Nike golf balls have come a long way in recent years. In 2007 they were my golf ball of choice. I loved the distance, spin, and feel of their premium ball. However in 2008, the company seemed to go in a different direction and this reviewer felt as though the balls took a step backward. Let’s rewind twelve months and speak briefly about the 2008 models that Nike came out with and our thoughts before progressing into the review of the 2009 line that they have come out with recently.
When the 2008 Nike One Platinum and One Black came to market, I was one of the first consumers in line to try them out. THP was very disappointed. The One Platinum felt too soft and seemed to lack distance and the One Black seemed to lack the spin. It was as if the “baker” forgot one ingredient in each recipe for success. We quickly went back to the 2007 models and never really looked back. Surely the golf ball fit many players out there but for us, it just did not work. Fast forward twelve months Nike is releasing their new line of golf balls and we were excited at the opportunity to try them out.
We spoke to the company and explained our issues with last year’s model and they really think that the 2009 golf ball line is a different animal altogether. They sent us over a sample box as pictured above and we were eager to get them out on the course. The new Nike line we are covering in this review are the Nike One golf balls. There are three models this year rather than two and those are:
1. Nike One Tour – 4 Piece construction engineered for the complete game.
2. Nike One Tour D – 3 Piece construction engineered for the distance game.
3. Nike One Vapor – 3 Piece construction designed for the skilled game.
We will go through each one here shortly but before we start I want to touch on a couple of things. Early thoughts are that these are a vast improvement in our opinion to the 2008 models. The Nike One Tour is replacing the Nike One Platinum, the Tour D is replacing the One Black, and the Vapor is replacing the Ignite.
We will start with the Nike One Tour for reviewing purposes. As mentioned it is a 4 piece ball that features a seamless urethane cover. Nike describes it as “Designed to be the most complete ball you will ever play” and we are going to kind of agree with them here. First stop for us was the chipping green and we noticed that the ball was spinning extremely well. Chips were checking up nicely and off the putter it had a great feel and did not have a “clicky” sound that we do not like. Next stop for us was on the course and there were two of us trying it out and we both remarked that despite it being so soft, we had no trouble with distance. That was our major complaint from the Nike One Platinum. Another thing of note was that they did not shred quite as easily on wedge shots like the 2008 model did. They have a light shine to them, different from what we are used to in such a performance ball. Overall we felt as though for a “tour level performance ball” this was one of the best we had played.
The Nike One Tour D is next on our list to try out and it is a 3 piece ball with a seamless urethane cover. Nike describes this ball as “maximum tour distance without sacrificing feel and control”. We put this one through the same paces that we put the One Tour through. This ball is not what most amateurs would consider a distance ball. The One Tour D is still a top notch golf ball that has tremendous amount of spin and feel. Although we liked this ball quite a bit, it just seemed to lack a little bit of the stopping power on both chipping and approach shots. Not the dramatic difference you would see if you switched from a 2 piece ball to a 3 piece ball, but a slight difference was noticed. As far as distance was concerned we noticed very little difference between the One Tour and One Tour D. I will add that if you fight hooking or slicing tendencies off the tee, the One Tour D will definitely keep you a little straighter than the Tour because of a little less spin off the tee. If control is what you are after without sacrificing tour level feel, this ball could be the one you are looking for.
Last on the list of the 2009 Nike One golf balls are the Nike One Vapor. The Vapor is a 3 piece ball features a softened ionomer cover. The ball is designed to help increase and gain control. When we switched from the Tour and Tour D to the Vapor we immediately noticed a difference. The ball traveled further for us amateurs and was shorter for our teaching professional. The Vapor does not have the same feel around the greens as either of the other two we reviewed however it worked extremely well at what it is designed to do. We were straighter off the tee and the ball seemed to be easier to get out there on slower swing speeds than the previous models we tested. The spin was muted a bit on chips and approach shots, but that is to be expected based on the different outer cover used. We have played numerous golf balls in this “category”, and the Nike One Vapor was our overall favorite. The ball seems to be a perfect blend of distance, control, and spin for the mid-handicap golfer.
As with any golf balls, players are going to find different results. For low handicap players, THP feels as though the Nike One Tour and Tour D balls are as nice as anything on the market. With a MSRP of $44.99 they are right in line with the competition and are definitely worth a shot. The Nike One Vapor has a MSRP of $29.99 and they are geared more towards the low to mid handicappers and are also as good as anything else in that category. Nike really impressed us with their 2009 One golf ball line. They have a ball for just about everybody and work as advertised. We think anybody that is searching for the “correct” ball for their game will be extremely happy with them. You can read more about them and get all the technical specs at Nike Golf.
Till Next Time