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2019 Official Forum Member Review - Snell MTBx Golf Balls

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2019 Official Forum Member Review - Snell MTB-X Golf Balls

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@Brjpool  - Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@DaveP043 - Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@gchester33  - Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@GC70  - Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@KevinE - Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@josmi15  -  Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@newballcoach  -  Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@Shankster - Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@tehuti  -  Stage 1  -  Stage 2

@Wedgie  -  Stage 1  -  Stage 2

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Posted (edited)

am really excited to review the Snell MTB-X. It is a different ball than I am used to playing, however it is a switch I’ve been thinking about for a while. Going from a Bridgestone B330 RXS which is a softer ball to something that is advertised as a firmer, higher spinning ball. I originally chose the Bridgestone after testing it against several Titliest and Callaway models. I liked that it was forgiving but seemed to hold most greens. However as I have improved as a golfer in my ball striking I have found that I want more spin and hold on the greens, especially on faster greens.

I have been playing golf for about 7 years, but I have been playing golf as a serious hobby for the last 3 years. I play golf in south central Kansas, in and around Wichita. I love the game of golf, because no matter how many times you play, it is always a challenge against your best round, it’s a challenge to lower your handicap. It is also a great way to spend time with friends and to meet new ones.

What I need from my ball is to hold the green. A few years ago I would have said I need by ball to be forgiving. Today I need by ball to have spin and to stop. So for me the most important thing is to have the ball spin, check up and stop both off my irons, wedges and around the green.

I normally play a Bridgestone B330 RXS, I have played this ball exclusively for the past three seasons. Recently I have been thinking about another round of testing to see if this is still the best ball for me. This testing gives me a great excuse to buy a few dozen different balls and play around with them. I picked the Bridgestone because it felt good off the club, flew pretty well and had more spin than my previous ball. My current handicap is a 10.7 according to the USGA. That is down from 12 last season and 15 the season before that. I play at least 2-3 times a week during the golf season and practice both during the season and during the off season. My goal is within the next few years to drop down to 5 handicap.

 My typical ball flight is medium to high with a slight fade. Driver and irons are medium flight while my wedges tend to be a higher ball flight. When I miss my shot it’s left. When I miss I tend to over rotate and close my club face too much and I miss left.

My golf game is pretty solid all around, but I have flaws just like very golfer. My putting is spotty most of the time. My driving is a strength, I am accurate and usually 280-290. My short irons and wedges are a strength of my game. However long irons could definitely use some improvement.

As I move on to the official review of this club I’ll be trying out new things, trying to test the ball in every type of condition and shot that I can, so that should be an adventure. I’ll also be playing it against several other balls of similar caliber to see if it really is better or worse than they are and if buying direct is the way to go. I would love some feedback on what you all would like to see, I’m sure there are people who have creative ideas or have things they would like to see from a ball that I don’t, so feel free to share those with me and I’ll do my best to review those aspects of the ball. I apologize for the lack of pictures on this stage one, I’ll make up for with my stage two I promise.

Edited by Brjpool
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Well I'm back again with another chance to review a Snell golf ball, this time the MTB-X. My thanks go to Snell, for providing the balls, and to MyGolfSpy for selecting me out of all the very qualified applicants.

An introduction to me, I'm a 63-year old Geotechnical Engineer, living in the Washington DC suburbs. I play golf a bit further west, at Stoneleigh Golf Club in Round Hill, VA. Stoneleigh is on the eastern flank of the Blue Ridge. The course is pretty hilly, lots of uphill and downhill shots, with rolling to really severely contoured greens. The greens are generally moderately firm, its not possible to stop a ball with trajectory alone, spin is important. Its not really long, only 6800 yards from the back tees, but it doesn't need to be. The course is pretty breezy most days, so dealing with the wind is important.

I've been playing golf since I was a teenager, so I'm approaching 50 years of experience. I was largely a hacker, maybe a 15-handicap at best until I joined the club in the early 90s. Since then, with the help of a couple of lessons, a good bit of practice, and lots of play, I've become much better, currently bumping into a 4 handicap. I love to play, and love even more to compete. Lucky for me, my wife is the same. Almost all of our vacations involve golf, we own a condo in the Pinehurst area, golf is a huge part of both our lives. I play club tournaments, and on the inter-club leagues. And when my wife and I play together, we're always playing a match “for all the money in the world.”

