fresh from the package.  The main logo has a cool font and the splash of red adds color but doesn't make it too gawdy of a logo or seem like it is a logo overrun ball.  The alignment aid down the side is nice and wide (which I like) but I always fill in the side line with a black pen to make it appear solid.  I just prefer this style when lining up my putts.

 

Side_Logo.jpg

 

Durability started out pretty good overall and the ball stayed new looking for most of the first half of the round.  I did start to notice however that the clear coat seemed to disappear towards the end of the round and the dirt and marks became a little harder to clean off.  The urethane cover itself remained very cut and scuff free but the clear coat seemed to fade away a little quickly and the ball took on more of a matte finish.  After 2-3 rounds the ball was very dull looking.

 

(I'll insert a side by side of a new vs used ball soon…I lost the ball I was going to use in a stupid creek)

 

I did end up eventually hitting a cart path as well as some tree branches and the Snell showed marks from both just like every other premium ball does.  It didn't wow me with impact or mark resistance but it didn't let down my expectations either.  The main point is it kept up with all the balls that cost more.  Irons and wedges did leave some slit marks after some well struck shots but the cover wasn't deeply cut or damaged.  I didn't feel the need to take the ball out of play for any of the groove cuts.

 

Overall I put it right up there with the other premium WHITE balls.  Since I usually play the yellow Srixon I can't say it did quite as well because I think the yellow colored Srixon balls are the most durable premium golf balls on the market.  They are basically bullet proof and absorb just about anything you can give them.  I routinely have played 2-4 rounds on the same ball without it starting to look and feel as dull as the white balls get.  This is why I gave the Snell two different scores above.

 

Sound & Feel (12 out of 15 points)

 

The Snell MTB Black has a firmer, crisper sound than the Srixon ZStar.  Both balls feel heavier and denser than the Titleist AVX.  I broke down the sound and feel based on the various clubs in the bag.  Overall I prefer a slightly softer feeling ball than the Black but it didn't offend me in any way.

 

Putter:

 

  • Slightly firmer/denser feel from the Snell compared to the ZStar.  The AVX felt the softest and lightest
  • AVX was most quiet off the putter followed by the ZStar and then Snell (sound is feel)
  • Snell seemed to come off the face a little faster than the ZStar with the AVX coming off the fastest
  • If I putted the ZStar to the hole, the Snell would travel approx. 4”-5” further with the same stroke and the AVX would travel approx. another 1” or so.
  • ZStar felt best off of mis-hits followed by Snell.  AVX was almost too soft to detect slight mis-hits

 

Irons/Wedges:

 

  • Similar to putter, Snell was firmest followed by ZStar and then AVX.
  • Although firmest, the ball doesn't feel hard or clicky but more solid and meaty feeling. 
  • The AVX feels very light and springy and feels like it has much more ballspeed coming off the face.  AVX gave the impression you could swing easier and let the ball do all the work.  Hitting the Snell directly after the AVX made the Snell feel like it had to be hit “harder” due to its meatier feel.  The ZStar was in between the two and was a goldilocks feeling of “just right”.

Driver:

 

  • The driver made the loudest sound with the Snell which confirms the slightly harder feel.  The ZStar was quieter with the AVX being the quietest. 
  • AVX really feels like it jumps off the driver.  The Snell and ZStar felt like they stayed on the face a bit longer.
  • Again it felt like you had to hit the Snell harder after hitting the AVX because the AVX felt so light and springy.

 

On-Course Performance (45 out of 50 points)

 

The first and most important thing I noticed about the on-course performance was the ball flight was significantly LOWER than I'm used to seeing.  When PGA pros talk about hitting shots in various “windows” I can compare and say that the Snell MTB Black hit lower than the flight windows I'm normally used to seeing.  This had both some positive and negative aspects and some of the performance was due to this lower flight.

 

  • Off the Tee – I hit the MTB plenty far and equal in distance to the ZStar but, because of the lower flight, found my carry distance was shorter.  I also think I had lower spin with the Snell and AVX compared to the ZStar. When I played firmer fairways I got a ton of extra roll and hit some massive tee shots in overall distance but could tell that it was more roll based. The AVX also flies lower and rolls more than the ZStar.  I added a degree of loft to my driver to get the same height I would get from the ZStar at standard loft.  When I added the extra loft and got some additional height, the Snell hit some of the longest drives of the three balls.  All were pretty close overall though.
  • Approach – The lower ball flight also carried over to my approach shots and on some longer iron shots I had trouble holding firmer greens.  I feel like I was also getting lower spin so I saw more shots than I'd like hit the green and roll off the back.  Mid and short irons had enough spin and holding the green was not as much of a problem, even with the lower flight.  AVX also had this same problem even though it felt softer.
  • Around the Green – The Snell and ZStar performed the best on half wedges and chips as the spin seemed higher on both than the AVX.  All 3 balls had similar trajectory on half wedges but the AVX didn't check up as quickly and I had to allow for more roll with it.
  • Putting – I think the sound/feel section above summarizes putting with each ball.  Each came off the face differently and once I adjusted to the speed it was easy to putt with any of them.  I felt like the ZStar was the perfect middle feel between the firmer Snell and the softer AVX.
  • Ball Flight – Did I mention low?  I will definitely mention that even though I saw a lower flight, the flight was perfectly consistent and perfectly dependable.  The Snell didn't get affected by wind nearly as much and I could count on every shot looking exactly the same.  Very, very consisten performance from the Snell MTB.
     

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (15 out of 20 points)

 

I'm not really sure how to give a point value to whether or not I would game this ball or not.  I could easily play this ball and make it work for sure.  The consistency was something I could count on and it did everything I wanted around the green.  Once I added some extra loft to my driver, I had no problem with the trajectory off of the tee but some people may not be using drivers that allow this change.  When it comes down to it, the only reason I probably wouldn't play this ball would be due to the lower trajectory and spin I saw on long iron approach shots into greens.  After my review I am pretty sure the MTB Red would fit me perfectly and I'm now probably going to give that a go to see if that's the case or not.

 

If you hit the ball high already and maybe are a higher spin player with the driver then you will love this ball.  It's dependable, consistent, feels good and offers great short game performance.  People who play insert putters will also enjoy the feel and feedback from the putter since it feels dense and meaty.   

 

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Conclusion

The TLDR Version:

 

  • Snell felt firmer/denser on all clubs than the ZStar and AVX.
  • Snell had a lower flight that rolled more off the driver than ZStar but similar to AVX.
  • Snell was VERY dependable and predictable and not affected much by wind.  ZStar is also great in wind but flies higher.  AVX is in the middle.
  • I needed more spin and higher trajectory on long iron approach shots than the MTB and AVX gave me.
  • Very good spin on half wedge shots and chips.  ZStar and Snell tied with AVX not stopping quite as quickly.
  • Based on other people's reviews, I'm going to give the MTB Red a try to see if it brings up my trajectory some.

 

Final Score: (86 out of 100) – This score seems lower than perhaps it should be but I really enjoy this ball and really look forward to continue to use it.  I'll give the MTB Red a try next.

