Review by GolfWRX writer: PhilsRHman
I received a dozen 20XI-S and 20XI-X balls with the understanding I would post my thoughts here. Thanks to GolfWRX and Nike for the chance to hit these balls and for getting product into the hands of the site’s users to weigh in.
Click here to read the discussion in the forums
About me: I’ve been hovering in the upper single digits for the past two years, but have played quite a bit this season and have dipped down to a 4.8 this summer. I’ve always looked for a performance ball at a bargain. Last year that meant the Wilson Staff FG Tour and this year it’s meant the Srixon ZStar-X. If I had my choice of any ball, it would be a Pro V-1x. I’m a very high launch, high spin player, which was proven to be true on two recent Trackman sessions at HotStix in Rye Brook, NY. My driver swing speed at my last session was 114-118 and my big issue is that my angle of attack is around 3-4*, which puts an awful lot of spin on the ball.
I’ll admit at the start, I really didn’t think I’d be able to tell the difference between one premium ball and another, but I guess the fact I’m playing a lot, and playing pretty well, combined with the fact I’ve played almost entirely with the Z Star-X this summer, and I could see very obvious differences.
I’ve noticed a lot of the other guys broke down the ball by segments, so I’ll do the same. However, I’ll rank them in order of noticeable difference.
1. Iron spin: Unfortunately, both the S and X proved to have uncontrollable spin on full shots to the greens for me. With a Pro V or Z Star, a long iron would hit and release 6-10 feet. A 7-9 iron would hit and stop and a wedge would back up 3-6 feet. Very predictable. However, over the past few rounds, I’ve been unable to control the spin on either the S or the X. At first I thought it was just the S, but today proved that the X is as tough to gauge. A long iron (5-6 iron) would hit and stop, maybe even back up 3 feet. A 7-9 iron would back up 10-12 feet, and a wedge would suck back off the green. I saw examples of a 8 iron with a X sucking back 15-20 feet off the front, as well as a 51* wedge that hit on the back of green and zipped back to the front edge (about 45 feet) although that was an S. To me, this is where the review begins and ends for me. Keep in mind, these aren’t on Augusta type greens, they’re on putting surfaces slowed down to avoid losing the greens in the Northeast heat. While the spin once the ball lands was an issue, I didn’t see much evidence of this ball ballooning into the wind, however my draw often turned from a 5-yard draw to missing the green to the left. In the past, this would be the case when I’d deloft the club at impact, which wouldn’t be the ball’s fault, but here I’d be missing pin high, which tells me it’s excess spin.
2. Green side spin: As you’d imagine, I saw some great hop and stop results with both the 20XI S and X, more so with the S. This is definitely a plus for these two balls, because the spin around the greens is consistent and if you practice enough with them I’m sure you can really dial in your chips and hop-hop-stop shots. I particularly noticed that the X performed especially well out of bunkers. Personally, I would prefer the X’s green side spin, because it’s not quite as aggressive and I found that the S had the habit of really sticking on the first hop, but again, that’s personal preference and I prefer to play a low bump-run whenever possible when just off the edge.
3. Driver: Here is probably my favorite part of the 20XI X. I loved driving this ball, it was very easy to work, but I never found myself losing it in either direction. I normally fight a big hook or a block right, depending on the day. The Z Star X must have quite a low driver spin because I can’t work it as comfortably as the 20XI X, so when I really have to work it, I go overboard and lose it. The 20XI X allowed me to hit subtle draws and fades. I think it’s that comfort that allowed me to also bomb away. I found the 20XI X to be consistently longer than the Z Star X, which seems counter-intuitive but proved out over numerous rounds. I put the 20XI X into some positions that I haven’t seen all season at my home course. With all that said about the 20XI X, I really don’t have any good conclusions about the 20XI S in terms of driver, but I do know that I lost several of them into the woods, so I’d say that the extra spin meant I hit them extra wild. I wouldn’t take that as gospel, however, as I sit here writing, I just never got a clearly defined sense of the S off the tee. It was OK, nothing really stood out.
