When I watch a golf tournament on TV, I take notice of the equipment the Nike tour staff is using in that particular event (does anyone else do this?). In last fall’s LG Skins game at Indian Wells, I noticed Stephen Ames was using a new Nike putter I hadn’t seen before.
It was a heel-toe weighted model, like Nike’s Unitized Tiempo design but different. From what I could see on my TV, it had a partial face insert made up of zig-zag lines of composite material placed into grooves in the metal face (not a very technical description I know).
Since then Lucas Glover was seen using this prototype putter in the Quail Hollow Championship, and Justin Leonard is using it this week in the Valero Texas Open. Stephen Ames also continues to use this model.
What I find interesting is the model has not hit the retail market yet, especially since it’s been over 6 months since it made its appearance on tour — and on my living room TV just before Christmas last year, what a tease!
My motivation for asking when we’ll see his putter model in stores is purely self-serving – because I want one! Hopefully the wait — for this particular equipment junkie and putter addict in particular — won’t be much longer.
Update 6.7.09: Stewart Cink used this Nike Golf prototype putter this week at the Memorial, switching from his Never Compromise Sub 30 M3 Belly putter.
Update 6.10.09: Per David Dusek at Golf.com: Looks like Stewart Cink started using this putter at Colonial, the week before The Memorial. Read David Dusek’s post here.
Update 6.22.09: Lucas Glover used this Nike Golf prototype putter this week to win the 2009 U.S. Open. Congratulations Lucas!
Update 7.7.09: I found this article on Golf.com from 9.17.08 (my birthday! is this an omen? hope so…) featuring more details on the Nike prototype putter, with two great photos of it (shown below). Read David Dusek’s post from 9.17.08 here.
Update 7.7.09: Earlier today Paul Casey tweeted these great photos of his Nike prototype putter, included are his comments about each photo:
PC: Had a bunch of people asking about my putter. Below are are couple of photos. This is a prototype so I can’t tell you much right now.
This is a rare view. The TV doesn’t pick up this bottom detail. Any guesses as to the meaning?
Ok, obviously it’s Texas! The dot and the FW stand for Fort Worth which is where it was made.
It was either the 26th putter to come out of the Oven to that date or the 26th putter that day? Sorry not sure.
I’ve been using this putter since Aug 2008. The technology was designed by David Franklin from Nike who works at “the Oven”.
Great stuff Paul, thanks for sharing!
Update 7.20.09: Yesterday Stewart Cink won The Open Championship using his Nike prototype putter. Here’s photo of Stewart’s putter from a blog post by David Dusek.