Golf News for Thursday, November 2, 2006 | Daily Golf Blogs

Kiel Christianson: Nike Unitized Putters hit stores

Two months ago, the swooshy folks at Nike sent me the Neo model from their new Unitized putter line. The putter was so new, they didn't even have a headcover for it yet.

Today, the four Unitized models – Tiempo, Retro, Techno, and Neo – hit store shelves for real, with an MSRP of $299.

The technological advance of these flatsticks, says Nike, is the fact that the putter head and putter shaft are forged from one unitary piece of metal. The idea is to have no interruption in frequency from putter face all the way up to the pistol grip.

Paul (Mr. "I properly hate Americans") Casey won on the European Tour with a Unitized prototype earlier in the year.

Now, I have always considered myself to be a fairly competent putter. I rarely three-putt, but due to my less-that-laser-like iron play, also rarely one-putt. However, during my last three rounds with the Unitized, I have made a remarkable number of medium- to long-range putts, including one 50-foot double-breaking bomb.

Does my recent success have to do with the Unitized? I do know that the feedback is pure, and the alignment is easy. More so than other putters I've tested recently, I cannot say for sure. But the sleek black nickel-plating takes on a rather antique opalescent patina when moisture and fertilizer are not promptly wiped off, which gives the putter a very appealing look. Maybe that, or some other factor in the design, just gives me more confidence over the ball.

Hard to say, really, as putting is as much art as science. And, as they say in the investment world, individual results will vary.

Too bad for me, though, that it's the end of the golf season in Illinois, because my putts are dropping as fast as the temperatures.

Hope that headcover gets here soon to keep my Neo warm till spring.

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