Titleist NXT Tour/Extreme Balls Review

If you think Ian MacCallister was miffed with the old Titleist NXT line, he’s really going to be stark raving mad with the new ones.

Titleist NXTUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few weeks, you’ve probably seen quite a bit of Ian MacCallister expound on the evil virtues of Titleist’s new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme golf balls. While the ads are quite humorous, Titleist seemed to be quite serious in giving the NXT line a facelift, which is pretty impressive since the older versions both were rated Gold on Golf Digest’s 2007 Hot List.

I’ve been using the first generation of the NXT Tour for the past several years. The original NXT Tour was a good all-around ball, and I didn’t have to worry quite so much about losing them as I would a $5 ball. They were, in short, a great blend of value and performance. They were also quite durable… and durability matters when you scrape your ball around the trees and off the cart paths. My only real complaint with the original NXT Tour was how soft it felt off the putter.

I couldn’t ever quite used to the feel with the putter, so I often played the Pro V1. I was quite happy to hear that Titleist was revamping the NXT line. I hoped Titleist would push the performance levels to get closer to the new Pro V1 line. If the NXT Tour was once the Pro V1’s distant cousin, I hoped the updates would make it play more like the Pro V1’s kid brother.

Would the new NXT Tour prompt me to switch back? Read on to see if the allure of a premium ball was too much or if the value and performance offered by the new NXT Tour and NXT Extreme defeated silly pride for this 15-handicapper.

Design and Technology
The revised Pro V1 and Pro V1x were the first Titleist balls without a seam with the “Staggered Wave Parting Line.” The updated Pro V1 line also added an “A.I.M.” aiming line (the “Alignment Integrated Marking” line). Both the Staggered Wave and the A.I.M. line have made the leap to the NXT.

The balls share other characteristics as well. Both feature 392 dimples arranged in an icosahedral pattern (a Titleist staple layout for a few years now). Beyond that, well, both balls are white (with a new “Pro White” paint color), round, and obey the Rules of Golf. Yeah, we’re stretching a bit, because the NXT Tour and Extreme’s similarities end there.

The dimple patterns on the NXT Tour (left) and NXT Extreme (right) were tweaked and a Staggered Wave parting line added to give you longer distance through enhanced aerodyanmics.

The NXT Extreme, which replaced the original “NXT,” is marketed to the budget-minded golfer who is more interested in gaining distance rather than control on and around the green. Its solid core is made of polybutadiene, which the engineers at Titleist describe as having a “high coefficient of restitution (CoR).” The NXT Extreme’s cover is made of the old standby: incredibly durable Surlyn. All of this combines to make the NXT Extreme the lowest-spinning ball in the Titleist line (for those that require a lower spinning ball off the tee – both for distance and for curbing your slice or hook).

The NXT Tour is a dual-core ball (like the Pro V1x). Both the inner and outer cores are made of polybutadiene, each with slightly different properties: the firmer inner core contributes to the distance and the softer outer core to the feel and control. The cover material is named “Fusablend,” a softer material than Surlyn.

Feel and Spin
In the past, the primary feature I considered when choosing a golf ball was affordability. Plain and simple. All I really needed was a ball I could find when I hit into the woods. As I’ve gotten better this past year and as I’ve spent more practice time on the green, I am now placing more importance on a golf ball’s feel, especially off the putter.

Both balls offered a solid, dependable feel off the flatstick, but I preferred the feeling the NXT Tour gave me over the NXT Extreme. I could never quite warm up to the Extreme because it felt just a bit too soft, like most of the lower compression distance balls on the market today. Feel is going to be a huge individual characteristic, so what didn’t work for me may work for you. Either way, rest assured the NXT Extreme was noticeably better around the greens that its predecessor, the NXT.

Core Comparison
You can see the difference in core design with the NXT Extreme being solid core while the NXT Tour is a dual-core design.

The new NXT Tour feels more like its bigger brother, the Pro V1, and I quickly adapted to the ball and felt fairly confident when using it. On short wedge shots around the green, the NXT Tour spun quite pleasingly and more so than the NXT Extreme. While the NXT Extreme would land and run out, the NXT Tour had a lot more “hop and stop” capability. It’d still run out a little bit, but I didn’t have to aim for spots 10 yards short of the pin with a pitching wedge, either.

