Nike to Introduce KARMA Golf Balls

A little karma goes a long way. Or at least that’s Nike’s claim.

Bag DropIf Nike’s new golf ball does what it boasts, it may just drive away some potential buyers. That’s because the new ball is named KARMA, so if you’re playing too slow, or don’t bother to tip the cart girl, you might just find yourself behind a tree, or fishing your balls out of the water. On the other hand, maybe this will become the golf ball with the best hole-in-one record. Or maybe it’ll just go in the hole more frequently for those who are about to ascend to another plane of existence…

Nike likes to point out the fact that they have the “2006 PGA Tour Winningest Driver, Irons, and Fairway Woods.” Of course, most of those are due to Tiger Woods, with additional help by K.J. Choi.

But Nike isn’t just about their top-tier guys. Nike cares about the short hitter, the duffer, the anti-Tigers in the world. Now they are giving back a little to this “other” tier with the addition of the KARMA ball.

Soft Compression
“Our objective is to create a soft 50-compression ball that would compress enough at impact to deliver a 100% performance – and I believe we have accomplished that,” says Nike’s Director of Ball Creation, Rock Ishii. “When men and women with slower swing speeds hit the KARMA, they will immediately feel how soft it is and see how well it carries.”

According to Nike, this new ball is “bringing good KARMA to golfers” in the form of the softest compression ever for a Nike golf ball. The compression rating is 50, 10 less than Nike’s previous softest ball (the “Power Soft”). Will that extra 10 make a big enough difference to warrant its creation, carve out a niche in the market, provide a stable future, and be well liked all around the world? Or is all the rage over “the softest ball ever created by&helip;” well, anyone going to matter?

Nike Karma Golf BallsA lower-compression ball is more easily compressed than a higher compression ball, giving the slower swingers better distance than they would get with the firmer ball. Players with high swing speeds will lose tremendous amounts of energy by over-compressing the ball, resulting in a distance loss. So, long hitters need not apply.

The only other 50 compression ball I could find is the Wilson Staff Fifty, and it seems to be a well liked ball, so perhaps that is good news for the future of KARMA.

312 Dimple Design
This two-piece ball has a cover made of Ionomer and 312 dimples. We have seen the same amount of dimples before on the Nike Juice 312 ball, and the Juice seems to have decent aerodynamics. “When golfers need more good KARMA to carry it over a lake, bunker, or any other obstacle that can get in the way of a good shot, the KARMA ball will provide them with renewed confidence with its new 312 dimple design that delivers high trajectory.”

My issue with that statement is the fact that the Nike Juice – which came out November 1, 2006 – has the same number of dimples, so it’s not so new. The KARMA is set to be released one year later, on November 1, 2007. Is the KARMA merely a softer Juice? Will the Juice be replaced? We shall see.

According to Nike, “The KARMA ball also includes a unique and distinctive face stamp graphic, distancing itself from any other ball in the market.” Unfortunately, the markings are not yet known as Nike sources are keeping images of the balls close to the vest.

Nike “consciously has packaged the KARMA ball with 50% recycled content.” The balls are packaged in a rectangle with four three-ball sleeves forming an upright square-ended rectangle, just like most of Nike’s other balls.

The box itself is adorned in earth tones, and I must admit that the packaging looks rather warm and inviting. If KARMA does help these, maybe they’ll be the first dozen balls that I don’t lose in the trees or water. Perhaps the calm design of the box will be enough to make us take a deep breath and calm down before every shot, reminding us not to over swing.

Or not.

Price and Availability
The Nike KARMA is due out November 1, 2007 at an MSRP of $28. Of course, that’s $28 that you could donate to charity. One tactic will get you “12” karmas. The other… a decidedly different variety.

The Wilson Staff Fifty goes for about $16, which makes the KARMA balls about $8-12 more per dozen, raising the age old “is it worth it?” question.

This guest article was written by Count B.M. Henderson.

31 thoughts on “Nike to Introduce KARMA Golf Balls”

  1. Well Karma is definitely what seems to be in the mind of the guys at Nike Golf. One of the things being that they have packaged the golf ball with 50% recycled content. That automatically gives them some good Karma points and if “Karma” plays its part they are bound to drive up the sales of the golf ball. The average golfer I am sure would have been happier if they also decided to follow the path of Karma when they went about pricing it because it seems expensive at 28 dollars.

    I must confess it is a wonderfully fascinating concept to give it the name that they have given and is bound to automatically arouse interest in the product. Of course if they want the tag of the “Winningest Golf Ball” they would have to pray that the big names choose to add this golf ball to their bag.

