Once again, this review is another of the many cases of “being a golf web geek doesn’t suck.” My daunting and difficult task is to test out the very hyped up and popular Nike Method putter, mine being the model 001. Yes, being a golf web geek can be a rough go sometimes, but someone has to do it.
Many people are comparing the quality level of the Nike Method putter to that of a Cameron. I didn’t even know Cameron made putters. I thought he was a film maker. You know, Terminator Two, Aliens, Titanic, Avatar…
Nike Method Putter Model 001 Construction
The Method putter has a multi-material face. “Flowed through low durometer Polymetal Groove Technology” (that’s what I was going to say) dampens vibrations and gives the club a soft feel. The “interspersed milled steel face” gives audio feedback which helps the player control distance.
What does all that mean in plain English? The putter has a soft and buttery feel. The physical and audible feedback gives the player a closer connection to the stroke, the ball and the proper club head speed to deliver the ball the correct distance.
Extreme heel-toe weighting via Tungsten inserts makes the MOI (moment of inertia) of the putter very high and increases stability of the head during the stroke and especially impact.
Rock & Roll
I can roll the rock fairly well. Ask any of my victims golf buddies. Putting with the Method is a joy. I can sense and see that the ball is rolling very quickly off the putter face and not skidding. The previously mentioned Polymetal Groove Technology gets the ball rolling end over end much faster than a regular putter and I can definitely attest to that. The roll is pure and there’s not much initial skidding like on many other putters.
The Method 001 is a sharp looking putter, similar to that of a standard heel-toe weighted blade. But looking closer reveals many finer details than you’ll find on any standard heel-toe offering.
The finish of this putter is a very nice gray/silver color. The bottom is chrome. The milling in the face, the bottom and the back is very sharp and precise. The face not only has the large Polymetal Grooves, it has thousands of tiny milled round diamonds. See the face image below:
One of the first tests I do with putters is to simply see if the putter “wants” to stay square during the stroke. I’ll just take a few lightly gripped swings and see what the weighting feels like and what angles that weighting wants to take the head. Due to the distribution of more than 30 grams of weight in the heel and toe, the Method 001 wants to stay square. This is a good thing. If the person putting goes to sleep a tiny bit, the putter will still tend to stay square, resulting in the ball starting out on the right line.
The softness of the face is noticeable. It feels like you can sense the split second that the ball is in contact with the face. In fact that contact feels longer.
The grip is an old school pistol grip style, but with a tacky rubber which I really like.
The grip is crucial, as it is where the player connects to the putter. Without a good connection and feel through the grip, the best milling and design in the world can’t help make putts.
No zipper: check. No stupid Velcro: check. No wacky, nutty, clunky design: check. The head cover passes the test. It is classy looking, functional and best of all, easy to use.
Though the golf world didn’t necessarily need another heel-toe weighted blade, the Method 001 should be strongly considered when looking for a new putter. All aspects of this club, from aesthetics to feel to performance, are at the highest level.
My last 10 rounds or so I’ve been testing out the new Tour Yellow Srixon ZStar. I’ve gotten some interesting comments from other golfers about playing a yellow ball. Some think it is cheesy and ask me why I’m playing a range ball on the course and some say it looks cool. The ball itself is very highly visible and bright, and especially easy to see on the course. The one guy who made fun of it two days ago was thinking otherwise when I shot a 73 with the thing for my first round of the year at his club.
Is there something to the color?
This ball isn’t just yellow. It is green, yellow and looks to have some sort of metallic looking flakes or crystal in there. The ball is highly reflective. It is much easier to spot this ball from 200 out than a white ball and Srixon actually has factual data to back that up. According to them, yellow is the most visible color in the visual spectrum. I’m sure they didn’t realize how redundant that statement is, because I’m sure there isn’t a “most visible color not in the visible spectrum.” Ahem. (more…)
Back in this post I mentioned that the buzzword for 2010 seems to be “speed.” I’d mentioned Cobra, Taylormade and Callaway Golf all use the word in their ads or even the names of some new clubs. Nike announced the new SQ Machspeed driver and as you can see, has now jumped on the speed buzzword bandwagon.
There’s quite a story behind this four wheeled Sun Mountain Micro Cart getting to me. The unit I have is the fourth one which was sent to me. Unit #1 I received months ago, but FedEx had trashed the box and broke the mount for the valuables tray. Unit #2 was shipped as a replacement but I never saw it. The box was never found and FedEx couldn’t tell us where it went. I’ll tell you where it went. It went to a golfing FedEx employee’s garage. Unit #3 was tracked closely but never delivered. FedEx told us that they actually had the unit, but they didn’t know exactly where it was. They searched for over two months, me calling them every week, but nothing ever happened. So after months and months of dealing with shipping issues, my Micro Cart finally made it.
Sun Mountain Micro Cart Overview
The Micro Cart basically is a four wheel push cart. But that simple description doesn’t do it justice. The cart has many cool bells and whistles which make it fun to use and very functional. The coolest feature perhaps other than that it has four wheels, is that the thing folds up into a little ball and barely takes up any trunk or garage space. As much as I love my Sun Mountain Speed Cart, folded up it takes up probably over 2x the space the micro cart does.
As mentioned, the four wheel setup makes the cart very stable and easy to push. Despite having one more wheel than a typical push cart, the unit is very light since it is made out of anodized aluminum.
The Micro Cart folds up in a very small space and is easily carried. I carry the thing with one hand and my bag in the other and it is easy. I leave the MC in my trunk because it doesn’t take up too much space. I always have it just in case an emergency happens and I have to play a quick round of golf. Below I shot a short video showing how the unit folds and unfolds.
The handle is designed very well, right where your hands want to be positioned. Some push cart handles were obviously not tested by real golfers but the Micro Cart was. The handle also has two options as far as positioning goes. One high and one low, for those who have different preferences on where they like to push from. The adjustment is easy, no tightening of wing nuts.
Adjustable smart brackets clamp onto the golf bag at the top to hold it in place, without using straps. The brackets are tightened by two small screws. This is probably the one critique I have on this unit. I’m not a fan of this design, especially with a small bag like the one I typically use.
The valuables tray is perhaps the coolest one I’ve seen on any golf cart. First, the casing is transparent. So I can see what is inside. If my iPhone is in there I can see text messages or info from my GPS through the lid. There is a very strong magnet which holds the scorecard to the top of the lid (also in the video above). It looks weak, but it is very strong and would hold the scorecard down even in very high winds. The inside of the tray is padded too, so valuables like glasses, GPS or phones won’t get scratched.
A built in umbrella holder is terrific. This helps not only in rain (or snow around here), but can help keep you cool in the hot summer by providing shade.
Speaking of the hot summer, a swiveling drink holder is located right beneath the handle for easy access of water, sports drinks or beer on those rough days.
As mentioned, the way the cart clamps onto the bag with the smart brackets could probably have some improvements. My bag is so small that I have to screw the screws down almost all the way. Sometimes the bag can rotate if there’s a lot of weight on one side. I imagine some kind of lock, like the handle height adjustment, would be better at securing the bag.
I’ve logged about 50 rounds with my Sun Mountain Micro Cart now. Had I not had all the problems with FedEx it would probably be 80. The cart is fun to use. It folds easily and takes up very little space. Clubs are easily accessed. Playing golf with the Micro Cart is enjoyable and easy. I can worry about my game and not fussing with my cart or accessing my belongings. I have FIVE push carts to choose from in my garage. The Micro Cart has earned a starting position, which is saying something.