A quick equipment summary: I just replaced my driver over the winter. Through a fitting session at Mid South in Pinehurst, I ended up with a Calloway Rogue SubZero with Graphite Design YS-Six shaft. It lowered the spin over 1000 rpm, as compared with my old Titleist 910, so I've gained 15 or 20 yards off the tee. With just under 100 mph clubhead speed, I'm carrying the ball 240 or a little more. Irons are AP-2 714, with Vokey wedges of various ages. Putter is an old Ping G5i (with the blue inserts) B-60.

As I mentioned, I'm a single-digit handicap, current with a 3.7 index. I generally keep the ball in play, hit a fair number of greens. Due to a change I've been working on over the last couple of years, I'm hitting the ball pretty straight, and a little higher than I used to, with a slight tendency towards a draw. Long irons are decent, short irons are generally good, chipping is a little shaky just now, but my putting is solid. Right now our greens are pretty firm, so I'll be interested to see if the MTB X stops any better than my current ball, the MTB Black.

If you're interested, you may want to take a look at the swing I'll be using to test these:

 

Which brings me to some speculation on my part. I initially wondered if my having reviewed the original MTB, and my current choice of the MTB Black, might make me a less desirable as a reviewer in some way, thinking perhaps the GolfSpies might prefer non-Snell players. But in looking at the list of reviewers, we play all kinds of different balls, so we're probably going to come at it from all kinds of different angles. I'm almost as excited to read the other reviews as I am to do my own testing.

The FedEx pack from Snell showed up a Friday, as expected. One thing good about Snell, they let you know when your stuff is shipped, and give you the tracking number so you know when to expect it. I like the blue box, it makes a good contrast with the black box that the Blacks come in.

20190604_213355_resized.thumb.jpg.8f428bf0802c21bc21de5a4708d72e8b.jpgI noticed again that there's no little “window” to see the balls, and that doesn't bother me at all. The Snell logo is just fine, maybe a tiny bit larger than a Titleist, much smaller than the Calloway. The alignment line is fine, I don't use an alignment line so it really wouldn't have mattered.

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These photos show a brand new X, a slightly experienced X (18 holes), and a MTB Black, just for comparison. I kind of prefer the red accent at the top of the S on the Black, as compered to the all-black brand on the X.

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Preconcieved notions, of course I have them. In my experience, Snell makes really good golf balls, and sells them at a really good price. So I'm expecting a really good golf ball. The big question I have to try to answer, in my mind, is:

Does this golf ball do what Dean Snell claims it does? Does it spin less, balloon less, than the MTB-Red, yet still spin more off mid- to short irons than the MTB Black?  Does it have similar characteristics off the driver as the MTB Black?  Similar short game performance?

Then the follow-up question. Is this a better ball for me to play than the MTB-Black?  Do I need or want the extra spin, extra stopping power?

So my first chance to actually hit one of these came at one of my regular Friday practice sessions. I got to the course a little early, and experimented with the X around the green. As with most of this review, I compared the X against the Black. Putting, I didn't feel any difference at all. Both balls went the desired distance, I didn't have to hit one harder than the other, very controllable. Chipping was the same thing, same level of firm feel, same kind of spin when I tried to get it. I don't often use a really spinny short game shot, but its good to know its available if I want it.

The following weekend I played the Snell, 18 holes each day, and wasn't disappointed. But really, the story of that part of the testing belongs in the final report. I hope to do some more on-course testing, preferably just myself and some golf balls on a deserted hole. I'm also hoping to abuse a friend's hospitality and utilize his basement Skytrak set-up to get some actual numbers to bolster my more qualitative on-course impressions. If he's willing, I'll try to present spin and carry comparisons for him too, as his swing speed is a bit different from mine.

 

Edited by DaveP043
Replaced video with more recent swings
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Posted (edited)

Hello again MGS readers, I’m excited to have the opportunity to provide some insight into another exciting product for y’all. I’m also in the process of finishing up the Stage 2 review of a GolfPride Tour SNSR Contour Pro 140 putter grip, so if you are in the market for a new putter grip (or club grips), head over to my other review. (SNSR Grip Review) 

 I’ve previously dived more in depth into how my life and golf have evolved playing on and off for the last two decades I won’t bore you with the details, if you’re interested please give a read to the putter grip review. I’m a central Florida resident and we are into the meat of the summer now but while plenty of locals take the summers off from golf to avoid the heat, I am more than happy to get out there and play all year so there is no concern about not getting in enough rounds for this review. I will say that this review is coming at the perfect time as my wife is now pregnant with our first, so post-Christmas 2019 my time for golfing is going to take a big backseat. I’ve described my game previously but I consider myself an everyman golfer. I’m around a 17-18 handicap, and I don’t feel that I have a truly dominant part of my game. I’m 30 and fairly athletic so I ride with Phil Mickelson in our shared love of hitting bombs. My typical shot is a high draw with a tendency to either get too handsy and hit massive toe hooks or get lazy and block shots right. I haven’t measured my swing speed in quite a while, but based on some 18Birdies data and my own anecdotal evidence a typical good drive for me is 270 – 285 yds and my typical 7 iron (32 deg) is 160 – 165 yds.

