Toy Box: Putters
Sunday, January 30, 2011
The secret finally is out.
The Nike putter used by U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover and British Open champion Stewart Cink is called the Method and features a combination of metal and polymer in the face.
Consumers will see a putter face with a pattern of broken lines. These lines, or grooves, are filled with polymer.
What does this accomplish?
Tom Stites, Nike Golf’s director of product creation, explained that the metal edges of the grooves impart a quicker and more consistent roll. Meanwhile, the polymer creates
a softer feel.
“Less backspin,” Stites said. “You definitely can feel it and see it. Our (Tour) guys were easy to convert. The ball rolls truer. It’s not skipping; it’s not jumping around.”
Because of this improved roll, the Method comes with only 2 degrees of loft. Many putters have as much as 4 degrees of loft.
The polymer actually fills a void behind the face, allowing Nike to remove 30 grams of metal and reposition it in the head for added forgiveness on off-center hits.
In addition to Glover and Cink, Justin Leonard and Paul Casey are using it. Casey has won twice this year on the PGA European Tour and once on the PGA Tour with the Method.
The skinny: Much of the credit for this putter should go to Nike putter designer David Franklin. Available in five models and three styles (shaft-over-hosel, plumber’s neck and double-bend shaft).
Cost: MSRP $249
Available: Feb. 1 (custom-made, limited editions will be available Nov. 1, although Nike has not yet determined the price)
MEDICUS OVERSPIN MM-1 PUTTER
The skinny: This putter is designed to be as effective from the fringe and off the green as it is on the putting surface. The lower portion of the face is recessed, allowing the upper portion to produce, according to Medicus, “immediate overspin, or topspin, at the moment of impact on the ball. This early implementation . . . eliminates skidding and hopping, and reduces the influence of shaggy greens, fringe and break produced by grain.”