By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A little more than a year after Hunter Mahan put PING's Nome putter on the map with wins at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and Shell Houston Open, PING unveiled a new version called Nome TR on Monday at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Taking a page from the recently-released Scottsdale TR line, which has an aluminum, variable-depth groove inset, PING added the same technology to 350-gram Nome TR with the addition of variable-depth grooves — the grooves are deepest in the center and get shallower toward the perimeter to deliver consistent ball speeds — that are milled directly into the face of the C805-aluminum putter head.
"The insert in the Scottsdale TR putter and Nome are both made out of aluminum," said Brad Schweigert, PING's Director of Engineering. "We were able to get weight out of the putter by milling the grooves into the face, and they work just the same as the inset you'd find in a Scottsdale TR."
While the milled grooves will likely be the most talked-about addition to Nome TR, Schweigert noted that a lot of work also went into improving the alignment bar and sightline.
As opposed to last year's model that featured a black alignment bar and white sightline, PING went a different direction, making the alignment bar white and the sightline black on the new model for easy aiming.
The reason for the switch? Schweigert said his team spent considerable time combing through alignment studies and found that by going with a non-glare matte-black body — instead of the original "nano nickel" satin-finish — they were able to get the alignment bar and sightline to pop against the putter head.
"Changing the color scheme doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but going with black makes everything disappear and allows you to focus on alignment over the putt," Schweigert said. "We did that before with Nome the first time around, but the new look definitely helps."
Like the first version, Nome TR remains a high-MOI putter that offers extreme forgiveness and balance due to a lightweight head and perimeter weighting in the form of tungsten-composite sole weights.
The putter comes in three different shaft bends to fit Straight, Slight Arc, or Strong Arc putting strokes. It will also be available in an adjustable-length version that can go from 31 inches to 38 inches.
Nome TR will be available in mid-May for $305 with a fixed-length shaft, and $340 with an adjustable-length shaft.
For more information or to buy a putter from PING's TR line, click here.