Nike RZN Platinum Review – Tour Performance

by | January 11, 2016

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Nike RZN Platinum Review

Here I will be reviewing the Nike RZN Platinum golf ball, a gold medal winner on the 2015 Golf Digest Hot List and played by the likes of tour pros Paul Casey and Kevin Chappell.

The RZN Platinum, like its sister the RZN Black (full review here), is a high-compression tour-level ball designed to provide premium soft feel, control and spin around the greens while maintaining good distance off the tee and with other long-range shots.  Read on to find out what you need to know about these golf balls to make an informed purchase.

In a hurry?  Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…

Rating:  4.9/5 (Excellent)

Pros:  Low-spin, piercing ball flight off the tee is a recipe for distance; very workable and controllable with irons and wedges; very soft, high-spinning and controllable around the greens; does a good job meeting (and even exceeding) the demands of the skilled player; a definite upgrade from the previous 20XI ball models

Cons:  May not be best for golfers who already hit high trajectories with their irons; high compression rating favours those with fast swing speeds; iron and wedge shots can be influenced by the wind a little bit

Compression rating:  High

Best suited for:  Skilled golfers, low handicaps and professionals with a higher swing speed looking for optimal performance from tee to green.

Best places to buy online:  For new RZN Platinum balls, see this eBay page or this Amazon page.  For used (recycled) RZN Platinum balls at awesome value, see this eBay page.

Want a closer look at the ball and packaging?  Click on the image at the top of the page and navigate the photos on the left-hand side of the screen.

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What are the reviews like?

The RZN Platinum golf ball has been received extremely well by critics and regular customers alike — it has a 4.6/5 star average rating on Amazon (click here to read those customer reviews), a 5/5 on Global Golf, a 4.8/5 (100% recommended) on Nike’s official website and a 4.7/5 (100% recommended) on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website.

Similar to the RZN Black, players praise the RZN Platinum ball for its long, piercing ball flight off the tee, conduciveness to shot-shaping (draws, fades, etc.), and amazing control and spinning ability around the greens.  The RZN Platinum appears to deliver everything a strong swinger with a lower-than-desired spin rate would expect from a tour ball.  Do note that the sound/feel may not be for everybody, and it may not be the best ball for golfers looking to cut back on spin (look to the RZN Black for that, link to review is above).

What are the features?

The Nike RZN Platinum, branded Tour performance, mid-spin control and played by many tour pros, is one of four balls in the RZN lineup.  It is aimed at skilled golfers with strong swing speeds that are looking for a higher spin rate on their irons and wedges.  Along with the RZN Black (the lower spinning variant), the RZN Platinum has a high compression rating and a four piece construction.  It has a Next Generation RZN design that makes the polymer resin core more controllable, better-feeling and softer than the previous 20XI model.  More details of features include:

  • Speedlock” construction that binds layers more tightly to the interlocking core, resulting in more efficient energy transfer between layers, faster ball speeds and hence more distance
  • an RZN mantle layer that, when combined with the core, delivers faster ball speeds and improves feel
  • a lighter RZN core and stronger/heavier outer layers which contribute to a higher moment of inertia (MOI) for more stable flight through the wind
  • a urethane cover with a “spin-optimized” coating for greatly improved spin and control around the greens
  • a 344-dimple pattern with 13558 micro dimples (about 40 micro dimples per dimple); the micro dimples are said to improve lift and drag properties

How does the ball perform from tee to green?

Long game: The performance of the RZN Platinum with woods and long irons is excellent, perhaps surprisingly so.  Given the increased spin rate relative to the RZN Black, one might expect the RZN Platinum to fly a little higher, land softer and be more susceptible to effects of the wind, but this turns out not to be the case.  Ball flights are penetrating and ballooning is generally not an issue at all.  Carries, rollouts and overall distances are on par with the RZN Black, which means that golfers with traditionally high spin rates can potentially realize large gains in distance.

As for workability, the RZN Platinum is arguably even more shot-shaping-friendly than the RZN Black.  Long and mid iron shots into the green have superb stopping power.  Shots can be manipulated (drawed, faded, etc.) very well out of the rough and bunker.

Short game:  Like the RZN Black, the RZN Platinum passes with flying colors when it comes to tour-level performance around the greens.  Pitches, bunker shots, chips and putts are all impressively controllable and soft-feeling, and they check up beautifully.  Putts generally feel soft off the putter face and provide good feedback.  Skilled golfers should be very pleased with the overall depth of control afforded by the RZN Platinum.

What about feel and sound?

Feel and sound are both generally good.  The RZN Platinum is on the soft side for a tour ball — it’s a bit softer than the RZN Black.  With that being said, the RZN Platinum sounds and feels similar to the RZN Black (moderately soft, crisp with short clubs, firm and explosive with long clubs).  Note that feel and sound depends on the properties of the actual clubs used as well, so you should take that into account.

Where can I get used RZN Platinum balls at a lower price?

