Stewart Cink, winner of the 2009 British Open, has been using Nike's CCi Forged irons for several seasons. When I spoke to him earlier this season and asked if he was planning to switch to a newer model, Cink explained that finding time to make changes can be challenging.
"After I won in Hartford [June, 2008], I didn't want to change anything up," he said. Then, after the FedEx Cup playoffs in September, when the Nike Victory Red irons were released, Cink was busy testing new golf balls with Nike's Rock Ishii.
"I ended up using a new ball for about five months. I didn't want to use a new ball, and then change irons or my driver, because if you change everything you don't know what's happening," he said. "Or what's giving you the benefit."
Although Cink is now using Nike Victory Red wedges—he used to play the Nike SV wedges—the most significant equipment change he has made this season happened in Texas at the Crowne Plaza Colonial. As GOLF.com reported, having played a Never Compromise Sub 30 M3 belly putter for more than six seasons, Cink switched to a traditional-length Nike prototype putter.
Featuring a traditional Anser-style look, and heel-toe weighting, the milled face of the putter has a series of red ribs. The ribs are designed to reduce skidding and help get the ball rolling faster.
Cink's Nike prototype has more cosmetic details than the early Nike prototype putters seen on the PGA Tour (like Paul Casey's). There is a waffle pattern on the heel and toe, similar to the pattern on the back of the Nike Victory Red Half-Cavity irons. There is a sight line on the back flange of Cink's putter, and where Casey's putter has red paint-fill, Cink's is trimmed in black. Finally, on the bottom of Cink's putter there is a reference to The Oven, Nike's club building and testing facility in Ft. Worth, Texas.
I've seen five different versions of Nike's prototype putter with similar cosmetics to Cink's. Although nothing has been officially announced by Nike Golf, with this much detailing—and now two major wins by Cink and Lucas Glover—it would be surprising not to see these putters made available fairly soon.
Here is a list of the clubs Stewart Cink used to win the 2009 British Open at Turnberry:
DRIVER: Nike SQ Sumo² Tour (9.5°) with UST ProForce AxivCore Tour Red 79 shaft
FAIRWAY WOODS: Nike SQ 2 (15°) with UST ProForce AxivCore Tour Red 79 shaft
IRONS: Nike Pro Combo OS (2, 4), CCi Forged (5-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts
WEDGES: Victory Red (52˚, 56˚, 60˚)
PUTTER: Nike prototype
BALL: Nike One Tour D
(Top photo: Robert Beck/SI; Putter:Jon Super/AP Photos)