"For many years, golf ball development has primarily been focused on the number of layers with a solid rubber core," Rock Ishii, Nike Golf's Product Development Director, is quoted by the company. "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."
So after several years of collaboration between Nike Golf and DuPont, the Nike 20XI golf balls have a resin core, rather than a rubber core.
Using a proprietary resin, rather than rubber, for the core results in a lighter core, Nike says, and more ball speed. Citing internal testing using members of its Tour staff, Nike says the 20XI golf balls produced from 2-3 mph more ball speed for those Tour members (with each mile-per-hour of ball speed representing 2-3 more yards carry).
The Nike 20XI (pronounced "twenty-ex-eye") balls also, Nike says, boast the highest MOI of any ball to date. Yes, moment of inertia applies to golf balls, too (it can apply to any object). With a lighter core, that means more of each ball's weight is farther away from its center, increasing MOI and reducing spin.
According to Nike Golf, the 20XI balls have from 100 to 200 rpm fewer off the driver than previous Nike balls. Yet, because of a softer cover material, wedge spin is higher.
Two models of Nike 20XI golf balls will be available at retail beginning April 29, 2011: The 20XI-S and 20XI-X. Both carry MSRPs of $58 per dozen. The "S" model has a softer cover than the "X" for greater short-game spin and control; the "X" model is optimized for a greater reduction in driver spin than the "S" and is longer. nikegolf.com