4. Durability: Here’s a real asset of this ball. Sure, a well struck 100 yard shot with a non-conforming wedge will scuff, just like any premium ball. But the cover doesn’t fish gill the way some do and I would give this ball an A for endurance. Nothing longer than a PW marked up the ball, and never grated it on anything but a full wedge.
5. Feel: I know that people put so much stock in how a ball feels off the putter and off irons. I honestly never think about it, until reading a few other reviews and thinking, hmm, yeah, I guess I did notice that. Well, in terms of the S, I did find it to be soft, but not mushy (I thought the previous generation Callaway balls were very mushy). On the D, I also found it to be soft, but maybe a little more solid, if that makes sense. I guess I’d say they are both very comparable to the Z Star X since I didn’t notice much difference between any of the three. I did notice, however, that while switching between the three balls during today’s round (the final test round of about four weeks of playing them all), I couldn’t get the speed of the greens at all. I thought I just putted like a butthead, but then read another review of someone who couldn’t find green speed with the 20XI balls, so maybe I’ve got an excuse. However, yesterday I made 3 birdies in 9 holes with the X, so I can’t really blame the ball. One thing I will say, is that I dug a Pro V1x out of my bag for something yesterday and the feel was MUCH different. The Pro V had a much “deeper” feel at impact if that makes sense. Not firm or soft, just more substantial. I can’t really put it into words, just sort of the same way a really pure iron shot just feels great.
Conclusion: For me, the 20XI X does a lot of things very well, specifically its performance off the driver and its durability. But it’s very hard for me to keep a ball in play when I’m consistently frustrated with a good iron shot that ends up way short. It’s something I could adjust to I’m sure, and maybe if I was playing firmer conditions I’d welcome that extra iron spin. I also know that won’t be an issue for other players, and I think there are enough advantages to heartily suggest giving these balls a try. As for the S, I honestly don’t think it’s the right ball for my game, but in the right hands I think it’ll be a good fit.
With the arrival of the new groove regulations it is no surprise that companies like Nike have invested heavily in new ball technologies. The new 20X1(pronounced twenty-x-i) is the result of the combined efforts of Nike’s golf ball engineers and scientists at Dupont (makers of Kevlar and Teflon) to produce a ball that goes further with more control. Essentially they have made a high MOI ball with a more active core and a softer cover. There are two versions: a more distance orientated 20XI-X and the higher spinning 20XI-S.
The Nike balls also have a resin core than is supposed to produce a faster ball speed and a steeper spin slope that sees less spin off the driver and more off the wedge. Moment Of Inertia was the buzz word in the driver world a little while ago but this sees Nike join Callaway’s Tour i(s) and Tour i(z) by creating a ball with perimeter weighting. Not only is this supposed to produce straighter ball flight but it also means that more of the spin is preserved throughout the ball’s flight. This means it can leave the club face with less spin for more distance but also (and somewhat counter-intuitively) land was more spin than a previous generation golf ball.
All this would amount to pretty much the holy grail of golf balls – a longer, straighter golf ball that is easier to control and stop dead when you need it. So long as putting is unaffected this sounds like it could be phenomenal.
Availability is yet to be announced and as always, more information will be found at www.nike.com.
2021 Ping putter series: No name, all performance
As William Shakespeare famously wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and for Ping and its 2021 putter series, there is no fancy name for the new line, it’s all about performance—because they are Ping putters after all.
For the new 2021 putters, Ping engineers focused on creating optimal MOI and roll performance using multi-material designs and an all-new insert to create consistent ball speed around the face.
“We’ve engineered a lot of score-lowering technology into the 2021 putter line through extensive research and tour player feedback. All of the models are developed with higher MOI through strategic use of various materials, including tungsten, steel and aluminum, to provide the forgiveness and accuracy golfers expect from a Ping putter. The dual-durometer insert features uniform, shallow grooves to give golfers a soft, responsive feel for more consistent distance control with the precise touch they need to hole more putts.” – John K. Solheim, Ping President.