 I’m currently playing the Callaway Chrome Soft which I picked based on my ability to pick up large quantities for fairly cheap on the second hand market and because I apparently readily give into the marketing hype around “soft” balls. I have grown accustomed to the way the ball feels off the tee and on the green but I am incredibly interested to see what happens when I do an actual performance study comparing the CS to the MTB-X. Reading through the MGS Ball Buying Guide does not start off on a good foot for Callaway as the CS ranks in the “Fair” category for overall performance in comparison to the Snell MTB-X with a “Very Good” ranking as seen on the chart below.

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As far as ball construction, it’s hard to imagine these two being more different. Again from the Buyers Guide, the CS is a 4 piece construction with an 86.4 average compression while the MTB-X is a 3-piece construction with 114.3 average compression making them among the lowest and highest compressions tested. The cross sections are shown below where you can see the CS has an extremely thin outer mantle with a very thick inner mantle. While I’m not a ball expert I would expect that inner mantle is what provides the low compression. In comparison, the MTB-X has a medium thickness outer mantle then a large core which leads to a much higher compression. In theory, high compression should lead to a more efficient transfer of energy between the club and ball which should increase ball speeds and reduce spin. Thus we would expect to see the Snell be longer off driver but perhaps less controlled and the Callaway likely to offer increased spin with the irons.

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For a little more information I’ve represented the raw data on ball speed and shot area from the MGS Ball Buying Guide into a visually comparative form below which should help to show the differences between the ball in a slightly more easy to view method. Standard deviations are included which show really just how consistent the ball striking robot performed. 

Data Comparison

1.    Carry is a function of ball speed and backspin. The MTB-X achieves both a higher ball speed and lower back spin than the CS off the driver.
2.    Although driver spin is lower with the MTB-X in comparison to the CS, the MTB-X manages a higher spin with the 7 iron and wedge which is impressive and unexpected based on my assumption of compression effects. 
3.    Iron shot area is split between the two balls with the MTB-X having a tighter dispersion with the 7 iron but larger dispersion with the wedge. The difference in the wedge dispersion is more likely to be within the noise of the data due to the short distances involved. 
4.    The MTB-X has a statistically significant larger driver shot area. This is interesting as the CS averaged more than 2 yds more offline than the MTB-X (-10.8 vs. -8.5 yds) and the standard deviations for the CS were 30 – 50% greater than the MTB-X on carry yards and offline. 


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The Claims
From the Snell website (MTB-X), the MTB-X offers the following:
1680426559_4-Website.png.469ba52f33381f9001e30449d8b16421.png

I find it interesting that Snell is claiming a smaller core considering how large the core is in the image above; however, the MGS data backs up the low spin and high speedsuperior distance claim along with the higher iron spin claim (in comparison to the CCS). We don’t have any wind tunnel testing to compare how the balls perform in the wind but it will be interesting to see if I notice any difference when playing these on windy days. The firmer feel claim is easily substantiated through compression testing as was discussed above. Short game performance will be entirely subjective, so we’ll have to do some testing to see how that stands up.  

First Impressions

The MTB-X arrived at my house in a standard FedEx envelope with the box wrapped neatly in thick bubble wrap. Not sure if the envelope is as protective as a secondary cardboard box, but if that saves some cost on shipping which is passed onto the consumer then I’m all in. The box looks super simple owing to the fact that it doesn’t need to compete on store shelves against the sparkle and glamour of Callaway and Titleist. (Everyone else has pictures of the box etc, figured I might save a modicum of space here and direct you to the other reviews for those pictures.

After unboxing, I did a quick saltwater float test in order to verify the construction consistency of the balls. I thought 1 of the 12 was unbalanced; however, a second check showed that all 12/12 balls were balanced. I haven’t performed a similar test with a new box of Chrome Soft so I can’t directly compare but it was encouraging that even at this price point we have consistency. The vivid yellow color is bright and luminescent without looking distracting or terribly green. The coloring is consistent and the covers feel soft enough that it they should feel better than an old XL3000 but should hold up to a bit of a beating. I’m going to try to pick up a couple sleeves of other yellow balls to offer a comparison of the visibility of  current yellow options especially from a distance in deeper grass. 

