Snell Golf Review: Save Money Without Sacrifice
The Snell Golf ball is turning the industry upside down, and for good reason.
Marketing can be a powerful tool in any industry. If you build up your brand equity it can greatly influence purchasing decisions by consumers, even if there isn’t much disparity in the quality of your product relative to your competition.
Take the water industry for example. They are selling the closest thing to air, but people will usually stick to the water that they believe is the best. When you think of Poland Spring you get an image of purity in your mind, and you’ll reach for their bottle over another when you’re at the grocery store or the deli. Millions of dollars of marketing have been invested over the years for you to have that positive association, and it works.
The golf industry is no different.
Companies like Titleist have worked very hard to do everything they can to build their brand up so that when you’re at the golf store you are going to reach for a box of their balls over their competition.
Are their golf balls really superior to Callaway, Srixon, Taylor Made, Bridgestone, and all of the others? The question becomes almost irrelevant to many players because all of those commercials with top tour players saying how they trust Titleist over any other brand flash in their minds, and they believe it is a superior product.
I am no different than the rest of you. I’ve been using Pro V1 golf balls since they were released in the early 2000s. At first it was a revolutionary design that caught the other golf manufacturers off guard, so you could make a strong case that it was superior to the competition.
That’s a hard case to make these days because pretty much every single manufacturer has been able to replicate their multi-layer design. Despite that, people like me have remained pretty loyal to a company like Titleist and continue to spend big dollars because the positive association is still there. We still see the commercials, and the stats showing how many tour players use the Pro V1.
One man has been a central figure in the advancement of golf ball technology, and he is trying to flip the industry on its side. His name is Dean Snell, and about a year ago he launched Snell Golf ball.
They are selling golf balls direct to consumers at eye-popping prices, and claim to have the same quality as all of the other big name manufacturers. I’ve been following them since they launched in March of 2015, and recently started using their My Tour Ball at the beginning of this season.
Long story short, I don’t think I’m going to be paying $50 for a sleeve of balls any more.
Who is Dean Snell?
Dean has been involved in golf ball design for almost 25 years. He started his career at Titleist where he was one of the initial collaborators on the Pro V1 and several other balls. He then spent 18 years at Taylor Made helping build their golf ball business, and is responsible for many of their top-selling brands.
He holds more than 40 patents, and it’s easy to say that he knows what he is doing when it comes to designing and manufacturing golf balls.
A few years ago he made an interesting decision. Dean decided to take all of his knowledge, start his own golf ball company, and try to sell directly to consumers. In an industry where you have to pay to play, I’m sure many told him he was insane and that he didn’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell to take on the behemoths of the golf industry that are armed with a war chest of marketing dollars.
The strategy of going direct to consumer is a tricky one in any industry. Titleist and all of the other companies spend a ton of money for commercials and sponsorship deals. There’s also the markup of selling through retail. All of that is baked in to the $45-$50 you spend on a box of Pro V1s, or any of the other premium tour-level balls out there.
If you cut out the middleman, and don’t spend a ton on marketing and sponsorships, then you can lower the price significantly. The My Tour Ball sells for just $31.99 on their website. You can get that cost down to just over $26 if you purchase 6 boxes at a time. That is almost half the price of a box of Pro V1s!
Naturally that begs two questions.
- Are the balls any good?
- Can the Snell Golf ball survive, and even make a name for themselves in a crowded industry?
Despite being loyal to Titleist all of these years, I have tried some of the other premium offerings from almost every other brand. To be honest I never really noticed much of a difference. The balls travelled just about the same distance, spun just as much, and felt pretty soft around the greens.
The reason that’s the case is because they’re all very good. Technology has come a long way, and while each company is in an arms race with all of the others to invent the next best thing, the differences that show up on the course are minimal (in my humblest of opinions).
I have hit thousands and thousands of drives, approach shots, pitch shots, bunker shots, and putts on the golf course. My distances are pretty locked in, and I think at this point I have a decent feel if something were to change on the course with my golf ball.
I’ve played almost 15 rounds with the Snell Golf ball, and here’s what I can tell you:
It’s just about the same.
My shots are going the same exact distances; I’m getting the same amount of check on my approach shots. The one thing I have noticed is that the ball seems to spin a little bit more on the green inside of 100 yards with a wedge than the Pro V1, which was a little surprising to me. It’s not a significant difference, but there have been a few shots for me that have “zipped” a little bit more when they landed on the green.
Overall, I would say no news is good news here. This ball is almost half the price and it’s delivering almost the same exact results on the course.
The durability is there as well. The My Tour Ball is a three-piece ball using a cast urethane cover, which protects the ball while allowing for a little extra spin around the greens. I used the same ball for several rounds (luckily I kept it in play), and there was no more wear on the ball than with a Pro V1.
I’m Switching to the Snell Golf Ball
Usually when I write reviews on products, I mention how it might be worth it to spend a little extra money on a product that uses superior materials because it will perform better and last longer.
I’m happy to report in this case it’s actually the opposite. I can tell you with complete confidence that if you are someone who is playing a premium tour ball from Titleist or any of the other manufacturers out there, you can expect almost the same exact performance from the Snell My Tour Ball at a fraction of the cost.
I have a few sleeves of Pro V1s left, but when they meet their eventual demise when they get lost, or hopefully after too many rounds of play, that will be it for me. Balls are a major cost for golfers, and if you can save yourself almost 50% on a product you are using every round, that can add up pretty quickly.
If you are looking to save some money, and not give up any performance on the course, I would check out the Snell Golf ball. They manufacture two balls, the My Tour Ball and the Get Sum, which is geared towards the more average player. The Get Sum sells for $20.99 on their website for a box of 12 balls, and the My Tour Ball costs $31.99.
I’m going to be rooting for Snell Golf ball to succeed. It’s not very often when you can save this much money on a key golf product and not give up any performance.