Nike 20XI-S Golf Ball Review

I’ll admit, I’m generally speaking a big fan of Nike Golf.

Maybe it’s the fact I grew up in the birthplace of Nike, or the fact that I have dozens of friends who work there, whatever it is, I play Nike Golf.

Clothes, clubs, and a new bag that’s on the way soon – the one exception to this is Nike Golf Balls.

Sure I’ve played the occasional sleeve, or random, but when it comes to balls I’ve always preferred Titleist.

That said, I figured I’d see what I could do to change that.

The Nike 20xi and 20xi-s golf balls were Nike’s top of the line balls in 2011 (now it’s the 20xi and 20xi-x).

What does that mean for you? It means that you can grab the 20xi-s for a fraction of the $58/dozen list price you would be paying a couple years ago.

Ok, so the real reason I decided to give these a shot is because I was gearing up for my round at Pronghorn Golf Club, had no balls left and was at the Nike Outlet and it was all they had.

That said, I was excited to give them a go out on what’s been regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the state.

In this Nike 20xi-s Golf Ball Review we’re going to look at the ball from an amateur perspective and look at whether or not this ball makes sense for the bogey golfer.

First Impressions

The Nike 20xi and 20xi-s was the first ball to feature Nike’s proprietary RZN core.  What does that mean?

Well (as with almost every golf ball manufacturer) claim that this prioprietary material and layering accomplishes:

  • Greater distance off the tee
  • More feel around the greens
  • Straighter Ball flight

Now, I’m far from a scratch golfer, but I generally speaking can hit the ball pretty well, and I found two of the three of these to be true in the 2 rounds I’ve played with the 20xi-s balls.

Distance Isn’t Bad, but It’s Nothing to Write Home About for the Amateur

Now I’m not a long hitter, but I’m not slouch either.  My average drive is in the 250 to 260 range, often longer, sometimes shorter.

Whenever I’m playing in the summer over in Central Oregon, the average gets bumped up to 280 with the occasional 300+ yard drive on a dry fairway.

This go around at Pronghorn, I wasn’t finding the distance I usually get.  While the course wasn’t in “summer-shape” it was plenty dry and still better maintained than 95% of courses in perfect condition.

According to my Golfshot I was usually in the 260-275 range on my drives.  Not bad, but not quite the extra pop that I was looking for with these new balls.

My second round at Heron Lakes in Portland yesterday saw a significant decrease in distance.  The course was wet and balls were plugging, but I was averaging a paltry 235.  Now much of this was due to the crappy conditions, but I still expected a little bit better.

This is technically a tour level ball, so there’s a very good chance I haven’t ratcheted my swing speeds back up to the level I need to have it in order to take advantage of what the ball really has to offer.

This Ball Flies Straight as An Arrow

In 29 holes of golf on two difficult courses I didn’t lose a single ball.  This is pretty phenomenal, as I’ll usually have at least a few unrecoverable drives around.

No, I was able to put this ball exactly where I wanted it on every shot.  The ball feel is amazing and in terms of flight path and trajectory I found I had more control with these balls then even Pro V1s.  Take it with a grain of salt because of my skill level, but I really found myself being able to feel confident in my ability to put the ball where I wanted it.

Approach for the Win

Feel around the greens was excellent.  I was able to drop my chips relatively close to where I wanted them, and from within 14o I found the ball to be extremely accurate.

That being said, especially during the first round at Pronghorn, putting was a different story.  I just couldn’t get a fee for them.  It seemed like there was weird spin coming off the ball on many of the putts.

I’m certainly not going to blame my poor putting that day on the ball, but after draining some 30 footers during the warm up with Pronghorns’ practice Pro-V1s, I was feeling pretty good about my prospects with the putter.

Things were better at Heron, but still wasn’t sinking as many as I felt like I should have been.

Not So Durable

Durability on this ball isn’t the best.  After just a couple holes my ball was pretty marred up and looked like it had taken a beating.  It’s not the softest ball I’ve ever played, but when you’re looking at it after a round of 18 you’d think it were.

Verdict – A Great Ball, for the Right Person.

Despite a few of my complaints, I actually really liked this ball. I posted good scores by my standards on both rounds, and only lost one ball over the course of 36 holes due to the excellent accuracy I found with this ball.  Even if I didn’t gain much in the way of distance, the extra accuracy more than makes up for this.

The best news about this ball is that it’s accessible.  I bought my box for $30/dozen, but if you keep an eye out on Amazon you can find them for $25/dozen or even less.

That said, if you’re above a 10 handicap there are probably balls that will be more suited to you and make the game a little more fun.  I think later in the season as my game continues to improve, this is going to be a ball Ill turn to quite a bit at the discounted price.

Final score? 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Recommended? Yes

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