• New range took six years for Nike to develop
• It features four new golf balls – Black, Platinum, Red and White
• ‘It feels way better than any ball we’ve had before’
The new line, Nike’s first since the end of 2013, features RZN Tour (available in Black and Platinum versions) and RZN Speed (available in Red and White versions). Rory McIlroy put the RZN Platinum version in play for the final three events of 2015, including his win at the season-ending DP Tour World Championship in Dubai.
“The ball feels much softer, yet I’ve maintained my ball speed and even picked up a few yards overall,” explained McIlroy. “It’s easily the best combination of distance and feel I’ve ever played.”
One of the first things you’ll notice when you pick up the ball is the new cover. Nike has added around 40 micro dimples inside each individual dimple to improve the ball’s aerodynamics, particularly in the final third of its flight. This keeps it flying for longer, resulting in more distance.
Don’t like the sound of micro dimples? Don’t worry, the changes are only visible when you look at the ball closely and can’t be seen when addressing the ball to play a shot.
The core has been made out of Nike’s newest RZN material and is bigger than in previous versions. According to the brand’s engineers, this effectively gives the ball ‘a bigger engine’ allowing it to travel faster from impact, a big plus for anyone looking for that extra bit of distance.
The inner layer, meanwhile, has a new pattern on its surface to help energy move better through the ball from the clubhead. Wrapped around the core, it is the main reason it is able to give more distance on iron shots, an achievement Nike is proud of.
“The USGA’s Overall Distance Standard limit is 320 yards and we were already really close to that with our last balls,” Tom Harper, Nike Europe’s golf business director, told bunkered.co.uk. “We have built the same machine as the USGA uses to test them at our HQ in Portland and have been able to get this ball to 319.9 yards. It’s something we’re really proud of and feel can make a real difference for golfers out there. It feels way better than any ball we’ve had before.”
So, how do you pick the right one for you? Well, the RZN Black is for those who want lower spin and more distance, while the RZN Platinum gives a bit more spin than the Black as well as more control.
Alongside the RZN Tour balls, Nike has revealed new designs for its RZN Speed range, featuring Red and White versions. Where the RZN Tour balls are four-piece, these are three-piece designs and offer the combination of forgiveness and feel. The RZN Red is best suited to golfers that want to carry the ball further, while the RZN White gives softer feel.
Price: £39.99 per doz (RZN Tour); £29.99 per doz (RZN Speed)
Availability: At selected retailers from Jan 29, 2016
For more information on Nike’s new gear for 2016, visit nike.com/golf