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A Solid Competitor In Its Class

A Review On: Nike RZN Platinum

Nike RZN Platinum

Rated # 14 in Premium
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LuciusWooding
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Pros: Very soft feel, better long game performance than most spin balls, and a big improvement over last year

Cons: Outclassed by the RZN Black overall, I prefer less short game spin and higher trajectory

I wrote a more in depth review of the RZN Black, so I'll be keeping this one a little shorter. http://thesandtrap.com/products/nike-rzn-black/reviews/4857

 

A little about me: I am a high swing speed player with a high ball flight, I tend to go for the lower spinning tour ball profile than most manufacturers put out, such as the ProV1X, B330, and last year's 20XiX and 20XiX tour issue. I have a number of last year's 20XiX and am familiar with that ball, so I will be comparing that ball and the RZN Black to the Rzn Platinum as well as other higher spin tour balls such as the ProV1. I received all four of Nike's new line of balls for free from our sponsor Globalgolf.com, and I liked the black the best, followed by the platinum and finally the red and white.

 

From long range, I liked the performance of the Platinum surprisingly well. Normally I get better results from lower spinning balls such as the RZN Black, and that ball is a very tough one to compare to due to how good it is. Where the black had a high launch with a lot of carry, this one launched notably lower off the driver and long irons. That's not really a good recipe for distance, but many players like to see a lower launch and this ball certainly had it, as well as having lower spin than I expected; at least in appearance since it stayed pretty low rather than ballooning. This adds up to a very good wind ball, since I was hitting it into 2 club winds and not losing too much carry. The ball held its line well in the wind, not losing too much speed or over curving, but it did draw and fade noticeably more than the RZN Black on equivalent strikes. The ball would also tend to stop with the longer clubs a bit faster, so it might change the gapping in a player's set if they are used to their longer clubs releasing. If anything Nike seemed to find a way to increase spin, lower launch, and keep wind from affecting the ball as much in spite of the higher spin. I only had my 3 iron and driver the day I tested it, but the other long clubs would probably carry a bit less and roll a couple yards depending on the conditions. This ball is for the player who wants to keep it down and stop it where it lands rather than bomb and roll, so for me this ball would mark an adjustment in strategy off the tee. It felt nice and soft off the long clubs, but a fair bit of swing speed would be needed to get the most from this ball, IMO. It also would require good accuracy to prevent it from over curving, where I felt the Black stayed a little tighter. I had hit a few 20XIS balls and found them to be pretty short off the long clubs even when hit well, but these seemed to have better carry distance than the previous models. Since I place a high premium on long game performance for balls for which I'm paying 40$+ per dozen, I can say these would be one of the top options compared to higher spin balls. Overall, it's outclassed by the Black for my game, since I can get a bit more carry and allow for some roll as well.

 

Off the irons, this ball performed fairly well. The distances were slightly behind the Black but not a whole lot, and again the ball had a lower launch with a bit more spin. That's not really a bad thing with the irons, but I don't have issues stopping the ball on good shots. Once again, the ball penetrated through the wind fairly well, and the ball felt soft and lively. I do run into issues with this type of ball on full wedges, since they can spin back too much at times. I could adjust my shots by taking a bit off my approaches or land the ball a bit further, but I do prefer a ball that generally stops rather than backing up. Only the shorter irons and wedges would require much adjustment, the iron performance on this ball and the RZN Black were more alike than different.

 

For the short game, this ball tends to play a little differently than the RZN Black. There's no question that this ball has a softer feel and more stopping power than its brother, and it's easier to put extra check on the ball. This allows for a lot more control in certain cases, and it was pretty easy to put the ball close consistently. I prefer to play most shots around the greens with my 60 degree wedge, but with a ball like this I'd probably need to change clubs and landing spots, especially on really delicate shots. The RZN Black is closer to what I'm used to, and performs quite well on most shots. On faster greens or on shots I need it to check as quickly as possible, the Platinum is flat out the better ball, and it also feels very soft off the putter. I'd compare it favorably to the ProV1 in terms of feel and spin, though that's not a ball I'm familiar with beyond occasional use. Anyone who had tried Nike's balls in the past and found them to feel harsh should check their contact and swing speed, and give the newest models a try. 

 

Overall, I'd say Nike hit the mark with this ball, though it's not for me. It performs well for balls in this category, and it overcomes some of the distance loss I tend to see from most of these balls. I'd want to do a side by side comparison with the B330S and ProV1 before I decide which of the 3 is the best "spin" ball, but I think I'd rate this one as one of the top contenders. That said, the RZN Black is a better match for me, and I get more out of the improved long game performance than I lose in the short game; in fact I prefer the Black in all areas except when I really need maximum spin. For those with different preferences, or who want more spin to fine tune their shots, this ball is definitely worth a look.

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