Skysports.com runs the rule over the new Nike VR Pro DS wedge and Method Core Drone putter
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 20/12/11 4:21pm
They're the scoring sticks, the clubs that define our rounds and make all the difference, so to hone up your short game we tested out a Nike VR Pro wedge and Method Core Drone putter from their new range of equipment.
Both released in November, the clubs build on Nike's already successful short game armoury, but with a few added touches to improve upon the brand which is already building momentum on the world game.
To move a step forward from the VR Pro forged wedges, Nike have now released their VR Pro dual-sole wedges which encompass their new X3X grooves.
The X3X high-frequency grooves provide more grooves closer together which Nike say creates more spin and control from all types of lies and conditions whilst still conforming to the new USGA and R&A rules on groove patterns.
The dual sole aspect means that the sole has added leading edge bounce but a relieved trailing edge - in short it has been made to ensure the wedge gives optimum performance on both normal full shots and also open-faced flop shots and bunker shots.
Once onto the greens, it's important to find the right putter, and Nike have added another member to their Method family of flat sticks with their Core Drone, which was used by Suzann Pettersen to win two tournaments before it was even released.
The Method Core Drone comes in a regular version and also in a belly putter length and is one of six models in the Nike Method Core putter line.
All models have the distinctive red insert in the face which contains Polymetal Groove Technology, which helps to decrease backspin and in turn reduce the skidding on the greens which prevents a proper roll.
The Drone has a large mallet head which Nike designers believe will optimise the centre of gravity and stop the club from twisting upon impact and thereby sending the ball off target.
Certainly a striking model, the Method Core Drone is as advanced as putters come and Nike think it will help cement their place amongst the leaders in the market.
We got to try out a 60 degree wedge from VR Pro dual-sole range, which certainly looks the part and has what seems a wider and larger face than usual, which helps with the confidence of being able to get the ball airborne.
While full and half shots are easy enough, those tricky ones around the green are the real testers, but each time the ball got into the air nice and quickly and out of the sand it proved to be just as accomplished.
On the greens, the size of the head of the Method Core Drone is not normally something I would look at in a putter, and in fairness those used to a normal breed will take time to adjust to this model, and concentrate more on the ball than the putter.
After a while though I can assure you the initial surprise soon disappears and you will settle down into putting as normal - and I thought the excellent balance in weight outweighed any uneasiness on the eyes.
I was not a massive fan of the slightly higher-pitched noise that emanates from the putter upon impact, but again this is a personal preference that everybody will have a different opinion on.
We can say that the roll is true and consistent and those always searching for a new putter and in need of a confidence booster may want to try it, with all that is happening behind the ball you do get a good feeling that you will be able to hit it on the right line more often than not.