Putter Tested: Ping Nome
(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) Ping’s newest putter, the Nome, got the kind of pre-launch buzz that you simply can’t buy: it was used by Hunter Mahan in victories at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship and the Shell Houston Open. In addition to being a two-time Tour winner, this putter is very unique in that Ping has a version of it that will work for every stroke: straight-back-straight-through, slight arc, or strong arc.
The standard length Nome weighs 355 grams and can be ordered to your specification for length and lie. The Ping Nome is also available as an adjustable-length belly putter. The belly model weighs 405 grams. The stock grip is a midsized pistol Winn grip.
- 355 grams (405 grams for the belly model)
- Three Offset and Toe Hang Configurations Available (Straight, Slight Arc, Strong Arc)
- Winn Grip
BALL USED: Titleist Pro V1
The feel of the ball ricocheting off of the Nome’s milled aluminum face was described by our test group as a dull thud. It is neither a hard, clicky feel, nor is it soft and buttery.
One aspect of the Ping Nome’s feel that was appreciated by our testers was its feedback: unlike many high MOI mallets, you can actually tell when you mishit a putt. The sound of impact increases as you move out from the center of the face, shifting from a thud to a more staccato clang. What’s particularly nice is that even though you can hear the mishit, the ball rarely rolls as if it were mishit.
One thing I’ve learned over the course of the last two putter reviews is that mallet people can appreciate the beauty of a blade, but there are not a lot of traditionalists who appreciate a beautiful mallet. This was made apparent to me when one of our newest testers told me that the Nome looks like, “A spaceship on a stick.”
Personal taste aside, the Ping Nome is an interesting blend of traditional and futuristic. While it’s definitely on the larger side, the shape itself is not terribly unusual. Where it gets funky is in its multi-colored, multi-piece design. When looking down on it, the Nome shows off its depth via the cutaway under the black alignment aid.
Overall, half of our testers really loved the Nome, half were lukewarm. It basically split along lines of traditionalists versus those who embrace newer designs. While you might expect that I was in the traditionalist camp, I actually love the looks of the Nome. There’s just something interesting and unique about the Nome that makes it hard to put down.
SET-UP & ALIGNMENT
Much like its milled-aluminum predecessor, the Sydney, the Nome features what Ping calls “Optigraphic” alignment. I’m not sure how Ping defines it, but, to me, it seems to mean that there’s a single sight line on top of a larger “sight bar.”
I can’t exactly figure out why, but for some reason the sight bar made all of our “no alignment aids” testers forget about the sight line. It seems that in this case, more was less…which was better. That’s not to say that those who like a sight line found it hard to aim because, in fact, they liked it too. Even those who didn’t find the Nome aesthetically appealing agreed that it was easy to aim. Ping definitely seems to be on to something with regard to the alignment aids on their new mallets.
One final note on the Ping Nome’s set-up: if you look closely at the pictures, you will notice that the topline of the putter is actually curved. To my eye, this makes the putter face seem slightly concave, as if you could hit a putt on the heel or toe and it would still roll to the target. This was not widely noticed by our testers, but, to my eye, it’s a definite confidence booster at address.
Performance testing was done by 7 golfers. The testers were given the putter and asked to hit putts of all lengths (3 to 20 feet). They were then asked to rate the putter from 1-10 in each of the following categories:
- Distance Control = 9.1
- Accuracy = 9.4
- Sound & Feel = 8.6
- Appearance = 8.3
- Alignment = 9.6
- OVERALL = 90
FIT FOR STROKE™
Don’t change your stroke. Change your putter.
The (FIT FOR STROKE™) concept was developed by PING, yet another genius fitting system they have developed for golfers. It works hand-in-hand with the iPING Putter App which is highly suggest everyone getting (IT’S FREE!). You might be surprised to find out that the stroke you think you have isn’t the stroke you actually have.
This addition to the MGS reviews will allow you to become a more consistent putter by matching you with models that better fit your stroke type. They will be broken down into three categories: (1) Straight – for face balance putters (2) Slight Arc – for mid toe hang putters (3) Strong Arc – for toe down putters
“Results from hundreds of player and robot tests at PING offer overwhelming scientific support for the effectiveness of fitting for stroke. In recent years more diagnostic tools and testing equipment have become available, and the results prove that a golfer’s consistency improves when their putter balance matches their stroke type. It was interesting to observe that golfers putt more consistently with stroke-appropriate models, but they also show a personal preference for these models, too. Prior to putting with them, golfers are drawn to models that fit their eye, even before they fit their stroke.” says PING.
The Ping Nome fits all strokes – (just check the sticker)
Though it clearly won’t fit everyone’s personal taste aesthetically, there was little dispute among our testers about the Ping Nome’s ability to perform: mishits traveled nearly the same distance as center hits and they held the line well.
By varying the amount of offset and the bend in the shaft, Ping has created a putter that fits all strokes. While its retail price of $249 isn’t exactly cheap, I think that Ping will find many new fans among players who prefer mallets but don’t want a putter that is built for a straight-back-straight-through stroke.