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The Big Review – Nike Method Putter

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Since they burst onto the golfing scene, it’s fair to say that Nike golf have surprised everyone with the scale of their success. Capturing the world’s number one golfer was the sort of marketing move you would expect from a global sports behemoth like Nike but how quickly they started making genuinely brilliant golf equipment was not.

For the last few years, Nike has made superb options for all areas of the game – all areas bar the putter. In fact, given the quality they have in every other part of the bag, the glaring blank spot where you would expect to find premium putter is distinctly odd. Previous attempts at making one produced the likes of the Unitized which you would describe as average if you were being kind. However, the creation of a putter that in prototype form took 2 majors and 3 other tour wins has made everyone sit up an take notice. Step forward the METHOD putters.

Named after the ‘scientific method’ used by the engineers and designers at Nike’s Research and Development center The OVEN, the METHOD series putters have a face with a unique combination of grooves and multi-material construction. Like Yes!, TaylorMade and Rife before them, the polymetal groove system is designed to get the ball rolling faster to minimize bounce and keep the ball on line to produce the sort of performance that top tour players demand. How well they have succeeded at this seems to have been demonstrated by Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink when they won the 2009 U.S. Open and The OPEN Championship respectively.

The METHOD comes in 5 models, the 001 plumbers neck blade, the 002 heel shafted blade, the 003 heel shafted mid mallet, the 004 face balanced blade and the 005 face balanced mid mallet.

We are told this about the design of each of these putters: ‘The Nike METHOD has a flowed-through low-durometer polymetal groove technology that dampens impact vibrations for soft touch, while the interspersed milled steel face maintains audible feedback for proper distance control. A multi-material face starts the ball on a positive spin that is faster than both a milled steel putter as well as putters with a polymer face insert.’

Appearance

Nike have left behind the weird designs and dodgy paint jobs to and have returned back to a clean and classic approach and they have done a great job with this new look. The steel part of the face has fantastically precise milling marks and the 7 polymetal lines are actually flush with the face despite looking like they are slightly proud. A closer look at the face also shows that the face has 3 surfaces in contact with the ball – the milled 303 steel, the polymetal grooves and the actual grooves milled into the face. The sole of the club looks ‘beached’ but in fact is just where polymetal enters the head.

The one fly in the looks ointment is the ‘waffles’ on the back of the bumpers. Only the most die-hard of Nike fans could think that they are attractive and considering that there weren’t present on the prototypes you wonder why they were added. Thankfully they are invisible at address as they don’t fit in with the rest of the club.

Specifically looking at the 001, it’s no secret that this is the version that was designed with Tiger Woods in mind. With styling highly reminiscent of Woods’ Newport 2, sight dot and all, it’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and Nike’s biggest desire must be to get this into his bag. Of course, whether Woods will ever be parted from his putter is another matter.

The head cover is a classy black leather affair and is very well made. The magnetic strip closures makes them both very easy and very quiet to use.

Feel

Coming from previous Nike putters, the level of feel offered by METHOD putters is nothing short of a revelation. Finally Nike have taken the step up into the level of feedback required for a putter to be considered top tier. The feel is softer than a pure metal putter but has none of the deadness you often get with full face inserts. Across both the putters tested the feel from the combination of the milled steel, the polymetal insert and the grooves managed to be both lively and solid. While this was most obvious with premium balls, even distance balls gave the level of feedback required to be able to judge distances perfectly.

One of the most obvious strengths of the METHOD putters is that the sweetspot is right across the width of the grooves. You have to actively try to miss the grooves if you want to get anything less than a great sensation.

The grip is a GolfPride Tour Tradition and the standard smaller sized grip ensures that you don’t lose anything from head to hands as the club sits more in the fingers.

Performance

Whether you have a gated stroke or a straight-back straight-through or some combination of the two, the variety of models offered ensure that there is something that will match your stroke and make it easy to get the ball rolling to the hole. Another of the benefits of the polymetal groove system is that it allows 30 grams of internal weight to be excavated from the face and body and relocated to the perimeter. The resulting increase in MOI means straighter putts on off center hits.

The effects of the grooves is obvious too. As with other groove faced putters, the ball comes off the face and gets rolling fast. The way the ball hugs the green means that it is less likely to stray. So you can spend more time thinking about getting the ball in the hole rather than worrying about it skittering offline.

Grooved faced putters can sometimes make judging long distance putts tricky. With the ball rolling faster and skipping less at the start of the putt the tendency is to gas the ball past the hole. The sheer torrent of feedback means that you quickly pick up the required touch to regularly leave the ball close to the hole.

Conclusion

Finally, Nike have produced something that belongs in the premium putter market. They took a not unusual decision to release a limited edition (LE) version months ahead of the standard version. As hoped for, the interest generated was huge. However, the time between the LE and this version coming out has meant that the buzz generated has died down a little which has left some people wondering whether the METHODS are as good as they say. This is one occasion when you should believe the hype as they are definitely good enough to be challenging for bragging right with any offerings from the likes of Scotty Cameron, Ping or Odyssey. Having been in the bag for 2 majors, this is a club that performs as well as anything out there and the only question is; which METHOD do you want?

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Pingback: What's in Rory McIlroy's Bag? | Golf Gear Select

  2. Walter Pendleton

    Feb 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Is Nike, Odyssey, Cameron or anyone manufacture putters that have the advantages of adjustable lie angles? Doesn’t anyone have the nerve to say, “Hey, that putter is to short, the lie angle is 5 degrees off, the grip it two sizes to small and their is too much loft on that putter.

    Am I the only guy in the world that notices how poorly putter fit the average player’s stroke. Com’On Man!

  3. RH

    Aug 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    The putter is not working to well for Tiger at the PGA!

  4. Pingback: GolfWRX.com – The Big Review – Nike Method Putter | Golf Products Reviews

  5. Pingback: money|make|freebie

  6. Kevin

    Jan 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Rep was in our store today.  Tried the #1 and the #4.  I was blown away at the sound and feel of these putters.  I wasn't a fan of goose neck #4 until I rolled some putts with it.  Wow, it's a very, very solid putter.  In terms of feel, i don't think there are many putters that have a softer feeling face.  To me, it's a better feeling putter than a Redwood or Scotty.

  7. alex

    Jan 10, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    When do the company release the new method putter to golf shops and when do the company release, the new nike Victory Red line of drivers and woods.

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2017 DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX

5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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Spotted: Justin Rose is testing a new TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” wedge

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On Twitter today, Justin Rose posted a photo of a never-before-seen TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” 60-degree wedge. As the name suggests, it appears the toe portion is raised; we’ve seen this high-toe design from other manufacturers, and the benefits of those designs included increasing face area on open-faced shots, and shifting CG (center of gravity) to where it’s more beneficial for wedge play (likely higher for more spin and a lower flight).

The wedge is also stamped with “MG” to suggest it’s a “milled grind” wedge, much like TaylorMade’s popular wedge line that’s in stores now. There also appears to be slots behind the face, likely to also shift CG to where it’s deemed more beneficial.

Talks of a TaylorMade wedge with a high-toe design were actually started by Dustin Johnson a few weeks ago in a press conference. His full comments on that wedge are above, and you can join the discussion about the wedge in our forums.

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