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Nike Golf brings ground-breaking technology to the Nike 20XI ball
February 15, 2011

Nike GolfNike Golf is unveiling its new 20XI premium golf ball with a promise of dramatic performance gains for golfers in distance and spin control, using innovative technology that brings the manufacture of golf balls to a new level.

The new Nike 20XI (pronounced: twenty-X-I) ball features a combination of proprietary technology never before seen in the golf industry, and is the result of four years of collaborative research and development between Nike Golf's golf ball engineers and a team of material and science experts at DuPont. The game-changing technology replaces conventional rubber cores with a radical new resin material. Resin is a highly neutralised polymer that’s faster and lighter material engineered to produce longer distance and more controlled shots.

“I have never been more excited about a new golf ball innovation than I am now,” said Rock Ishii, Nike Golf’s Product Development Director for golf balls. “For many years, golf ball development has primarily been focused on the number of layers with a solid rubber core. 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.”

Ishii and his team of engineers discovered that using resin core technology accomplishes three critical performance components that golfers dream to have in a golf ball: More distance off the tee; Straight ball flight; Increased control around the greens.

Faster Ball Speed Equals More Distance
• Advancement in proprietary resin core chemistry delivers faster ball speed.
• Internal tests with Nike Golf tour athletes have shown an average of 2-3 mph increase in ball speed.
• Every 1 mph increase equates to 2-3 yards carry distance.

Highest Levels of MOI Provides Longer, Straighter Ball Flight
• Lighter core and heavier outer layers result in perimeter weighting.
• High MOI assists in reducing driver spin and maintains spin beyond apex to maintain carry and control.
• After apex, the higher MOI assists in maintaining spin an average of 100-200 RPM.
• 20XI has the highest levels of MOI in a golf ball to date.

Steeper Spin Slope Equals More Distance Off the Tee; More Control Around the Green
• Less spin off the driver, more off the wedge.
• Overall design and MOI assist in reducing driver spin at impact on average of 100 – 200 RPM over prior Nike ball technology.
• Softer cover materials allow for greater short iron spin and control.

Many Nike athletes have already made the switch to the new Nike 20XI: Stephen Ames, Stewart Cink, Richard Finch, Lucas Glover, Matt Haines, Anthony Kim, Kevin Kisner, Justin Leonard, Jamie Lovemark, Pablo Martin, Francesco Molinari, James Morrison and Carl Pettersson.

The Nike 20XI franchise will launch two versions of the ball, the 20XI-X (tour-level distance) and 20XI-S (tour-level spin). While both balls deliver on faster speed, higher MOI and steeper spin slope, the 20XI-X is optimised to reduce excess driver spin to maximise distance. The 20XI-S incorporates a softer cover for enhanced greenside spin and control.

“Rock and his team have nailed this,” said Nike athlete Stewart Cink. “They’ve been able to increase the gap between driver spin and wedge/iron spin. With this ball, I have 2mph more speed off of the driver and I’m hitting it 10 yards farther. Nike has developed a ball that goes faster and has found materials that spin more with the wedges and less with the driver. So it’s longest off the tee and spinniest around the greens. What’s not to like?”

In addition to developing a first-of-its kind golf ball, Nike Golf’s new technology has led to a reduction in manufacturing steps and allows for a 54% improvement in production consistency for resin core vs. rubber core.

Exciting as it sounds, many of us will have to wait, as availability of both 20XI balls is yet to be announced for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 

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