The best feel or the lowest spin off the driver for maximum length? It’s the “tastes great” or “less filling” conundrum of golfers everywhere. Nike feels your pain, and they’re taking measures to help make the decision that much easier with the introduction of four new golf balls in its RZN line of golf balls for 2016.
A Bit of History
Nike Golf has thrown its best scientific minds at the golf ball since signing Tiger Woods and bringing out its first ball in 1999. Its first innovation was the Tour Accuracy ball in 2000 with a solid core that served Woods well – 20 wins and a range basket full of majors over the next four years. In 2003, the Swoosh launched the Nike One that brought the industry one of its first four-piece construction balls.
In 2011 the innermost of those cores, the RZN, was introduced. It looks like a balled-up waffle iron and the company promised it to be a lighter and livelier reactor that pushed weight to the outside for surer stability in flight.
The 2016 Nike RZN Ball Models
Those four components that make up the RZN Tour Line have each been given a space-age name, from the inside out they are: RZN 4.0 (version 4.0 is 10 percent bigger than its ancestors), Speedlock X Core, Speedlock Mantle, and Flight Suit Cover. Take a look at this exploded image of the actual construction:
Golf ball manufacturers have been tinkering with dimples ever since Scottish linksmen discovered their featheries flew a lot straighter with nicks in them. Nike’s Flight Suit Cover starts with 344 dimples and 40 “micro dimples” inside each of those. So the correct answer to the question, “How many dimples are on a golf ball?” is now 13,902 in the case of the Nike RZN.
What Does It All Mean?
All that technological wizardry is designed to propel the Nike RZN Tour further off the tee AND feel softer on approach shots – the best of both golfing worlds. Problem solved. The Tour ball is available in two versions – the RZN Tour Platinum that emphasizes mid-spin control and the RZN Tour Black that flies with lower spin for maximum distance.
Check out this video behind the new Nike RZN Tour line of golf balls:
The Nike line-up also includes two RZN Speed golf balls that are lacking the Speedlock Mantle. These three-piece balls are built for forgiveness and will force the average player to confront that distance versus feel question again. The RZN Speed Red will give you longer carry and the RZN Speed White is a softer feeling ball.
And if a colored golf ball for better visibility is your thing, Nike has made available the RZN Tour Black Volt Yellow and RZN Speed White Volt Yellow golf balls, both with a bright and easy to see cover.
Rory Weighs In
Since Nike signed former world number one Rory McIlroy to the team, he has been an integral part of the Beaverton, Oregon company’s testing for new products. McIlroy chose the RZN Tour Platinum for his personal use, and raced to victory the DP World Tour Championship this past November. “The ball feels much softer, yet I’ve maintained my ball speed and even picked up a few yards overall. It’s easily the best combination of distance and feel I’ve ever played,” he said. We can all sleep easier knowing Rory’s found those extra yards he needed.
But it wasn’t the driver that caught McIlroy’s attention – it was the distance he was getting with his irons. He felt like he didn’t have to “go after” his irons as aggressively as he had in the past. It’s the distance with irons that’s the Holy Grail for golf ball manufacturers these days, as most of them have already found balls to bump up against the USGA Overall Distance Standard limit. With the RZN cores in the Tour and Speed models, Nike feels as if it has discovered the heart of the matter.
All new 2016 Nike RZN golf balls are now available in the following models:
- Nike RZN Tour Platinum Golf Balls
- Nike RZN Tour Black Golf Balls
- Nike RZN Tour Black Volt Yellow Golf Balls
- Nike RZN Speed Red Golf Balls
- Nike RZN Speed White Golf Balls
- Nike RZN Speed White Volt Yellow Golf Balls