|Nike Black T130 Oversize mallet putter|
While Ping, Odyssey, Titleist Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade and Never Compromise tend to figure strongly among instantly recognisable putters on our TV screens – the Nike brand rarely registers.
Indeed I have yet to see the Nike ‘swoosh’ on a putter head in the hands of a Tour pro, though this one carries it prominently on the sole.
I’m informed by the makers, however, that both Michelle Wie and Ryder Cup player Stewart Cink – both of whom endorse Nike products – have taken the latest OZ Black T130 Oversize mallet putter to the hearts. In fact it was Cink who suggested that the head material be black as it was more pleasing on the eye.
Chrome or metallic silver heads, he claimed, made the clubhead seem larger and therefore less confidence-inspiring. The opposite, it seems, to a 460cc driver clubhead in the hands of a club golfer.
As for Miss Wie, she instantly liked the look of the mallet and put the club in her bag for the first time on the LPGA Tour last week, finishing one shot adrift from the winner in the Fields Open in Hawaii.
Over a couple of rounds, the T130, performed merely adequately for me. I can’t recall any major disasters but then again no great series of confidence-inspiring holing out either.
Triangular weights – to help keep the putter low in the backswing – flank the sight lines and with the shaft entering the centre of the head, the effect is a bit muddled, especially when you’re trying to put a smooth stroke on a four-footer.
Fellow tester Alan Taylor, meanwhile claimed he was two short for the 35-inch model we were sent to assess. But even taking that into consideration it didn’t press any buttons for him.
I would be a little more generous with my review. Face balancing and the right-angle sight lines make it easier to square the clubface at address and the feel off the putter from the polymer insert made distance putts more manageable.
An added bonus was the C-thru Lamkin paddle grip giving a textured feel even in sweaty palms.
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