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Nike Method Midnight Putter Review

Nike Method Midnight Putter Review

With its original milled Method putters, Nike Golf enjoyed its first sustained success in the putter category, both on tour and in the retail market.

Now, Nike is rolling out three new milled Method putters under the banner of “Method Midnight,” the first extensions to the original line in nearly three years. While similar in build and technology to the original Method putters, the Method Midnight putters ($270) introduce a new darker finish and three new head styles.

Do the Method Midnight putters improve upon the original? Following is PutterZone.com’s Nike Method Midnight putter review, specifically the 006 model.

The Storyline
To fully understand the story of the Nike Method Midnight putter, we must take a trip down memory lane.

Several years ago, Nike Golf was trying to find its way in the putter category, and with minimal success. The company’s all-green Nike IC putter failed to gain acceptance, and its high-end Unitized putters never achieved lasting market traction. With both the IC and Unitized putters, Nike seemed to be overthinking the task at hand.

But not long after, Nike literally found its groove. A secret new putter with distinctive face grooves—later revealed to be the Method—starting showing up on the professional circuits. By the time it was officially unveiled in August of 2009, the Method putter had already racked up two major victories in the hands of Lucas Glover at the U.S. Open and Stewart Cink at the British Open.

The following year, Tiger Woods started bagging a succession Nike Method putters, and has since settled on the Method 001 model as his main flatstick. Charl Schwartzel later won the 2011 Masters with a custom Method as well.

In other words, to say that the Method has been a hit would probably be an understatement.

Unlike its predecessors, the Method putter’s main technological benefit was—and remains—clear and definable. The putter’s “polymetal groove technology” features a polymer backing that is ported behind and through the face of the putter to create the primary groove pattern. The polymer grooves are backed by secondary grooves that are milled right into the metal.

The polymer grooves are designed to raise the launch angle without elevated loft, and the secondary metal grooves ensure quick forward roll. In the words of Nike: “We’ve found a way to create the desired launch angle with the stability and speed control of a skid-free roll.”

The ported polymer promises two additional benefits. First, it acts as a dampening layer to reduce vibration and generate enhanced feel. Second, it displaces 30 grams of internal weight, which Nike redistributes to the rear perimeter of the head in the form of heavy tungsten plugs. This weight redistribution elevates the putter’s MOI for added stability and forgiveness.

(The milled Method Midnight and original milled Method putters should not be confused with Nike’s lower-cost Method Core putters, which are made of cast steel, and which feature a grooved insert.)

Each Nike Method Midnight putter is milled from 303 stainless steel, with a loft of 2 degrees, a lie angle of 71 degrees and a head weight of 342 grams. The Method Midnight line consists of three models: the Method Midnight 006, a classic heel-toe weighted blade with a crank-neck hosel; the Method 007, a center-shafted, face-balanced blade with no offset; and the Method Midnight 008, a small mallet with a rounded, notched flange.

The View from PutterZone.com
While the finish is new, the Nike Method Midnight putter isn’t much of a departure from the original—and that’s a good thing. I consider the original Method to be one of the best putters in recent years, and I applaud Nike for resisting the urge to mess with a good thing.

On that note, and as expected, the Method Midnight putter  maintains the magnificent feel that is a signature of the original milled Method line. At contact, the sensation is plump and pure in hands. It splits an elegant difference between soft and hard, with just the right note of satisfying feedback, ultimately promoting a fluid and unflinching stroke. It’s just a joy to putt with this putter.

As promised, and as before with the original Method putter, the roll off the Method Midnight face appears tight and controlled. It’s impossible for me to scientifically test the efficacy of face grooves, so my impressions are anecdotal and personal. It could just be that the lower two-degree loft agrees with my stroke and playing conditions. All I know is that the Method promises a quick, tight roll and that’s what it delivers. The result is enhanced consistency and distance control.

The new “midnight” finish isn’t as dark as the name might suggest. In fact, I was delighted to discover that there’s almost a blueish cast to it in certain lighting, giving it a distinctive beauty. Maybe by “midnight” they mean to evoke the blue of a night sky lit by a full moon? Or maybe I’m just romanticizing it. Regardless, it’s a sleek, impressive look.

Another nice touch is the elimination of the pyramidal bumpers that were a bit of an eyesore on the original Method putters. With the Method Midnight, the tungsten plugs in the bumpers are finished with a smooth polish, making them more visually integrated with the head.

The red grip on the original Method putters has been replaced with a black grip. Overall, the presentation of the Method Midnight putters is more refined. If Nike could find a way to offer the polymer grooves in different colors without creating an inventory nightmare, they might really clean up.

Fitting Factors
The Method 006 is similar to the original Method 001 heel-toe weighted blade played by Tiger Woods, but with softer corners. I still prefer the sharp shaping of the 001, but the 006 is more of a true Anser-style blade that will appeal to many golfers.

The toe hang of the 006 putter is around half, or between 4 and 5 o’clock. Such balance will typically appeal to golfers with a moderate arcing stroke. At 342 grams, the head weight is on the medium to lighter side by today’s standards, making it more of a match for a “feel” golfers as opposed to those who prefer a heavy putter head that regulates their stroke.

The 006 has full shaft offset, making it a better fit for those who like to have their hands slightly forward of the ball during the stroke. The two-degrees of loft would typically be a better fit for those who don’t employ a forward press, and who typically play on hard, fast greens. However, Nike says that its polymetal grooves increase the launch angle of the ball, offering higher launch at lower loft.

The Method Midnight line also includes a face-balanced, no-offset 007 model that will better fit golfers with a straight-back, straight-through putting stroke. For more information on putter fitting, see our putter fitting guide.

The Bottom Line
Nike Golf extends its winning streak with the new Nike Method Midnight putters. The Method Midnight line inherits the phenomenal feel and ball control of the original milled Method putters, while incorporating aesthetic improvements and offering three compelling new head shapes. Simply put, Nike Golf is still on a roll with its Method putters.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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