Below are a few images to compare the current test subject Snell MTB-X to an older Snell MTB, a slightly older CCS, and a brand new CCS with a Truvis print (won these in a drawing). The first note I can give from them is how truly bright the yellow of the MTB-X is; it was difficult to get it to focus properly in a photo because of how reflective it is. I’m hoping that comes in handy for all the time I spend in the rough. Interestingly the Snell balls measure approximately 0.003” smaller than the CCS which may affect flight in some ways that I am not completely sure of.

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During this analysis I also noticed some changes with respect to the seam on the MTB-X vs. the old MTB (the CCS is seamless). On the old MTB’s the seam runs along the alignment line while on the new MTB-X  the seam runs in a random direction across the ball. A comparison of the seams is shown in the three images below where the first shows both the old MTB and new MTB-X on their aligment line, the second shows both with their seams aligned, and third showns the seams aligned from a single sleeve of MTB-X. I can’t say with any certainty how that would affect things like ball flight and putt roll but if it’s something you are likely to notice and be annoyed by then it’s worth your consideration. (You will again notice just how reflective this ball is though).

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Test Methods
As with my putter grip review, I like to present my test methods ahead of time so that people can have an idea of what to expect, suggest variations, or tell me to GTFO. The first step I’m going to run is to test a sleeve of the MTB-X in comparison to a sleeve of new Chrome Softs at a shop near me that rents out time on their Trackman. I will at bare minimum obtain 5 well-struck data points which the driver, 7 iron, and PW. Depending on time I’ll try to hit through the whole bag because I would love to have all my gapping numbers figured out. Using that data I should be able to spit out numbers for ball speed, carry, spin, and shot area with each club/ball. I’ll go into more detail on the clubs used for each at that time. 

Next will be a short game check. I’ll run through some standard around the green scenarios on a local practice green and see if there is a noticeable difference in around the green performance based on resultant proximity and personal feel. This should help to determine if there is a benefit to additional spin and or controllability from the soft to the hard ball. 

Finally I’ll attempt to play a 2-ball round at some point. Most people don’t like playing weekend afternoons during the heat of the summer around here so I often have the course pretty open. This should allow me to get a more accurate comparison of the two balls on-course in similar conditions. I’ll provide a score for that round with each ball including fairways hit, greens in regulation, approximate tee-shot distance, approximate proximity from the green on approach, and putts. After that round I should be able to give some quality comparative analysis on ball durability, sound, and feel. I haven’t decided if I’ll play each as an individual ball on each hole or if I’ll play each shot twice from the better position and record which ball I use more frequently. 

I’ll apologize now for this being a long Stage 1, but sometimes you just get it going with the words. I’m looking forward to doing this review and hope everyone has an opportunity to follow it!
 

Edited by gchester33
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Posted (edited)

Placeholder Stage 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Hi, fellow Spysters, my name is Kevin E. Wonoski. I have quite a few nicknames, and answer to a bunch of them. Let’s just go with KevinE, for now. I turned 62 years old on June 14th. I love to golf, watch golf, talk golf, write about golf, and just about anything else concerning golf. I do love my wife and children and other things, but I really like golf. I live in Massachusetts. I do about 75% of my golfing in Massachusetts and about 75% of that, at my home course. I do play other courses in New England and usually a road trip or two to New York or some other northeast locale. I have had the opportunity, in my younger days, to golf in California, Hawaii, Florida, New Zealand, Philippines and Australia. If you haven’t already guessed, yes I was in the Navy. I was lucky enough to write golf course reviews/articles for on line golf site. The site is no longer up and running, but it was something that I enjoyed immensely.

My game runs something like this. I play to around an 11 to 12 handicap. My swing speed, last time I checked ran around 90-98 mph.My driver goes about 220 -240, with an occasional 250+. I play around 4 times a week. My strengths, and there aren’t many, I drive the ball in the fairway. Not sure if I consider my putting a strength, but I am streaky good. My weaknesses, I don’t putt for a lot of birdies, so my second shot irons aren’t the most accurate. But, usually end up somewhere close and around the green. So, most of my birdie attempts are short chips or long putts from just off the green. Here lies my biggest weakness, short (inside 25 yards) chips from around the greens. They are stroke eaters for me. I hit a high ball from driver to wedge.

