Nike's Method putter stands out at PGA Show

The Nike Method putter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Among the most eye-catching putters at the PGA Merchandise Show is Nike’s new Method Concept, a putter whose front section is flaming red and back section is midnight black.

It isn’t just the color that makes this putter different. The Concept looks as if somebody attached a bent horseshoe to the back of the putter.

The Concept putter was inspired by the existence of various so-called concept cars. There is a scientific reason behind every design feature of this golf club.

For starters, the front of the putter is made of aluminum. Over the history of the game, aluminum putters have developed a bad reputation because generally they haven’t felt solid at impact.

This one, though, feels extremely solid.

How did Nike engineers do it? The aluminum front piece weighs about 100 grams. Meanwhile, the high-mass stainless steel back piece weighs 250, 265 or 290 grams, depending on the length of the putter.

Total head weight for a 34-inch Concept is 350 grams. For a 32- or 33-inch Concept, it’s 365 grams. For a 41- or 43-inch belly putter, it’s 390 grams.

For a relatively small mallet design, the Concept boasts an impressive MOI, or resistance to twisting. The face also has the groove pattern that is used with the Method family.

Using a Nike Method putter often requires a short adjustment period. For most golfers, the putter produces extra roll because of the influence of the grooves. This means players can concentrate on a shorter, more precise stroke.

The simplicity of the Concept face and top line are intended to aid alignment. The back of the putter is all about balance.

“The steel back piece creates a deep center of gravity on a small footprint,” said Nike designer David Franklin. “This smooths out the stroke. It’s a lot more stable through the stroke than we expected it to be. The backweighting just propels the putter through the ball better.”

The Concept will be available at retail on Feb. 17. It will cost $199 for the 32-, 33- and 34-inch models and $219 for the 41- and 43-inch putters.

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