Nike Golf’s Method putter series has experienced huge success on Tour, with three major victories in its first year or so. They include the U.S. Open (Lucas Glover), British Open (Stewart Cink), and the Masters (Charl Schwartzel). Several other non-Nike Athletes have either used the putter on Tour or tested it out, including Ricky Barnes, Davis Love III, and Ian Poulter.
Fittingly so, the Method is in the higher-end bracket of the putter world in terms of price, with its $250 tag. However, only recently has Nike offered a little bit of the Method magic at a reduced price with its Method Core line. Three great things off the bat about the Method Core – it incorporates the same polymetal groove technology seen in the Method, it costs over $100 less with a retail price of $130, and it is sold in big box retail sporting goods stores so it’s easy to find.
Coincidentally, this is how I stumbled upon this gem of a putter. Over the weekend I was at a Dick’s Sporting Goods and ventured over to the putter section to see what was new. (Now, I should add that as a player who has 3 more putters than one should have, I was not in the market to buy – I was actually there to look at a kayak), but amongst a sea of options the 4i caught my eye.
First off, I’ll be honest, there’s an immediate and obvious difference in appearance versus the original Method. The Method Core uses cast steel whereas the original Method used precision-milled stainless steel. What this means is that the finish on the Method Core appears shiny and more metal-like. Secondly, the grooves on the Method Core are actually in a red insert which is glue in, as opposed to being injected directly on the Method. However, I did not feel any glaring difference when making contact.
In regards to model, despite the big selection (they had the 1i, 2i, 3i, and 4i – I did not see the 5i full mallet), I found myself drawn to the 4i because of the center shaft and it’s zero offset. In addition, the 4i had a mallet shape with a B-back flange which helped with alignment. And even though I kept hitting balls with this on Dick’s artificial carpet test green, I couldn’t help but notice how easy the club went back and forth on a straight line. Could I tell how many revolutions it took to get the ball rolling forward? Absolutely not, but the roll off the face certainly felt solid and smooth.
I would recommend the Method Core 4i Putter for those with a straight back-straight through putting swing and for those looking to reap the benefits of Polymetal Groove Technology without dropping a ton on a single club. Personally, I ended up not buying the putter (I really don’t need another one) but if I were to pick one up, it would definitely be this one.