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Nike Introduces IC Putters

Nov. 13, 2007     By     Comments (23)

Nike is using some fancy engineering to help you drain more putts.

Bag DropThere is no doubt about the amount of innovation, technology, and thinking outside the box the folks at Nike Golf utilize to try to make golf easier for you. From their use of Sumo Technology for drivers, hybrids, and irons as well as various technological advances used in their golf balls, Nike is not afraid to chuck conventional thinking out the window when coming up with new ideas for golf equipment.

Taking innovation to the next level, Nike is introducing the IC Putters, which utilize some pretty funky technology called "optical engineering," which they hope will help you sink more putts. After getting a look at them, all I can say is, I hope you love the color green.

Engineering Speak
The IC line of putters was developed by Nike Golf's club design guru, Tom Stites, along with Dr. Alan Reichow (Dr. Al), who holds the title of Global Research Director of Vision Science. According to Nike website:

Dr. Reichow has been at the forefront of sports vision and optemtry for 30 years. His leadership and inventive spirit led to the creation of the Nike MaxSight contact lenses to enhance athletic performance and the Nike Hi-Vis Soccer Ball. For the last few years, Dr. Reichow has been working in partnership with Nike Golf on investigating the role of vision and performance in golf.

If you're inclined to hear about the about the how and why that went into the designing of the IC line of putters and the use of optical engineering, check out the interview under Innovation Story with the man they call Dr. Al.

Nike IC Blades

Nike is using this "optical engineering" to develop a putter that utilizes shapes, colors, and contrast to help you see the alignment aid better in order to sink more putts. They are achieving this in two unique ways:

  • Green Total Club Color - The the majority of the club is green. How did Nike determine this? By testing pulled blades of grass from various putting greens to measure the color and reflection. Hence, the putter is green in order to blend into the background of the putting green. Nike claims this will "eliminate visual noise and mutes the areas of the club that aren't critical."
  • Optically Engineered Alignment Aid - By running tests on shapes and alignment aids, it was determined to utilize a white, triangular shape that is the hallmark of the IC putter. Nike claims the "optically engineered alighment aid helps square the face in relation to the hole and starts putts on the line."

The heads are all high MOI (moment of interia) for stability and are milled to enhance "accuracy, predictability and distance control across the putter face."

Looks
The entire club - with the exception of the milled face and the alignment aid - is green. Yep, completely green. Head, shaft, and even the Winn grip is green. I have to hand it to Nike Golf for utilizing some innovative technology and ideas behind the IC putters but have they looked at them? To be nice, they are… well… not pleasing on the eyes.

I realize that I am probably not in the targeted demographic group as I am guessing they are shooting for the younger golfer who might be more inclined to follow trends or someone mesmerized by Nike marketing and the use of "optical engineering" but in my opinion, putting more than any other part of the game is about feel and confidence and I'm not sure how confident one can feel over something that looks that bad. Green looks good on a John Deere tractor, not necessarily a putter.

Nike IC Mallets

Pricing
The IC putters come in five flavors: two traditional blade styles (IC-20-10 and 20-10a) as well as three different mallet styles, the mid-mallet 20-15 and 20-15a and the large mallet 20-20. They have a suggested retail price of $159 with a street price of twenty bucks less and will be in golf retailers on December 1st.

Summary
Nike has gone out on a limb before with their ideas for golf equipment such as the Sumo² so perhaps the use of "optical engineering" is the next great idea in putter design. Seems to me to be a fad but who knows, geometric drivers looked to the same thing just a year ago too.

Posted in: Bag Drop Comments (23)

Discussion

  1. Sean says:

    The pictures must not be very accurate, because the green doesn't look that bad in the photos. Is it a John Deere green or something darker? The photos make it look almost black.

  2. Countjyro says:

    First off, I would like to say good article, it was a pleasure to read it, keep up the great work!

    Secondly, I don't understand Nike's putter department, they currently have 20 putters on their site... why so many?

  3. Pepe says:

    Nice review. And I love the color. Looks to me more like Aston Martin Racing Green instead of John Deere.

  4. Slice says:

    I'm with the other guys, doesn't look too green to me either. I guess a overall picture (grip to toe) would help emphasize the point. I guess it's too early to get a picture of the putter against an actual green to see what they mean. Great article as usual.

  5. Phil Bautista says:

    ... I don't understand Nike's putter department, they currently have 20 putters on their site... why so many?

    Because variety is the spice of life. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. There are so many putters out there, so what if 20 of them come from 1 manufacturer. If they can afford to put out so many, why not? As one of the leading manufacturers, they want to build consumer confidence and satisfaction with their products and one of the ways of doing that is to put out as many products as they can for as many different levels of golfers out there. One of the best ways of building confidence in a product one buys is seeing it in the hands of the person next to him. If you had a Nike putter and noticed that the rest of your 4some all had Nike putters too, regardless of the model, you'd be confident you made the right choice in your purchase (or at least feel a little better about it).

    BTW I agree with the other posts regarding the color. Pictures don't do justice to your rant. The green looks really dark, almost black.

  6. John Heaney says:

    Bought the 2015 model yesterday. Played today. Been golfing for 25+ years,owned just about every kind of putter. This one is a keeper. Sets up nicely,good clean look,nice feel,and the ball rolls great. Did I make more putts? Made more 3 footers. Felt really comfortable at 6 feet on in. Never paid $139 + tax for a putter before but think this one may be worth it...compared to its $250.00 and up brothers.

  7. Phillip says:

    :!: If you like making putts forget about the color and enjoy the results. Just purchased this putter and love the feel and roll. Standing over the putt my eyes went straight to the alignment aid. The green color isn't eye pleasing in the bag; but I didn't purchase this putter for beauty contests. Best putter I have ever owned.

