@36aday is pleased to introduce interviews with leaders in the game of golf in Canada. Nine questions are presented to probe important issues of the game, personal experiences, stories and insight. Just like 9 holes of golf, I hope you find this enjoyable and that it leaves you wanting more.
This is the third of this three-part conversation with Dean Snell, owner and inventor of Snell Golf balls. In this segment Dean discusses his approach to ball fitting, his upcoming visit to Canada at the Toronto Golf and Travel Show and his dream foursome.
7. Golf ball companies are getting aggressive in their marketing of ball fitting approaches. What is your response to this and what would you suggest for someone who would like to determine what Snell golf ball is best for them?
DS – So when I mentioned before being a hockey player there are certain pet peeves that make me want to pull the jersey over their heads and start throwing uppercuts. This is one of them. Having someone fit for a golf ball by hitting three golf balls into a net with a driver is absolutely wrong. Today we’ve done so much work in getting the spin rates and ball speed and launch angles correct. And off the tee they all go about the same distance. Hitting a few balls and judging a bad shot compared to a good shot and then say, ‘this is the ball for you, you gained six yards’; it’s just the wrong way to do it. Over time those golf balls will be about the same distance. But where you’ll notice it is in the short game. That’s where you’ll notice a difference. So a two piece golf ball and a tour golf ball, from 100 yards and in are completely different in performance. One flies high with less spin, one flies low with more spin. You’re going to experience the fliers and the jumpers, the bump and runs, or the low hit knock downs with the check; they’re different. So my recommendation for fitting – you spend so much fitting for your clubs and fine tuning them at a range but the ball counts for every shot. So take maybe an hour and a half and go out on a course and take all the clubs you’d use inside of 100 yards. Take the My Tour Ball (MTB) and the Get Sum 2 piece ball and whatever models you play and go and hit balls from 100 yards, 70, 50, 30, chip, putt, and once a group catches you go to the next hole and keep doing the same thing. Just play a lot of shots from inside 100 yards. And after the 4th of 5th hole something in there is going to say I like the way it flew high, flew low, checked, bumped and ran, felt soft or hard, whatever it is you like. Fit the ball to what you prefer there and trust off the tee they’ll all be the same. Because if you can’t tell the differences inside of 100 yards your game is not ready yet for it and just buy the cheapest one.
MJ – Following up, you mentioned this around the time of the PGA Show in Orlando that the My Tour Ball may be better suited for mid to high handicap players who could benefit more from tour ball performance around the greens. Could you please elaborate on this?
DS – If you take price out of it, tour golf balls are going to be better for everybody. The 18 handicap misses 17 greens. That’s 17 par 3’s the player has to play effectively. If you play low compression, low spin golf balls you have the worst possible performance the closer you get to the greens. So that’s where most of your golf is played, it’s where most of your scores happen. A higher handicap who shoots 90 versus a guy who shoots 72, you have a lot more shots which you play around the greens which you could get better at than the guy shooting 72. You’re never going to be able to hit a ball that hits and sucks back the way the pros do but you may be able to add some spin on a full wedge which may and roll out 5 feet instead of 15 feet. You stopped it 10 feet closer. Maybe your chip stops 5 feet closer that could eliminate one or two 3 putts. Having an advantage of performance around the greens is what tour golf balls have. If you can get that you will only perform better the closer you get to the green and that’s going to help you lower scores.
8. I understand you’re going to be coming to Toronto for the Golf and Travel Show in February. Snell Golf Canada will be present and showcasing your product offerings. What is your schedule there and when can people come by and talk with you?
DS – My understanding is I will be in the Snell Golf Canada booth on Friday. I will be speaking on Friday mid-afternoon and also Saturday around noon. I’ll do a little presentation for everybody and the rest of the time I’ll be in the booth so if anybody has any technical questions or wants to come by and say hi I will be at the Snell Golf Canada booth.
I believe the team will have balls available to sell to people attending the show. We’ve done this before and it creates a real buzz with golf show participants.
9. Lastly, what is your dream foursome and what course tops your own Bucket List? Is there a course(s) in Canada you’d like to experience?
DS – Boy, that’s a good question. My dream foursome would probably include Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and Bobby Orr and myself. Those guys to me were the best in their sports during their time. They are all golfers and I think it would be so cool to listen to some of their stories both on and off the field of play. I’d love to get some pictures too, it would be great memorabilia.
MJ – That’s a strong list, how about courses?
DS – You’ll have to help me with courses in Canada; I’ve spent much time in Canada in the winter time but not enough in the summer. Being in the industry so long I haven’t played much golf, things have been busy. I’d love to play Augusta National, or Pebble Beach. I’ve been to Pebble and worked there and walked the course but have never been there with my clubs. Augusta is my first choice just because it is Augusta.
MJ – When you get there, and I hope you’re able to play Augusta one day, take a picture of your My Tour Ball when you stick the green on 12.
DS – (Laughs) I will.
MJ – Thank you for your time Dean. Continued success.
DS – My pleasure. Thank you.
Click here to access Part 1 of my conversation with Dean.
Click here to access Part 2 of my conversation with Dean.