The 20XI is the latest premium golf ball to be released by Nike and they hit the stores April 29th, 2011 with a price tag of $45.99 per dozen. These are going to replace the Nike One Tour line.
The golf balls I used in this review were the special Masters edition of the Nike 20XI with the green swoosh and numbering.
From the company:
The innovative technology in the golf ball will dramatically enhance the performance of golfers around the world.
The new Nike 20XI ball features a combination of proprietary technology never before seen in the golf industry and is the result of four years of collaborative research and development between Nike Golf’s golf ball engineers and a team of material and science experts at DuPont.
The technology replaces conventional rubber cores with a new resin material that’s a highly neutralized polymer faster and lighter than rubber engineered to produce longer distance and more controlled shots.
Nike’s team of engineers discovered that using resin core technology in the Nike 20XI accomplishes three critical performance components that every golfer desires in a golf ball: More distance off the tee; Straight ball flight; Increased control around the greens.
Faster Ball Speed Equals More Distance
- Advancement in proprietary resin core chemistry delivers faster ball speed.
- Internal tests with Nike Golf tour athletes have shown an average of 2-3 mph increase in ball speed.
- Every 1 mph increase equates to 2-3 yards carry distance.
Highest Levels of MOI Provides Longer, Straighter Ball Flight
- Lighter core and heavier outer layers result in perimeter weighting.
- High MOI assists in reducing driver spin and maintains spin beyond apex to maintain carry and control.
- After apex, the higher MOI assists in maintaining spin an average of 100-200 RPM.
- The Nike 20XI has the highest levels of MOI in a golf ball to date.
Steeper Spin Slope Equals More Distance Off the Tee; More Control Around the Green
- Less spin off the driver, more off the wedge.
- Overall design and MOI assist in reducing driver spin at impact on average of 100 – 200 RPM over prior Nike ball technology.
- Softer cover materials allow for greater short iron spin and control.
There are two models of the new Nike four layer golf ball, the 20XI-X and the 20XI-S.
The Nike 20XI-X model is designed for players seeking slightly less spin and more distance.
Cover Softness: 43
The Nike 20XI-S model is designed for players seeking a softer golf ball with more control and spin.
Cover Softness: 40
I’ll preface this review by stating that I’m a 19 handicap so it is from that perspective that this is written.
Off the driver and the putter, both these balls felts hard compared to the other balls in my arsenal, namely, the Bridgestone E6 and the TaylorMade Penta TP. The irons and wedges felt pretty good, especially when it was a well struck ball, which, wasn’t very often for me.
I believe the hype is dead on with the Nike 20XI golf ball. I have a confession to make.. I’m a slicer and sometimes, it’s really bad. Off the driver, there was noticeably less side spin from both models than other premium “players” balls I’ve played with, which made the bad shots more manageable.
I didn’t notice much of a difference in the spin generated with the Irons and wedges, but one of the scratch golfers I play with said that it “almost has too much spin around the greens.”
Both models of the 20XI produced a noticeably lower launch angle than I’m used to, so I’d say that the X is a low-mid angle and that the S is a solid mid launch angle.
There was no significant increase in distance from either ball.
The Nike 20XI golf ball is a durable ball, that has some cool technology behind it and whilst straightening out your drives still gives you the ability to put some spin on the ball around the greens. It feels hard off the driver and putter, but doesn’t negatively impact the performance. If you’re a low to mid handicap player in the market for a new ball with a harder feel and some good control around the greens, consider the NIKE 20XI.
If you’ve take the ball for a spin, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.