  8. Xavier says:

    IC now why these putters don't appeal to me. The shape is something that would be found coming from a science fiction novel. All hail the anser style! It's really not my cup of tea but if it works for you...

  9. Gatorzone says:

    I am considering getting a new putter and have been trying to decide between the Nike IC 20-20 and the Odyssey White Hot XG SRT model. Do you all have any advice on which one is a better putter. I love the feel of the SRT putter, but would definitely get the lined version. I have not had a chance to try to IC 20-20, but have heard great things. I am a very visual putter, so I think this may be a better fit. I am hoping a store has some in stock that I can try. Let me know your thoughts.

  10. Treadstone says:

    I demoed one of these putters at Golftown the other day and have to tell you I was quite impressed. Mind you, I was on the practice green they have set up there, however the one I tried (IC 20-15) was very easy to line up putts. Nike seems to be onto to something here...would love to actually field test one on a course. The green colour isn't that bad either...it's darker so it isn't offensive at all!

  11. DA KAT says:

    bought the IC 2015 the other day after trying it out and making everything!! Didn't even notice it was green until they gave me the putter cover.Now that's an ugly and clumsy putter cover, may have to buy a replacement for it but I love the putter. Great feel on the greens and very easy to line up. short putts look so easy now!! Didn't like the fact that it was green but like I said, I didn't even notice the color cuz when you're making every putt, you don't care what color it is or what it looks like cuz nothing looks better than a ball going in the hole!!!

  12. Jim says:

    :lol: If it sinks putts, I don't care what it looks like.

  13. gtg says:

    Tried out the IC 20-20 last week at a golf store and had to have it. Placed my order and should be in soon. Best feeling putter I ever tried. Easy to set up and a 'can't miss the short one' confidence. Looking forward to trying it out since I'm anixously waiting for the MI winter to end. Color did not phase me at all...it's the feel not what color it is. Transitioning from a Ping Craz-E ...the IC just felt soooo solid....just swing back and through and you know it's going where you aim. The one downer is the head cover. Took me a few minutes to figure it out. But, again, minor compared to the putter itself.

  14. chichidodge says:

    i bout a 2010a classic blade. love the feel. the color is fine. it's definitely a dark green. easy to sqare up. i have never hit so many 6-8 footers ever!

  15. Sebastian Thomas says:

    I also tried out the IC 20-20 last week at a golf store. Did not buy it, but it seemed to be smooth and accurate. My eyes tracked the white alignment aid and the green part did seem to fade into the background. Every putt was solid and not one felt like a toe or heel hit. I bought an Odyssey Black Series last fall and that used up my putter budget for years to come, but the IC 20-20 seemed so solid. Nike may land my economic stimulus payment.

  16. kamlesh says:

    i have been using a oddesy 2 ball for a few years and looked @ a new odessey or the spider by taylor made. I went to the Proshop and purchased the Nike IC 20:20, just felt so good.

  17. Metrodrugunit says:

    This is a great Putter. No need to trash the color. It story behind the color is that it's designed to blend in with the sourounding Green of the course so that you only focus on the alignment aid. Simple yet brilliant!!! Kudos to Nike who continues to make their run to the top of the golf market. This was my first Nike club purchase and I'm thinking won't be my last.

  18. FourBall says:

    I bought an IC Blade at the begining of this season and there is not one club purchase I have ever made that has had such a huge impact on my game. I am sinking about 50% of my 8-12 footers where with my Odysseey it was more likely around 10%. I dropped a 35 footer 2 days ago and have not missed one put inside 3 feet all season. The club is automatic. Like a previous reviewer said, this isnt a beauty contest, although the green is nothing like John Deere green, but again, exactly like the Aston Martin Racing green. I tried about 15 putters out before buying this one and it was so very worth it. As a testement to the club, I cannot stand Nike golf as a brand, and normally wouldnt purchase any of their products, but this just feels so solid in your grip, the ball runs true and the visual alignment help really works. I really couldnt say enough good things about this club. You really just have to try it for yourself

  19. Jeanette says:

    I have been reading reviews for months in search for a new putter. I have played with a oddessy 2 ball for the last 4 years great putter but after I tried and bought a nike ic 20-10 I can't believe I waited so long to buy this putter could have saved myself alot of mis putts...the color was not appealing to me at first but when I practiced with this putter I forgot all about the color...the feel, roll and alignment is the best I've tried and I have tried 15+putters. I would definetly recommend this putter to anyone. Way to go Nike!!!

  20. Kevin says:

    I won an IC 20-20 putter at a tournament a week ago by winning the putting contest before we teed off. At first it was just another golf club that i had won and most likely would have been given to a friend or my dad. But since we were playing a scramble I pulled out the putter on hole 6 and drained a 30 foot bomb on a par 3 for our group. My Never Compromise putter never made it back out of my bag (and I love the NC putter- had it for about 5 years). The green color of the putter does not distract you while putting and the overall feel of the club is solid. the alignemnt stripe really visually stands out and aligned very well with the alignment stripe on my ball to create a continuous line the led right to 8 hold putts of 12 ft or more. I truly recommend giving this putter a try. Once that soft grip gets in your hand you will be sold.

  21. Roger says:

    :lol:

    I bought the 2015a over a few weeks ago and after 30 years it's done more to improve my game than anything.

    I think it looks great too but how it feels is amazing, especially to see my buddies buying the beers.

  22. Sam says:

    Just tested one out at a near by golf store around my office. Got to hand it, it is a very nice putter. When I started to putt with this putter I immediately noticed the white triangle and helped me aim allot better. Good job Nike!

  23. Mark says:

    Just got this the 20-10 and love it. Comes off the face hot but in control. Have played everything from the Scotty to Odyssey sabertooth and this is the most consistent putter yet. Love the alignment features. Price is good also!

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