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2019 Official Forum Member Review - Snell MTBx Golf Balls

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MTB-X – Official Forum Member Stage 2 Review by Wedgie

Let me start by saying golf ball testing is hard, really hard.  Is it me?  Is it the ball?  Probably me but I do think I played enough golf with the Snell MTB-X to provide information as to how the ball performed for me with a comparison to several others which I will go through throughout my review.  Unfortunately I lost a ton of data when I ran into some issues with my Garmin watch so for the most part my observations will have to do.

In my stage 1 I covered how I noticed blemishes on 10 of the 12 balls I received.  In fact I would say the 10 balls with blemishes would have been X Outs at best for other manufacturers.  In fairness if I wasn’t testing I never would have noticed the blemishes on all but 2 of those 10 balls but I am testing so I did.  For comparison I closely inspected a dozen new Z Star, Z Star XV and ProV1x golf balls and found no visible marks. 

With the visible blemishes it led me to the Epsom Salt test to check the balance of each ball.  I thought for sure there would be a couple out of whack but all seemed to be very well balanced so I was relieved to see that.  Next up in testing was actually playing golf.

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Looks & Durability (7 out of 15)

It’s a golf ball that looks like other golf balls.  What more is there to say really?  Well I will do my best.  The logo is simple and not a distraction.  I like to putt without seeing any markings on the ball and I found it a nearly impossible to achieve this with the Snell ball.  No matter how I rotated it there always seemed to be a portion of a number, a logo or an alignment aid showing.  It isn’t a huge deal but was noticeable.  As noted in my stage 1 the seam was a bigger concern especially when putting.  I never did get quite comfortable knowing which way to put it. 

Looks really dragged the score down because of the visible blemishes I observed.  Durability was a different story for me however.  I’m not one to shred balls with my wedges or crush drives with a 120 MPH swing.  Durability seemed to be great for me.  The MTB-X seemed to lose its white a little quicker than the Z Star but was right in-line with the XV and ProV1x.  One observation was I really had a hard time not only marking my balls with a Sharpie but also keeping the marking on the ball after a wash or two.  Then trying to remark the ball was next to impossible.   Below is a new ball, then a ball after one round and a ball after about 60 holes.

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Sound & Feel (14 out of 15)

I am pretty much a soft ball guy as mentioned in my stage 1.  Duo and Top Flite D2 Feel for me.  Well, I was a soft ball guy until playing only tour level balls since this testing started.  I never paid any attention to sound until I was paired with a guy playing the Wilson Duo.  You seriously couldn’t hear the ball at all coming off the club.  The Snell makes a nice thwack sound like it just got flushed.  As it turns out I like the sound of a well struck ball and the MTB-X delivered in this regard.

My other observation was feel is very hard to judge when playing the Launcher HB irons.  Everything I hit feels good.  In comparison if I had a blank white Z Star, Z Star XV, ProV1x and the MTB-X the only one I could probably tell which was which is the Z Star XV.  The others are that close in feel that I just could not distinguish between them.  During testing I did manage to play several rounds with Srixon Z585 irons and again, feel was right in-line with my Launchers. 

Off the driver the feel was fantastic and given the added firmness from what I’m used it was a welcomed change.  I just felt like I could control the ball better.  Putting was no different.  This ball felt great and my putting results showed it throughout testing.

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On-Course Performance (42 out of 50)

This is where I really wish I hadn’t lost all my Garmin data.   As a whole this ball performed great for me.  Leading up to testing I was using the Z Star a lot.  I was in my member/member tournament and started with the Z Star since I had more experience with it than the Snell but after 3 holes I went back to the Snell and didn’t look back.  We won our flight by the way.

Off the tee this ball averaged about 5 yards less than the Z Star for me.  Honestly it may be even more.  I was averaging 240 off the tee with the Z star thru 4 rounds then had a huge drop off that lowered my average to 229 the last 2 rounds.  Also of note is I played that same Z Star all 6 rounds so maybe the ball lost some pop.  That wasn’t the result I expected but I did seem to hit slightly more fairways with the MTB-X.  During testing my longest drive with the MTB-X was 234, Z Star 253 and Z Star XV 254.  As a whole the XV was clearly the longest.

Off the irons is where the MTB-X was best for me.  Of all the balls I used the MTB-X was the most consistent across all clubs.  The XV was the longest by far with my 3 wood, hybrid and 4, 5 irons but shortest with all other irons.  Z Star was the longest with short irons but the MTB-X just seemed to help with my gapping across all my clubs the best.  When my data was still available I noticed all my iron averages were in line with my expectation for each club with the MTB-X but way out of whack with the Z Star.  Hitting full shots into greens were pretty much hop and stop with some backing up a hair up to my 7 iron. 

Around the green I had become quite comfortable with the Z Star and the MTB-X took some getting used to.  It definitely rolls out more the than Z Star which didn’t allow me to be as aggressive as I had learned to be when chipping.  I’m not complaining coming from the Duo but I do see the benefits of greenside spin after gaming higher end balls and the MTB-X probably comes up a little short here for more advanced players than myself.

Putting with this ball was fantastic.  I probably had the best stretch of putting I had ever had with this ball.  I don’t think my putts per round dropped any, maybe from 1.8 to 1.7 but it felt better and I made some bombs with it.  Control has been great and 3 putts all but disappeared.  I really struggled putting during testing when I moved away from this ball to try others.

Did this ball help my scoring?  I started as an 8.8 handicap and got my handicap down to 8 during this.  I shot my lowest round of the year with the MTB-X.  Unfortunately to give some comparisons for this review I was using multiple balls.    

