When Nike was asked at the media launch what was new about the Nike RZN Tour and RZN Speed balls, the reply that came back was 'everything'.
Like most balls in the market, Nike has made the new version softer whilst maintaining the level of performance that is expected from tour level premium golf balls.
There are four models in the range, with the Speed Red and Speed White being 3-piece versions and the RZN Tour Black is one of two 4-piece balls. However, the marquee ball is the 4-piece RZN Tour Platinum and that is the one I review here.
The ball features the same RZN material as its predecessor, which is a polymer material that is light and faster than conventional cores. In the new version the RZN core is 3mm wider than the previous red version at 31mm and yes, it is blue in real life as they can alter the colour as well.
As you can see the surface is etched with a grid of squares and these are used to lock the core into the middle layer to increase the speed, hence the name SpeedLock.
This was used in the original RZN ball and has been improved with deeper channels between each square, with each one having a larger surface area and an X engraved on top to increase the level of bonding.
Nike has now extended the SpeedLock pattern to the yellow mantle layer below the cover for the first time too, so the covers on these balls aren't going anywhere soon.
With the Platinum ball being 5% softer than last year's at 74 compression, this extra locking enables it to deliver more speed on iron shots where the ball compresses less than with a driver.
The cover has also had a makeover with a slightly different pattern of 344 dimples each featuring 'micro surface roughness' or 'lots of tiny little dimples' to you and me. If you can make them out and add them up, you now have 13,558 dimple-like impressions in the FlightSuit cover of the RZN Tour ball.
All this contributes to the ball that is right up against the maximum speed allowed by the ruling bodies, so much so that Nike say that it can go faster, but they had to dial the performance back to keep it legal.
The RZN core also enables the 4-piece Platinum ball to have a higher MOI than the 3-piece Pro V1 by just over 4 points, so that may or may not be noticeable to you.
Picking it up and you can feel all the micro dimples when you run your fingers over the ball, even if your eyesight is not good enough to see them.
The way the ball is constructed means that there is no visible seam on the ball for those of you who may use these things to line up when putting.
Having played several rounds with the RZN Tour Platinum, the performance was as good as the leading premium tour ball in the market and you know which one I mean.
The feel and sound off all the clubs is just what you would expect and the stability and trajectory was good. Around the green it did not seem to check or have as much spin on chips and pitches and therefore did not want to settle down as quickly as other premium tour balls.
Putting was fine and the sound as it reacted with the putter face was as good as the leading balls. The durability was acceptable and the cover held up to most things apart from the usual wedge grooves in a bunker or a bounce off a wall or path, not that I did that...honest.
As with a lot of pretenders to the premium golf ball throne, the Nike RZN Tour Platinum up there with the market leader in many ways, so if you need a lower spinning alternative then it would be a good choice.