Nike One RZN X 1

    Ball tested: Nike One RZN X

    Category*: Premium

    Feel: Firm

    Tested for golfers with average driving distance of: 196 to 245 (carry + roll) / 246 to 300+ yards (carry + roll)

    Specs: Construction – Three-piece; Cover – Ionomer; Core – Polymer resin; Dimples – 314

    Compression: High

    Price as tested (new): $29 per dozen

    Ball notes: So you’ve tried Nike’s One RZN and liked the performance, but found it a touch too soft? Maybe the One RZN X will suit you better.

    Nike decided to produce a standard version and a firmer model with this ball, much as Titleist does with the NXT Tour and NXT Tour S, Callaway with the HEX Chrome and HEX Chrome+ and… Well, just about every manufacturer has a similar pairing or two.

    As you may have guessed, the One RZN X is firmer than its twin. Nike claims the X-model is longer off the tee, if ever-so-slightly less responsive around the greens. Both balls appear on the Golf Digest equipment Hot List for 2013.

    On the clubface: Just because the RZN X is firmer than the standard version doesn’t mean it’s rock hard. We detected a reasonable amount of give for a premium ball on full shots, though it definitely helps to own a driver swing speed in excess of 100 mph. The ball felt and sounded a little “clicky” with shorter shots and putts, but not enough to turn us against it.

    Nike One RZN X 2

    Off the tee: Nike aims the One RZN X squarely at macho types; the website hails the ball as being “made for long-distance blasts” and “ideal for the big-hitting amateur player.” Good news, bombers and Nike fans: The company speaks the truth. One RZN X is long, ferociously so if you really catch it flush. Like most firmer balls, trajectory is on the low side, yet it still carries well. Want accuracy? This ball won’t fix your slice or hook, but it won’t make them worse, either. Sidespin is minimal.

    From the fairway / rough: “Adequate” is how we’d describe the One RZN X’s action off the irons. Longer shots penetrate well but, for us at least, they landed with some heat. Short irons and wedges were better, with enough spin to stop after a hop or two.

    Around the green: What’s a synonym for “adequate”? Let’s go with “satisfactory.” Fact is, the One RZN neither outperformed nor underwhelmed, rolling out rather than hopping and stopping on mid-length pitches, but checking up when hit sharply from uphill lies. Feel off the putter matched our tee-to-green experience.

    Bottom line: Nike aims this ball at bombers, and if “bomb and gouge” is your game, the One RZN X will fit the bill. You’ll likely benefit from just enough spin to control shots better than balls in the “value/recreational/distance” category allow for, too. Sounds like a win-win to us.

    *Category key

    Value/Recreational/Distance – Designed for mid- to high-handicap golfers with swing speeds below 90 mph; typically feature two-piece construction and firm covers; promote greater distance over high spin rates. Examples: Pinnacle Gold, Slazenger RAW Distance

    Premium – Designed for low- to mid-handicap golfers with swing speeds of 90-99 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and medium-soft covers; happy medium between Value/Recreational and Tour categories for distance and spin qualities. Examples: Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HEX Diablo

    Tour/Advanced/Performance – Designed for low-handicap and professional golfers with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and soft covers; promote greater spin rates and enhanced feel over distance. Examples: Titleist ProV1, Bridgestone Tour B330