When most people think of Nike, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't Nike putters. Football, basketball, baseball and soccer equipment, well yes, those make sense. A golfer's first thought might be of Tiger Woods, who currently endorses Nike clubs and balls. Other golfers might think of Nike shoes, the company's Slingshot irons, or even its Sasquatch drivers before eventually getting around to Nike putters. In fact, some golfers seem convinced that Nike just can't make a great putter.
Part of that perception is due to Nike being a relative newcomer to the golf equipment industry. They just don't have the kind of long-term history and cachet that several other companies' putters have. Although Nike has been one of the world's foremost sporting goods companies for many years, the company has only been making golf equipment - including putters - since 2001 or so.
That being said, there's no doubt that their putters are coming on strong. The company's Method series of putters has already won over a number of professional golfers - and now putters by Nike are making a bid to win the hearts of recreational golfers as well.
They're sleek, they're attractive, and they're endorsed by Tiger Woods. But does the performance justify giving them a slot in the top tier of putters?
Nike currently offers two lines of putters. The company calls one of its lines the "Everclear" putters. With their MSRP below $110, the three models of Nike Everclear putters constitute the most affordable ones. It's clear, however, that Nike is hinging its putter reputation primarily on its other line - the one it calls the "Method."
There are several models of Method putters currently available - ten of them to be exact. And they're not cheap, with prices ranging from $156 to $300. Can these Nike putters compete with other high-priced putters? You'll have to read our reviews for details, but you can start with this quick overview of Nike putters.
To begin with, Nike Method putters are good enough to be played by several tour professionals. In fact, Stewart Cink and Lucas Glover have both won majors with Nike Method putters. And don't leave Tiger out of the picture - he's locked and loaded to win a number of tournaments with his Method putter. Nike putters are being used by top tour professionals (Tiger Woods, Lucas Glover, Curtis Strange, Justin Leonard, Paul Casey, Anthony Kim, Michelle Wie and Stewart Cink, to name just a few) when millions are on the line, so they're certainly good enough for a recreational $5 Nassau.
The face of every Method putter - all ten different models - features what Nike calls "Polymetal Groove Technology" to promote a faster forward roll at impact and create accuracy and consistency. This face groove technology, which combines milled steel, aluminum and polymer, creates two main effects: a redistribution of weight to increase the putter's Moment of Inertia (MOI); and a dampening of vibration on impact for a soft but responsive feel. The face feels softer than an all-metal face yet different from a traditional insert, and you still get a nice "click" on impact. Basically, a Method putter feels fluid without giving you the impression that the stroke is overly mushy. Secondary steel grooves are intended to provide "controlled forward roll." You know how your ball will sometimes skip or bounce on the green when you're hitting a long putt? These Nike putters minimize that, with the ball rolling crisply forward and hugging the green right from the beginning.
The Swoosh is coming on strong, and Nike putters are the proof - especially the company's high-tech Method putters. They're available as classic blades and mid-mallets with an assortment of neck shapes and locations. These putters have boring, hard to remember numerical designations instead of catchy names, but you'll be sure to remember their performance. Their accuracy and distance control is excellent, and the ball rolls crisply off the face. Finally, it looks like the company has put an end to oddball shapes and peculiar paint jobs. Now, Nike putters - the Method putters at least - blend classic designs with high technology. And their performance just might justify their price.