Rory McIlroy started using a Nike Method Origin putter at the 2015 Tour Championship. Charl Schwartzel, winner of the 2016 Valspar Championship, switched to one in early January. Soon the company will offer the Method Origin B1-01 and B2-01 at retail.
“Tiger Woods talks a lot about stability in the putter and Rory talked to us more about roll and efficiency, but both of them have shapes that they have been playing for a long time,” said Nate Radcliffe, Nike Golf’s director of engineering. “The challenge we undertook with the Method Origin line was to build technology into a familiar profile. They don’t want to change what they see, they want us to change what it does.”
To improve consistency and help the ball roll the same distance more often, Nike sandwiched a resin gasket between the milled 304 stainless steel face and body.
“On a center hit, the resin is not really engaged as much, except on a low shot,” Radcliffe said. “On a heel or a toe shot, progressively, energy is stored and then returned to the golf ball. So on off-center hits, distance control is protected more effectively. It’s a totally different way to build a putter.”
At address, the blue resin material is not visible. Nike says that on an 18-foot putt, the difference with a ball struck in the middle and shots hit half an inch to the heel or toe, or a quarter-inch low, is just 5 inches with the Method Origin. Radcliffe said those mis-hits have a 15-inch dispersion with a solid putter.
Nike also updated the poly-metal grooves that Method putters previously featured. There are now seven thinner grooves instead of five, and they are placed closer together across nearly the entire face. Each groove is actually two grooves, a metal area that grabs the ball’s cover and helps to start it rolling and a polymer area that softens feel. The idea is that more small metal grooves can do a better job of grabbing the ball and getting it rolling.
The four weights in the sole allow Nike to make the same head heavier and allow for the use of Nike’s CounterFlex grip system. The 15” grip houses a sliding 75-gram weight that can be moved up and down within the shaft to increase or decrease counterbalancing for added stability.
The Method Origin B1-01 and B2-01 are both heel-toe weighted blades with a single black alignment line. The B1-01 is Tiger’s putter, featuring straighter, more-angular lines along the top and the bumpers on the back flange. The B2-01 is Rory McIlroy’s putter, featuring more-rounded lines and a slightly taller face.
The Nike Method Origin putters will be available April 22. The will cost $349.99 for the standard models and $419.99 for the CounterFlex grip versions.