 

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Stage 1 – Snell MTB Black

Introduction

First I would like to thank MyGolfSpy and Snell for the opportunity to test and provide them feedback on their golf balls.  My name is Chris and I live in the Little Rock, AR area (and my parents live in the same town that John Daly is from as well).  There are some very nice courses around this state and I love to explore new courses to help develop my game.  I love the game causes of the challenges it gives me but I also love getting outdoors with good friends and having a wonderful time.  Golf has opened some new avenues for me as well. 

In 2013, I decided to volunteer at the Western Amateur here in Arkansas.   From that point on I was hooked and wanted to volunteer at a higher level golf tournament.   In June of 2014, I decided to volunteer for the Fedex St. Jude Classic in Memphis, TN.  The following year I decided to do fund raising for St. Jude in conjunction with the golf tournament.  If you have never volunteered at a PGA or LPGA level event, you do not know what you are missing.  This is will be my 4th year on the SHOTLink Committee and it as much fun as playing a round of golf.  Getting to be inside the ropes and see some great players up close. 

I've been playing for about 8 years and have been gradually improving over the years with my game and equipment.  From taking 4 to 6 lessons a year to lots of range time to gradually tweak my swing, I can honestly say that I am proud of my progression considering my work schedule.  I Finally saw some major improvements at the of last year and hope to carry that forward reach single digits.

 

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What's in my bag right now:

Driver:  Callaway XR Stiff Flex

Fairway Wood: Callaway Steelhead XR 3 Wood Regular Flex

Hybrids: Ping

Irons:  Bridgestone J15CB

Wedges: Cleveland RTX3 54 & 58

Putter: Scotty Cameron

Golf Ball:  Bridgestone E6

Handicap: 13.5

 

As far as my golf game goes, I am not one of the longer hitters so I tend to want my Driver ball flight to be lower to give me a little more roll out.   I tend to hit a higher ball flight with my irons that lands softer on the greens and gives me a decent amount of spin.  The E6 ball fits into my game pretty well because I love the feel around the greens with it but it is very consistent off the tee. 

 

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Teaser:

As an amateur, it is nice to be able to find an alternative to the brand name golf balls that can not only fit well in a budget but give us comparable results. Not everyone out there can afford the same high end brands played on Tour so any alternative is something I am definitely interested in. I looking forward to seeing if the Snell MTB Black can improve on the distance off the tee and the feel around the greens.  I need to have.  I look forward to putting it up against my current ball and give you an idea of how it matches up.

 

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Stage 2 - The Review

Snell MTB Black – Official MGS Forum Review by Theedpatt

Intro


Oh boy, this was a fun test. Once again, big thank you to everyone at MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to be a part of this review and hopefully this review will be beneficial to all my fellow Forum Spies. So, over the last 2 months I have had a chance to put the Snell MTB Black through 200+ holes, 6 tournament rounds, 10+ courses, dozens of short game practice sessions and just about every weather condition out there (Courtesy of Oregon). In my testing I pitted the MTB Black against the TaylorMade TP5x, Titleist ProV1x, Vice Pro Plus and Bridgestone B330s which were all balls I was considering gaming this season prior to being selected for this test. For quick and easy comparisons, I will be ranking each of the 5 balls in each section of the feel and performance portions. Now time for the fun part.


Looks & Durability (15 out of 15 points)


  • Appearance/graphics/packaging – Simple, clean and professional. Nothing else need and fits right in line with who Snell is as a company.
  • Short term/long term durability – I don't think I have ever seen a ball with a cover that has this combination of softness and durability. It will still pick up wear marks, but it often takes a little longer than other balls for that to happen. Even my fairly fresh wedges weren't gashing the cover nearly as often or as deep as expected. I also had more than a few times while testing where I would hit a tree or a cart path and expect to find a really ugly mark but still more often than not there was minimal to no damage. When you do eventually get a mark though, it rarely has any effect on the performance to the point where you need to switch out to a fresh ball. If you're like me and someone who constantly checks for golf ball condition, 4 sleeves play more like 5 or maybe even 6. Incredibly impressive.
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    After 2 hour short game practice
    IMG_0433.JPG
  • Other unique details (ie. Dimple pattern, alignment aid, etc) – This is just knit picking but I'm going to rant here really quick. Just make the DAMN BALL SEAMLESS!!! You're better than this. We know you can do it. As Jlukes has previously pointed out, the MTB Red has a seamless urethane cover. Now I understand that mold costs can play a big part and that the two balls have different dimple counts but, on the surface, it comes off as trying to pass off the original MTB as a brand new, better performing ball. Rant over.
  • How does it compare to other balls, beyond being round and white? – I'm not one who uses the line on the ball when I putt but it does offer an option that I think most will enjoy. It's simple, plenty long, and also has enough bulk to it that you don't feel like you need to sharpie over it to easily line it up.
    IMG_0431.JPG

Sound & Feel (13 out of 15 points)

This ball feels pretty much exactly like you would expect for a premium urethane covered ball. Good softness on full shots that gives you the confidence to go right after that pin tucked and trust that it will stick or spin right next to the pin. With my high swing speed, it tends to feel a bit softer off the driver than I would prefer but it's certainly not too soft. The real surprise was that around 80 yards and in the sound became a little clickier than expected and didn't provide quite the same level of confidence on the drop n' stop meter. Now obviously there is a softness drop off with all balls as you move in closer but this seemed be a slightly escalated rate. Off the putter the slight clickiness was still present but I found the feel was softer than the sound might lead some to believe.

 

 

Ball Comparison – Full Swing Feel (Softest to Hardest): B330s, ProV1x, MTB Black, Pro Plus, TP5x

 

On-Course Performance (44 out of 50 points)


  • (9) Off the Tee – Off the tee performance was the biggest surprise to me. My expectations figured this would be shorter than most of the other balls I put it up against, but reality had it only minimally shorter than the TP5x and ahead of (in varying degrees) the B330s, Pro Plus and ProV1x. Anytime I can poke one 330yards in 50 degree Oregon weather, I will be impressed.

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Ball Comparison - Length (Longest to Shortest): TP5x, MTB Black, ProV1x, Pro Plus, B330s

  • (8) Approach – Approach shots had good consistent flight and workability was good as well. The only thin was most of the time I never seemed to have the grab I expected to get into greens. Now I was able to get some PGA Tour level rip at times but more often than not I found a nipped full wedge or pure iron with good decent angle rolling out 3 to 10 feet more than normal. This is by no means bad though and falls right in line with the numbers from MyGolfSpy's head-to-head test with the ProV1.

Ball Comparison – Sticking Power (Most to Least): B330s, ProV1x, MTB Black, Pro Plus, TP5x


  • (9) Around the Green – Describe your confidence level of playing the many shots required around the green (bump and run, hop and stop, flop, etc). Outside of the occasional shot that spun a little more or less, chips and pitches performed very consistently and pretty much how I would expect. Once again, the overall spin was just a bit less

Ball Comparison – Drop-n-Stop (Most to Least): B330s, ProV1x, MTB Black, Pro Plus, TP5x


  • (9) Putting – Describe how it reacts off the putter – Putting wise, I couldn't have been happier. It came off with a nice balance of pop and softness that I think everyone will love. Now I did have the ball noticeably wobble at one of the courses I played but I'm pretty sure that more of an issue with the course its self than the ball having a noticeable mass bias in its construction.