This opportunity to test the Snell golf ball came at a perfect time. I currently play the Titleist NXT tour S (Gold Box), which has been replaced. I tried it’s replacement and not sold yet. So, I went to every on line golf retailer I could find and purchased my Gold Box. I have 6 dozen left, and when that is gone, I need to find a new ball. Have tried others, and just have not found the right one. Maybe just maybe these Snell’s are it. 

Ok still having picture troubles....working on that. Here is a small update on my testing procedures. My home course has no practice facility (chipping area, sand trap, driving range). It does have a putting green. So, the way I am going to run my test, is as so. I am going out early in the morning, before the course officially opens. Around 6 am. I am going to play 4 holes with 4 balls. 3 of the balls are ones that I have played regularly. Titleist NXT Tour S, The new Titleist Tour Soft and Bridgestone E6 Speed, and the Snell. The holes will be a short par 4, a mid range Par 3, a long Par 4 and a Par 5. I will do 50 to a 100 yard wedge shots at the course. Putting will be done on the practice green and at home.   Testing has begun !!!!!!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I have taken the Snell on its 4 hole jaunt, twice now. It has performed well, I have noticed that the distance is a little longer than the Bridgestone E6. As I said earlier, I am currently playing the older model Titleist NXT Tour S.  The  Snell MTB X is comparable to the NXT. A little longer off the tee at times. It's with my iron shots (150 and in), I am having trouble dialing in club to yardage. After the second trip, I decided that I would take the Snell along for play on my twi-light league night. After 4 holes, I went back to the NXT. No fault, on the Snell, just my confidence and calculations haven't reached the competition level , just yet. There will be more to come in the not to distant future.                                                                      

Ok, got the picture thing down. I think. Here are the 3 balls I have used  or are using plus the Snell MTB X. Since, I have used or are currently using these golf ball, these are the balls I will be comparing to the Snell MTB X. I've been told that at my swing speed and skill level, I would be better off with a 2 piece ball. I currently am using a 2 piece ball and the Snell is 3 piece construction. I understand the 2019 Pro V is 4 piece construction. This may or may not be true. At this stage of my playing the MTB, I feel I have been hitting it well, just having a little distance control issues. As far as accuracy off the tee, I have  not noticed any major or minor changes..

 

Snell2.jpg.9bbbf26050249a327a18a50183fec3fa.jpgbridgestone2.jpg.2ef7f133e5eb35c0d6deb89964381eba.jpgnxttours2.jpg.dbf0315e0c6161bcc40eead2b3b1704f.jpgtitleisttoursoft1.jpg.276159287a0ba59514c414833e467644.jpgSnell3.jpg.6be9584ca887d7fc44a64f3cff18829d.jpg

 

 

Also I had a small gallery during a 6 a.m. testing session.

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Day 4 of my 4 hole testing routine............being an early riser does have its benefits....

 

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Still doing the 4 hole routine........Have done it 7 times,  plan on 10 times.  Also, started hitting it 80,60,40 yards. Have been putting it at the practice green and at home. With out giving any final analysis, I must say my scoring with Snell hasn't improved nor has it worsen. I have everything I want computed. so when the time comes to give it my final grade, the numbers and my personal feeling will be the outlying factors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Day 8...Red skies in the morning.......     Today is 7/2....2 more days of the 4 hole 4 ball test....Should have this phase done by 7/4 or 7/5 ....I must say up to this point, I am mildly surprised at some things I've found in the 4 different balls. But, that is for my Final Stage Report. I hope all the fellow testers are enjoying this experience as much as I am. I am curious in the end how different, or how comparable each tester's final results will be.

 

 

736833557_earlymorning.jpg.837e1636da86840a1e27faa9e818bc6f.jpg

golf4.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                    Day 9 Not one of the holes I'm playing..just sitting , waiting for the fog to burn off.........                                                                                    The final day of the 4 hole test is complete.....I have my results/opinion. Have also used the same 4 balls for approach and chipping tests. The putting tests are also completed. I am presenting the case to myself and waiting for the verdict to be determined.