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Miscellaneous (10 out of 15)

The performance of this ball is great for me.  I gamed the ball with the big green spot on it yesterday and saw no decline in performance.  Part of me wanted the ball to do weird things like duck hook, split in half, anything quirky but it never happened.  I wanted to prove that the quality is not on par with others but it never happened.  I’ve actually played with Dean Snell at a member guest and he is a great, down to earth guy that you’d want to do business with and I am glad to see his balls doing so well.  But I keep thinking about the big green spot on my ball and the visible blemishes on others.  How does that get thru QC?  Is there QC?  Were they made late in the day on a Friday? 

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Game Bag or Shag Bag (10 out of 15)

This is a really difficult decision for me.  The performance is great but the visible issues and the fact that you have to order on-line hurt its chances with me.  I don’t buy in bulk because I don’t lose many balls so the price of $32 and change is more than what I can get Z Stars for at Dick’s where I always seem to have a $10 coupon.  If they showed up at my house I would put these in play in a heartbeat without reservation.  When I’m in Florida next I can buy them at the club I play at so I may pick more up.  In the meantime I plan on spending a little more time with the Z Star XV which was just so much longer than all other balls I have to bag it for a while since it puts me in better scoring positions.  Problem is I can’t putt at all with this ball but maybe over time that will improve.

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Conclusion (Total Score 83 out of 100)

If you are looking for a high performance ball, buy in bulk and don’t mind having to buy on-line then you need to try this ball.  I no longer buy into the ball compression BS I’ve bought into the last 10 years.  The MTB-X worked for me with my 94 MPH driver swing speed across all clubs.  The feel is on par with non X balls and after my testing it was basically a ProV1x with a different name on it.  I gave up minimal driver distance for an extremely consistent ball throughout the bag.  Although I experienced some blemishes on the majority of my balls it did not seem to impact the performance in anyway. 

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Hey everyone my stage 1 is Live!!! Check it out!

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My stage 1 is up!


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Great job guys! My stage 1 is up!


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Awesome pics Shankster throughout your review. I need to upgrade my camera and sense of style.


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Great job boys... a seam? on a golf ball? hmmm...that is unexpected.  I am quite surprised they didn't find a way to buff/smooth that out so it's practically invisible to the naked eye.

At least it sounds like they got the alignment marking correct....but I suppose like they say, "it's what's on the inside that counts".... hopefully it holds up to the high praise it's received.

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Great job so far guys.
[mention=69396]Shankster[/mention], any oddities to report like [mention=66781]Wedgie[/mention] had? 


Paint was all fine but the seam varied on some. It’s more noticeable on a few, the dimples are oval shaped like they were stretched. I’ll try to grab a picture.

Unfortunately I rinsed one, and lost one of the middle of the fairway. So I am short 2.
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Great job boys... a seam? on a golf ball? hmmm...that is unexpected.  I am quite surprised they didn't find a way to buff/smooth that out so it's practically invisible to the naked eye.
At least it sounds like they got the alignment marking correct....but I suppose like they say, "it's what's on the inside that counts".... hopefully it holds up to the high praise it's received.


Not a raised seam, looks to be like the cover is two piece?... If you look at the picture of it lined up behind my putter you can see a gap where they put the logo.
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Not a raised seam, looks to be like the cover is two piece?... If you look at the picture of it lined up behind my putter you can see a gap where they put the logo.


Do you line up the seam when you putt or use your driver?


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Do you line up the seam when you putt or use your driver?


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I do when putting, have always done that.

With Driver I like to see no markings, so I make it so I can’t see anything as best a possible.

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Good stuff fellas.

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Off to a good start, fellas!

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I do when putting, have always done that.

With Driver I like to see no markings, so I make it so I can’t see anything as best a possible.


I am the exact opposite. I always use the alignment aid on the tee and never on the green.


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Paint was all fine but the seam varied on some. It’s more noticeable on a few, the dimples are oval shaped like they were stretched. I’ll try to grab a picture.

Unfortunately I rinsed one, and lost one of the middle of the fairway. So I am short 2.


I haven’t scrutinized them up close and personal like Shankster had. But I’ll do that for stage 2. They do seem to wear very well. A couple of balls lasted several 9 hole rounds until I sacrificed them to the creek. They had minimal scuffs even when I was in trees, sand and on cart paths.


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When you guys are doing your tests for these golf balls, are you planning on working from the putting green back?  Are there an specific tests that you guys have planned for on the course?

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Great write-up's and pictures guys! You're all nailing it on your stage one's.@Shankster I love your photographic creativity, those are awesome! I've been thinking about taking the plunge and ordering these, I've actually found some used one's at Wal-Mart and really liked the MTB Black. I guess it's a byproduct of the MGS ball test that they are starting to show up like this. 20190622_211320-01.jpeg
I'm really looking forward to seeing how the X performs for you guys.

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When you guys are doing your tests for these golf balls, are you planning on working from the putting green back?  Are there an specific tests that you guys have planned for on the course?


I am working from short game back.

Specifically wedge shots will be/have been tested. Lots of bunker play. Working on a 26 hole ball right now that has had quite the excursion.

I managed to dunk it in a drainage ditch, bounc it off 3 trees, a cart path, and an outhouse. one of those was on purpose, I’ll let you decide.

Did an entire round vs the BStone and PV1x. Going out tomorrow for a full round test.

Anything specific you’re looking for?
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