Ball Comparison – Clickiness (Most to Least): TP5x, MTB Black, ProV1x, Pro Plus, B330s


  • (9) Ball Flight – Ball flight was very consistent but wanted to climb just a bit at times off the driver. Once wind came in to play it was more of the same. Held up great but climbed a bit higher than the TP5x but not nearly as much as the other balls I tested and still produced solid distance.

Ball Comparison – Wind Control (Best to Worst): TP5x, MTB Black, ProV1x, Pro Plus, B330s


Gamer or Wall Hanger? (18 out of 20 points)

This is may be the best all around ball I have ever played and if not, it's not far off. With that being said, its not perfect or a “miracle ball” by any means. It could be a little better in the wind off the tee and could spin a touch more from 80 yards and in. But I also don't know of a ball out there that would be just as good across the board and better in either of those areas without other tradeoffs. The only reason this isn't in the bag with no hesitation is the spin into greens. If that was a little better, this would easily be the best ball on the market in my opinion. Even still though it's a great ball that all golfers should at least consider, especially those with higher swing speeds and don't struggle to spin the ball. When you throw in its $31.99 price point on top of all that, you get one of the most impressive golf ball options out there. Period.


Conclusion

Overall this is a fantastic, well rounded ball. Maybe the best out there and certainly a lot more similar in performance than the market leaders would want you to think for a $31.99 ball. Distance is shockingly long off the driver while still providing a good feel on full shots that doesn't run wild when it hits a green. Could it spin a little more on approach shots? Sure. But it's hard to argue against an extra 5-15 yards off the tee for a slight difference in performance into the green. Dean Snell has once again given golf something quite impressive.

Final Score: (90 out of 100)

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Stage Two - The Review

Snell MTB Black  Forum Review by Dhartmann34 (Derek)

Intro

 

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When I was selected to test the Snell Black, I wanted to be able to give the best view of the ball in terms of how one can expect it to perform in regards to their game, no matter if they are a 20 handicap or a 5 handicap. Due to weather it took me a bit of time to get things rolling, but over the past month I've got in a lot of rounds and practice with the Snell Black. I've had at least 10 rounds and even more times at the practice green chipping and putting the ball. One evening out on the course I spent a while with 6 balls hitting from the 150 and 100 yard marks into a green. Yes, I fixed all my ball marks! :-)  For all comparisons, I was using my main ball, the Kirkland K-Sig ball...all the rage not long ago.

Looks & Durability (14 out of 15 points)

Appearance/graphics/packaging:

IMG_20180515_1830541.jpg

 

I love the look of the ball packaging. The Black, plain but sharp, glossy box, gives it that premium look and feel. The ball itself has a nice, shiny look. The font on the ball is classy. Very pronounced, but nothing goofy looking. There is a tiny seem on the ball, but nothing you wouldn't see on another high end ball. I like the size of the MTB Black on the side of the ball. It's great for aligning to the hole, and even better if you use a market to run a line over it. Here you can see how much larger it is than the Kirkland.

 

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Short term/long term durability: As I mentioned before, I played multiple rounds with the ball. The longest I played a ball was a few holes over 4 rounds, which would have continued if that pond didn't look so inviting. I'll post a video, but the ball held up well during rounds, even when incorporating trees, bunkers, gravel cart paths, and some thin shots. Is it completely immune to scuffs? Not in the least, but that I'd expect from the soft cover of a urethane ball.

I had multiple sessions where I hit between 75-100 chips/pitches with my 54* and 58* at the practice green and there was never a time after this practice where I saw much in terms of scuffs/marks/discoloration. The Black held up very well in this respect.

 

After tree strikes, there was usually some type of green/brown color on the ball, but wiped off fairly easily for the most part. I had a few hit gravel cart paths and only once can I remember there actually being a scuff that wasn't easily brushed away. What I was really pleased with was when hitting shots out of the bunker, not one time did the ball have any type of groove scuff marks left on the ball. I have many instances where this has happened on the Kirkland, among previous balls, and that bothers me a lot as I feel like a ball should be able to handle that type of sand/club interaction without damaging the ball.

 

Durability in terms of strikes with my irons and woods really didn't show much in regards to marks/scuffs/etc. Even the random thin shot didn't put a cut or mark on the ball, which is always nice. I'm not a professional and even as a lower handicap player, I have those shots each round where I find that bottom groove or lower on my irons/wedges...and not having damage to the ball is great. After the full round, the ball is in pretty good shape. Maybe a mark or two, but nothing that would prevent the ball from performing or most people from using the ball for another round.

 

https://youtu.be/4foQ5RICmm8

 

How does it compare to other balls, beyond being round and white?

I played a lot of holes with the black ball. I'd much rather prefer to be out on the course playing, than pounding balls at the range. As the video I'm including shows, the ball maintains its round shape fairly well. In regards to the ‘white' color, I feel that the Snell MTB Black picks up more dirt and discoloration over time than the Kirkland ball that I normally use. Even with using the ball washer and wiping it off when I got onto the green, the ball lost that glossy white look it had after 13 or 14 holes. No amount of cleaning seemed to change that for me. While that doesn't bother me too much because the main purpose of the ball is to perform, I know a few guys that would absolutely be done with the ball as soon as it got that clouded, dirty look.

 

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Sound & Feel (14 out of 15 points)

 

The ball has a good sound off of the driver and irons.. I really love the explosive sound off of the driver and woods. It's a bit more firm than my usual Kirkland, but nothing that is extremely noticeable or something that affected my game. There was still a soft feel, especially off of the driver. With the wedges, it was a little more noticable off of my wedges and irons. I get the more ‘firm' sounding strike than I'm used to, but the sound doesn't exhibit the ‘hard' feel I have experienced with other balls previously. Again, it's not quite as soft as the Kirkland off of any club (irons/woods), but I believe there are benefits to that, which I'll discuss further on.

 

When it comes to my chips/pitches, the Black still had that firm feel. But I want to make sure that when I mention the “firm feel”, it shouldn't be confused with the ‘hard, plastic' feel I think some folks may associate when hearing the word ‘firm'. There's none of that going on here.  It's just a slightly firmer feeling ball than the Kirkland I've been playing. And no, it doesn't seem to affect how I approach the game, my shots, or anything of the sort. If anything, I think that firmer feel makes me feel like it was a more solid hit.

