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January 11 2012

7:49 PM

Nike’s new Concept; more Rickie orange

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Nike Method Concept putter

By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM

For players who want to putt with a blade but enjoy the forgiveness of a mallet, without the bulbous shapes of most mallets, Nike Golf has created the Method Concept putter.

Called a mid-mallet by the company, the club features an eye-catching red blade-like face with a black D-shaped steel ring connecting to the blade. Two-thirds of the putter’s weight is in the black ring, moving the center of gravity down and back in the putter, helping to create a truer roll.

“We are giving consumers something new and something better,” Nike Golf designer David Franklin said. “There’s a reason the shape is the way it is. It allows us to infuse vital science and powerful technology that delivers a very high MOI in a relatively small package.”

The same polymetal groove insert found in other Method Core putters is in the Method Concept’s red face. Such an eye-catching red face figures to get consumers’ attention on crowded putter racks.

The putter will be available to the public Feb. 17 and comes in standard and belly lengths.

PUMA POULTER: Ian Poulter has his own clothing line but will wear Puma shoes and belts, Cobra Puma Golf announced Wednesday. He has played Cobra clubs for five years.

He’ll wear the company’s new Neo Classic Pro-Type shoe, which will be available to the public on a limited basis this summer.

RICKIE MOVING: Rickie Fowler, famous in part for his Puma clothing especially his all-orange look, is expected to be named to Cobra’s stable of professionals soon.

He will still play the Titleist ProV1x and wear Titleist gloves, but a big clue to what driver he’ll play is obvious in Cobra’s new AMP driver . Fowler can always find room for a little more orange.

CHAPPELL’S NEW HOME: Kevin Chappell, 84th in FedExCup points last season as a rookie with three top-10s including a third-place finish at the U.S. Open and playoff defeat at the Valero Texas Open, has moved from Bridgestone to Nike Golf for 2012.

Nike announced Wednesday that Chappell, in the field this week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, signed a multi-year deal and will play the company’s clubs and 20XI ball while also wearing Nike shoes and apparel.

BACKUP PLAN: Webb Simpson, second in last year’s FedExCup, went to a backup Titleist 909D3 driver for the final two rounds, believing his primary driver’s face may have cracked during the second round on Saturday, Golf World Monday explained . Titleist shipped him another driver so he’d have two ready for the Sony Open in Hawaii.

WINNER’S BAG: Steve Stricker at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions:
Driver: Titleist 909D3 8.5 degrees (UST Proforce V2 shaft)
3-wood: Titleist 906F2 13 degrees
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 19
Irons: Titleist AP2 3-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled 54, 60 degrees
Putter: Odyssey White Hot #2
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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