Edited by KevinE
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Step right up, come on in. If you'd like to take the grand tour.  Sorry, I figured I'd throw a line in from my favorite George Jones song to start my stage 1.   I've been an avid golfer since 2012.  The year I started getting back into shape.  My game is a few steps above a weekend hacker, in my opinion.  My game has come along quite nicely for awhile, but then it has stalled on me.  3 years ago, breaking 90 was normal, but then something happened. I developed a bad habit and a slice just wouldn't leave me alone.  I had to abandon Driver for 2 seasons due to that wicked slice.  Last season I broke the shaft of my driver, so again another season of hitting Woody out of the box. (3 Wood for those that hadn't guessed, and yes I do have a club cover for it with Woody from Toy Story)  This season my slice is mostly cured, it crept back in on the back nine this past sunday for 2 shots.  I'm from Indiana and we have the greatest weather in the world.  It can be all 4 seasons in the same day. If that isn't great, I don't know what is.  That being said, we get good golf weather usually April to October.  I'm currently stuck on my 16 handicap. It's due to me overthinking and strategizing.  Last round I played, on the front without thinking to much, I shot a 41.  With me screwing up both par 3's with doubles.  Back nine I tried to get cute and overthink the course and shot a miserable 51.  I have a high ball flight and if i miss, it's usually on a pull with my irons.  Strength to my game has been on my short game.  So that's where I intend to test this ball the most.

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I normally play a Srixon Softfeel or XV Star for this test. I love the XV Star, but to be honest I really love the price of my Soft Feel.  I chose Srixon about 5 years ago because no one else played Srixons, and this way it made it easier to always find my ball. That being said, lets dive right in.

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Lets start with my first impression of Snell.  When I opened the package I found that I was really impressed with the packaging.  It just seemed Simple and Clean, which I loved. Sometimes ball manufacturers have so much going on the box and it just looks cluttered.  I'm a pretty basic, no frills guy when it comes to me.  My golf Clubs and bag represent that of me.  The only thing I go a little wild for are my club covers.  So, as a simple guy like that, I appreciated the clean look.  

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This past weekend I took the Snells out to one of our favorite courses and put it to the test.  It was a rainy day, so chipping and putting was definitely where we'd need to test it, if you want to score well. The very first putt, I can honestly say it felt like a rock.  That being said though, I just missed a 12 footer with it.  I stayed with putting for about 15 minutes, and everytime it still felt hard, but it performed better than expected.  I chalked that up to my years with a soft feel ball for this feeling. Since I don't have the length of my playing partner, the only way I can keep it close is to chip and putt better than him.  We normally are putting for par, where as his lag put gets him close, my chip shot onto the green has to close to the pin. So we will definitely be looking into how Snell MTX-B's perform.  

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During this past week I took a sleeve over the the local course, and with permission, just chipped and putted for over an hour to get an accurate feel.  It was finally some dry weather.  It still did everything I wanted from it.  I brought out the EyeLine putting aid and Snell and I got real comfortable.  I was making putts from some distance.  Went back to chipping onto the green for another 15 minutes and besides the 3 that I bladed across the green. The ball seemed to respond just fine. The last 15 minutes, I play chip & putt.  I just find a spot, pick a specific hole and chip to that flag.  No matter where it ends up I get 1 putt to send it home.  

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So this is the type of testing that I'm going to concentrate on the most.  I'll be playing with it, but for those that don't have the long game (I'm going to brag on me for a second, I did bomb it down the fairway the other day 255 yards)  A normal drive for me is around 220.  As I stated, I've had struggles with my slice, so now that I've got that resolved. I'm hoping that I can contend more. And if Snell checks out like I think it will, our sunday matches may have just gotten interesting.  Since there was a delay on our posting, I had a day off and was able to enjoy a full round of golf with a sleeve. I took it to another favorite of ours and we have an island green. So does Snell make it over the water? To be continued.........  
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Edited by josmi15
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Greetings everyone! I am happy and excited to be testing the Snell MTB-X golf balls this summer. I know everyone noticed their performance in MGS first ever golf ball buyers guide, and as a result they were sold out and back-ordered all over the internet. Fortunately, they stashed away a few dozen for me and my closest friends, so we are going to get to test, compare and play these things so we can tell you if they are selling the steak or the sizzle. For the record, MGS awarded the MTB-X the best value golf ball, as well as a score of “Very Good” in their buyers guide.

 

But what made everyone take notice in the MGS ball test was that the MTB-X was the longest golf ball. Obviously that has a huge attraction for everyone as distance is tied to low scoring in golf and not to mention it’s very fun to be hitting it past your playing partners. However the important thing to remember is that the MTB-X was also among the highest shot areas and offline yards in the test as well. So is the extra distance worth the potential for the ball to go farther offline? We will hope to find out.

