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GOLF BALL REVIEW! – Nike 20XI Golf Ball

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Nike 20XI Golf Ball Review

Today…our friends over at GolfBallSelector.com…did a in-depth review of the new Nike 20Xi Golf Ball.  We like to think we have come up with one of the most well rounded and detailed golf club reviews in the business.  But when it comes to golf ball reviews we leave it to the guys over at GBS.

nike 20xi ball review

The Nike 20XI is available in two models, the 20XI-X and 20XI-S. They will serve as Nike’s new premium golf balls replacing the Nike One Tour and One Tour D models.  The retail version of the 20XI balls will be available nationally on April 29th.

The key new aspect of the design is the ball’s resin core that replaces a traditional rubber core. Rock Ishii, Nike Golf’s Product Development Director for golf balls, states in their press release:

“I have never been more excited about a new golf ball innovation than I am now.  For many years, golf ball development has primarily been focused on the number of layers with a solid rubber core. We believe that there wasn’t really anywhere else to go as far as technology advancement in these areas, and felt that the next window of opportunity was in the exploration of various materials for the core.”

The Nike 20XI-X and 20XI-S will be included in the next spring release of the GolfBallSelector.com site.

TESTING APPROACH

The Nike 20XI-X and 20XI-S were subjected to bench testing for compression and cover hardness, and player and robot testing using the driver, 6-iron and sand wedge.

Driver Testing:

The ball speed of the 20XI-X was approximately 2-4 MPH higher than the Nike One Tour and 1-3 MPH when compared to the One Tour D at the higher ball speed player level. Driver spin for both balls compared the same with the One Tour and One Tour D but reduced launch angle of 1-2 degrees was seen across all ball speeds tested.

6-Iron Testing:

6-iron testing across all ball speeds for both the 20XI-X and 20XI-S again demonstrated lower spins and launch angles but ball speeds seems to be on average for both balls 1-2 mph higher which resulted in a carry distance increase of approximately 2-4 yards compared to the Nike One Tour and One Tour D.

Sand Wedge Testing:

The 20XI-X and 20XI-S perform with significantly less spin (500-900 RPM’s) for a sand wedge than the One Tour and One Tour D across all balls speeds but most pronounced at the higher ball speeds. This brought the 20XI-X and 20XI-S at the high ball speed level very close to slightly less than the 2011 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. Launch Angles we lower in comparison by 6-8 percent across all ball speeds.

Bench Testing:

Our bench testing indicates that the 20XI-X has an overall compression reading of 115 points which is slightly higher than the 20XI-S which has an overall compression of 112 points. This is only slightly less. Both balls are considered higher compression golf balls among the top 10% highest compression readings we have tested. Additional bench testing measuring cover hardness revealed that the 20XI-X and 20XI-S exhibited similar cover hardness readings that are among the softest we have tested to date. The 20XI-S was a few points softer than the 20XI-X.

Notable Observations

Player testing was conducted across a range of ball speeds on the 20XI-X and 20XI-S golf balls. Overall, the 20XI-X exhibits less spin off all clubs (driver, 6-iron, and 56 degree wedge) than the 20XI-S at all ball speed levels we tested. Both the 20XI-X and 20XI-S have lower launch angle characteristics off all clubs and in the case of the high ball speed player slightly higher ball speeds off the driver.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin April 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

OK, but what about the average golfer? The One Platinum had a carry distance of 231 yards (on a robot)- over 20 yards less than everyone else at a swing speed of 90mph. When the SS was bumped up to 105, it did perform comparable to everyone else. Ishii said it was because the core wasn’t being compressed enough at the slower swing speed (per Golf magazine, 2008). Is it me, because I can’t find this review on the website.

Would something similar be expected from the 20XI line? Why bother only showcasing the testing for the high swing speeds, when the average player would benefit more from the findings?

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P-Gunna April 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

I am really excited for this ball, is it softer than the Pro V1?

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Camilo April 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

So, at the end, the difference between the One Tour and the new ultra advance hyper-hype tech 20XI seems the same as the difference between today’s and next month’s TM Driver release..

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cht April 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm

nice review but most of us don’t know how the nike one tour or tour D performs. it would’ve been better to do the comparison to a more widely used ball like the pro v1 or v1x

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Flo Max April 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Looks like a good review, but what does it mean for me? How does it compare to the gold standard Pro V1?

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Discover Golf April 29, 2011 at 11:33 am

great review! i’m excited to see how they compare to comparable golf balls with all the hype of the new RZN core.

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Peter Hopman May 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm

All this testing and Nike does not even make a golf ball : They are made by Bridgestone. Nike does not own a factory to make their own golf ball: I will stick with a true tested and ball that really works, Titliest. Nike was not even in the golf business till you know who came along. It’s all about money and nothing else>

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Doug May 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm

This is the first Nike ball that is made by Nike I believe. They no longer made by Bridgestone.

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Drizzy May 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

@Peter, that statement is irrelevant. Yes Nike’s balls were made at a Bridgestone plant which means they were molded by the same equipment, but the Nike balls were made and designed by different people with different specs. At first they got into the golf industry because of Tiger.. of course.. he’s the most marketable athlete on the face of the Earth, but as for Nike golf products now they really have stepped up their game. I was hesitant on them at first as well, but the Nike One Tour and Tour D had excellent performance along with their newer wedges and irons. I’m not saying this will be great, I just think you should at least give it a try instead of writing them off for being a relatively new producer in the golf world.

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JM May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

@Peter, Yeah, but I seem to recall Nike was the first company to make solid core balls, which is now industry standard. They do a lot of R&D, and spend a lot of money on said R&D. Now they just need to start making really great drivers again without all the gimmicks. go back to the SUMO and DYMO days. Straight up great performers.

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Bobby May 13, 2012 at 5:11 am

The 20XL is the worst performing golf ball off the putter… I have ever purchased!
The ball is noticeably shorter by at least a foot in a 10′ distance compared to other expensive balls. The crack sound and feel off the putter and driver are awful.
Don’t waste your money seriously! I wonder if this is screwing Tiger Woods up????

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Mike June 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I’m an 8 to 10 handi-capper, been playing prov1x since I’ve been good enough to spend that much on a ball. I got a sleeve of 20XI-s as a gift at a tourny and tried them out. I was blown away, added 15 yards to the drive, held the greens, wasn’t the greatest feel off a putter, but i didn’t see that much of a difference in putting distance. I have officially switched balls, and i found a website where you can get them for 24.99 a case (gota buy 3, rockbottomgolf.com). Prov1 is still the class and preference for most low-handicappers, but this new Nike has won me over.

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Greg April 12, 2013 at 5:27 am

After having tried out several other tour type balls, more to the point, srixon Z-star and callaway hex, i decided to pick up a sleeve of the 20X1-X. I was pleasantly surprised. These balls by far have been the best i’ve tried. I’ve not overly noticed a difference in the putting but in general the balls are wonderful! Much better “feel” than any others I have tested. I was quite the srixon fan of late but now…. I am seriously going to be turning to this ball. Cant speak well enough about them.

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