Martin Hopley

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum 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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Nike RZN Tour Platinum Ball

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.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
More from Nike


Nike RZN Tour Platinum Golf Ball - Product Details

UK Launch12 February 2016
UK Launch RRP£39.99
USA Launch12 February 2016
Handicap Range
Ball Construction4-Piece
Ball FeelMedium
Colour OptionsWhite
Manufacturer's WebsiteNike Website

User Reviews

April 2017

As a single digit that buys a sleeve of ProV1x's prior to every round, thereby almost doubling my green fees every time I golf (what? They're too pricey to stock up on), I've tried almost every other ball on the market. Scratch that, I've tried every conceivable decent ball on the market and most crap offerings too. There is no ball I want to be teeing up when I'm playing for a score more than a ProV1x. None. I hadn't tried this one, last year I bought a dozen RZN Blacks and didn't care for them at all. So why waste money on a product that's nearly as expensive as a product that I know is the best?

I was in the local Dunhams the other day and they had a bag with a dozen of these, new balls that must have been out of spec for some reason or another so they were labeled practice. Or maybe they were new balls in spec for a pro to use as practice before a tournament. At any rate, for $14.99 I picked them up. It's early season here and it's wet. I need some cannon fodder anyways. WRONG! These balls are the closest I've ever seen to my game ball. In fact, I think they're slightly longer and straighter with a slightly lower (for me this is a good thing) flight. The only area I like the gold standard better is from 20-90 yards out. I do feel like I can get a little more spin on these shots with the ProV1x in that situation. Otherwise these are as good or better.

So I found a new ball. There is a problem though. After playing them for a round I went back and bought the last 23 dozen that they had. Since they're all labeled "practice" I'll only use them when playing a casual round. I did order two dozen without the "practice" designation (at $34.99 a dozen plus shipping, basically a wash with the ProV1X) for serious rounds. The problem is that they aren't making these any more so eventually (like in 2025 or so) I'll run out of these. I can live with that since I typically play with 2-3 balls a round so I'm set for the foreseeable future. But when I run out of these it's going to stink. It'll be back to double the green fees again.

One other fact I didn't mention is my usual "practice" type round ball is the Nike Crush. I found a stash of these at $8 or so a 16 pack a couple years ago. These balls always gave me the same feel with driver and full iron shots as the PV1X so I'd play these when losing balls is the norm, wet courses, leaves, etc. the only reason those balls aren't worthy is due to their performance on less than a full shot. They become the normal cannon fodder type ball when you hit a 40 yard wedge with no discernible checking. It'll be nice to play the same brand no matter the round.

Sorry to bore you but to find a tour 4 piece ball for $4 a dozen is a steal. To have them perform on par with a $50 a dozen ball is even better. At least for me.

July 2016

Spins like a bat out of hell if you compress the ball on impact.

June 2016

Long drives and great control on spinning pitch shots.

May 2016

I gained 10 to 15 more yards on my driver, compared to usual Pro V1x. My handicap is 11...Great ball!

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