    Andy Brown

  2. Just purchased a box of 12 at a local GOLF USA location weekend on sale and was VERY IMPRESSED! The extra distance forced me to go up a club for the entire round. The feel off the tee and on the greens was smooth and un-forced…especially when taking long putts for birdie or par. With a 16.8 handicap, I’d definitely recommend these to anyone who is looking for a ball which offers both true feel and distance. My swing speed of the tee is in the 80’s and 90’s… The only downside is the price….$19.99 is a little steep, but well worth the occasional treat.

  3. I tried a sleeve today for the first time and I liked the balls. I’m a female junior golfer with a 20 handicap and found the balls to feel pretty good off the tee. They had a tendency to be a little fast on the greens, but they didn’t bother me to the extent that other balls have. Karma has a relatively good balance because I didn’t feel I lost a lot of distance or control. My biggest and probably, only complaint about them are that their soft cover scratches easily. I didn’t hit the balls into any rocks or cartpaths (the hardest surface they hit were the hardpan), but they still scratched and peeled before the 18 holes were over. This is the first ball I’ve ever played with that scratched so soon, so that was a bit unpleasant. Overall, I think it’s a good ball and I would play with them again. I recomend it, but definitely bring some replacements with you… it’s not such a good thing to play with a scratched ball.

  4. I just bought these balls today and was satisfied with them. I would rather lose the distance for a softer ball than hit a rock hard ball. The feel you get from these in putting makes up for the loss distance in other clubs.

  5. 😀
    These balls play great! Nice feel off the tee and my putting was much improved…Well worth the few extra bucks…which is less than the lessons I was

  6. Just learned today the Karma will be no more PGA store are not going to get any more.

  7. All I can say is that these balls must bring good Karma or something. Played with them for the first time tonight in local golf league and I shot my lowest score yet this year.

    I didn’t think I would like them since the dimples seem “larger” and there is no alignment aid. I am almost confinced for my game not havng the alignment aid helped. I didn’t focus so hard on just line and one putted 7 out of 9 greens.

    I usually play one platinums, but for $20 at wally world I think I’m switching. Now I just hope that Nike doesn’t screw up and take these off the market like they seem to do everything else I like.

  8. I still have quite a high handicap (30,9) and am too old to learn the fast and easy swing of youngsters. Last Sunday my wife spent me a package of Nike Karma Balls: And I played the BEST ROUND in my golf career so far (93 on a par 72) including one birdie (on a par 4) and three pars. So: I think I will stay with good Karma in the future!!!!

  9. I really enjoy the Karma ball from Nike. I am a pretty big hitter and a six handicap and I didnt find that I lost much distance off the tee, and the putting feel was exceptional.

  10. I have to say that the “karma” from the Nike Karman ball was great for me.I had a hole in one on 6/21/08 at Richmond Country Club # 7 playing about 225 y using a driver. It was witnessed by our teaching pro Joe Vavra and is my first! I am a Karma fan.

  11. These balls do what they need to do and exactly what they promise to do. I’d give them 9.5/10 simply because the shots are carried with short swings and adapt to almost any golfer. The soft, comforting cushion while putting makes the ball every dream a golfer would want and sinking those 10ft. + putts.

  12. I think paying a little extra for The Nike Karma is worth it i shot the best game with Karma (48 on par 36, only been playing a little less than a year) and it feels great when you make contact..i noticed it gives you better lift while pitching and chipping..

  13. 🙂 These are the best! Really improved the distance in my game. Highly recommended for those of us that do crush the ball!

  14. ❓ Soft balls hardly add distance, so I would not recommend these to the long hitter or the the low handicapper due to their compression, and properties. Although these downsides do play a factor in my game, these balls would be properly fitting for 90% of the golfers in the game. 😉

  15. All I can say is that these balls must bring good Karma or something. Played with them for the first time tonight in local golf league and I shot my lowest score yet this year.

    I didn’t think I would like them since the dimples seem “larger” and there is no alignment aid. I am almost confinced for my game not havng the alignment aid helped. I didn’t focus so hard on just line and one putted 7 out of 9 greens.

    I usually play one platinums, but for $20 at wally world I think I’m switching. Now I just hope that Nike doesn’t screw up and take these off the market like they seem to do everything else I like.

    I think you should definitely kick that habit of using and alignment aid except for really long put across the green. learning to align well will help the rest of your game.

    btw, a nike one platinum is better for a player with swing speeds over a hundred to take advantage of its distance. Hitting it with speeds lower than that will significantly reduce it’s speed. But it does have excellent control.

