So you are interested in Nike Karma golf balls? On another page of this site we've provided an overview of Nike golf balls. If you've read it, you already know Karma golf balls are one of the twelve balls that are currently in Nike's lineup. In that overview, I categorize them into a group I call "intermediate-level" balls. In general, these intermediate balls make good choices for mid-handicap golfers. They're not the most expensive Nike golf balls, but they're not the cheapest either. What they are is a nicely-balanced compromise between performance and price.
At a suggested retail price of $30 per dozen, Nike Karma golf balls fall squarely within the intermediate price range of various manufacturers' balls. So what is there about these golf balls that would make you want to choose them instead of some other ball in the same price/performance category, like the Titleist NXT Tour or NXT, for example?
Read on, MacDuff. I promise this review won't be Shakespearean in length.
I've played Nike Karma golf balls during many of my "regular" games. In other words, I've hit them a lot more than I would if I were just evaluating and reviewing them. Karmas are not the only balls I ever use (I have several favorites and I often decide which ball I'll play on any given day based on the weather conditions, my mental outlook, and how I'm feeling that day), but I've always thought these balls match my swing pretty well.
You can probably already tell that I'm going to give them a favorable review. Nike Mojo golf balls used to be one of my favorites, but they've been discontinued and finding them brand-new is starting to get tough (they're still available as recycled balls, though). At any rate, when Nike Mojo golf balls started getting hard to find, I started looking for a replacement and stumbled onto Karma balls. I'm glad I did, and here's why.
It's more than just their cool name. With a 50 compression rating, they are the softest, lowest-compression golf balls Nike has ever made. These two-piece balls are designed to give golfers with slow swing speeds (kids, women, seniors and beginners of almost any age) added distance along with a soft feel and better control. And, if you take a look at this ball, it might seem like the dimples are larger than what you're probably used to. You'd be right - there are only 312 dimples on a Karma ball, and each one is larger than normal. Some balls have almost 400 dimples, but Nike believes the larger dimple pattern helps golfers with slower swings get the ball higher in the air because the aerodynamics help to reduce spin.
Compared to higher-compression balls, the soft core of Karmas is easier to compress for golfers with slow swings. Compressing the ball properly leads to added distance. In general, however, faster swingers can actually lose distance with low-compression balls because they can "over-compress" them. If you swing faster than 95 or 100 mph you'd actually be better off with a firmer ball.
You may even benefit from some good karma by using Nike Karma golf balls. The packaging of these balls consists of 50% recycled materials, so if you're an environmentally-aware golfer you can grab some good karma, help save the planet and help your golf game all at the same time.
Not surprisingly, Nike Karma golf balls have a nice feel when you're hitting off the tee. In my experience, they do make it easier for slower swingers (and with an average swing around 90 mph, I'm in that category) to hit the ball high. You'll never feel like you're hitting a rock when you're hitting Nike Karma golf balls - between their soft ionomer cover and their extremely low compression they're far from being firm. And that brings me to one of the few things I don't like about Nike Karma golf balls: their soft covers tend to get nicked and scraped fairly easily, even when I don't hit any trees or cart paths.
The Bottom Line: Nike Karma golf balls aren't suited to golf pros or amateurs with low handicaps, but they work well for the rest of us - and that's probably around 90% of all golfers in the world. And, they just might be perfect for those of us with slow swings, including women and senior golfers.