Titleist has released new versions of the NXT Tour golf ball, the NXT Extreme and NXT Tour. I’ve been playing both flavors for a while now. In this article I’ll be reviewing the new NXT Tour. My NXT Extreme review will be coming up in the next week or so.
Titleist NXT Tour Golf Ball
The NXT Tour golf ball is aimed at the average to high level golfer. The ball provides a combination of distance off the driver and control with the shorter clubs, and a price point ($40.00) which is more affordable.
Multi Layer Construction
Layer One – The Core
The solid yet soft inner core is made of Polybutadiene. Don’t worry, I had no idea what Polybutadiene was either until I researched for this article.
From WikiPedia: Polybutadiene is a synthetic rubber that has a high resistance to wear and is used especially in the manufacture of tires. It has also been used to coat or encapsulate electronic assemblies, offering extremely high electrical resistivity. It exhibits a recovery of 80% after stress is applied, a value only exceeded by elastin and resilin. Polybutadiene is a polymer formed from the polymerization of the monomer 1,3-butadiene.
Layer Two – The Outer Core
The outer core, at 1.58? in diameter, is also made of Polybutadiene. The extra layer helps provide distance and a softer feel at impact.
Layer Three – The Cover
The NXT Tour cover is made of Fusablend. Fusablend is a proprietary material Titleist uses which provides the player with a great combination of durability yet soft feel and spin around the greens. Durability AND spin are tough to employ in the same ball.
The Fusablend cover comes in the new “Pro White” color, which is very vibrant and easy to spot anywhere on the course.
Titleist has long employed a 392 dimple aerodynamic design. Their research has concluded that the 392 dimple pattern provides more carry and distance.
Staggered Wave Parting Design
New for this year Titleist has introduced the “staggered wave parting design.” Titleist balls, including the ProV1 and ProV1x series have all had a visible seam. What they’re doing now is staggering the dimples where the seam is to gain that real estate on the ball. This has allowed more dimple coverage and even better results in carry, distance and spin.
No longer do you need to draw an aiming line on your ball with Titleist’s new A.I.M. system. A.I.M. is short for alignment integrated marking. They call it a system but come on. It’s just a line, right? Perhaps not. The arrows and lines give you conscious and subconscious influence on aim and club path.
On The Course
I expected the NXT Tour ball to be a bit harder in feel than the ball I normally play, the ProV1 (regular flavor, not the ProV1x). I’ve had golfer’s elbow for several years and hard (a.k.a. “distance”) balls really kill my elbow, but soft ones don’t. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my “princess and the pea” golfer’s elbow didn’t hurt when hitting drivers with the NXT Tour.
I found the distance off the driver and long irons to be wonderful. I hit the NXT Tour as far as any other ball I’ve tried with my driver. I found I was able to work the ball to a nice fade or draw at will, or at least as much as my swing allows on any given day.
The most profound difference between the NXT series (not just the Tour version mind you) and other balls I’ve played, was the distance I had with my irons. The first shot I hit an iron with was on my home course, #2 hole. My 170 club is my 7-iron. My 2nd shot on this 468 yard par 4 was right on 170 (yes you math majors, that was a 298 yard drive with the NXT Tour). I pulled my 7-iron and took dead aim at the middle flag. I put a perfect swing (for me at least) and the ball launched right at the flag. I was expecting it to land pin high and release a few feet long but no. The NXT Tour flew over the pin, over the green, over the hill behind the green. That 170 yard shot CARRIED at least 190. Woa.
I thought that was just a fluke but the rest of the round I discovered that it wasn’t. My iron play has ended up 10-20 yards longer with the new NXT’s. It almost became a joke when I was hitting my gap wedge 145 and my buddies thought I was a candidate for the new PGA Tour steroid testing…
Around the greens I found the NXT Tour to be quite good. Mind you I’m used to the precise spin you get with a ProV1. I’d say the NXT Tour is about 90% as “spinny” of a ball for me as the ProV1. I found that just about any shot I tried around the greens like flops, runners, two-hop-stoppers all performed well.
One area the NXT Tour outperforms the ProV1, ProV1x and many other balls is durability. Of course the cover is a little harder and that’s why. I can chew up balls with my great wedges but the NXT doesn’t get bet up by them. The only time I’ve had to take an NXT Tour out of play is when it had a cart path issue.
Ian McAllister is right. His wreched NXT golf ball has added fun to my game, and distance.
If you want a performance golf ball, but don’t want to spend the dough that companies are charging for their highest end balls, the NXT is the ball for you.