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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

Shane Lowry’s winning WITB: 2019 Open Championship

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Driver: Srixon Z 585 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70X (45.25″, tipped .75″, D3 swing weight)

3-wood: TaylorMade M4 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8X

Irons: Srixon Z U85 (2 [18 degrees], 3 [20 degrees bent to 21]), Srixon Z 585 (4 [23 degrees], 5 [26 degrees]), Srixon Z 785 (6-PW)
Shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White TX Hybrid (2), KBS Tour 130X (3-PW)

Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (50 [bent to 51, 35.75″, D5], 58 degrees [35.25″, D7.5)
Shafts: KBS Tour Wedge X

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Exo 2-Ball (Lowry’s putter has an all-black finish, and he switched into it earlier this year at the RBC; 34″)
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0 (custom shamrock)

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV Pure White

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (logo down)

Image c/o Srixon (obviously, Lowry does not have all wedges pictured in play)

Additional Shane Lowry WITB notes, via Johnny Wunder

2019 Open Champion Shane Lowry, compared to Tommy Fleetwood, is on the other side of the spectrum in regards to brand loyalty. He is Cleveland/Srixon in 12 clubs including the ball with the only two exceptions being the TaylorMade M4 3-wood and his Odyssey Putter. In this case, that makes sense, those clubs seem to be a challenge to swap, especially the 3-wood, and Cleveland/Srixon isn’t really known for putters on the PGA Tour.

I got some interesting intel on his driver Switch from the TaylorMade M2 into the Srixon Z585.

According to Rodney McDonald, VP of Tour Operations for Cleveland/Srixon, Shane is a dedicated staff member that is always willing to get all Cleveland/Srixon in the bag.

On Lowry switching into the Z585 Driver McDonald had this to say

“The switch was very easy. Even though he had won early in the year with another driver, he was not driving it good at all. He is very loyal to our team and our products that he came to us to find a new driver. He instantly loved the look of the Z 585 and once we started testing the numbers were exactly what he was looking for. His main comment about the driver is how his misses are minimal and he can hit all the shots he wants to.”

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Equipment

Tommy Fleetwood’s bag is as awesome as he is (Tommy Fleetwood WITB)

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I’m obsessed with this guy. If there was a movie about his life, Aaron Taylor Johnson would play him…can we make that happen?

His bag has taken over for my past obsession with Charles Howell III, David Toms, and Rocco Mediate. I’m drawn to players that tweak a bit, it keeps it fun for me on Getty Images at 3 a.m.

Much like a Bernhard Langer, there is no telling what OEM sticks will land in Fleetwood’s bag. It’s awesome and a sign of the non-contract “eat what you kill” mentality shared by some of the biggest names out there (BK and Patrick Reed to name a couple).

Tommy has messed around quite a bit in the past two years with his bag and the fun part is, he’s not afraid to shake it up.

Here is a partial list of clubs that were previously in the bag since ’17 leading up to his current setup

  • TaylorMade M3 driver (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70X shaft)
  • Titleist 917 D2 driver (@ 8.5 degrees) (Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70X shaft)
  • Nike Vapor Fly 3-wood (13 degrees) (UST Mamiya VTS ProForce Red 7X shaft)
  • Nike Vapor Fly 5-wood (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 80TX shaft)
  • Titleist 917 3-wood (14 degrees) (UST Mamiya VTS ProForce Red 7X shaft)
  • Titleist TS3 3-wood (12.75 degrees) (UST Mamiya ProForce Black 7X shaft)
  • Nike VR Pro Blades
  • Callaway MD4 wedges
  • Ping G410 3-wood (14 degrees) (UST Mamiya ProForce Black 7X shaft)
  • Ping G410 7-wood (18 degrees) (Mitsubishi Diamana BF 80T shaft)
  • Odyssey 2-Ball (plumbers neck)

His grips are also a fun one, he goes Blue Golf Pride TVC in his woods, Iomic Sticky in his irons, and black Golf Pride TVC in his wedges. God, I love this guy!

Tommy Fleetwood WITB @The Open

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees @7.5)
*has lofted up a bit, his driver has been down to 6.5 I’ve heard.
Shaft: Mitsubishi DF 70X (45 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees @14)
Shaft: Mitsubishi DF 70X (42.5 inches)
*was in a Ping G410 until the Scottish Open where he switched into the M6.

Irons: TaylorMade GAPR Lo (@18.75), Srixon Z785 (4-iron, 23 degrees), TaylorMade P7TW (5-9)
Shafts: GAPR: Project X 6.5 (39.5 inches), 4-iron: Project X 6.5 (38.5 inches), 5-9: Project X 6.5 (38 inches @ 5-iron, minus 1/2 inch from there) (26, 30, 34, 38, 42 degrees)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (47, 52, 55, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedge notes: 48.10F (bent to 47) Tour chrome finish
52.08F raw
56.10 (bent 55) raw
60.08 raw

Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro #3
Grip: Super Stroke Mid Slim 2.0


Quick thought: I do see a specific trend when it comes to free agents, and it’s mildly telling. Keep in mind I understand that it’s not 100 percent, but the trends are there.

In woods and wedges specifically, TaylorMade seems to be a popular choice in the overall woods category for non-signed players and Vokey is hands down the wedge of choice. Makes sense in my opinion, I’m not a big “best company” guy, but I do understand the choice. Both companies make and have made extremely high-performing sticks for many years. Consistency in anything is a hard opponent to beat. When Nike bounced out of clubs Rory, BK, Casey, and a few others put Vokeys straight in, and a BK and Casey put TM woods in the bag. (Just an example for context)

Anyway, Tommy Fleetwood is four back going into the final round. I have a weird feeling if it blows he could be holding a trophy.

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Equipment

Tiger Woods opts for lead tape on his Newport 2 rather than a heavier putter: Here’s why it makes sense

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After days of speculation about which putter Tiger Woods might end up with an attempt to tame the greens at Royal Portrush, we now officially know he settled on his old faithful GSS Scotty Cameron but with a twist—some added lead tape.

The whole reason the speculation was in high gear early in the week was because of Tiger was spotted with a new custom Scotty that had the Studio Select weights in the sole to increase head weight to help with slow greens, something Tiger has talked about in the past—especially when it comes to the greens at The Open Championship.

We can even look back a few years ago when Tiger finally put a Nike putter in play, the original Method (those were nice putters) and talked about both the increased head weight and the grooves on the face to help get the ball rolling on slower greens.

The decision to stick with the old faithful with added lead tape goes beyond just a comfort level, even if the two putters look the same at address, it’s about feel and MOI around the axis.

Let me explain. Sure the putter heads weight the same, but depending on where the mass is located it will change the MOI. The putter with the Select weights vs. lead tape in the middle will have a higher MOI because there is more weight on the perimeter of the head—it’s like a blade vs. cavity back iron. Sure, two 7-irons can weigh the same but the performance will vary significantly.

For a player with such deft feel like Tiger Woods, any change like that can could cause doubt. Tweaking an already great putting stroke and on the eve of the last major of the year is not really something you want to do, which is why it isn’t surprising he stuck with his legendary Newport 2.

Lead tape in the middle allows Tiger to increase the head weight with very little change to the natural rate of rotation for hit putter and hopefully manage the slower Portrush greens better.

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