Distance and Durability
Distance wise, both of these balls seem to have gained a little. Between the two, I’d call it a toss-up: both the NXT Tour and the NXT Extreme are long golf balls. Players looking to eke that extra yard or two from one ball or the other will need to play them for themselves, and they’ll likely find it comes down to swing speed, plain and simple. With the NXT Extreme, I found I could really compress the ball well while not very swinging hard (similar to the feeling I’ve gotten with the DT SoLo), making this a good ball for golfers with slower swings speeds. Easy distance without swing hard is a great concept.

Those who swing harder will want to look at the NXT Tour first. The NXT Tour felt a bit firmer off the driver and irons and produced a more consistent distance at my clubhead speed (100+ MPH with the driver). The NXT Tour is not as “spinny” as the Pro V1s I’d previously used, so it also flies a bit straighter.

Between the two NXT models, I found the Extreme to be more durable, hands down. I bounced a few off the cart paths as well as smacked a tree or two and the ball showed few signs of damage. If you do manage to damage the cover, you can just send it back to the good folks at Titleist and they will send you a free sleeve of balls to replace your damaged one. How’s that for customer service?!?

Titleist Line Up
From the outside, the NXT Tour and Extreme look identical and incorporate the A.I.M. line. Under the cover, they are completely different beasts. If you cut up an Extreme during normal play, send it back to get some new ones!

The new, improved version of the NXT Tour is not quite as durable as its predecessor. On wedge shots, I noticed little pieces of cover material in the grooves. On more than one occasion, my Spin-Milled Vokey 56° sand wedge scuffed up the ball to the point where I had to regulate it to my shag bag – not quite as bad as you’ll see with a urethane-covered Pro V1, but enough to warrant replacement in my opinion. I’m a bit picky, too: the balls were still quite playable – I just don’t like to see little scuffs when I’m lining up my 180-yard approach over water. Small scuffs are to be expected: added spin comes at a cost. Fortunately with the NXT Tour, the cost is quite a bit less than with a Pro V1.

With the NXT line, Titleist brought in some of the same design concepts used in the top-of-the-line Pro V1 and Pro V1x. These changes have vaulted the NXT line to its worthy spot as the top affordable golf ball on the market. It perfectly fills the niche between the higher-priced Pro V1/V1x and the DT SoLo, with an appreciable amount of upside for the better-than-average golfer on a budget. Neither model will break the bank: the NXT Tour will run less than $30/dozen and the NXT Extreme about $25.

Titleist NXT Tour and NXT Extreme

In the end, I was impressed with both offerings. While I never completely warmed up to the NXT Extreme, it is still a good ball that provides some nice distance and is very durable, particularly for those who don’t quite reach 100 MPH with their driver. The NXT Tour, on the other hand, is much closer to what I want for my game. I really liked the feeling off the putter (although not quite as much as the Pro V1) and the wedges. Though I still have a bit of testing to go before I determine whether I want to play the NXT Tour or the Pro V1, I can already tell you it’s a close call, and for $15 less, that’s a win in my book for the NXT Tour.

Titleist has been aggressively marketing these balls, both in print, television, and web advertising. One of their web efforts, NXTube.com, is an “anti-NXT” website run by the NXT’s old arch nemesis, Ian MacCallister. Golfers can submit short video clips, post comments, and spend a few minutes laughing each day. I particularly enjoyed Ian’s hit single, “Make Golf Difficult Again.”

24 thoughts on “Titleist NXT Tour/Extreme Balls Review”

  1. great review! thanks for taking the time. i’ve been looking for some guidance as to what ball i could use that wouldnt break the bank, but would not add to my crappy 20+ handicap. i think i’ll give the NXT Extreme a shot.

  2. Hey Alan, great review. I have a dozen NXT Tours locked and loaded, good to read this prior to my own experience.

    One question,

    “If you do manage to damage the cover, you can just send it back to the good folks at Titleist and they will send you a free sleeve of balls to replace your damaged one.”

    Does this apply to both NXT Tour and Extreme?

    Thanks again!

  3. One question,

    “If you do manage to damage the cover, you can just send it back to the good folks at Titleist and they will send you a free sleeve of balls to replace your damaged one.”

    Does this apply to both NXT Tour and Extreme?

    Thanks again!

    The replacement policy only applies to the NXT Extreme.

