Q: You have tested golf balls with many PGA TOUR players including Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson. What can the consumer learn from your experience and what is the best way to “fit” a golfer with a ball?
When I entered the industry in 1990, player testing consisted of looking at driver and 8-iron spin. Today, the ball fitting process is far more sophisticated with players spending hours on the green to watch how the ball reacts on short pitch shots. If that goes well, we work our way back to 30 yards, then 75 yards, then full sand wedges to evaluate the flight, spin and feel of the golf ball. Next comes mid and long irons shots to test the ball’s performance into a headwind. After testing with a variety of prototypes, the golfer usually has a good idea which one he or she likes. The final step happens on the tee where players look at their launch and trajectory. All golf balls today, travel the same distance off the tee, so my recommendation is that amateurs “fit” themselves inside 100 yards.
Q: What is “consumer pricing?”
It’s simple. Unlike other ball companies, we do not have significant marketing, advertising, player contracts, sales reps or steep overhead. As a result, we can pass the savings back to the consumer. Imagine, a ball that performs like the number one played ball on Tour for nearly half the price. And shipped to your home for free.
Q: What is the difference between MY TOUR BALL and GET SUM?
MY TOUR BALL (MTB) is a 3-piece cast urethane golf ball designed for complete tee-to-green performance. Golfers will expect to see low driver spin for longer distances, controlled mid and short iron spin to eliminate ballooning and distance loss in the wind. The soft cast urethane cover delivers outstanding durability, soft feel, and high short game spin around the greens to help lower scores. MTB competitors: Bridgestone B330RX, Callaway Chrome Soft, Srixon Z Star, TaylorMade Tour Preferred and Titelist ProV1, GET SUM is a low compression, soft feeling 2-piece ball with a soft surlyn cover designed for great feel, outstanding durability, and low spin tee to green. With a lower spinning ball, golfers will notice an increase in distance off all clubs. The low spin also gives golfers a little more control and helps mitigate hooks and slices. The 2-piece construction makes it easier to get the ball into the air. GET SUM competitors: Callaway Super Soft, Srixon Q Star, TaylorMade Project(a) Preferred and Titelist Velocity.
Q: There are many companies making and marketing golf balls. What are some of the myths that exist today around ball performance?
There are a lot of companies using “compression” and “swing speed” as buzzwords to market their golf balls. Snell Golf believes players today should never choose a golf ball based on swing speed and driver fittings. Regardless of swing speed, the golf balls today are compressed on drivers and will go about the same distance. In other words, not one ball will be significantly longer. A better way to think about golf ball performance, is from 100 yards and in. After all, the average golfer who shoots in the mid-80s, will use driver 14 times maximum. The concern should be around the ball’s behavior in the other 70 shots.
Q: Will Snell Golf be played on TOUR?
We won’t say “never,” but the company is structured today to pass the savings onto the consumer. As soon as Snell Golf enters into golf ball contracts with players, we would inevitably need to raise the cost of the ball. Our focus now is on the consumer.
Q: What has been the feedback on the Snell Golf ball products to date?
We are humbled to have received such a positive response from consumers and media. The feedback has consistently been around the ball’s performance into the wind and control around the green. These comments are consistent with the engineering behind our golf ball line-up. From a sales perspective, we exceeded our expectations in the first year. Specifically, what had been forecasted for the year, sold in the first six months.
Q: Do all “TOUR” balls have thin cast urethane covers? Why?
Snell Golf is one of only three companies (TaylorMade and Titleist the others) to use this soft, thin cast urethane technology. This is a very tough process and expensive process, but we are happy to provide it to our customers. Other companies use urethane, but it is a thicker thermoplastic urethane that does not provide the same short game performance.
Q: What is the performance difference in a two-piece and three piece golf ball?
A 3-piece ball is for the more accomplished golfer who is willing to spend a little more money for tee-to-green performance. By adding a third layer, we can keep driver spin low, but use the mantle to work with the cover to add spina round the green. The golfer who needs help getting the ball in the air and is more concerned about control, should opt for a 2-piece ball, which will have lower driver spin and typically lower short game spin.