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My Golf Spy Ball Lab Report-Snell MTB X


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Remember the early years of the ProV's and their seam?  They performed better by lining up the seam with the ball flight path.  Mr. Nicklaus himself observed this and remarked that he was surprised it was a legal ball.

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Classic Bag:  Driver - Wilson Staff Persimmon; 3w - Hogan Speed Slot; 5w - Wilson Staff Tour Block; 3 - pw - Staff Dynapower; sw - Ram Tom Watson;  putter - bullseye standard or flange.

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Another home run for Snell! I don't know if I'd actually ever game the X (I will definitely be giving it a try now!) so I am very interested in the MTB Black when Tony's able to get enough balls for t

https://mygolfspy.com/snell-mtb-x-golf-ball-review/#comment-475243 Share your thoughts below!    

I ordered a dozen of the Snell MTX-B and they came yesterday.  I quickly opened the box to find a hand signed packing slip.  Now, I know this may not seem like a big deal to some, but I have to say th

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I have been waiting to comment on my thoughts till I saw a Snell ball go up since I feel it might be the standard of DTC balls.

I honestly feel the ball lab true cost is missing something very critical when factoring in the true price of a ball. However, this should only apply to balls that reach the level of the Snell or ProV’s.

At this point a durability test should be factored in. Just because you can have confidence that you can buy a box and all 12 will be playable does not mean they will hold up the same. From this article it makes it look like the best option for a tour level ball is clearly the MTB-X. That being said I have my own first hand experience testing this ball at great lengths vs my gamer the ProV1x. Of The box of Snell’s I purchased only 6 balls made it through to the end of the round and none were lost. On full wedge shots and bunker shots (Texas sand not so soft could be a factor) the ball simply did not hold up. 
 

The ProV1x I can go multiple rounds with the same ball (as long as I don’t sink it). But of course some of this could be my own thoughts from the disappointment I had from Snell. 
 

I will say the MTB-X performance is on par 100% when good, but once the true price is established and the ball has the metrics of the Snell or ProV’s a durability Assessment needs to be done and added to the true price. 
 

This is something that I would like to see happen hopefully!

 

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Woods:titelist-small: TSi2 16.5, Fujikura Ventus Blue 7X

Hybrid: :ping-small: G410 3&4H, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 95X 

Irons:titelist-small: T-100 3-PW, Nippon Modus 120 X 

Wedges: :mizuno-small: T20, DG TI S400, 50/56/60

Putter:  :EVNROLL: ER1.2 W/BGT Stability Shaft

Ball:  :titelist-small: ProV1X-Optic Yellow

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34 minutes ago, Shankster said:

If you look at my stage 2 with the putter in the picture you can clearly see the seam.

i see it now.  when i hear "seam" i think baseball and was looking for a raised ridge around the ball.  obviously to each his own but i'm not sure that would bother me in the least bit.  thank you for linking the review

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1 hour ago, MaxEntropy said:

While I am not trying to answer for him, I have seen where people have been put off a bit by the seam - in some cases it is very noticeable.

I love Snell balls and will eventually get more after my current stock runs out, but one thing that struck me in the article is that 50% of the balls had minor concentricity issues. I don't recall such issues in the other reports that have been issued. I would like Tony to quantify that. What does he consider minor and are we sure it is not potentially performance-effecting?

I went back through the other ball labs to confirm, but concentricity was mentioned in every other report to date. For some, Tony gave numbers, others he did not so it's hard to really compare directly with the data provided, but based on what he did say it does appear Snell had the most issues. However, it's important to note that while 50% may have had visibly noticeable concentricity issues, only 3% were speculated to have any real impact on performance. It is unlikely you'd notice any difference whatsoever if playing the other balls.

IMO, minor simply means that he could see a difference. Maybe he's even taken calipers to some of the balls and has actual data to quantify minor vs. major, but the impact on playability is nil. 

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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32 minutes ago, Shapotomous said:

Remember the early years of the ProV's and their seam?  They performed better by lining up the seam with the ball flight path.  Mr. Nicklaus himself observed this and remarked that he was surprised it was a legal ball.

