Small businesses are considered small because they don't have a lot of people on the payroll, probably don't have too many multiples of financial backers and don't sell product at the same clip compared to their more-established, bigger peers.
However, small businesses can have the advantage of being more nimble than their larger competition. They can sense a needed change and implement it more quickly without having to change monolithic culture and corporate attention, both in terms of money and people.
That's what Snell Golf has done in taking their wildly successful My Tour Ball and splitting the brand into two new balls for 2018, re-dubbing the brand as the MTB Black and MTB Red balls. They're available for pre-order starting Jan. 15.
The introduction of two new balls was in response to customer feedback and, likely, a change in how golf balls are perceived by players and pitched by manufacturers.
When Dean Snell introduced his My Tour Ball design in 2015, he did so offering a three-piece ball which could compete with Titleist's Pro V1 in terms of performance while delivering on much lower, direct-to-consumer pricing. However, while the Pro V1 brand remains the overall top seller in the game, there has been a shift to offering golfers more specific choices in their golf balls. It's no longer a world where you pick a Tour-caliber ball or go with a ball that was too soft or too spinny. Golf ball makers have found a way to deliver lower-compression balls while maintaining plenty of distance and a spin profile most players will like.
In creating the two MTB balls, Snell Golf has chosen to respond to those consumer trends and that feedback by giving golfers choices.
With the MTB Red ball, Snell has created a four-layer ball designed to offer more spin on shots from 150 yards and in -- effectively, the Spin model of the MTB. Some players struggle with imparting that kind of shot-stopping action, so the MTB Red can help those players while continuing to deliver good distance off the tee and overall performance.
The MTB Black ball is an improvement upon the original, three-piece MTB. The MTB Black has a lower compression rating compared to the original, working to kill driver spin while not killing distance. That's a successful recipe we've seen come online in a market where better players have come to demand distance and feel.
Snell isn't making tiers for his Tour-caliber balls, as has sometimes felt the case from ballmakers in the past. Now the choice is largely about benefits and needs for your game.
The company also responded to feedback by offering the MTB Red in an Optic Yellow style. Colored balls are kinda hot right now, so why not make them?
Meanwhile, the golf balls in the MTB lineup are still at a $32 per dozen price, which is great for golfers. They also will send out what amounts to hybrid dozens, with two sleeves of the Red and Black in a package so golfers can see the difference for themselves or have different balls for different situations.
Sometimes, messing with success leads to more success.