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No Putts Given 18: Interview with Dean Snell

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With all the golf ball news of the last year, MyGolfSpy sat down with one of the great ball designers in golf history, Dean Snell. Check out the interview here:

 

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Posted (edited)

I've enjoyed every interview I've seen with Dean Snell, but this episode of No Putts Given with Dean Snell was fascinating. I've been playing Snell MTB/Blacks for almost 3 years and it's very unlikely I'd buy anything else. Great ball, great company IMO.

Well done MGS!

I refuse to buy or play a rebranded ball where the technology has been stolen (like a K-Sig, and I'm a Costco member) from a legit ball seller with actual R&D and engineering. Stealing intellectual property is wrong.

Edited by Middler

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Dean seems like a really genuine guy.  Interesting background and his jump from BF Goodrich aerospace to a QE position at Titleist.  If that isn't an indication of just how bad commute traffic is around the greater Boston area is, I don't know what is 🙂.  I really like Adam's closing question about which ball Dean would play if there wasn't a Snell ball option...

Spoiler

Taylormade TP5

 

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I always enjoy listening to Dean Snell.  The man is a bottomless well of golf ball knowledge and he tells it as he sees it.  I did find it kind of interesting how he praised Bridgestone and Srixon but also said how much he hated the notion of fitting a golf ball to your swing speed (which is something the Bridgestone and Srixon do).

I do agree with him though about soft and lower spin balls in that if you want to improve, you pretty much have to go to something that spins and gives you more control.

All in all, great pod and hopefully you guys can get Mr Snell on more often.

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I've always loved Dean's no nonsense, no BS, straight to the point, type of interviewing.  He's a great guy! 

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Snell is a stud. Its amazing how many great balls his fingerprints are on. I used to love the TM Lethal. I wonder if he had anything to do with that design. He seems to lve TP5x. Myself, the TP5 is better but to each his own.

I wish Snell would open up his own boutique ball plant and not rely on the factories to make his product

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3 hours ago, Tsecor said:

Snell is a stud. Its amazing how many great balls his fingerprints are on. I used to love the TM Lethal. I wonder if he had anything to do with that design. He seems to lve TP5x. Myself, the TP5 is better but to each his own.

I wish Snell would open up his own boutique ball plant and not rely on the factories to make his product

If he ever were to do that and the balls were made in the US, Id be all in.  I dont see that ever happening though.

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Dean's a beauty. Love his no-nonsense approach to the golf ball industry and how he feels golfers should look at their ball selection. The man knows a few things.

I also learned that he played for the Hershey Bears today. Never knew that! I know he played hockey but I didn't realize he made it to that level.

And to the comment above about Boston traffic - you'd better believe it. If I had the commute Dean did, I would've taken a massive pay cut to work a "par 5" away from my house!

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13 hours ago, ZenGolfer said:

If he ever were to do that and the balls were made in the US, Id be all in.  I dont see that ever happening though.

I am not sure it would happen either as he has basically led the DTC market and created a new space to control. If he were to expand and have his own plant, the balls would cost $50/dzn I'm sure.

 

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13 hours ago, russtopherb said:

Dean's a beauty. Love his no-nonsense approach to the golf ball industry and how he feels golfers should look at their ball selection. The man knows a few things.

I also learned that he played for the Hershey Bears today. Never knew that! I know he played hockey but I didn't realize he made it to that level.

And to the comment above about Boston traffic - you'd better believe it. If I had the commute Dean did, I would've taken a massive pay cut to work a "par 5" away from my house!

i was recently at Hershey Park and they have a restaurant with all the hockey equipment in a showcase. The restaurant is designed like a hockey rink and i have seen all the jerseys and skates.....haven't seen Snell's jersey, but I did see all the others.

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35 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

I am not sure it would happen either as he has basically led the DTC market and created a new space to control. If he were to expand and have his own plant, the balls would cost $50/dzn I'm sure.

 

I’m sure Snell won’t build a US ball plant, but he wouldn’t have to charge $50/dozen. Titleist has their own US ball plant and Pro V’s are $48/dozen - including huge endorsement contracts, tons of advertising, retail & pro shop support costs, all substantial overhead Snell doesn’t have to include in their total costs. I only use Snell MTBs, but with their lower wage foreign plants and low overhead model, I suspect at $32.99 their margins may be at least as a good as Titleist.

Not all Titleist balls are made in the USA either, Ball Plant IV opened in Thailand in 2010, and there’s a Phase 2 expansion in the works. Titleist is expanding production in other countries, not in the USA. That’s simply the way it is these days.

http://www.hemaraj.com/page/hemaraj_news_detail.asp?news_id=659&news_cat=2

http://www.meinhardt.net/projects/acushnet-factory-phase-2/

Edited by Middler

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38 minutes ago, Middler said:

I’m sure Snell won’t build a US ball plant, but he wouldn’t have to charge $50/dozen. Titleist has their own US ball plant and Pro V’s are $48/dozen - including huge endorsement contracts, tons of advertising, retail & pro shop support costs, all substantial overhead Snell doesn’t have to include in their total costs. I only use Snell MTBs, but with their lower wage foreign plants and low overhead model, I suspect at $32.99 their margins may be at least as a good as Titleist.

Not all Titleist balls are made in the USA either, Ball Plant IV opened in Thailand in 2010, and there’s a Phase 2 expansion in the works. Titleist is expanding production in other countries, not in the USA. That’s simply the way it is these days.

http://www.hemaraj.com/page/hemaraj_news_detail.asp?news_id=659&news_cat=2

http://www.meinhardt.net/projects/acushnet-factory-phase-2/

agreed. I think the point is about QC over location which I should have stated. Obviously Titleist , Srixon and Bridgestone are the leaders in QC followed by TM and Callaway and Snell in the DTC market.  I just wonder if he will expand and take more control over his product in the next few years

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10 hours ago, Tsecor said:

agreed. I think the point is about QC over location which I should have stated. Obviously Titleist , Srixon and Bridgestone are the leaders in QC followed by TM and Callaway and Snell in the DTC market.  I just wonder if he will expand and take more control over his product in the next few years

While quality is more variable in developing Asian countries and the worst quality balls are probably produced there, their best manufacturing plants are just as capable as USA plants. The days where American quality was uniformly better than other countries have been over for a while. Any doubt in your mind Titleist Ball Plant IV in Thailand isn't just as capable as Ball Plant III in Massachusetts? Pro V1s are made in the US and Thailand, though they don't ship to the USA as regularly so you'll see many/most here are made in the USA.

As Dean mentioned in the interview, he knows which foreign plants can provide tour quality and consistency. IIRC he said in his previous professional life he helped build the plant Snell balls are now produced in, and he has his own people on site. All he would gain bringing manufacturing here would be higher labor costs and more regulations. I wish it wasn't true, but I spent my entire career in manufacturing and watched it happen...

Edited by Middler

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