Nike’s Master plan – the 20XI golf balls
by Dominic Pedler
Nike enjoyed some great publicity at Augusta as Charl Schwartzel took the green jacket playing a full bag of the company’s clubs as well as the One Tour D ball, while Masters week also saw the launch of the ball that will replace it: the Nike 20XI, in appropriately themed green logos and numbers.
The R&D team highlighted the new core construction which, in place of traditional rubber, is made from a special injected-molded lightweight resin claimed to offer a 2-3 mph faster ball speed than previous offerings and also a greater MOI from the relatively heavier three outer layers. As with other rivals chasing Titleist’s dominance with their ProV1 and ProV1x double act, the 20XI comes in two versions, each with subtly different performance characteristics despite sharing the same 4-piece construction, 360 dimple pattern and urethane cover.
The 20XI-X is designed for less spin along with a slightly higher compression and a slightly harder cover to promote distance. The 20Xi-S has a slightly lower compression and a softer cover engineered for increased spin and control.
Stewart Cink is among those already claiming an extra 10 yards distance off the tee, while initial reports from Golf Ball Selector suggest both balls are lower launching, lower spinning and slightly firmer feeling than the One Tour range they replace, yet with excellent greenside control.