The next major shift in golf ball design and technology is powered by a patented thermoplastic. Nike Golf's 20XI (pronounced: twenty-X-I) golf ball has replaced the industry standard thermoset rubber core with a specially developed Surlyn ionomer resin from DuPont, with the resulting reduction in the core's weight allowing an average increase in ball speed of 2-3 miles/hr, with each mile increase equating to 2 to 3 more yards of carrying distance.
Jon Kemp, global marketing leader for DuPont's golf ball segment, told PlasticsToday that his company began work on the new ball with Nike four years ago. "Every 10 years there's been a major technology shift in golf balls," Kemp said. "We're going back from wound rubber cores to solid-rubber cores, and the last major transition really happened in 2000-2001. I think we were all really looking for what is going to be that next major shift in golf ball technology that would allow for enhanced performance."...