  4. Hi all,
    I’ve tried NXT Tour balls during my last two rounds , but…I think they are much firm than older version, I didn’t feel them so softly when hitting by irons compare the old NXT Tours. And I was quiet surprised, when saw them first time – they looks like packed in very thin layer of transparent plastic…..:-) From my point of view – it is step back, Titeist.

  5. I found a (seemingly) brand new NXT Extreme at my home course and decided to try it out the next day. I’m a female golfer with a low handicap(5), but don’t have a super fast swing speed. My irons are usually very accurate, but I’m a poor short-putter. My first round with the NXT Extreme: very long off the tee, to the point where I didn’t have full shots for holes I usually hit 1-2 clubs more; my irons ran out on the green a little further than I expected, even adjusting to my seemingly newfound length; I didn’t miss a putt within 6 feet; and I had a hole-in-one using one less club than I normally would have used!
    Even though it’s only one round, I think you hit the mark with your review, especially for a person with my similar characteristics. I certainly will be buying more of the NXT Extremes!

  6. Thanks for the article. I tend to trust your review more than the major golf magazines, and definitely more than the old guy at the driving range near my house.

    I am a high handicapper, but I am willing to spend a little more than $15 or whatever on a dozen golf balls; however, I can’t spin the ball like Tiger Woods, and I lose enough balls in a round to make me think twice out spending my hard earned dough on ProV1s or even the cheaper HX Tours and Nike Ones.

    I would really value your opinion in a head-to-head comparison of the major “2nd tier” golf balls, such as the NXT (tour or extreme), Bridgestone e5/e6, Callaway HX Hot/CX3 Hot, etc., etc. Is there anything in the works out there that I should look forward to reading soon?

  7. I have just gone through a dozen of the new NXT Tours. I was a user of the originals for the past several years. An 18 handicap, who trusted the ball. The new ones however, do not seem to be improved at all. As the above writer states, these balls seem to scar up too easily. Playing the same courses with the same equipment, these new balls do not pass the test. I still have 9 of the original 12 in my bag but there is damage to all of them. The outside layer of paint seems to scrape off on iron shots at times, just spinning through a tree, (cartpaths too!), if I could locate a supply of the older version of NXT Tours I would buy 10 dozen.

  8. I mostly play the older version of the NXT Tour, I found the regular NXT tended to “baloon” if I hit my irons too hard, while the Tour didn’t launch as high. The only real problem I’ve had is with durability, with my short irons, as you mentioned about the new ones, I tend to get a lot of “skin” on the club face, ruins that ball. I’ve had better luck with ProV-1s but really don’t like the cost (I’m an 11, not a 1, they do get lost). I’m going to give the new Extreme’s a shot and see what happens.

  9. 😐 It’s one of the best balls i’ve tried. Behind the Nike ONE Platinum which I scored the lowest with. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is the name Tour. When the PGA Tour pros are looking for a Titleist golf ball, they are going for the PRO V1 not the NXT Tour. Titleist needs to think of a different name (no suggestions) just think of something.

  10. I’ve been playing the NXT Extreme for a couple of weeks. I am very happy with the distance off the tee and fairway. Like most mid/high handicappers I tend to land short of the hole on approach shots, so having the ball run a little on the green isn’t a big deal to me. Also I play in the wet Northwest and ball spin isn’t a big deal on a wet soft green. I am interested in how the extreme reacts once the greens at my club dry out and harden up a little. And last but not least, the durable cover of the NXT Extreme is really nice. They are truly scuff proof!

    I’ve been playing the new NXT Tour, as well, and have had good results as far as playing characteristics go. The durability sucks, however. Every ball I’ve played so far has “sheared” as a result of the first iron shot.
    I wrote to Titleist and was informed that it’s not a problem with the ball, but rather the fact that I have new irons(???). Of course, I haven’t had that problem with any other ball, including all the new premium balls I’ve been testing. I’ve never even seen a ball shear like this. Titleist has a problem and is hiding from reality.
    By the way, I just traded irons two months ago and had the same result with my old ones. I just didn’t realize what was happening. I attributed it to a bad ball or two. I now believe there is a design or material problem that Titleist doesn’t want to face.
    I’ve got two dozen new NXT Tours in the garage, and they are going back to the shop to trade for something else. It’s a real shame as I’ve played NXT Tours exclusively since the were introduced.