The putter lineup features classic and new putter designs which were developed through Ping’s tour-focused Putting Lab Design aka. the PLD program and made popular by Ping professionals including Viktor Hovland’s DS 72, and Cameron Champ’s Tyne 4.
Every model in the line is built using aerospace-grade materials to maximize the level of forgiveness and offer a superior quality feel and performance. The Anser, Anser 2, and Anser 4 combine a stainless-steel head with tungsten heel and toe weights to elevate the timeless designs to the highest MOI they have ever measured.
While in the Kushin 4, DS 72, and Tyne 4, a steel weight is used in the heel, and tungsten is used to the toe to optimize the center of gravity locations for each model.
The Fetch and Oslo H bring together a cast 304 stainless steel body with an aluminum sole plate to position mass around the perimeter of the heads to create highly forgiving mallet-style designs.
For the new CA 70 head, a stainless steel sole weight is used to lower the center of gravity of the putter which is mostly constructed of an aluminum body for more forgiveness
The behemoth of the new designs is Harwood which offers the highest MOI in the line thanks to its 6061 aluminum body and 93g worth of tungsten weights positioned in all four corners of the head.
Dual-Durometer Insert for Soft, Solid Feel
The 2021 Ping putters offer golfers a soft yet responsive face thanks to the use of PEBAX – an innovative dual-durometer material, which is also fitted with shallow grooves. The front portion of the insert is made softer for shorter putts, while the back layer is firmer and becomes engaged at higher speeds to help improve distance control on longer-range putts.
Just like with golf ball technology, multiple layers help with creating optimal dynamics at different speeds and Ping is using that same time of philosophy to improve putter insert design.
Price, specs, and availability
The new 2021 Ping putter line will be available in 11 different models including one in an armlock configuration and come in both right and left-handed. The models include
- Anser 2
- Anser 4
- Kushin 4
- DS 72
- CA 70
- Tyne 4
- Oslo H
- Tyne C
- Harwood / Harwood Armlock
The putter are each fitted with one of three original Ping designed grips intended to maximize the putter performance based on stroke fit.
The PP58 – A mid (87g) standard-sized pistol shape made of rubber and designed to help square the face at impact is the standard grip on the Anser, Anser 4, Kushin 4, CA 70, DS 72, Tyne 4, and Tyne C.
The PP60 – Another (86g) midsize option, pistol design with a rubber under-listing with larger flat surfaces for increased face awareness. A new rubber outer layer features a unique texture to enhance a golfer’s sense of touch. It comes standard on the Anser 2, Fetch, Oslo H and Harwood.
The PP58-S – An optional pistol-shaped midsized grip featuring a straight taper and predominantly flat surface to aid in clubface awareness.
All of the 2021 Ping Putters are priced at $270 usd except for the Harwood and Harwood armlock, which are priced at $380.
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/13/21): TaylorMade M5 driver head
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a TaylorMade M5 driver head. It’s in nice shape—you just need to supply the shaft.
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Drivers heads – TaylorMade M5 and TSi
What GolfWRXers are saying about Japanese brand Shimada iron shafts
In our forums, our members have been sharing their thoughts on irons shafts from Japanese company Shimada. WRXer ‘Erchuccc’ is interested in the iron shafts and would like a comparison to his Modus 105’s, and our members have been having their say in our forum.
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- BD14: “I’m currently gaming them on my CB301. I can’t compare them to the modus, but I get higher launch with them than my KBS Tour 90. Also, I normally play regular flex shafts (low swing speed), but I’m stiff in the Shimada Nine9. I find them very consistent for me.”
- kcsf: “I’d had Shimada tour lites in the past and found them to be very smooth and consistent. I know that’s a different model than you’re asking, but I think you’ll really find them to be fantastic shafts.”
- Vanbilxmchi: “I like Shimada NINE9; they feel very smooth; I think they are very similar to Oban CT. However, when I assembly them to my irons, it seems they have a bit smaller diameter to fit into 355 hosels. I have to use shim.”
- chicolax2: “Great shaft company. I play different shafts, the tours, however, I highly recommend the quality of the shafts from Shimada.”
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