From Golf Magazine (March, 2011)
IT’S FOR: Tour level players and skilled amateurs.
SKINNY: The 4-piece ball, available by summer, has a story
all its own. A lightweight rubber-less core (made of polymer)
makes the mantle and cover 10 percent heavier. As a result,
drives launch with less spin (100-200 rpm) but maintain
spin longer for better carry and control. The 20XI-S (replaces
One Tour) has Nike’s softest urethane cover ever for max spin
and feel on approach shots; the 20XI-X (replaces One Tour D)
has a firmer cover for lower spin and more length.
1. Consumer takeaway
piece at retail explains Nike’s
ball offerings and how the
products are designed for
different player types.
2. A fitting tool available at
nikegolf.com provides player
profiles (competitive, want to
hit it longer, have fun, etc).
Select a profile, answer a brief
series of questions and the tool
directs you to the “right” ball.
3. Sales reps and technicians
use a proprietary software
program at demo days.
Software recommends ball(s)
based on launch conditions
(captured using a launch
monitor) and your preferences.
From The Shop Blog (January 6, 2011)
Mark Alan, Nike Golf’s product line manager for golf balls, will tell you the biggest recent advancement in balls was the switch from wound balls to solid-core models.
But Alan and Nike think the next major advance is about to be made with the 20XI-s and the 20XI-x, both slated to be available May 1.
The most unique aspect of the new 20XI (Get it? 20+XI=2011) is its core, which is made by injection-molding a new resin that Nike developed with DuPont. The material took four years to perfect, and Nike claims that the new core makes the 20XI 2-3 mph faster than the company’s previous offerings with compression-molded rubber cores.
Because the core material is so light, Nike engineers were able to use heavier materials in the layers that surround the core, which should add durability and increase the ball’s moment of inertia (MOI).
“You can think of it as a perimeter-weighted golf ball,” Alan said.
A high MOI helps a club resist twisting on off-center impacts. In golf balls, Nike says the increased MOI affects the 20XI’s spin.
“It resists spinning at impact with the driver,” Alan says. “But once you get the ball spinning, it stays.” It also means the ball is less affected by cross winds.
That should come in handy this week in Hawaii, where both Anthony Kim and Francesco Molinari are expected to play the ball during the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Alan says the balls should leave the clubface with 100-200 rpm less spin than Nike’s previous premium offerings (the ONE Tour), but will have 100-200 rpm more spin after the ball reaches the apex of its trajectory. That should mean more green-grabbing spin on approach shots.
While both models are made using four pieces—including the same core and compression layer—the 20XI-s has a softer urethane cover that should produce more spin around the greens. The 20XI-x also features a urethane cover, but its firmer, so the ball should produce slightly more distance.
The video below, produced by Nike Golf, shows several of the company’s staff players talking about the 20XI ball:
• The Shop blog: Nike pros and clubs