Nike Method Core Drone Putter
Category: High-MOI Mallet Putters
WE TESTED: 34" shaft length
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: “Opti-mass” weighting—a stainless steel body with a pair of 10-gram “wing tips,” plus a lightweight rear section made of tungsten-polymer (black)—shifts weight down and back for better launch and roll. The tungsten polymer material also dampens vibration.
OUR TESTERS SAY: One of the more forgiving putters. Less-than-perfect putts still leave you with virtual tap-ins.
DISTANCE CONTROL: The head provides excellent stability on toe and heel contact as putts roll out to roughly the same distance as center hits, taking the fear out of three-putting; it puts a true roll on the ball from the start (i.e., less skidding), which helps with control.
FEEL: Well-struck putts have a nice, crisp pop to them.
LOOK: The most radically shaped putter in its class reminds a few guys of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek; single white alignment aid and large wings direct your eyes toward the sweet spot and point the face at the target.
A few testers find the Drone too light, so that longer putts require more swing and effort to get the ball to the hole; the unusual look has its detractors.
From The Shop Blog (September 26, 2011)
Nike's Method and Method Core putters have all been classically shaped blades and mild-mannered midsize mallets. Those words can't be used to describe the new Method Core Drone, the first Nike putter to combine the company's unique face technologies with a high MOI (moment of inertia) design.
The Drone's radical shape is meant to help the club resist twisting on off-center hits so putts struck near the heel or the toe roll the same distance as a putt struck in the sweet spot. Repositioning weight far from the face and behind the heel and toe helps to make this possible and explains why so many high MOI putters look so unique.
With the Method Core Drone, Nike has shifted weight to the end of wing-like extensions that sprout from the face. The shape is reminiscent of last season's Nike Everclear E-33.
While the Drone doesn't look anything like other Nike Method Core putters at address, the Drone's face features the same polymer groove technology. Inside the red aluminum face insert are a series of channels that have been partially filled with a polymer. According to Nike, the unfilled areas within the grooves grab the golf ball at impact and start it rolling forward more quickly. At the same time, the polymer softens impact and enhances feel.
Suzann Pettersen has won two events this season using a prototype of the Method Core Drone—the European Tour's Ladies Irish Open and the LPGA Tour's Safeway Classic. In Ireland Pettersen tweeted a photo of the putter and a message saying: "My new best friend from Nike. The Drone!"
Look for left- and right-handed 33", 34" and 35" Method Core Drone putters to arrive in pro shops starting Nov. 1.