 

 

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As some of you may know, the MTB-X is part of the 3rd generation of Snell tour balls. I have some experience playing the original “My Tour Ball” version and didn’t really have much of an impression either way. It worked just as well for me as other balls, and it was easier for me to buy balls at retail. We all have heard about Dean Snell by now, and how he started Snell golf balls after working with a few OEM’s, including the original Pro-V1. Dean’s original background is in plastics engineering and chemistry, and a lot of his contribution to the ProV was about adding the cast urethane cover to increase spin. The ProV was the first non-balata ball to reach spin levels acceptable to pro golfers and has totally changed the golf ball market here 20 years later. Dean is a great guy to hear talk about the golf ball (I heard him talk at the Toronto Golf Show) and he is passionate about helping people shoot lower scores.

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I am a high school teacher and football coach living in Kitchener, Ontario, playing as much golf as weather and family allow me to. I have two young children which obviously keeps me busy, but I also have a wonderful wife and family that allow me to blow off steam and relax on the course.I love the competition of golf (being a former athlete myself) and trying to beat your previous best always has something to keep you coming back for more. When I was young it was also a fun way for me to connect with my grandfather, who loved taking me out to courses and driving ranges when I was young. I like experiencing new courses and getting a few hours to myself in beautiful outdoor settings with good friends, but I also play rounds alone as well which allows me to get in a bit more practice. This is my 4th summer of “serious” golfing, where before that it was only a few rounds a year with friends, I have been playing more and more and learning more about the game. My goal has been to try and temper my expectations for perfection on every shot and make sure I am really taking the time to relax on the course. It's a work in progress.

 

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For the last two years I have played the chromesoft X (truvis version). I was attracted to the feel and yes, the truvisyness of the ball. It’s always spun well for me and I had never really considered I wasn’t getting the distance I was from other balls, but after reading the MGS test I have been determined to test a few new golf balls. I like playing a urethane covered ball to help me control spin around the green, as my game from 150 and in is my strong suit. I can often recover from a poor drive by hitting a nice approach shot and then making a solid pitch or chip to try and save par. I tend to get my swing speed up into the 105 range, however it does fluctuate up or down based on the time of year and how in shape I am at that point in time. My misses tend to be blocks or pull hooks, but I’ve noticed some improvement after trying a few new things this year so let’s hope that continues to hold true.

 

Being selected for the MTB-X test is very exciting obviously, as I’d love to see if I can benefit from the enhanced distance and spin rate on wedges this ball provides, while dealing with potentially being offline more often. But because I am looking into multiple balls, I will also be testing the Taylormade TP5, Pro V1x, and Srixon Z-star alongside the Snell. However, since this review is about the Snell ball, almost all of the information will be about that product. I may include some comparisons or anecdotal notes, but you can compare these balls using the MGS golf ball buyers guide at anytime, I really want to tell you what the MTB-X can do.

 

First Impressions

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All urethane golfballs have a similar feeling cover and the MTB-X is no exception. The dimples are very traditional, unlike those hexagon ones on the Bridgestone. If I had to guess, I would think the dimples are a little deeper then in the chromesoft-X, but I have in no way measured them. The box is very professional, coming in a nice blue colour with more of a matte finish. A few years, glossy and bright finishes were in style for golf ball boxes, but it seems to be just the opposite right now.

 

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If this were a retail product I would say the box doesn’t do a good job of attracting your attention to try and buy the product. But because these are ordered online and you don’t see the box until after, they could just slip them in recycled cardboard sleeves and it really wouldn’t matter.

 

The ball feels good, and looks good now let’s see if it plays good! I’m off to the practice green, feel free to tag me in the thread if you have any additional questions. Let’s get it!

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Posted (edited)

MGS - Thank you so much for this opportunity. I am excited to be part of the Snell MTBx testers team.

What’s your story?

The basics: My name is Larry Brown and I am from Anaheim, CA. But my hometown is NYC where I grew up in Brooklyn and the Bronx. (And in case you're wondering, I knew nothing about golf growing up in the city. That all came later.)

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I got into golf in the late ’80’s here in SoCal after my Navy days, and was obsessed for about 10 years. Then life got in the way and I stopped playing entirely until 2 years ago. But now I am back with a vengeance. In fact, as I write this I have Golf Channel on in the background. At 61 years old and carrying a 20+ handicap, it’s all about love of the game, exercise and a beautiful walk in the park for me. Maybe by the time I retire I’ll have a decent handicap.

I am an analytical guy by nature. In my day job I am a QA analyst for software. What that means is, I analyze new software to see first if it does what it is supposed to do and second to try and break it. The goal is to release the best software we can to the
customer by catching problems early. So the idea of evaluating products in my favorite sport - golf, is a no-brainer. I am as crazy about the tools and accessories of the game as I am about watching and playing. So this will be fun for me.