 

On-Course Performance (45 out of 50 points)

 

Off the Tee – This is where the ball REALLY shines for me. It has been absolutely fantastic off of the tee for me. The first few times I played rounds with it, the weather was in the 30's/40's and not all that pleasant. Winter stuck around for far too long. Yet my drives were in some pretty good places in terms of distance which I wasn't expecting in those conditions. As it has ‘warmed' up (50's/60's/70's), the ball has started to really show some distance off of the tee. I attribute this to that ‘firmer', more solid feel that I described earlier, which I think has definitely attributed to a drop in spin off of the driver face for me. Looking at my driving distance stats from last year, and comparing them to what I'm experiencing this year with the MTB Black, it's been in the neighborhood of 12 yards gained….264 → 276. That's absolutely game changing for me. Something in that ball just explodes off the face of my G400 driver and it goes. Hitting a 9 iron or wedge into a green instead of a 7 or 8 makes a big difference and I think over the course of the season that could help most folks drop a few strokes off of their handicap. Off the tee, the Black is certainly the real deal. It has performed over and above my expectations by far! Has it helped find fairways? I don't know… but I will say it's helped put me through fairways that I've never had to decide between driver and 3 wood before.

 

https://youtu.be/Aqm6QLDpd-4 (Iron off the tee)

 

https://youtu.be/OX_LsrlSt8M (Driver off of the tee)

 

Approach – The MTB Black has been a solid ball on approach shots. It seems to hold the greens fairly well. I've certainly had no issues with it running off of greens after it lands. The couple of times I had the course to myself and hit balls from 150 and 100 yards, both the Black and the Kirkland had the same reaction in terms of where they rolled out when on the green. I didn't notice anything extraordinarily different in this aspect. I will say I do tend to send these shots in pretty high to the green, which helps tremendously in keeping it from rolling off. With the cold, wet, weather we've had, the soft greens have added to that as well. Things may change in July, but for now, I'd say the black in very comparable to the Kirkland.

 

Around the Green – This area is the strongest part of my game. Chipping and pitching to pins is the area I don't fret about. I chip in close to 1 time every other round. And it tends to be a shot from 30-40 feet. The Black performed pretty much as I had expected. If I was running it to the pin, it would roll out. If I flopped it, it would stop in the distance I would expect it to stop. While on the practice green hitting 20-30 yard pitches, I did experience a little bit more roll out than the Kirkland. I don't know if that's the firmness factor, but they seemed to be 3-5 feet further than the Kirkland.

 

I've never been able to hit that short game shot that hit and stopped on a dime, or spun back a few feet….at least on purpose. I'm guessing the ball would perform just fine for those that are able to execute those shots (The pros amaze me with how the make this happen). If I had to choose between the Black and the Kirkland around the greens, I'd probably go with the Kirkland. While the Black performs just fine, I'm used to that ‘softer' feel around the greens, which I enjoy it….and I also feel like the Kirkland stops a tad quicker than the Black.  

 

Putting – Off of my Scotty Cameron putter, the ball rolls great. As I've mentioned, there is a little firmer feel, but again I'm going to say it'd be better described as a ‘solid strike' feel. The ball goes where it's supposed to and looks good doing it. I don't' have to hit it harder or softer than the Kirkland. No matter the distance or the lie, my normal putting stroke produced the results that I would have expected. The MTB Black on the side of the ball helps line it up where I want the ball to go. Definitely a ball that performs off of the putter on the greens/fringe for me.

 

Ball Flight – In this section I want to focus on a few things. First, I feel like this ball straight out performs in the wind, especially off of the driver! I'd put it above the Kirkland I'm used to. I'm assuming the Black has less spin which helps in this aspect. But into headwinds, this is far and away a better ball than anything I've played. I have not had to worry about if the wind will balloon the ball or severely hurt the distance I was expecting off of the driver. It just seems to get up in the air and keep going on the medium high trajectory I love.

 

With the irons, I again saw a great ball flight. Fairly comparable to the Kirkland. Ignoring any extreme mishits, the Black always ended up where I would have expected, when considering the success of the strike. Did bad shots always end up on the green or in the fairway? No, of course not. But they did end up in the places I'd expect those same shots to be with my normal Kirkland as well.

 

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (20 out of 20 points)

This will definitely end up in my Game Bag. Honestly, if I didn't have 10 dozen plus Kirkland's left, I'd be buying 6 dozen Snell MTB Black for use immediately. While it's pretty comparable to the K-Sig in most areas, the extra distance off of the tee with the woods has been fantastic. A shorter iron into a green is most likely beneficial to most folks and in my experience, that is what the MTB Black is providing. I am thinking I may play the Kirkland for most rounds, but pull out the MTB Black for tournaments because I do feel like it provides me an extra benefit that could certainly be beneficial in the longer tournament courses. Overall, I think many golfers could benefit from the MTB Black. It's a solid ball that does exactly what I would it expect it should. It won't give you the ‘marshmallow' feel that some balls provide, but performance wise, I think it's even with those softer balls and off the tee, high and above.

 

Conclusion

This was my first time playing a Snell ball of any sorts and the Snell MTB Black did NOT disappoint. I've been extremely thrilled with the distance it has provided me off of the tee. I don't normally drive it 300 yards so giving me an extra 10-15 yards off of the tee without having to do anything differently is really a big deal. It holds greens in conditions that it's supposed to.  It seems to stand up to the wind and gives it a big wave and smile as it cuts through it on it's way to greener pastures. It may discolor a bit easier than other balls, but that's a small detail when I consider how well it seems to stand up to all the other elements on the course. And yes, it has a firmer feel off of the driver, irons, wedges and putter than the Kirkland, but it's a good firm. It really is. Does that lead to a little less spin around the greens? Possibly. But nothing that can't be accounted for. Overall, I'm really impressed with the MTB Black. We've been through a lot of holes, swings, shots, chips, pitches, putts, water, sand, trees, shrubs, and any other course condition you can think of and I think we've formed a pretty good bond. It's really a no brainer that one should give these a try….especially when you consider the non-premium cost. I'll certainly be putting these into play in the near future, especially in tournaments….anyone want to buy some Kirklands? :-P

Final Score: (93 out of 100 points)

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Stage 1 – Snell MTB Black {April 22, 2018}

 

Hi all, I've been playing on and off for around 20 years and probably didn't get reasonably serious until about 10 years ago. One thing I will say is that I used to hit the ball much further than I do now. On holes where I used to be in a certain position, I'm a good 20+ yards further back but that doesn't bother me that much because I used to hit a draw and now I fade the ball. For the most part, I've removed the left side or the course which has helped my scores a lot. I love both links and parkland golf but for the most part I play links golf which requires shaping shots and using the wind and of course not always landing the ball on the green and stopping it but landing short and running on. I don't really struggle with spin so I can usually hit the ball into a green and know its going to stop even with my longer irons. I do love to play with blades but now that I'm losing a little distance, it does me no harm to play with something that gives a little help.

 

My golf is played in the North East of Scotland where there are so many amazing courses to play but my local course, which is about a 3-5 min drive from my house, is a very hilly links course. It's not the longest (playing 6500 yards) but the rough is quite brutal and there's some quite tough shorter holes. Lots of people don't like the course but that's because they can't score. They find it frustrating because you MUST put the ball in the correct place off the tee. I think I score so well because driving is an accurate part of my game.

 

I would say I'm a decent player and a decent all round player. What I mean by that is I see only one big weakness: injury. I'm not going to be playing any tournaments this year as I've damaged my wrist end of last season so I'm using this year to recover properly without the need to play silly shots that may end my golf career all together. I now have a Titanium plate in my wrist but the pain is gone and I'm working back into it as my left wrist it has affected my grip and the available flex!

