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.
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.
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:
- a “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).
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.