If you go to the Snell website, you can hear Dean commenting on the seam.  All balls are tested now, distance with the seam in line versus perpendicular to the line have to be within a certain percent variation.  The original ProV1 wouldn't have passed that test.  All balls have seams, its apparently impossible to manufacture them without using a two-piece mold, its just that on some balls the dimple pattern "interlocks" along the seam.

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Snell balls work well for me. I just placed an order for 5 dozen because i need some yellow balls. 

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Big fan of the MTB-X, and with the SpeedZones I really like the extra spin off the irons while still maintaining low spin off the tee. Last year it was by far the longest ball I played. I split the last two months between MTB-X and Z-Star XVs and they are so close to each other. The XV has a more durable cover, in my opinion, but the feel off the putter is better with the MTB-X (for me). 

I was really curious to see how the MTB-X would do in the Ball Lab as I was about 50/50 split between ordering MTB-Xs or Z-Star XVs for next season. Thinking I'll just bite the bullet and grab 5 dozen yellow MTB-X sometime around Christmas!

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32 minutes ago, Manimal26 said:

I have been waiting to comment on my thoughts till I saw a Snell ball go up since I feel it might be the standard of DTC balls.

I honestly feel the ball lab true cost is missing something very critical when factoring in the true price of a ball. However, this should only apply to balls that reach the level of the Snell or ProV’s.

At this point a durability test should be factored in. Just because you can have confidence that you can buy a box and all 12 will be playable does not mean they will hold up the same. From this article it makes it look like the best option for a tour level ball is clearly the MTB-X. That being said I have my own first hand experience testing this ball at great lengths vs my gamer the ProV1x. Of The box of Snell’s I purchased only 6 balls made it through to the end of the round and none were lost. On full wedge shots and bunker shots (Texas sand not so soft could be a factor) the ball simply did not hold up. 
 

The ProV1x I can go multiple rounds with the same ball (as long as I don’t sink it). But of course some of this could be my own thoughts from the disappointment I had from Snell. 
 

I will say the MTB-X performance is on par 100% when good, but once the true price is established and the ball has the metrics of the Snell or ProV’s a durability Assessment needs to be done and added to the true price. 
 

This is something that I would like to see happen hopefully!

 

Very good point on the durability as that will factor into the "lifetime costs" if you will, which is a metric consumer reports uses, that I give strong credence to when I'm car shopping. 

One of the guys in our shop that I play with from time to time is a + cap, he prefers the ProVX but will from time to time play another ball for the round that a rep may have given him.  He doesn't hit many trees or cart paths on a given round,. so it's usually an apt comparison, almost always the ProvX is in like new shape at the end of the round.  Some of the others he has tried, look like they've been through 10 rounds. 

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26 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

If you go to the Snell website, you can hear Dean commenting on the seam.  All balls are tested now, distance with the seam in line versus perpendicular to the line have to be within a certain percent variation.  The original ProV1 wouldn't have passed that test.  All balls have seams, its apparently impossible to manufacture them without using a two-piece mold, its just that on some balls the dimple pattern "interlocks" along the seam.

Our Superintendent is an old fashioned guy and has played Titleist balls, since shortly after Helen Robinson first put the Titleist script to paper 🙂    He still swears by the seam, but has a harder time finding it.  I like to tell him it's because he's getting older, not that it's not as noticeable any more...ha

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4 hours ago, Manimal26 said:

I have been waiting to comment on my thoughts till I saw a Snell ball go up since I feel it might be the standard of DTC balls.

I honestly feel the ball lab true cost is missing something very critical when factoring in the true price of a ball. However, this should only apply to balls that reach the level of the Snell or ProV’s.

At this point a durability test should be factored in. Just because you can have confidence that you can buy a box and all 12 will be playable does not mean they will hold up the same. From this article it makes it look like the best option for a tour level ball is clearly the MTB-X. That being said I have my own first hand experience testing this ball at great lengths vs my gamer the ProV1x. Of The box of Snell’s I purchased only 6 balls made it through to the end of the round and none were lost. On full wedge shots and bunker shots (Texas sand not so soft could be a factor) the ball simply did not hold up. 
 