 

I've always loved playing golf since I was younger; around 9 or 10 I had a tiger shark 7 iron (think this is an American iron and I've never seen one again, (I think my Dad got me it as a demo club from a magazine ad). For my age, it just seemed like an amazing club and I used to go up to the practice ground not far from my house and play little comps with my mates just with a 7 iron. When I got older I realised I could pretty much bomb the ball so started at 15 handicap and within the first year dropped to 9 handicap.  Then over the next couple of years, dropped down to 5-6 handicap. In between that I had a break and went back up to about 8-9 and now I'm at 5. My first few rounds this year have been 74, 71, 69 so I'm hitting the ball well all be it much shorter due to my wrist but even though that's the case I'm scoring great. Who knows, maybe that's why!

 

Driver: I'm playing Titleist 913 D2 10.5deg - Diamana D+ 72 Stiff @ 44.5" and I'm using this because no matter what I try all I've been able to get is about 5 yards more and the dispersion just isn't near as good.

Fairway: I play a Titleist 913 F 17* (4 wood) - Diamana S+ 72 Stiff @ 40" which again I can't get out of the bag as it does what it says on the tin.

Hybrid: I use an older Taylormade Rescue Orig. 19* old school - Project X Flighted 6.0 I hit this well but mostly from the deck as I play my driver on every hole I can.

Irons: Also a bit older Callaway X22 Tour 4 - 9 - Project X Flighted 6.0 Std loft/lie/length and I really hit these well, (I do also tinker with my old blades MP33s) but these with the little help they give hit the spot (and the greens hehe)

Wedges: Vokey SM6 47, 51, 55 & 59 - Project X Flighted 6.0 Soft Stepped 2deg Flat Std length, they are all strong by 1 degree just to hit my gaps and I like the slightly different look bending them strong does.

Putter: Ping Scottsdale Grayhawk TP -  33" and I was fitted for this and have stuck with it because if I'm not holing putts I knock them dead.

Current Ball: Callaway Chromesoft which is pretty good but I do flirt with my long time fav. Which is Titleist ProV1.

 

My Current handicap would be 5 going from last year but this year I'm hoping to be playing a little better than this going by my early season scores.  Swing tempo is average really, I used to be a lot more aggressive but I've changed. Driver swing speed is normally between 108 – 112 but I can be faster on a good day. Since my wrist injury, I'm trying to swing slower but I'd imagine no more than 5mph less with a driver. Typical ball flight is a 3 yard soft fade (higher with driver and long irons) but quite flat with lower irons. I can sneak back into the draw if I'm having a bad day but I can fix this quickly as I'm confident moving the ball high/low/draw/fade. Typical miss is long left when everything gets out of sync but I'm getting much better at removing the left side of the course. Strengths are driving, wedge play and short game.

Weakness is anything below a 5 iron where I tend to try and kill it which gives me so so strikes (bottom groove) which don't help! I seem to be fine off the tee but hitting into the greens is what I'm working on the most.

 

 

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Stage Two - The Review

 

Snell MTB Red – Official MGS Forum Review by kingcscott (Scott King)

 

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I told you all I am a fan of Snell. I have played the MTB since nearly the time it hit the Market and MGS started talking about it. It has been a wonderful ball in every way. The Red – Home Run Dean, Home Run! That being said I am also going to put the black through the same kind of scrutiny I have put on the Red. Maybe Dean and MyGolfSpy will help me out with this. Hint! Hint!

 

First of all, I am sorry this has taken so long guys. The weather was sucking andI started transitioning from a Floor Nurse to an ICU Nurse. This has been a huge change for me and gobbled up much of my time and mind. ☺

 

Looks & Durability (14 out of 15 points)

 

  • Easy enough, the packaging is far beyond the Original packaging. Simple and clean. Lovely. Although, I wish Snell could supply a more environmentally friendly way to ship balls. I don't really need a pretty box full of boxes. I would take these in a recycled egg carton or a plastic bag. I wish/ hope as an industry we can move beyond the current standard and think outside the box.

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  • Great durability, better again than the Original, which was pretty great.
  • No Seam - like the original. I know some people have complained about the previous ball's line, but in the beginning I used it as a Quiet Eye (Google it, it has benefits) point.
  • I did have one little mark on a ball that had not hit a tree or a path that had a slight cut. Maybe it was a rock from where I hit it. I have never been able to figure it out. It was so small and didn't affect the ball at all.IMG_1705.JPG
  • Many times I have been able to tell from 50 yards or so that my ball was the one on the left/right or closer/ further simply based on the glowing bright white. The logo and text don't seem painted on the ball but rather in the cast itself.
  • These balls stood up to trees, fans and paths with little or better than average marks and Look very playable even after a couple of rounds. Typically I swap out two balls interchangeably during a round. So I never just keep one on my pushcart or in my pocket.

​Sound & Feel (15 out of 15 points)

  • Maybe a little less click of the putter than the MTB, far less than ProV's and not a Marshmallow like the ChromeSoft. This suits me and I love it,
  • Feel certainly depends on strike. I never feel any ball if struck perfectly. When I miss it, blade it, duff it, the ball isn't terrible or penal. I play Titleist CB's so they are a little easier on the hands than some blades, but not by much. This ball that I can remember never made me wince when I bladed a 3i or something.

On-Course Performance (50 out of 50 points)

  • I play roll. Roll off driver, not the highest hitter, Roll off the chipping and short shots. And my putter, Evnroll ER2 just seems to roll itself. This ball plays for my game just the way I want it.
  • I found it “heavy” off the driver at first, but I kind of liked the feeling after a few amazing, piercing trajectories. Who wouldn't? The roll off my drives in proper conditions was awesome and I rarely found it to spin too much off the face if it wasn't me causing it.
  • I found approaching the green, teeing off par threes, if the ball was struck well with normal amount of spin for me or struck poorly with too much spin (think bladed PW, oops, Damn!) The ball stopped where I generally wanted. I did hit some shots against the Original MTB that were damn near identical in flight, strike and placement. The Red took less time to come to a rest. I was amazed how the area between ball mark and stop would be smaller than the MTB, but less bounce and spin seemed a touch more, in a good way. I only spun 1 shot off the green and I hit a 50* a little thin that revved up the spin into a green sloped toward me…hit bounced and spun sideways right off the green. Grrrr
  • Like I said, my ER2 rolls itself. This ball has a nice clean feel and great sound. Big thanks to Guerin Rife and Adam Beach. What a club?
  • I don't play a 60* or high spin shots, generally. I think it is for more practiced players or, to me, an ego shot. I have an old 56* that is so damn versatile, I play a 50* that is my utility club, but I will play a PW, 9I, 8I or even occasionally a 6i for game around the green. I like to roll it. Get it on the ground quick and let it saddle up to the hole. That being said…this ball will spin if nipped. For me, it can stop before I want it to if I don't control the traj and strike. But like I said, I roll. Against the OG MTB, the Red is certainly quicker to check.

