Pros: The slightly thicker body and single sight line make the G-4 easy to square up to the target line. The glare-free PVD Black finish is easy on the eyes.
Cons: Off-center hits are not as forgiving as some multi-material putters, with distance loss being the main concern. The high price ($345) and old-school construction won’t be for everyone.
Bottom Line: “We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel, just make it better,” Kenny Giannini says. With 35 years of putter design experience, Giannini has done just that with the G-4. It is a smooth, sleek, simple-looking putter that feels, sounds and performs at the top of its class.
The G-4 “No Neck” putter has the same body as Giannini’s G-2 “Chubby” putter, but offers different shaft mountings and configurations. Though the G-4 is designed to be a face-balanced putter, toe-hang models can be ordered through Giannini’s custom department, which can add a small amount of toe hang by grinding weight off the heel of the putter.
Still, the wider footprint of the G-4 will most likely appeal to golfers with a “straight-back, straight-through stroke,” which is why it is offered in two center-shafted models, as well as two heel-shafted models.
All G-4 putters are available in PVD or Platinum finishes. You can find the G-4 priced at $345 at your local PGA Super Store. For a full list of retailers, visit Kenny Giannini’s website.
The ball rolls off the face in the way that you would expect from any high-quality putter, but I found more consistency from the G-4 than I expected from a non-grooved putter. Not only does the G-4’s wider look exude confidence when lining up putts, but it adds a little bit of forgiveness that pardons slight mishits. From inside the leather, the wider head helped with my alignment, and did a great job at helping me stabilize the putter head through impact.
My Giannini G-4 weighed in at 545 grams (35 grams heavier than my current model), which gave me concerns about the control I would have, but the putter had a great balance. At no point did I feel a need to “muscle” it. All I needed was my usual stroke, which felt smoother with the wide-bodied G-4.
With that said, its lack of removable weights (for changing head weight) is a disappointment, and something many golfers expect from a putter with a premium price tag.
Looks and Feel
The Soft Slotted Face Technology really shines. The putter feels soft at impact, but not “mushy,” with excellent feedback on strikes across the face. I hit a variety of golf balls, from very firm to soft, and the face felt pretty similar with each. And at no time did the putter feel “clicky” or overly loud at impact.
I prefer a double site line, but with that being said I found the milling of the bumpers to be perfect alignment aids. The wider look to the putter, coupled with the single site line, makes for an easy day of rolling the ball on line to the hole.
The finish (Black PVD ) is as classy as can be. A plus is the glare-free performance and durability of the finish. On the days that I tested the putter, there was an accumulation of sand on the greens. But after several rounds and numerous practice sessions, the finish still looks as clean and scratch-free as the day I received it.
For those of you who have struggled with distance control and lag putting, the G-4 just might be the medicine that the doctor ordered. And for you feel players, the Soft Slotted Face Technology is going to give you what your looking for — soft but firm constant feedback on all putts.
Some golfers might be deterred from a high-priced putter that doesn’t give them the removable weights necessary to tweak head weight as they make length and grip changes. But you want a change from the usual suspects of high-end putters, Kenny Giannini’s G-4 is a breath of fresh air. It’s clean and classy, just the way a putter should be.