In western New York, there are usually a few days from December to March when we sneak in a round of golf. Just such a day came along during the third week of December. I took advantage of the opportunity to tee up two models of the 2014 Nike RZN golf ball series: the white and the black. The Byrncliff course that opens either for X-C skiing or golf, depending on the hue of the ground, served as my testing zone.

For those attuned to the weather of western New York, Byrncliff is roughly 2 miles east of the town (Cowlesville) that claimed the title for greatest snowfall (88 inches) during the area’s freak November storm. After that mess was cleaned out. and thanks to/despite a December thaw, the course was in remarkably-firm shape. The RZN golf balls had their share of run-out on most holes.

I played the black model of the RZN for the first ten holes of my round. The white model came out for the final eight holes. I normally play a Titleist Pro V1, although I’ve used nearly every Nike ball that has come along, in an effort to unseat the current title belt holder. Until the RZN, no ball from Nike or any other manufacturer came close to the consistency that Titleist’s marquee brand offers.

Although I went around the front nine in 40 strokes, I was those four blows over par for my first four holes. After rust removal, I played holes five through ten in even par. After switching to the white model, I was plus-two for the remaining eight holes. In my world, that’s a draw as far as performance goes.

As I looked back on the round, I determined that the white felt very comfortable coming off the club face. It also sat down on the green much quicker than the black. Finally, it had that feel I love around the greens. Although I was unable to drain any birdie putts, I did like the feel and roll of the two RZN balls. Hey, when you’ve been in dry dock for 2.5 months, putting takes the longest to return.

My Recommendation

Nike Golf offers a site page whose sole purpose is to determine which model of RZN is best suited for a golfer’s game. The ball recommender offers five questions; I would like to see a few more, or see the five areas broken down a bit. Nevertheless, it is a helpful tool for pre-purchase research. I took the quiz after I played my round with the aforementioned models. Guess which model suits me best?


It’s ironic that the model of RZN recommended for me is one of the two that I didn’t purchase. I certainly liked the White more than I did the black, although each ball got me in the hole in a prompt manner. Any bogeys on my card were the result of my poor swings,  not of a poorly-produced golf ball.

What I intend to do the next time I’m out is play a three-ball match, with the black, white and platinum models. Sorry, red, but you didn’t make the cut. After I determine a true victor, I’ll pit that ball against the Pro V1 and see which one deserves time on my tee in 2015.

For more on the Nike RZN line from 2014, click here.

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