    FullSizeRender_2.jpg

  • Game Bag or Shag Bag? (20 out of 20 points)

    I won't go on and on, you know how I feel by now or you haven't read this. I'll game this ball, unless testing of the Black proves me different. I changed 4+ years ago from the Precept Soft something, to a Srixon because I needed more from a ball. I gambled on a small start up and found a ball just as good, probably better, definitely cheaper. You can pry these Snell's out of my cold dead hands, or I'll hit ‘em into the lakes, woods or those ultra annoying lost fairway-ish shots(snarl). Try a pack, I seriously doubt, with an open mind that you won't at least like them. Oops, rambled a bit. Cheers!

     

    Conclusion

    What can I say? If you didn't read the above, then you're not really looking for a new ball. But if you did, believe me I dig this ball a lot. Is it magic? Nope, sadly Hogwarts doesn't really train wizards. Is it a good ball worth a try. Hell Yeah it is. Good ahead and get a pack if you're looking to improve your ball or are tired of more expensive balls that are similar. Why not try it? Don't take just my word for it, I was sold on them years ago and was super excited to read Dean was making an improvement on an already great ball. Thanks MyGolfSpy and reader Spyies and reviewing Spyies and lurking Spyies. More importantly…Thank you Dean Snell and company, Home Run!

    IMG_1358.JPG
    Final Score: 99 Damn fine ball!
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Snell MTB Red – Official MGS Forum Review by MaxEntropy

 

Intro

 

Thanks, again, to MGS and Snell for the opportunity to test. I had honest concerns going in about the ability of someone of my skill level (~15 handicap) being able to detect a performance difference between balls. I will say I was a bit shocked by the performance of the Snell and that I could absolutely tell a difference. It became clear pretty early that there is little difference between the Snell and my current gamer (Titleist NXT Tour S) on full swings. This is a good thing, in my mind, as I have been happy with the Titleist. Where the MTB Red shines is around the green.

 

My intention in testing the MTB Red was to start at the practice green working on chipping/pitching, but because of the terrible weather we had this spring, the first sunny, warm-ish day I hit the course first thing because the course was empty and I knew it would fill up. It took me until the second green to realize there was something very different about this ball around the green, which took me to the practice green. The chipping/putting green at a course near me is about 75 paces by 40 paces with a lot of open area so the types of shots I could try with the two brands was only limited by my imagination – I spent about 6 hours there in total trying all kinds of chip shots, pitch-and-runs, and flop shots and hitting enough of them to feel comfortable that I had at least a few shots with each ball that were struck very similarly to compare the outcomes. The following image should give you some idea of the size of the practice area – my bag is the dark spot on the far side of the green.

 

Green_Size_Small.jpg

 

In many cases, my goal was to hit a spot on the green and note the rollout. In the others, I would try to see how far I had to carry each ball to reach one of the pins. Ultimately, I felt it was more useful to try to hit a spot and note the outcome.

 

I have only been able to play 45 holes so far, 9 of which were for our league night so playing multiple balls was not an option. For only 9 of the remaining 36 did I have the opportunity to hit multiple shots with each ball side by side due to the course being nearly empty.

 

Looks & Durability (13 out of 15 points)

 

As I alluded to in my Stage 1, I actually like the relatively plain packaging Snell chose. I am not a big fan of visually noisy, “in-your-face” packaging. I get that it draws peoples' eye balls, but it doesn't mean I have to like it. 😉 The ball itself has a nice “fit and finish”. They look nice next to other balls, and as jlukes pointed out, the seam appears to be gone compared to the older models. I really like the splash of red in the logo, I think it makes it a little more noticeable at a glance and is unique. I wish the alignment aid were a little longer. I do not own a marking cup and rely on the manufacturer line to help me out. From the pictures I've seen, Vice has done it right, in my opinion.

 

6pack3_Small.jpg

 

I have been very pleased by the durability of the MTB Reds. Being a bit of a hack, the Snell has been tested against many unintended targets: 1 cart path, many trees (with a few solid blows) and the edges of a few skulled iron shots. Only the cart path left a serious mark. Strangely, it doesn't seem like a very deep gouge, more like just the surface layer getting stripped off.

 

Rash_2_Small.jpg

 

To test the long-term durability, I continued playing the “road rash” ball. I started with it and kept playing it until I lost it (which happened to be after about 42 holes). After all those holes and countless shots at the practice green, there was one small area of “fur” that developed from well-struck short irons. Perhaps that says more about my ball striking than the ball, but the durability seems on par with all the other balls I have played the last couple years.

 

Sound & Feel (10 out of 15 points)

 

With full shots (all the way from wedge to driver), it was difficult for me to distinguish the sound of the Snell versus the NXT Tour S. The feel and trajectory were also very similar on full shots. On short chips and pitches, I found the sound of the MTB Red to be a bit off-putting, to be honest. There was something strange about the ball. It sounded much firmer than it played. I have attached links to a couple audio files of the sound of each ball dropping from shoulder height and bouncing off the concrete floor in my basement. The Snell sounds similar to a Pinnacle or Top Flite in this “test”. I eventually started getting used to the sound, especially once I realized the kind of green-side performance I would see. The Snell sounded a bit “tinny” off the putter, too, but there were no noticeable differences in performance.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/uc94lnxuu218xrn/Titleist.m4a?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ydwpph36uyoj41f/Snell.m4a?dl=0

 

(I tried to attach the audio files directly, but got an error saying I didn't have permission to upload that kind of file so if the Dropbox links don't work, let me know and I will try something else)

 

On-Course Performance (45 out of 50 points)

 

On the course, the Snell was able to do everything expected of it. As much as practical, I hit both the Snell and Titleist off the tee. The Snell appears to be a little bit longer off the driver, although the difference is likely not significant. Would the trend continue and be “statistically significant” if I were able to hit a ton of balls? It's difficult to say, but I can say the Snell is every bit as long as the Titleist. Below are a couple examples. In the interest of full disclosure, the screen caps were captured after I had finished the first 9 (note the blue location dot in the parking lot of top images). I tried to save images “live” but every time I would move the cursor to measure back to the tee, 18 Birdies would refresh before I could get a screen cap, presumably knowing I did not really want to hit back to the tee. The images are my best estimate based on landmarks (trees, cart paths, etc.) and the known distance remaining to the pin, so should be pretty close to reality.

 

Drives_Small.jpg

 

The top left image is the drive for the Titleist, the top right is for the Snell. The Snell landed in an area where the rough was pretty patchy and both were hit with very low (for me) trajectory, so the roll-out might make the comparison unfair. The bottom set of images should be a pretty good comparison. Again, Titleist is left, Snell is right. The Snell was just off the fairway, but neither rolled much with the soft ground.

 

So we have established that I am, at the very least, giving away no distance with the Snell and possibly gaining a bit. More important to me is what happens on the second shot and after. Unfortunately, Mr. Snell has not developed the technology to improve my iron play by just changing a ball – I miss a ton of greens, so a lot of pressure is placed on my short game to score. In my time playing the MTB Red, I did not observe a difference between the Snell and Titleist on approach shots that hit the green. Let's face it, early spring in Northern Ohio means very soft greens. On the first day I played, no one was behind me so I hit three of each ball to a par 3 that was playing around 120 yards – a nice, smooth 9i distance for me. With the greens being so receptive and me taking plenty of time to hit a couple decent shots, they showed very similar results. The 6th ball that should be in the picture is in the far bunker. Oops.