What makes you love the game?

It may sound strange, but I love golf because it is HARD. You may get better at it, but you will never master it. Every time I see the GOAT Tiger Woods slice his tee shot into the right rough I remember how hard the game is. However you CAN improve all the
time if you are willing to work. The other reason I love the game is that you are really only competing with the course, and with yourself. It’s one of the few sports where you can play by yourself and still win. If I break 100 - I win. If I beat my best prior score, I
win. Even when I have a bad day on the course I win, because I am doing what I enjoy.

What region do you play out of?

Southern California. Orange and LA Counties mostly. I play my local courses mostly, and we are fortunate to have plenty of decent public tracks in the area. I am also hoping to get out to some of the resort courses in Palm Springs and San Diego. As well
as Las Vegas.

How long have you been playing golf?

I started playing in the late 1980s, but I took such a long hiatus that I consider myself a beginner again. So I tell folks 2 years, since I really got serious again in 2017.

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What do you NEED your ball to do for you?

What I need is a ball that doesn’t spin off to the right off the tee and that I can confidently chip onto the green without it running off the other side of the green.

The Golf Questions

What ball do you normally play and how did you choose it?

I have been playing a lot of different balls this year with the goal of narrowing it down to one or two by year end. If I had to choose one ball that I favor right now though, it is the Srixon Soft Feel. It is the right price, I like the feel off my club head. It is durable and I seem to hit it straighter than some other balls out there. I also really like the Snell Get Sum.

Handicap? (Or average score)

I currently carry a 26.4 handicap, which I just established this year. And I recently started breaking 100, so I expect it to go lower by year end.

Typical ball flight?

I typically fade the ball or hit it straight. Too often slice off the tee though. 

Typical miss?

My typical miss is a pull to dead left, with no fade when I could actually use one! Off the tee it's an ugly slice that starts out nicely and then takes a 60 degree right turn.

Strengths/weaknesses of your game?

My strength is my chipping around the green right now, and lately I have been hitting more fairways off the tee. Weaknesses are inconsistency, especially with irons. I am a short hitter, and I just cannot hit hybrids. So the top of my bag is a challenge. Also, I
don’t hit fairway woods off the deck. Just can’t do it - yet. Thank goodness for Tour Edge and their HL3 ironwoods. They have characteristics of both irons and hybrids and I am actually able to hit them. I carry an 18* and a 20* for my long fairway shots.

First Impressions of the Snell MTBx

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My first impression was that this ball might not be for me. I was a bit more inconsistent with it with my irons and especially with driver. So I was thinking maybe I do not have enough swing speed for this ball. My first 3 rounds with the MTBx were all 9 hole
rounds. I played the same 2 balls for the first two rounds before losing them both during the third round. I find them to be very durable. I also improved my score in each of the rounds, and actually had a really good third round with them. Though I still
haven’t hit a really good shot with my driver yet. As soon as I can I want to play a full 18 hole round with some decent longer (250 - 400+ yard) holes to see how they perform.

Addendum: 6/14/2019 - It was Snell vs Snell today. And I also shot my best round on my regular 9 hole course (best ball). I have been curious how the MTBx would compare with the Get Sum head to head, so I decided to play both today after work. I sill feel
like the budget balls would still work better for me. For whatever reason, the surly balls seem to feel better off the club head. On the holes where I hit good drives with both balls I got more distance from the Get Sum, and also better dispersion. Around the
green and on the green they performed exactly the same though. I really chipped and putted the MTBx well all day. This course has only 2 par 4s that allow me to hit driver. On the 335 yard #5 I hit both balls almost the exact same distance, just inside the 150
marker. On my second shot I hit a good shot with the MTB that came up just short of the green. With the same club I hit an equally good shot with the Get Sum that drove the green and stopped just on the back fringe, closer to the pin. Roughly 20-25 yards farther
with the Get Sum, with a higher ball flight. I chipped both reasonably close, but 2 putted both for bogey.

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As I do not have a launch monitor this will not be a numbers driven review. My approach will be more feel and impressions along with head to head comparisons with some of my regular gamers when I am able to play two balls. Consider this a true duffer’s perspective.

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In the photo above the MTBx is in the foreground and the Get Sum is in the background near the center of the fairway. These were consecutive tee shots, and two of my better ones I might add. I am looking across the fairway and the green is on my left. These were hit almost the exact distance off the tee. As I play with this ball more it doesn't feel significantly different from the Get Sum. But I still hit the Get Sum straighter, especially off the tee.

Edited by tehuti
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