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New Nike 20XI Ball

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I just posted this up on Twitter, and I figured I'd share here as well. It's a good little article from the Wall Street Journal on the new Nike 20XI ball. There are definitely a few interesting points in here, especially the one about how they had to reduce the size of the core to comply to USGA regulations. The ball would fly 20 yards longer if the core in it were the same size as the rubber core in a standard ball. Anyway, I'll save you having to go there, here it is:

 

 

Quote:

Can Your Golf Ball Make a Difference?

A Nike Expert, Francesco Molinari and Anthony Kim Talk About the Subtleties of the White Orb

 

Like many golfers, I'm suspicious about the hype and technology surrounding golf balls. So I seized the opportunity this week to spend some time with Rock Ishii, Nike Golf's chief ball designer. He was walking the fairways during the practice rounds here at the WGC-Cadillac-World Golf Championship at the Doral Resort and Spa, helping Nike Tour pros evaluate the company's new ball, the 20XI.

 

Not every new ball that comes out can be longer and better than the one before, right? Especially since all are subject to the same U.S. Golf Association limitations on distance and other flight characteristics. But there are lots of ways, Ishii said, to engineer different spin, feel and trajectory combinations so that individual players can find a ball that flies the longest, or otherwise performs the best, for them. For the pros, who know their games so well and hit the ball so consistently, this process is mostly about managing trade-offs.

 

The kind of distinctions that make a difference to Tour pros would not even be detectable to the vast majority of rank-and-file players. Ishii confirmed, for example, that Tiger Woods plays a version of Nike's One Tour D ball that is not available to the public. The ball is not a secret. It's listed on the U.S. Golf Association website as one of five conforming versions of the One Tour and is marked on its cover with a tiny star between the words "One" and "Tour D." Nike pros Jhonattan Vegas and Charl Shwartzel also use it.

 

It differs from the standard One Tour D ball only in that it produces a minuscule extra amount of spin around the greens—at the cost of an equally minuscule loss of distance off the tee. "Tiger can tell the difference, because he talks about differences of just a few inches, 6 inches, in how far his short wedge shots go, but not many other people can, even other pros," Ishii said. The third Nike ball used by Tour players, the regular One Tour, has two "custom spec" versions, but to offer all these variations for sale in pro shops would needlessly confuse consumers, Ishii said.


The new Nike ball, by comparison, is downright radical, at least by Tour pro standards. Unlike every other ball in play in the professional ranks, its core is not made of rubber, but rather of a resin that DuPont invented and tweaked to Nike specifications. Because of its compact molecular structure, this resin is much bouncier than rubber, a superball compared with a handball. Fun fact: If the resin core inside the 20XI were the same size as the rubber core of a standard ball, it would fly 20 yards farther.

 

The core has to be smaller, of course, to comply with USGA regulations. But it nevertheless creates a new set of playing characteristics that the pros have to get used to. In general, the 20IX series balls fly faster and spin less off the driver, spin more off the short irons and maintain their altitude longer than do the Tour One series balls.

 

On the sixth hole at Doral Tuesday, for example, Vegas drove the X version of the 20IX (there is also an S version) 23 yards farther into a strong headwind than he drove the Tour One D ball he normally plays. On the next hole, however, his downwind drive with the new ball was nine yards shorter than his drive with the old ball, which Ishii said might be expected. Vegas is still on the fence about switching.

 

"Changing balls is much harder than changing clubs," said Anthony Kim, who's been playing the 20IX-S since December. (The 20IX line won't be available in stores until late April.) "With a new driver, that's basically just one shot you have to understand. But a new ball affects all 14 clubs in your bag, and you have to have confidence in how each of those clubs are going to play."

 

After watching Francesco Molinari tag a towering six-iron into the wind onto the 12th green Tuesday, with a 20IX-X ball, I asked him how he would have hit the same shot using his old ball. "I would have had to hit it much lower, or else use one more club," he said.


Kim had to re-shaft his driver to accommodate the new ball. Another early-adapting Tour veteran slightly strengthened the loft of his irons. (Woods, said Ishii, will probably switch to the new ball eventually but is waiting until the rest of his game gels more before going through the process.)


