April 24, 2011 – GolfBallSelector.com completed testing on the new Nike Golf 20XI-X and 20XI-S and provides this review in our series of 2011 golf ball reviews. We reviewed the Limited Edition 20XI-X and 20XI-S golf balls that came out the week of the Masters and featured green logos and numbers. The retail version of the 20XI balls will be available nationally on April 29th.
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 new ball line features a 4-piece golf ball construction with a 360 dimple pattern and urethane cover. 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.”
Source: Digital Ball Catalog™, GolfBallSelector.com
According to Nike*, the new 20XI-X and 20XI-S will be available with a street price of $45.99 per dozen. Here is a breakdown of the manufacturer’s stated benefits:
• The 20XI-X model for less spin and a slightly higher compression and slightly harder cover – designed to promote distance.
• The 20Xi-S model for more spin with slightly less compression and cover hardness – engineered for increased spin and control.
• Central to the ball construction is its injected molded core out of a proprietary resin from DuPont Corporation which allowed Nike to engineer a ball with greater MOI meaning less twisting ball flight and given its lighter core weight more weight was applied to the other outer 3 layers two of which are urethane for softer feel.
• The new core will make the 20XI ball 2-3 mph faster than their previous offerings.
The Nike 20XI-X and 20XI-S will be included in the next spring release of the GolfBallSelector.com site.
Source: Digital Ball Catalog™ at GolfBallSelector.com
In testing and evaluation conducted by GolfBallTest.org, the Nike 20XI-X and 20XI-S were subjected to bench testing for compression and cover hardness, and to player and robot testing using the driver, 6-iron and sand wedge.
20XI-X Inside 20XI-S Inside
Source: Digital Ball Catalog™ at GolfBallSelector.com
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.
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 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.
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.
On-Course Player Comments:
“The 20XI’s (both -S and -X) seem to launch lower than the Nike One Tour and One Tour D. The 20XI’s do not feel as soft as the One Tour and One Tour D but are comparable to the Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x. When comparing the 20XI-X to my current ball, the Titleist Pro V1x, it appears to spin less and launch lower which is good. I’m very interested in chipping and putting the 20XI-X and seeing if the two urethane covers make it feel differently around the greens”.
“I definitely see a lower launch angle off the driver and the 20XI-S holds its flight in a moderate breeze with a shorter iron.”
“The first time I hit the 20XI-X was on a 160 yard slightly downwind par 3. With a seven iron the ball showed excellent ball flight character – stable – and stopped on a dime. Nice result.”
“On my next drive the 20XI-X tracked with a lower trajectory than I saw earlier playing a TaylorMade Penta TP or the Callaway Tour i(s) I had in play. Even with a slight draw, the ball did not overly spin off the driver, so my bad was not so bad.”
Golfers looking for a premium-priced low-launching golf ball should consider the Nike 20XI-X and 20XI-S golf balls. Golfers that tend to hit the ball high should benefit from the low launch characteristics of both of these balls. Both balls feature urethane covers and the 20XI-S feels slightly softer than the 20XI-X, although both feel firmer than the One Tour golf balls they are replacing in Nike’s lineup. Both balls should appeal to those golfers looking for a premium ball that offers reduced spin across all clubs and ample feel and spin around the green.
In choosing the right golf ball, GolfBallSelector.com believes that golfers interested in the Nike 20XI-X and 20XI-S should consider its “best fit” potential for their game in the context of their own preferences and the trade-offs they are prepared to take for distance, control and feel and according to their own unique ballistics measures of ball speed, launch angle and general spin rate. As with any ball, player preferences and individual launch/spin conditions are paramount. Learn more at GolfBallSelector.com.
Entry Filed under: Reviews