Paul Casey’s triumph at the Shell Houston Open on Sunday didn’t just mark the first PGA Tour win for the gritty Englishman, but also the first victory for Nike’s mysterious new prototype tour putter.
Word of this new putter was first leaked by Golf Magazine last September. The magazine was able to secure a photo of Paul Casey’s putter, but that was about it—Casey and Nike representatives refused to discuss the putter’s name or technology, which includes a distinctive red groove pattern on the face.
The sole of Casey’s putter features an image of the state of Texas and a code beginning with FW—an homage to Nike’s design headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Nike’s design headquarters are affectionately known as “The Oven.”
But missing from Casey’s putter is any direct link to Nike’s new line of “Victory Red” irons and wedges, which are most famously wielded by Tiger Woods.
However, photos recently surfaced of Trevor Immelman’s Nike prototype putter, which clearly bears the Victory Red “V” logo on the sole, adding fuel to the rumor that Nike is teeing up a Victory Red line extension in the form of Nike Victory Red putters.
The emergence of Nike Victory Red putters would likely signal the end of Nike’s other high-end putter line, the Unitized series. The Unitized putters are, in PutterZone.com’s opinion, highly underrated. In fact, Casey and Immelman both won earlier tournaments with Unitized putters.
A Nike Victory Red putter makes perfect sense. The Unitized putters enabled Nike to dip its toe into the premium putter waters. Now, two years since the launch of the Unitized line, it’s time for Nike to take a fresh look at the high-end putter category.