 

Par3_2_Small.jpg

 

Of the two balls on the green (the third is actually on the fringe), the Titleist is far right and the other is a Snell. Both balls landed into the backstop that is pretty evident and backed up a bit – the Titleist about 3-4” and the Snell about 2 feet. The backstop is a bit steeper on the side where the Snell landed, so I don't want to claim the ball is the reason for backing up more. After I chipped, putted, and otherwise dorked around on the green, there was still no one behind me, so I drove back to the tee and hit a couple more for good measure. Since I suck, none hit the green. ☹

 

To summarize so far: the Snell is every bit as long, if not a little longer, then the Titleist off the tee. The two balls are virtually indistinguishable on approach shots. Yet I claim that a hack like me is able to tell the difference in performance? What gives?!? Short game! I cannot believe how well the Snell stops on chips and pitches. I've never seen anything like it. It has opened up a whole new world of options that were previously unavailable to me. I consider myself a decent chipper even though I occasionally waste a few strokes because I don't keep my eye on the ball (think skull or hosel-rocket). For a couple years now, my 60* wedge was the tool of choice. Depending on the situation, I would put the ball back in my stance to keep it low and get it running or hit a flop-ish shot or anything in between. Now I have begun trying my PW or AW in many circumstances because I have confidence that there will be enough bite on the ball to stop it. Here are some notes on a few specific shots I hit on the practice green:

 

  1. 20 paces to pin, 10 paces of green with a 60* wedge, 10 shots with each ball. Average rollout for MTB Red – 1 pace, NXT Tour S – 2 paces.
  2. 30 paces to pin, 20 paces of green with AW, 10 shots each ball. Had to carry the Snell about 2 yards further to be able to reach the pin.
  3. 50 paces to pin, 40 paces of green with PW, mostly downhill. Here I was really focused on a similar strike and trajectory to note where the ball would stop. It took a lot of shots, but I feel like I was able to hit nearly the same spot with very similar trajectory. In the picture below, the Snell (ball on right) stopped about 6 paces before the Titleist. (Yeah, I know, I'd rather have the uphill putt, too.)

Downhill_Chip_Small.jpg

 

One last illustration of the stopping power I observed: I hit a flop that was about 30 yards. I struck it cleanly and it flew nice and high, as intended. Can you see the faint pitch mark in the picture? If not, I circled it in red. I've never stopped this type of a shot that quickly before.

 

Flop_Stop_Small.jpg

 

To some extent, I feel like my observations may need to be marked with an *. Thanks to our weather, the greens have remained soft and pretty slow. For one of the rounds, the greens were firmer and faster, although not terribly so. Even with more roll-out for both brands, the Snell was still stopping quicker than the Titleist.

 

Since I was only able to play 45 holes, I cannot assess what the ball change might do to my score. I assume once I get used to the lack of roll-out in normal (not soft) conditions, the ball will help me out as I feel I have more flexibility around the green in terms of what type of shot I want to hit.

 

Game Bag or Shag Bag? (18 out of 20 points)

 

Welcome to my game bag, MTB Red! As I mentioned in my Stage 1, I suspect a fair amount of mid- to high-handicaps have fairly decent short games out of necessity since we miss so many greens. While I consider myself a decent chipper, anything that has the potential to help me even more deserves my consideration, which the Snell does very well.

 

I docked the Snell 2 points in this category based on the sound alone. I have grown to like a ball that sounds soft coming off the club, especially around the green, which this ball certainly does not. I have started to get used to it and it may not bother me as I play with it more, or maybe as temperatures get into the 80's. Beyond that, I have been very happy with the overall performance of the ball. In my opinion, the golfer that may benefit most from this ball is the person who leans on their chipping and pitching but generally struggles to put much spin on the ball, regardless of handicap. If this describes you, I would highly recommend trying out some MTB Reds.

 

Conclusion

 

Overall, I was very pleased with the performance of the Snell MTB Red. It was every bit as long as the Titleist NXT Tour S, with initial results suggesting it might be even a few yards longer off the driver. I saw very little difference in the performance off full iron shots and with a putter. Where I believe the Snell performed extremely well was chipping and pitching. I was very impressed with the stopping ability of the Snell on these shots. Being a golfer who usually does not get much spin, I believe the ability to spin these short shots will help my game, in the long run, because I will have more shot options available to me. If you are the type of golfer that struggles to stop the ball in your short game, you need to try this ball. The only downside I found with this ball is the firm sound on short shots. I am still not quite used to the sound as it reminds me of historically low grade balls (Top Flite, Pinnacle, etc.). Due to the performance, I am willing to get used to the sound.

 

Final Score: 86.

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As an avid player and a passion for the game of golf, I put the Snell Red through the rigors of on-course play as well as backyard practice, driving range chipping sessions, and lots and lots simulator golf in the comfort of my own living room.

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Long, dark, and wet winters in the Pacific Northwest translate to lots of creative ways to get my golf ‘fix' on.IMG_3806.JPG

 

 

Looks & Durability (14 out of 15 points)

 

Snell REDl is an aesthetically gorgeous ball, though I'm a fan of bright, colored balls, the Snell Red and it's presentation from the colors in the packaging to the simple, clean graphics appealed to me.IMG_3832.JPG Because of the urethane cover, this ball had a firmer feel than my regular, Bridgestone ball, Hitting the softer, two-piece ball felt almost mushy compared to the Snell, which directly translated to my sense of control and touch around the greens. On another note, I especially loved the large poker chip sized ball-marker and matching tees that I received with my Snell testing package. it was truly an eye-catching presentation.

Durability: My rounds were played on mostly wet, soggy fairways under winter rule conditions. fullsizeoutput_13be.jpeg Consequently, I was able to lift, clean, and play and on account of that, the ball proved to be more than able to take a decent amount of rough terrain and less than ideal playing surfaces. A bounce or two off our cart path and an inadvertent mis-hits didn't phase the outer covering nor make a cut or ding.

 

 

 

Sound & Feel (14 out of 15 points)

My swing speed ranges in the mid-70s with the occasion low to mid-80s. IMG_3829.JPG If I was basking on the beach with a cold beverage, I'd take the mid-70s, low 80s anyway, but as it reflects my golf ball and the distance I generate with that speed, I am in search of yards. Greens in regulation are few and far between on par 4s, so I was anxious to put the Snell Red to the test. First of all, the sound of the Snell is distinct and solid. Hearing and feeling the ball hit the club face was notably different than my 2 piece, super soft Bridgestone. In fact, after hitting the Snell both on the course and practicing around the green, I appreciated the sound and the definite feel I experienced over the softer, 2 piece ball I usually play. The “feel” was most notable with my trusty “3” wood chipping from off the green. That is my go-to shot and a major stroke saver, and my feel for that shot was greatly enhanced with the Snell Red. I found my “feels” with the ball and much preferred that solid, crisp sound and feel over the muted, soft, marshmallowy sensation with my regular ball.