Do be aware that you have the option of getting RZN Platinum balls refinished or recycled if you’d prefer not to pay full price for new ones.  I would recommend staying away from refinished balls — they are usually stripped and repainted to look like new and are risky when it comes to performance.

That leaves recycled balls.  Recycled balls are balls that have been found lying around on golf courses and very often have only been hit once or twice.  For the best value for your money, I would suggest only considering ball packs with condition ratings of AAA or above.  You can find fantastic deals for recycled RZN Platinum balls from trusted sellers on eBay (links provided in this review).

Conclusion

The RZN Platinum golf ball is a winner for sure.  Although some mid and even high handicappers can be successful with it, it’s most ideal for professionals and low handicappers who want their ball to behave optimally in each situation on the course.

If you have any thoughts or opinions about the Nike RZN Platinum golf ball, be sure to leave a comment below!

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Image courtesy of:  Amazon

8 thoughts on “Nike RZN Platinum Review – Tour Performance

  1. Chris

    Thanks Paul for the great review of the RZN Platinum. I played golf more when I was younger, and honestly at first I thought it would be boring because all you’re doing is swinging a metal stick around. It was only when I really started to get into the precise movements of tapping the ball so that it can reach into the hole in front of it that I realized that this can be fun because you’re testing your ability to focus.

    You would think that all golf balls would be the same since they all look the same but that’s coming from somebody who isn’t really a seasoned golfer.

    Good stuff man! I don’t think the Platinum is for me (the RZN Red or White would probably be better) but I know a couple people that might be interested. I’ll be sure to send them over.

    Chris

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Thanks for the comment Chris. Golf balls can have different dimple patterns, makeups, constructions and produce different ball flights, but this isn’t very important to most beginners and amateurs. Nonetheless, it can certainly benefit a golfer to play a ball that suits their game. In this case, the Platinum is intended for skilled golfers.

      Reply
  2. Geoff

    Hi Paul. I wanted to thank you for the excellent review. It’s interesting reading about all the variations in golf balls that are used on the pro tours. As a beginner, the RZN Platinum ball may be a bit out of my league.

    My swing speed isn’t the fastest (about 84 mph) — do you have any suggestions in terms of balls for someone like me? Thanks, Geoff.

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Hi Geoff. For a beginner with a swing speed like that, I would definitely look at low and mid compression balls. Examples of such balls that I have reviewed on Golfstead include the Callaway Chrome Soft and Bridgestone e6, which are both excellent. You’ll be able to adequately compress lower compression balls for optimal energy transfer and ball speeds. This is a great starting point, but to give you a more focused recommendation I’d need to know more about your ball flight tendencies and goals.

      Reply
  3. JammySammy

    Hi Paul, would you recommend these balls for a medium level golfer? I have a decent game off of the tee, but around the greens and putting my touch is not so great, as I rarely spin the ball.

    I want equipment that is going to improve my touch, especially when using wedges and high irons, so that I have a better chance of landing the ball near to the hole (at least on the green!).

    Would you recommend these PRO balls for me?

    Im not sure if it would be worth my investment, although I am willing to experiment if i think it will make a difference to my game…

    Thanks, JS

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      If you can hit the ball solidly around the greens, the RZN Platinum balls should spin very well. What’s your swing speed with the driver? If it’s less than 100 mph, the RZN Platinum might not be the best ball for you. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be good, though — unless your swing speed is very low, I would suggest getting a few recycled RZN Platinum balls in good condition for cheap on a site like eBay (link provided in the review) and just trying them out.

      If you don’t get the spin results you want, you can turn your sights on a mid or low compression ball, some options of which I discuss elsewhere in the comments section here (Chrome Soft, e6, etc.).

      Reply
  4. Keith Hughes

    I’ve been playing golf since I was twelve. I don’t recall ever seeing a more comprehensive review of a golf ball.

    I probably would have hit the RZN Platinum in my younger days. But I don’t think I would be able to get the most out of my game hitting it today. My swing has slowed down somewhat, so I need a slightly lower compression ball.

    I haven’t tried urethane covered balls as balata has been my choice. But I am hearing good things about urethane. So I’m sure I’ll be trying them in the near future.

    Keith

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      To be honest, balata is a term I haven’t heard very much since I got involved in the golf industry. As I understand, it’s a rubber-like material that was used as a cover for balls way back in the day and has since been phased out in favour of urethane. I have heard some people say that balata gives better spinning performance in many situations than today’s urethane balls, but there’s not much you can do now that virtually no one manufactures them anymore. I do know that urethane balls (like the RZN Platinum) are softer and much more durable.

      Personally I don’t see much reason to use balata over urethane aside from the vintage and nostalgic factor. Nonetheless, many different brands of balata balls remain available on eBay among other places.

      As for your slower swing speed, I would suggest checking out my review of the low-compression Callaway Chrome Soft or mid-compression Bridgestone e6 (you can search them on the right sidebar). There are other great low and mid compression balls available as well like the Nike RZN Red. Do let me know if you have any other comments or questions.

      Reply

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