There is big news in the golf equipment industry today, especially in the putter world — Tiger Woods has announced that he has officially made the switch to Nike Golf’s METHOD putter for this week’s Open Championship at St. Andrews, and he made the announcement that he is switching from his Scotty Cameron Newport to the METHOD 001 model in his press conference earlier today. Tiger has been experimenting with the METHOD since late last fall, and rumors have been circulating about if and when Tiger might switch to the METHOD. Some said the Masters, some said a non-major tournament, but now we have our answer.
Tiger has made the switch because of St. Andrews slow (and notoriously large) greens. Tiger has admitted that he has struggled on slower greens, and the METHOD’s lower loft (2.5 degrees standard loft, his Scotty Cameron Newport had 3.5 degrees) and polymetal groove technology will help him get the ball rolling more quickly. His adjustment from his SC Newport will also be lessened because the ball comes off the face of the METHOD more quickly. According to David Dusek of Golf.com, “Woods’s Method 001 was built to match the specifications of his Cameron putter, with an identical lie angle, single alignment dot on the head and a Ping grip.”
The METHOD putter is already in play in many of the other Nike Golf athletes’ bags. Paul Casey was the first to game a METHOD protoype over a year and half ago and he won three times with it — at Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, The Shell Houston Open and The BMW PGA Championship. Also in 2008 I saw it in the bag of Stephen Ames. Since then it’s been put into the bags of Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen, Justin Leonard and of course Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink, whose major championships wins with the METHOD have been well publicized.
With the slow pace of St. Andrews’ enormous putting surfaces and the closely mowed area around those greens, the putter is definitely a club that will be in play a lot from both on and off the green. It will be interesting to see how effective Tiger is with the METHOD this week — and we’ll have to see if Tiger keeps it in his bag after St. Andrews.