The ProV1x I can go multiple rounds with the same ball (as long as I don’t sink it). But of course some of this could be my own thoughts from the disappointment I had from Snell. 
 

I will say the MTB-X performance is on par 100% when good, but once the true price is established and the ball has the metrics of the Snell or ProV’s a durability Assessment needs to be done and added to the true price. 
 

This is something that I would like to see happen hopefully!

 

I'm not overly familiar with hardness testing, but I'd suspect that to be the best way to try and gauge the durability of a golf ball. Anything else you might do is just up to chance - conditions, strike location, attack angle, variation in wedge grooves, moisture, etc. all impact the likelihood of a ball's cover becoming damaged during the course of play. I guess you could also shoot a ball directly at a club face or plate of steel, but it would need to take place in a controlled environment to yield meaningful results. Even still, that wouldn't offer any guarantee's for the individual as we all use different equipment, play in different conditions, and have vastly different swings and impact dynamics.

I once pulled a brand new ball out of the sleeve, played it off the tee, hit my second shot into a bunker, and hit out. When I grabbed my ball off the green to clean it, it had a large gouge in it from the bunker shot. Could have been the simple interaction of sand and club face on the ball, or there could have been some small pebble or something. It's impossible to say for sure - it could have just been a bad ball.

My point is, while durability is certainly an important factor in evaluating the overall performance of a golf ball, how we experience and perceive durability on the golf course can be vastly different. I'm not sure how much value it would truly add to Ball Lab other than to make note of the physical properties of the cover material - which is why I think a hardness test would be best suited for it.

EDIT: So once again I got curious and did a tiny bit of research. Hardness testing is usually reserved for, oh I dunno, hard materials, but if there is testing equipment and protocols available for softer materials like a urethane cover I would be keenly interested. More specifically, I'd be interested in scratch testing, rebound testing, and dynamic hardness (as it relates to Bridgestone Tour B golf balls).

https://fractory.com/material-hardness/

https://www.hardnesstesters.com/test-types/hardness-testing-basics

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Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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3 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

Very good point on the durability as that will factor into the "lifetime costs" if you will, which is a metric consumer reports uses, that I give strong credence to when I'm car shopping. 

One of the guys in our shop that I play with from time to time is a + cap, he prefers the ProVX but will from time to time play another ball for the round that a rep may have given him.  He doesn't hit many trees or cart paths on a given round,. so it's usually an apt comparison, almost always the ProvX is in like new shape at the end of the round.  Some of the others he has tried, look like they've been through 10 rounds. 

I will say there should be a cut off for balls that make it to a durability test just because of the amount time it might take to do right although I feel it should be done on all of them because it could improve the true price of some of the balls that have already been reviewed, but the problem lies in knowing you get 12 good balls out of the box. However on balls that we can confidently say all 12 in a box will be playable I feel it has to be done to get a true price. If you are having to replace lets say 1/4 of the MTB-X every round it effectively makes the true price $41.25/box (still better than most)  Say after 4 rounds all the balls are trash now you have to buy a new box making the true price $82.50, because where with the ProV's if you go 4 rounds and it is still good and you are into your second box of MTB-X the snell has become much more expensive compared to the proV's.... however that second metric only works assuming the prov1 holds up over 4 rounds. Lets say 3 good bad though it makes the MTB-X around $61.88/box when compared to the Prov1...

I know I made 2 different metrics one factoring in Durability ($41.25/box) and the other cost of replacement vs ProV1 ($61.88 with 3 prov's bad & $82.50 with no prov's bad)

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Putter:  :EVNROLL: ER1.2 W/BGT Stability Shaft

Ball:  :titelist-small: ProV1X-Optic Yellow

Bag: :ping-small: Pioneer

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8 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

I'm not overly familiar with hardness testing, but I'd suspect that t to be the best way to try and gauge the durability of a golf ball. Anything else you might do is just up to chance - conditions, strike location, attack angle, variation in wedge grooves, moisture, etc. all impact the likelihood of a ball's cover becoming damaged during the course of play. I guess you could also shoot a ball directly at a club face or plate of steel, but it would need to take place in a controlled environment to yield meaningful results. Even still, that wouldn't offer any guarantee's for the individual as we all use different equipment, play in different conditions, and have vastly different swings and impact dynamics.