  12. I’ve been playing the NXT Tour for a couple of years now (I like it). I have average swing speed and tend hit a decent fade on good days and more of a slice on bad. I tried out the extreme last week and was amazed at the increase in distance and by how straight I was hitting the ball. My only gripe was that the ball really ran out when it hit the green, even with a 7 or 8 iron. I ended up having to putt from much farther out then usual. That being said, the distance and accuracy are making me think Extreme over Tour for this season.

    I’ve read some about the Callaway HX Hot Bite. Does this ball seem like it’s somewhat of a better alternative …the distance of the NXT Extreme with the “bite” the NXT Tour.

  13. 😛 Although, it took me this longf to run accross this review, your words on the NXT line remains timeless.

    I am on those players that has to keep a balance between performance and value.

    The key starting point with me, is with the putter.

    The NXT Tour w/my Cleveland Form Forged III Milled, is a very good combination. There is a desired feedback at impact that I seek. It can be described as a dense-deep centered contact that reverbs back to my hands, not just a surface contact.

    Next, is how well it reacts to my short game with the wedges.

    Although, these do not immediately stop on a dime which is ok by me due to I’de rather chip at my target spot, and allow it to roll to the hole.

    Drives are very good with distance and control.

    I agree, that the cover of this ball is not it’s main focus. It’s going to get scuffed…reminds me of the Balatas which, I do miss.

    I give the NXT Tour a thumbs up…These are what I prefer to play a this time. Until, they change the line just to recreate the wheel that may not be broken.

  14. I play to a single digit handicap. For many years I refused to use anythhing but the pro v1x. The other day, I decided on the NXT Extreme because I wanted to save a few bucks. I think I’ll be sticking with them. For all the people who say the Extreme doesn’t bite on the greens, give me a break. A well struck iron will have these balls stopping in their tracks (with the added bonus of less side spin off the tee). If you don’t hit your irons well enough to produce this kind of backspin, you shouldn’t even be considering pro v1s anyway.

    As for handling around the greens, I think amateurs have gotten caught up with the idea of producing tons of spin on pitches and chips. The vast majority of amateurs have the problem of the ball checking up and not getting to the hole. There’s nothing wrong with a ball having a bit of roll around green. In fact I think this characteristic will help most people. Don’t be a sucker and blindly emulate what the pros use. Even very good single digit amateurs play an entirely different type of game than the pros.

  15. This is great, i live in england, and have just got some of the new nxt extremes off ebay for a good price cant waot to try them out now!! i was previously using some cheapy top flite balls, which were a step up from the first balls i started last year when i first started playing. GREAT REVIEW, thanks. cant wait ot play

  16. Just got a dozen nxt tours from my cousin who never golfs. Great ball bit does scuff easy. Not as easy as the callaway us hot bites which were my favorite ball until today. The tours have great control and good distance. Lowered my score significantly, I usually shoot from a 48 to a 53 but today I shot back to back 41’s. A great ball that doesn’t break the pocket. As a highschool golfer I found a great deal.

  17. I have been a die hard ProV1x player for as long as they’ve made them. I am a low single handicapper, with a drive distance around 270. I refuse to compromise on my ball, and have been willing to pay the extra money for the V1x. I’ve been on the hunt for a more affordable ball, and committed enough to buy a dozen of the latest, “as good or better than ProV” balls from Titleist, Bridgestone, Callaway, Srixon, etc., over the years. I adjusted to play the other balls, but as soon as I put one of the ProV’s back on the tee, I was instantly reminded of their quality and reliability, and went right back to them.

    I can frequently play the same 2-3 balls for a round, or two, or even three, because I can keep them in play. So, even though people complain about them being easily scuffed, I don’t see a whole lot of playability difference when they are. I generally relegate them to the shag bag only because they get a little grungy looking, not because they are playing poorly.

    A playing partner of mine handed me a sleeve of the NXT Extreme and NXT Tour last week. I kept the same two Extreme’s in play for two solid rounds, and finally lost one in the drink, on the third round. I was pleased with the performance, and when I decided to compare them off the tee to my ProV1x, I was happily surprised to feel or see very little difference, though I may concede that the Extreme might be a little longer than the ProV. Long irons and fairway woods, the Extreme was probably a little straighter and not quite as workable as the Pro V. I was able to reach a couple of par 5s in two with the Extreme, where normally, I’m chipping or pitching up on the third shot with the ProV. Around the greens with the mid to short irons, yes, the V1x had some noticeable stopping difference than the Extreme, especially on the hard/fast greens I was playing. I found them a little speedy on the chips, but that could readily be adjusted for, once I knew the characteristics. The putting was about the same.

