But when we first reviewed the Nike Method putter earlier this year, we looked at the Method 001 model and thought, “This one was built for Tiger Woods.”
Well, here we are six months later, and Tiger Woods says he’s going to put the Method putter in his bag for the British Open, according to news reports this morning.
Will it be the Method 001 model? We haven’t heard yet, but we’re betting it will be some customized version of the 001 model, as it most resembles the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 putter that Tiger has been wielding since 1999. In fact, we think that the 001 has been gunning for Tiger Woods all along.
Make no mistake, the Tiger Woods putter switch is an earthshaking event in the putter world. For years, Nike Golf was dismissed as a pretender in the putter category. Then the Method came along to largely rave reviews (including our own), racking up two major tournament victories in 2009 before it was even released to the retail market. And now the best player in the world is going to put one in his bag.
Nike Golf hit the credibility jackpot with the two major victories last year. But with Woods switching to the Method, they have now won a serious marketing lottery. Pretender no more.
Woods says that he was prompted to make the switch to accommodate the slower greens at St. Andrews, as he feels that the Method putter gets the ball rolling more quickly. It remains to be seen whether or not the switch is permanent, or simply a strategic move for this particular tournament. Regardless, the brand impact is huge.
We recently visited the Nike Golf tour van at the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, where we gained more insight into the Method putter technology. The upshot is that the Method putter has a low loft to get the ball rolling more quickly, but also a “polymetal groove technology” that increases launch angle. So according to Nike, the Method gets the ball up and onto the grass and into a tight forward roll more efficiently, resulting in improved consistency and accuracy.
With Woods’ recent putting woes, the switch doesn’t come as a total surprise. And it’s also no surprise that when he did make a switch, it was to a putter made by the company that makes his other clubs, a sponsor who has resolutely stood by him during his recent trials and tribulations.
But that doesn’t mean he selected the Method putter out of mere loyalty. The Method putter has already proved that it can stand on its own. In fact, it helped win last year’s British Open. And Tiger Woods is now choosing it because he feels it gives him the best chance to win this year’s British Open.
P.S. Check out PutterZone.com’s Putter Buyer’s Guide for crucial insights into putter fitting basics, and how the right fit can shave strokes off your score.