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Review: Nike Method 001 Putter

The best “method” for getting the ball in the hole.

Putting is all about getting the ball to drop in the cup.  Your form can be perfect or unconventional, your putter can be uber-expensive or can be out of the used barrel, but finding the best way to get the ball in the hole is still most important.  I found the Nike Method putter to be excellent at getting that done.

The Method putter line is really the first “real” putter that Nike has put out.  I have been a fan of Nike golf since the original blades came out (still have a set).  There was great anticipation when the first Nike putter line came out, the Nike bluechip OZ, while it was OK, it was nothing great and none of the Nike tour pros used it.

Since that time Nike has tried numerous putters and technologies only to come up short of the hole each time.  The Method on the other hand is designed with both classic good looks and forward roll technology.  It also has won a few major tournaments before the public could even get their hands on one.

Let’s start by talking about the technology behind the Method.  It is called “Polymetal Groove Technology”.  It has grooves cut into the face, and a sound slot cut on the bottom, which are then filled with a special polymer.  This polymer does not stick out past the face, but rather grooves are created by the polymer and metal in order to grip and lift the ball with a solid yet soft feel.  This is technology that you can actually see at work when you are putting.  I’ve seen high-speed video of this technology in action, but even the naked eye can detect quicker forward roll on putts.  This forward roll is vital for better putting.   It gets the ball rolling faster, quicker and on a better line.  At first I assumed that this technology was designed mostly for PGA Tour greens that are carpet smooth and fast, but I found it to be just as beneficial on local muni greens that are bumpy and slow.  The ball gets on line sooner and stays on line.  The only minor modification with a forward roll putter will be speed.  The balls rolls faster forward than a standard putter, so take some time to relearn your speed control.

The overall quality and design of the Method putter it top notch.  It is very pleasant to look at in the bead-blasted stainless finish with a mirrored sole.  The only aesthetic complaint might be the waffle bumpers.  While they match my VR irons nicely, I’m not sure they are necessary on the putter (or the irons for that matter). This putter has a new red grip that, while it might a tad on the thin side, it feels and performs excellently.  The smooth top surface with Method carved in down from the butt end of the grip and the grooved backside make for a very comfortable, soft and slightly tacky grip.   The head weight is decent at 342grams for all the heads, which balances nicely at 34”.  The headcover is a nice perforated black leather-like cover.  It has a magnetic closure in the back for easy removal and insertion of the putter.  It protects the putter head effectively against damage.

The Method putter line currently consists of models 001, 002, 003, 004, and 005 (I’ve seen pictures of 006 and hope that Nike makes that one, it has rolled bumpers and might have a sight-line from the looks of things) Of the putters available I like the 001 best.  A standard anser style putter with a plumbers neck.  This head sits nice and square behind the ball.  The dot works to line up short putts perfectly.  I have extreme confidence from about 8 feet and in.  On longer lag putters, I’m not sure the sight-dot is the easiest to use.  I think a sight-line is easier for the long putts.  Sight-dot vs. sight-line is a personal choice discussion.  Some are thrilled that Nike offered the dot on the 001 Method and others want the sight-line.  The best would be to offer both; Method 001a and 001b.  I understand that there may be some additional manufacturing costs, but I think it would serve a larger golfing population and ultimately sell more putters.

Feel is a nice muted stainless steel click.  The combination of the direct contact with the metal, but also some dampening from the polymer create a very solid feeling putter.  Off-center hits are noticeably different in sound and feel.  But striking the ball dead center creates a clean sound, feel and perfect forward roll.

Nike finally got a putter right.  The Nike Method putter technology is solid and works.  I’m sure they can’t please everyone, but this things works for me as the best “method” for getting the ball in the hole.

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