I once pulled a brand new ball out of the sleeve, played it off the tee, hit my second shot into a bunker, and hit out. When I grabbed my ball off the green to clean it, it had a large gouge in it from the bunker shot. Could have been the simple interaction of sand and club face on the ball, or there could have been some small pebble or something. It's impossible to say for sure - it could have just been a bad ball.

My point is, while durability is certainly an important factor in evaluating the overall performance of a golf ball, how we experience and perceive durability on the golf course can be vastly different. I'm not sure how much value it would truly add to Ball Lab other than to make note of the physical properties of the cover material - which is why I think a hardness test would be best suited for it.

You could do like they do with tires. Use a robot and hit the ball over and over again. Total number of strikes required to make ball unplayable /12 = Avg per that ball which can be converted to a metric for comparison. Second sand test soft med hard. This could be done in a controlled environment with limited factors. Cart path bounce could be done with a ball cannon with various ball speeds etc. My point is lots could be done. Durability is a huge factor if the box of 12 balls is all playable,

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Woods:titelist-small: TSi2 16.5, Fujikura Ventus Blue 7X

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Irons:titelist-small: T-100 3-PW, Nippon Modus 120 X 

Wedges: :mizuno-small: T20, DG TI S400, 50/56/60

Putter:  :EVNROLL: ER1.2 W/BGT Stability Shaft

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13 minutes ago, Manimal26 said:

You could do like they do with tires. Use a robot and hit the ball over and over again. Total number of strikes required to make ball unplayable /12 = Avg per that ball which can be converted to a metric for comparison. Second sand test soft med hard. This could be done in a controlled environment with limited factors. Cart path bounce could be done with a ball cannon with various ball speeds etc. My point is lots could be done. Durability is a huge factor if the box of 12 balls is all playable,

Yes you could do that, but as I said in my response before how that translates to the individual golfer would vary greatly. We aren't all the same or play in the same conditions. So, what might not seem very durable to you, could be very durable to someone else. And also, it could have just simply been a bad lot of golf balls.

I'm not arguing that durability isn't an important factor, but unless something is clearly wrong with the cover akin to what MGS found with the Kirkland balls (https://mygolfspy.com/costco-issues-refunds-for-defective-4-piece-kirkland-signature-performance-one-golf-balls/)  I'd consider it a performance characteristic. I wouldn't lump cover durability in as a quality metric because cover hardness is a designed spec.

Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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Just now, TR1PTIK said:

Yes you could do that, but as I said in my response before how that translates to the individual golfer would vary greatly. We aren't all the same or play in the same conditions. So, what might not seem very durable to you, could be very durable to someone else. And also, it could have just simply been a bad lot of golf balls.

I'm not arguing that durability isn't an important factor, but unless something is clearly wrong with the cover akin to what MGS found with the Kirkland balls I'd consider it a performance characteristic. I wouldn't lump cover durability in as a quality metric because cover hardness is a designed spec.

Just like made for shafts vs after market different materials are used that cause tolerance and quality differences. In order to get a DTC cost where it is attractive to the public I would imagine less expensive chemicals or quality of them are used. Even the chemicals themselves used have tolerances and purity factors. 

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Wedges: :mizuno-small: T20, DG TI S400, 50/56/60

Putter:  :EVNROLL: ER1.2 W/BGT Stability Shaft

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Bag: :ping-small: Pioneer

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14 minutes ago, Manimal26 said:

Just like made for shafts vs after market different materials are used that cause tolerance and quality differences. In order to get a DTC cost where it is attractive to the public I would imagine less expensive chemicals or quality of them are used. Even the chemicals themselves used have tolerances and purity factors. 

Agree to disagree then...

Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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just thought of something else that needs to be considered in as well.

