Lucas Glover putted with a prototype version when he won the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black last June. A month later, Stewart Cink used the same model to capture the British Open. John Cook won two Champions Tour events with the club last year, while Michelle Wie wielded one when she earned her first LPGA title. Then, there is Englishman Paul Casey, who had it in his bag when he took Tour events on both sides of the pond in 2010.
Meet the Nike Method putter. It has not only helped top players win important Tour events but also given the Oregon-based equipment maker its first real successes in that all-important club category. And it has gotten the company’s staff professionals talking about its many virtues.
“This putter has made all the difference in my game,” says Glover, whose putts-per-round ranking jumped from 116th in 2008 to T39 in 2009, when he began using the Method. “I attribute a lot of the success I had at Bethpage to my putting.”
Casey is just as enthusiastic after watching his putts-per-round ranking rise 43 spots once he put the Method into play. “I fell in love with the putter the first time I putted with it,” he says. “You can really feel the difference in how the ball comes off the face, and you can see the difference in how it rolls.”
Developed at “The OVEN,” Nike Golf’s Research and Development center in Fort Worth, Tex., the Method utilizes steel and polymer grooves to create a faster forward roll.
“Most traditional steel-face putters start the ball with backspin, which causes it initially to bounce a little higher,” says Dave Franklin, Nike Golf’s putter specialist and an associate of the company’s director of club design, Tom Stites, for 19 years. “But we have found a way with our flowed-through, low-durometer, polymer-groove technology to start the ball with forward spin that minimizes bounce and keeps putts on line. The clubface also dampens impact vibrations for soft touch.”
Limited special editions of the Method became available last November, largely due to demand for the new flatstick after Nike staff professionals did so well with prototypes on tour in 2009. But it did not officially go to market until February. The putter comes in four models – one mallet and four blades.