Everyday players, with their inconsistent games, can't begin to perceive and take advantage of ball subtleties like the pros can, but the takeaway for me is that ball selection matters more than most of us probably think. If tiny variations in ball characteristics make such a big difference to the pros, it stands to reason that the huge variation in characteristics among the balls that amateurs play should be just as important. As an example, Ishii said, for a player who hits the ball high and reasonably far, a good, midprice, low-spin ball could be a lifesaver, taking as much as 15 yards off a 30-yard slice, compared with a more expensive, high-spin ball. The key, he said, is to know your tendencies, study the fine print on the boxes or seek the help of a pro.

 

Here's the link anyway - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703597804576194704248344960.html

 

post #2 of 31

but a average player can tell the difference between lets say, a maxfly noodle, and a pinnacle gold...

I find I can see a difference in most golf balls.

post #3 of 31

Read this a few weeks back, pretty cool article.

 

Really looking forward to this ball, being a fan of the Tour D. Nike is making a bold move here, which could push balls in a new direction technology wise and I really hope it pays off for them and golfers alike.

post #4 of 31
Yeah, I can't wait to try out the new 20XI. I was reading an article and it mentioned that it playes way longer into the wind, while the Tour D plays longer with the wind.
post #5 of 31

picked up a sleeve of the nike 20XI S balls at my local golf shop today. Looking forward to trying them out

post #6 of 31

The Augusta National ones that I won come on tomorrow. Should get to test 'em out over the weekend. I have high hopes for these, but they have some stiff competition. 

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by motteler621 View Post

picked up a sleeve of the nike 20XI S balls at my local golf shop today. Looking forward to trying them out


 

Very cool, especially since they dont officially release until Friday. I'm gonna have to stop by a shop on the way home to see if they've got out for sale too.

 

post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

The Augusta National ones that I won come on tomorrow. Should get to test 'em out over the weekend. I have high hopes for these, but they have some stiff competition. 



yea my local golf shop always releases stuff before the official date which is cool. Heres a pic of them

 

CIMG0055.jpg

post #9 of 31

I'm definetaly going to try these out when I get the chance.


 

post #10 of 31

I will have to check out the specs on them.  My last driver swing speed measurement was 95mph, still well within the range of the Bridgestone B330-RXs.  I've yet to find a Nike that would work well with that swing speed, but I'll probably give it a try when I find one.

 

EDIT:  No sooner do I say this than I find the Nike golf ball selector via their Facebook feed.  It keeps telling me to try the ONE Vapor Speed, when I go through various combinations that all fit me.  And I think I have a sleeve in my supply closet somewhere.  I'll give it a try in my next casual round.


Edited by Shindig - 4/27/11 at 5:34pm
post #11 of 31

played 9 holes today with it. This is going to be my new gamer, awesome ball for me. Flight was good, spin was good. Its just an all around good ball

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by motteler621 View Post

played 9 holes today with it. This is going to be my new gamer, awesome ball for me. Flight was good, spin was good. Its just an all around good ball


 

I got hooked up too, my shop ended up having them out for purchase. Looks like you got the 20XI-S? All they had here were the X's, which I'm fine with since I play the One Tour D as it is. Will post a pic in a few of that box. Gonna get to try them out tomorrow, I'm really looking forward to seeing how they play. Glad to hear you had a good experience with them.


 

 

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by motteler621 View Post

picked up a sleeve of the nike 20XI S balls at my local golf shop today. Looking forward to trying them out



Post a review after you hit'em.

 

post #14 of 31



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

The Augusta National ones that I won come on tomorrow. Should get to test 'em out over the weekend. I have high hopes for these, but they have some stiff competition. 



Share your thoughts on them after a few rounds - should be interesting based on the other offerings.

 

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NI4NI View Post





Post a review after you hit'em.

 

 

i did sort of a few posts above. I like them alot. The weather was really bad today, wet and cold but I still hit the ball good. In short I like it better than the prov1. Durability is about the same as prov1. maybe slightly better, and it actually stays white instead of turning yellow. The thing I really like about the balls is the flight and feel of them, amazing flight and spin off driver, irons and wedges. I didnt have a prov1 to compare it to when putting but it might feel a tiny bit harder off the putter, not sure, but its a good feeling. This is my go to ball now. Its way better than one tour and tour d
 

 

post #16 of 31

New 20XI Nike Golf Ball ??

Do you think its really gunna be worth all the hype??

 

post #17 of 31
post #18 of 31
Will it be round with dimples? Then yes.
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