    I tried the NXT Tour for eighteen holes, but slipped them back in the bag and went back to the Extreme. My second of the three Extreme balls decided to take a swim, so I went back to the ProV1x for the remainder of the week.

    Will I switch to the Extreme? Hmmmm…If I am seriously considering a dozen, I’ll have to compare. Let’s see $40/dozen vs. $25/dozen…that’s $15 difference per dozen, $1.25 difference per ball. Nahhh…the price difference per dozen is what I pay for a couple decent cigars. I will stick with the ProV1x. They’re just that good.

    It’s only a game, a bloody, silly, ridiculous game, a complete waste of time and money, and I love it. No matter what else is happening in the world, life is beautiful on the golf course…unless I triple bogeyed, then I hate it – and hate it with a passion – then I laugh. It’s only a game, a bloody, silly, ridiculus game…

    Have a fabulous golfing season everyone.

  18. I have just played my first round with the NXT Extreme. I loved it! The feel off the club face from driver to putter suited me perfectly and they definately fly longer than the wilson Dx2 soft I was using. It will take a little while to adjust to the yardage difference on my irons but I just love the feel of this golf ball!! I can’t wait to get out there again! I am a 22 handicapper with an average swing speed and this ball really works for me.

  19. I don’t know what it is about the NXT Tour, but I absolutely love this ball. When I need to go low and be in contention in my local tournaments, this ball is in play.

    I have tried almost all the premium balls (Nike One Tour; ProV1; Bridgestones; TaylorMade; Callaway; et al) and the NXT Tour just works. I play all of the other balls well and like different attributes of each, but when I need to go low, this is the ball.

    Even better, the price is great! 😆

  20. My dad plays the NXT Tour ball and I decided to try a couple for the first time today at Seneca Golf Course in Louisville, Kentucky. The ball felt amazing coming off of my irons. Especially my short irons. Most of my approach shots were some of the best feeling shots I have almost ever hit.

  21. I played exclusively Pinnacle Exception for about 3-4 years and loved them for distance, but I was having trouble keeping the ball on the greens.

    Seeing that it was harder to find the Exceptions and also wanting to find something that played better off the short irons I was told to try either the Titliest NXT Tour or the Bridgestone e5 as good mid range balls that had better performance but not as tough on the budget.

    Overall, I am very happy with the NXT Tours! I haven’t lost anything on distance, and control is much easier with approach shots on to the green. I don’t remember having a ball stop so well, and not run off the back of the green like a hot knife through melted butter.

    The NXT Tour has danced around the hole several times, and stopped close enough that I am putting a lot less per round.

    Also, I am not losing nearly as many balls, as the control and placement is working well for me. So, the extra money per ball isn’t too much of an issue. I used to lose an average of about 3 balls a round on nine holes. Last week I played 2 1/2 rounds with the same ball.

    The problem is the durability! They get scuffed and marred WAY too easily, and that is just off the irons.

    If they hit anything like the cart path, fence or trees. the ball looks like someone took a hacksaw too it after the first time.

    I have replaced more balls in the past 3 weeks do to getting scuffed or marred, than I have lost, by far.

  22. I just played a version of the new NXT tour yesterday and I played well. I shot a 42 on a regulation course with par of 36. My drives off the tee and in the fairway were as long as they have ever been, along with my irons. I got about 50 more yards with my driver, 40 yards more with my RAZR hybrid, and 30 more yards with my irons. It was a little scuffed up after only one round which is a downside, but if you are a good golfer and can hit fairway, this ball should last you a very long time.

  23. I play the NXT Tours and I love them! Yeah they get scuffed up, especially with my 56° Vokey SM but watching the ball zip back a few feet is awesome and my budget is in good enough to condition to replace them. Great ball with great control and spin for the price!

  24. I too love the NXT Tour. My clubs are older so I have not noticed the scuffing that others have. I like the feel better than the bridgestone e6 and callaway hex. The taylor made urethane gives it a run. Titleist gets aplus 1 for this ball.

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