Review: Nike One Tour and Tour D (& Vapor) Ball

Pick ONE for your needs
Each year a new generation of Nike ONE golf balls comes out with a little tweaking.  It used to be Nike ONE Platinum and Nike ONE Black.  In 2009 the names changed and went to Nike ONE Tour and Nike ONE Tour D, respectively.  Over the past number of years they would be far apart, move closer together, then move back apart and then back again.  But even with the yearly changes, I have always felt that Nike has had a ball at either end of the premium ball spectrum.  The highest spinning ball is the Tour (old Platinum) and lowest spinning ball is the Tour D (old Black). This is what has always set them apart from other premium golf balls like those from snell .  You could get whichever extreme your game needed.
In the past I always found I scored the best with the Nike ONE Platinum.  The added spin really helped around the greens. I also found the higher driver launch angle made for extra carry distance.  On the green, the soft feel simply putted like a dream.  So I had high expectations for the Nike ONE Tour.  I am happy to report that the Nike ONE Tour didn’t let me down in any area of performance.  In my many rounds with this ball, I found it still to be the highest spinning ball off irons and wedges.    Off the putter I couldn’t distinguish a difference between the new or old versions of the Nike ONE.  But the biggest difference I found was off the driver.  I was getting more distance with the Nike ONE Tour than I ever did with the Nike ONE Platinum, mostly on carry.  The Nike ONE Tour spins less than the Nike ONE Platinum.  This translates into at least a few more yards off the tee.  

For spin and feel you would be hard pressed to find a better ball than the 4-piece Nike ONE Tour.  It might not be the longest ball off the tee, but the 2009 version is better and longer than past versions.  But the strength of this ball is 5-iron and down.  Spin control and putting allow you to cut a few strokes here and there.

Some golfers already spin the ball too much and can’t keep the Nike ONE Tour on the green, or have trouble controlling distance with so much spin.  Nike has a ball at the other end of the spectrum in the Nike ONE Tour D.  This one follows in the mold of the Nike ONE Black.  I have always found the Black to be the longest lowest spinning premium ball.  In the previous models, the Black felt a little too firm from time to time.  But the Nike ONE Tour D is softer than previous versions.  In my rounds of testing I found this to be the longest ball off the tee for me.  The low spin, low launch is unmatched by the other premium balls.  On irons and wedges it too is just about as low spin as you will find, yet still enough to bite on wedges and short irons.  It clearly is designed for the golfer who already imparts plenty of spin on the ball.  What Nike did in 2009 to improve the Nike ONE Tour D is in the feel category.  It now has a softer cover for putting and scoring clubs, not nearly as clicky as the Nike ONE Black.


For distance and firmer (but better) feel you will not find a premium ball that will out perform the 3-piece Nike ONE Tour D.  It might not spin as much as the other top balls, but the added distance will feel good as you are at least a few yards longer than normal.  

One area that I have always felt that the Nike ONE series has had as a strength was their durability.  I have always been able to get at least 36 holes if not more out of a Nike ONE golf ball (that is if I didn’t lose it).  They seem really resistant to shredding.  The 2009 Nike ONE Tour balls were almost as good as past versions, but I did have a couple that didn’t shred, but did have some paint flake off.  It was very minimal, but was something I hadn’t seen before with a Nike Ball.  I didn’t notice any performance change with two dimples missing paint, but it was visible.

Pick ONE Nike Tour golf ball for your needs.  If you want spin and feel, the Nike ONE Tour will fit your needs, if you want distance and spin control, the Nike ONE Tour D will be perfect.

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Review: Nike One Vapor Speed Ball
Bringing a little more speed for slower swings
A new movement in the golf ball industry is addressing the needs of slowing swing-speed players with something other than a low-end golf ball.  Nike’s version of a high-end ball for slow swing players is the Nike One Vapor.  The Nike One Vapor’s second version is the Vapor Speed designed for a little more distance off the tee.

While it is said to be a high-end ball it doesn’t have a urethane cover, but rather an ionomer cover.  While the ionomer cover is very durable and has a good soft feel, it simply isn’t the same when it comes to green-side spin.  

Off the tee, I did have good success with the Nike One Vapor Speed.  It was plenty long and as the fall weather is descending upon the upper Midwest, I found the lower compression ball less harsh than the higher compression Nike One Tour balls.  I found the trajectory to be similar to the Tour D, just slightly higher.  I would put it between the Tour D and the Tour in terms of launch angle.

On long irons I had some compression difficulties in the warm weather.  The ball was a little too mushy for my swing speed, which I seemed to lose some distance.  As the weather got colder, it seemed to even things out and even felt better the colder it got.

On short irons and wedges, I noticed a good amount of spin.  I didn’t spin as much as either Nike One Tour Ball, but sufficient spin, especially with some super grooves.  The combination of a little less spin and VR super grooves ended up working quite well.  I also noticed the ionomer cover to be a little more durable than the urethane covers of the other Nike One balls.

Off the putter it is nice and soft.  I found this to be one of my favorite aspects of this ball.  I found a comfort zone with it on the putting surface.

At a few dollars cheaper than the top of the line golf balls it is a good choice for slower swing speed golfers.  Also because it is the lowest compression ball in the Nike One line is makes a great cool weather golf ball for the higher swing speed golfer.  

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