Snell with 5 boxes of less gives you free shipping but companies like Vice charge shipping for a single box or 5 charge $6.99. So where the vice is $34.99 its base price is really $41 and I have to wait where I can go just about anywhere and ProV1's are the same price... If a DTC charges shipping that has to be factored into the true price... Way to go Snell for not charging!

Driver:taylormade-small: SIM 10.5, Graphite Design Tour AD-XC 6X 

Woods:titelist-small: TSi2 16.5, Fujikura Ventus Blue 7X

Hybrid: :ping-small: G410 3&4H, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 95X 

Irons:titelist-small: T-100 3-PW, Nippon Modus 120 X 

Wedges: :mizuno-small: T20, DG TI S400, 50/56/60

Putter:  :EVNROLL: ER1.2 W/BGT Stability Shaft

Ball:  :titelist-small: ProV1X-Optic Yellow

Bag: :ping-small: Pioneer

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24 minutes ago, Manimal26 said:

just thought of something else that needs to be considered in as well.

Snell with 5 boxes of less gives you free shipping but companies like Vice charge shipping for a single box or 5 charge $6.99. So where the vice is $34.99 its base price is really $41 and I have to wait where I can go just about anywhere and ProV1's are the same price... If a DTC charges shipping that has to be factored into the true price... Way to go Snell for not charging!

I don't think that's necessarily the case. I'm sure there are a lot of golfers who order online and get balls shipped to them, depending on their location and proximity to a store where they can get their preferred brand. I'll just use Budget Golf as an example, since I just saw an email from them - if I go to their online store and order a dozen ProV1, I'm looking at $9.99 shipping as their cheapest option. Does this happen a lot? Probably not. But I don't think that shipping fees should be taken into consideration because buying opportunities are going to vary based on golfer location, preferred method of purchasing, preferred method of shipping, etc. and all of those can impact the overall total cost of the balls. 

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:callaway-small: Big Bertha Mini (the :wilson_staff_small:  D7 is in time out)
:callaway-small:  GBB 3W (lofted to 4W)
:callaway-small: V-Series Heavenwood
:cobra-small: Baffler XL 5i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54*
:ping-small: iWedge 58*
:cleveland-small: #10

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Durability is something I've been valuing more lately.

I bought the Titleist Tour Speed when it came out, and noticed in my first round with them that they cut VERY easily. Titleist offered me a sleeve as a consolation, and surprise, the first wedge shot with one of the news ones, and it cut too.

  • :tour-edge: EXS Driver
  • :cobra-small: King F8 3w
  • :titelist-small: 818 H1 Hybrid
  • :nike-small:VR-S Forged 5-PW
  • :wilson_staff_small: FG Tour PMP 56*
  • :wilson_staff_small: Infinite Lake Shore
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By the time durability will become a factor, I will have for sure already lost that ball 😂

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Current tester for the Titleist TSi Driver

Spring 2020 MGS Tester for the Fujikura Motore X Shaft

Updated 12/27/2020
Driver:titelist-small: TSi 2 - Graphite Design AD-XC 6S
Hybrids:taylormade-small: SIM Max 3H, 4H - Matrix Ozik 85S
Irons:srixon-small: ZX5 5 - PW - Nippon Modus 120 S
Wedges: :cleveland-small: CBX 2 54, CBX Full Face 58 - KBS Hi-Rev S
Putter:  :EVNROLL: ER2
 

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I don't think that's necessarily the case. I'm sure there are a lot of golfers who order online and get balls shipped to them, depending on their location and proximity to a store where they can get their preferred brand. I'll just use Budget Golf as an example, since I just saw an email from them - if I go to their online store and order a dozen ProV1, I'm looking at $9.99 shipping as their cheapest option. Does this happen a lot? Probably not. But I don't think that shipping fees should be taken into consideration because buying opportunities are going to vary based on golfer location, preferred method of purchasing, preferred method of shipping, etc. and all of those can impact the overall total cost of the balls. 

I think it’s different for DTC brand balls that you cannot go to a store to get if they charge shipping.


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:cobra-small: KING Forged Tec 5-GW - Nippon Modus 120x | :cobra-small: KING MIM Black 52.12C, 56.10V, 60.04W - Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

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