 

 

Putting with the Snell Red provided solid feedback and consistency, overall. Our greens had been plugged and sanded, so conditions were a bit slow, but again, compared to my regular ball, the Snell gave me a firmer feel on my stroke. In practice, the ball performed well on, around, and near the green and once I got a few sessions under my belt, I felt confident with my 60 yards and in shots that are an important part of my game. Again, the firmness of the ball fit my feel around the green and switching between a softer ball, Bridgestone, and the more distinct hit of the Snell put me closer to an up and down from a variety of lies. (In my dreams). At least, I was more confident over the ball with how I wanted to strike the shot and isn't that the most important pre-shot thought anyway?

 

On Course performance; 30/50

 

A two-piece ball is what I've hit for the past several years. Because my swing speed registers in the 70s, that was the ball that provided the most bang for my buck. The Snell is a 4 piece ball, and most definitely firmer and robust off the tee threw me a bit. I hit the Snell red and the Bridgestone concurrently for several holes. Truth be told, though I liked the feel of a firmer ball around the green, the urethane cover and perhaps the 338 dimple pattern (no, I did not count them) combined with my swing speed resulted in shorter drives. Unfortunately, in wet conditions and with soft fairways, my work was cut out for me on the second and third shots. IMG_3834.JPG Once I got closer to the greens, the ball felt good again. I do not spin the ball despite my best attempts, so I depend on feel and practice, and the Snell performed great in that regard. Distance was not a plus for me and the “inner mantle' of the ball that is supposed to allow for more spin and control on the greens did not factor into my game.

 

 

Gamer Bag or Shag Bag: 15/20 points

 

Testing the ball taught me that pink is not always better…who knew? (I knew that already, but I thought it sounded kind of clever). As for playing this ball on a consistent basis, probably not unless my swing picks up some MPH and my course dries out significantly to allow the extra roll and distance. Would I turn down a sleeve of Snell Reds, heck no? I was thrilled to put the ball to my test, but when I plunk down $$ for a ball to fit my game, my swing and what I bring to the course must be considered. For a stronger, faster swing, this ball is the bomb! Given that most of the reviewers are guys, I'm more than certain the ball would fit their profile to a “tee”. I would not hesitate to recommend this ball to the player that desires the firm and responsiveness a quality golf ball and who has the skill to take advantage of the spin control layer for the mid-short iron play around the green.

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Greetings Fellow Spies! Robert here from the beautiful Boise, Idaho area.

 

Proud home of this...

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Residence to these folks...

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Sometimes a weigh point for the some illegal immigrants...

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And land of the occasional one of these...if yer lucky that is...

22-IN OWYHEE BEAST 3-27-11.jpg 

 

First I must thank everyone at MGS and Snell Golf for entrusting me to evaluate the performance of the new Snell MTB Red golf balls. This is a true honor and I personally take this responsibility very seriously. My goal will be to share my utmost honest evaluation that I can possibly compose.

 

A bit about myself; I am a regular “round-ish” fella approaching 50, but I've always been fairly athletic and generally pretty good at any sport. Golf itself has been omni-present in some form or another in my life, but it never really became one of my “go-to” sports until late last year after playing with friends using borrowed clubs. After several scrambles with them, I got the bug bad enough to justify owning my own set of clubs and playing more often.

 

My skill-set to this point is all self-taught through lots of trial and error. I've recently had a lesson/club evaluation however and that has helped out a lot right away. Mainly though, my “training” and self-improvement regimen involves constantly scanning the web for info and watching lots of videos. I currently do not carry a handicap, but on the few rounds I've played and kept scores were in the 103-108 stroke range. Driver swing speed is a modest 80-85-mph with a “semi-fast” tempo. My big miss is always a bad slice and I have yet to learn how to correctly shape either a draw or fade since I feel that I must focus on consistency first. To the positive, hitting my fairway woods, hybrid or the mid irons are my strengths as they seem the most consistent thus far. My weaknesses lie in the driver, those pesky long irons and crummy putting. My wedge play is “OK”, though at this point I couldn't qualify it as either strength or a weakness.

 

As far as my equipment selections are concerned, I've had to make some special provisions for what I use in order to compensate for a service-connected disability where my left hand and wrist have limited range-of-motion and will get real sore if I over stress things. Therefore, my club, shaft & grip selections (please refer to my signature below) are all a byproduct of tons of on-line research and geared toward limiting the aches and pains which I can easily suffer with heavier or stiffer gear. My current game ball is the  :bridgestone-small: E6 Soft, and I've used them exclusively to this point during play. These have “fit” my swing speed well off the driver so far and have given me decent results especially with my better clubs, though I wish I could get better feel with them around the greens when using the short irons & wedges.

 

​The box-opening on these was exciting. Here's what I was presented with;

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(cannot figure out the correct orientation-sorry)

​Not bad stuff at all really-Perfectly packaged with four sleeves of three balls and each sleeve in sequence from left-to-right carrying numbers 1-4 respectively...Very top notch! Also as a sweet bonus (as you may see) I was presented with 2-ea. red & black poker chip-style ball markers and ten tees-Most excellent!

IMG_20180404_193541333.jpg

 

I would grade the packaging as a 9-of-10 with my only "gig" being that nowhere, and I mean ​nowhere could I find where they have been manufactured..! I find this as very odd. I'm a big "Made-in-USA" guy and many times will default to a product that that is USA-made vs. one that is not, even if it means spending some extra dough. Now I get that Snell is not a "on-the shelf" product and this may not be a thing for them so why bother-right? But when I research a product or even see one standing on a shelf somewhere and I can see immediately the American flag emblazoned prominently on the package or some such embellishment, I will immediately gravitate to that one and discount any other contenders right away. 'Nuff said...

 

I'm planning on a 4-level testing program-one for each sleeve of three balls.

·        Level-1: Durability. Here I plan on hitting each ball at least 300-times into my hitting net using every club in my bag (except putter) to simulate at least 3 full rounds-for me anyway.

·        Level-2: Launch Monitor Data. This level I'll grab some true hard data points in order to compare performance of these versus my current gamer.

·        Level-3: Pitching, Chipping & Putting Drills: Here I plan on spending a lot of time comparing these versus my current gamer on how short approach and bunker shots spin, stop or roll-out on the green. I will also spend a lot of time on the practice greens to see how they putt.

·        Level-4: On-Course Performance: I will definitely be playing these a lot over the next several weeks and plan on doing side-by-side shots with these and my current gamers so long as I don't hold anyone up.

 

Throughout each of these levels, I will always be evaluating the subjective intangibles like sound, feel, & general aesthetics. Also throughout, I will gather as many data points as possible based on the “Dean Snell-Golf Ball Fitting Philosophy” to see if this ball indeed “fits” me or not.

IMG_20180404_194553162.jpg

​All marked-up and ready for play!

 

Together I'm hoping my time and effort will help many of you be better armed with information about this product and be confident in whatever decision you make in regards to it after reading.

 

I am real excited to do this for all of you and will be posting data soon, so keep a look out!

IMG_20180404_194810959.jpg

Game face is on!!!

 

​Cheers all!

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