  16. September 2009. I used the Karma golf balls this weekend at the insistence of the pro at the turn. I hit the ball farther and straighter than I ever had. Being 66 years old and having lost some flexibility thereby limiting my club head swing speed, the Karma ball made up for this by at least 20-25 yards further off the tee box. I continually had to rethink the club I was using for subsequent shots because of the increased distance. I bought three dozen balls at the pro shop before I left and do hope Nike continues this line of excellent golf balls. They are ideal for the “older” player.
    Thanks Nike!! You have renewed my passion for the game.

  17. I will begin by saying that although I have a very quick swing speed, I do have the occasional mistake here and there. (but who doesn’t?) I bought this ball because it was the cheapest ball at the clubhouse. My first drive was amazing. It was a good 260 yards and I had ultimate control of the ball. I took a 5-iron over 200 yards as well. Also, chipping onto the green was a breeze and I could control the ball very well on putts. I would recommend this ball to anyone high swing speed or not. For all the skeptical people out there, at least try it out. It’s only $20.

  18. I have new goals for this summer of 09..I’m in the driving dome to work on the A. Kim choke up method for accruacy in the fairway, and have vowed to spend the winter putting in my family room, and focusing on my short game – Utley convert. The Karma experience this summer was pleasant – like hitting a Balatta around the greens. I have Karma on my Christmas list but will now try the W/Staff 50 too.

  19. I got a nike one nike karma golf ball in a box of twelve mojo golf balls. The karma golf ball was gray.??? WHAT GIVES ????

  20. 😎 just bought a pack today and used them on the course.
    Simply the best ball i have ever hit. easy to hit and control.

    11 Out of 10

  21. Just played with the Karma. Because of back issues I have a slow swing speed…I love this ball!. Great flight and distance.
    Broke 80 for the first time since my back injury…thank you Nike!!!

  22. They are great –I have a fast (too fast) of a swing and I did not notice a big drop in distance. Nice around the greens.

  23. I’m a junior golfer and just went to the practice green yesterday with the nike karma. It had a good feel to it. And it didn’t seem to fly of my club head :mrgreen:

  24. Found a Karma on the 16th hole. Decided to hit it off the 18th tee. I ususally hit the ball about 210 yards. Imagine my surprise when I walked over the small ridge about 150 yards from the tee and saw the Karma 250 yards down the fairway. Hit a nine iron to the green vice the normal 7wood. easily parred a hole I uasually bogey. Bought 4 boxes of Karmas at Target @ $15 a box. Love em. Being 67, this ball helps me keep up with some of my younger golf buddies.

  25. I also found a Karma on my local course . First time I hit it ,300 easy, second time 340 no lie could not believe it recounted the distance three times. I had to look these up online and shocked to read it is an easily compressed ball , definitely stocking up on these soon.

  26. 💡

    I have just purchased the Karma, and hopefully it will work for me like the rest of you. And the price?…Buy 1 box, get box at half price…paid $24 for 24 balls….not to shabby.

  27. I just finished playing 18 holes at my local course. I’m a 14 handicap and after the first nine, a 43, I decided to try one of the Karma’s I bought at local clearance retailer. I only paid $13.00 for the four sleeves. Not a bad price at all. But, back to the game, I shot 37 on the back, even par and found the ball extremely smoothe and equally long to any higher compression ball I usually use off the tee. I was even more impressed with the action on the greens. They really nice, straight and true. I’m sold on it and will be looking for them again even if it means retail price at the local sporting/golf shop.

  28. I’m from Blackhawk Country Club… Where the LPGA will be in Sept.!
    Last Thurs. Aug. 27th, I was playing with our 18 holers and opened up my first box of Nike Kharma’s. On the 12th hole, par 3, I had my very first HOLE-IN-ONE!!!!
    I LOVE these balls and will continue to use them!
    Thanks for a great product and good KHARMA…

  29. i hit my best ever round using a karma ball
    im a 30 hanidicapper as ive only been playing for 3 months and i went from a best round of 97 down to a round of 92 (and beat my boss in the process)

    i loved striking this ball it felt so good off the club.

    my handicap has dropped to 27 in the last 2 weeks since i starting using it….

    think ill be buying these balls in bulk!

  30. I would like the Nike Company know that I had my first hole in one on August 6, 2010 at the Crumpin Fox Club in Bernardston, MA with the Karma ball. It is the best ball and I have been golfing with this type of ball all season and love the results. Thanks for deveoloping this great golf ball!

  31. Tried these balls one week ago, shot 78 and 82, am a 14 handicap. These give me much more distance and carry well. Will definitely get more.

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