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Putter Reviews

Review: Kenny Giannini G-4 “No-Neck” putter

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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.

Overview

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.

Click here to read our review of Giannini’s sleeker G-3 Slimline II putter,

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.

Performance

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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

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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.

The Takeaway

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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.

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Kadin Mahmet has a passion for golf. He has coached at the collegiate level and has worked as an instructor specializing in youth athletics. You can follow Kadin on Twitter @BigKadin. "Like" Growing Up Golf on Facebook @ facebook.com/Growing.Up.Golf for more content.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Kristofer S

    Oct 25, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Looks good. Curious, how tight are the tolerances of the milled out hosel. The slightest fraction of shaft play / orientation during install will lead to inconsistencies in loft / lie. Third pic looks like a lot of “kickback” Any specs? Keep up the good work.

  2. PeanutsDaddy

    Oct 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you for the detailed review Kadin. Definitely a beautiful putter. Frames the ball nicely at address.

  3. t

    Oct 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    OMG! Another hand milled putter

    • "t"........

      Oct 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      OMG! Another person who should think before they press “post comment”. Did he mill the slot by hand as well? Keep your poor attempts at sarcasm in the dream basement where they widdle “milled” putters by hand. Won’t get into how a putter is milled, as most are aware. Your attempt at humor, fail.

      *nice putter by the way KG*

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Putter Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: T Squared TS-713i Standard Series putter

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Product:  T Squared TS-713i Standard Series Putter

About T Squared: T Squared Putters is a small putter manufacturer just south of Buffalo, New York. The company was founded by Tony Tuber who created his first prototype putters, after hours, in his father’s machine shop. Since then Tony and his father have been creating high-quality putters in the same facility that creates high precision instruments for the medical field. They pride themselves on creating the highest quality, most precise putter they can offer. They offer a few different head shapes from small traditional blades to high MOI mallets and even a custom program to get exactly what you want.

The Ts-713i Standard Series is based on the Ts-713, the first prototype that Tony created. It is a blade-style putter with a slightly longer flange and a unique face insert milled from 6061 aluminum. The body of the Ts713i is milled from a solid block of 303 stainless steel that is produced in the USA and has a Teflon backing between the body and face insert.

This Teflon backing helps give the putter a softer feel at impact and reduce any unwanted vibration. Details are what T Squared is all about and the neck of the putter shows off their milling expertise. The neck is similar to a plumbers neck, built with multiple pieces and offering some cool texture on the section bonded to the head. Another great detail is that all the silver markings on the putter are not filled with paint, they are milled into the head. T Squared finished the head in a sharp matte black and then milled all the markings on the putter for a unique, shiny silver look that really stands out. Ts-713i putters are built for customizing and have a ton of options that you can select if you would like to build something totally unique

On the green, the T Squared TS-713i really performs fantastic. I found the feel at impact very solid without any unwanted vibration. The impact produces a muted click and soft feel that I wasn’t expecting from this aluminum insert and thin face. The deep milling and Teflon coated back to the insert really work together to produce a great, responsive feel that I enjoyed. Deep milling usually makes me a little worried because it can soften the putter too much and lose that feel we all demand.

The TS-713i has no issues and transmits impact feel back to your hands with ease. Mishits are a little louder and harsh, but nothing even close to unpleasant. I have used putters that don’t feel as good on perfectly struck shots as the TS-713i feels on mishit putts. Distance and accuracy on those mishit putts are not as drastic as you would expect with a blade putter. I often just missed the cup by small margins when I struck a putt on the toe or heel of the TS-713i. There aren’t too many blade putters that have shown this level of forgiveness on the green for me.

The “T” alignment aid on the flange of the putter is large and easy to use. Not only do you get a straight line from the face to the back edge for alignment, but the back of the “T” also helps you square the putter up to your target. The Pure grip is not my thing, and it would be great for T Squared to offer a few more options, but that is an easy fix and a very minor criticism.

Overall, the T Squared TS-713i is a great putter from young Tony Tuber that exceeded my expectations. His attention to detail, precision milling, and take on a classic head shape offer golfers something different without sacrificing any performance. If you are looking for a great feeling putter that is made in the USA, you should take a look at T Squared and see what they can make for you.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

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Product: Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Pitch: From Odyssey/Toulon: “The Odyssey Toulon San Diego Stroke Lab Putter is our take on on another classic putter. It’s an expertly crafted, premium milled blade, with our multi-material Stroke Lab Shaft, deep diamond milled cross hatch grooves, and a new Charcoal Smoke finish.”

Our take on the Toulon Design San Diego Stroke Lab putter

Toulon is the line of all milled putters from Odyssey, originally started by club designer Sean Toulon and his sons. Toulon putters have always featured their Deep Diamond Mill face, adjustable sole weight, and brazed (instead of welded) necks. That combination has created a great putter line that has become popular on tour as well as us amateur players. For 2019, there are some new head shapes, Charcoal Smoke Finish, Deep Diamond Milling across the whole face, and the Stroke Lab putter shaft.

I got my hands on the Toulon San Diego, a more squared-off blade shape, for this review. The shape, milling, and finish on the San Diego are great and really show off what a high quality piece it is. The biggest change visually is the full Deep Diamond Mill face, making the view from address more uniform. The face used to have the milling only in the center of the face and to some that was a distracting look while others liked the way it framed the ball. The new finish also looks great. I always have liked darker finishes and this looks high end while still reducing glare in the brightest conditions.

The Stroke Lab shaft goes well with the finish on the San Diego and the head cover is a plush synthetic leather that feels like it will hold up for years of use.

On the green the San Diego SL has a crisp sound and feel. If you like a little more click to your putter, then the San Diego SL will be right what you are looking for. And don’t take that as a negative thing, that crisp feel gives great feedback on face contact. You know exactly where the putter face and ball met by the sound and feel. The Deep Diamond Mill gets the ball rolling quickly on line with very minimal hop and skid, providing very consistent and repeatable distance control.

This is blade, so shots off the toe to tend to stray from your intended line a bit, the face does seem like it wants to rotate open a bit. Heel strikes defiantly stay online better, but tend to lose more steam and net get the roll out you might expect. The simple alignment line on the flange of the putter is easy to align, even for a guy who has been using mallets for years.

Like I have said before, I think there is something to the Stroke Lab tech, the lighter shaft and weight in the butt of the shaft do affect tempo for me; I noticed a slight calming of my backstroke and stroke through the ball.

Overall, the San Diego is a great putter for those who like a little firmer feel and more audible click on their putter. It is very responsive and putts a great roll on the ball. This isn’t a cheap putter ($450) and the fit and finish let you know that you are getting what you paid for.

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Putter Reviews

WRX Spotlight Review: Miura MGP-NM1 Putter

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Product: Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Pitch: Limited to 300 pieces, the Miura MGP-NM1 is Miura’s first 303 stainless steel putter. Its appearance is in keeping with the bolder designs of the Miura Giken family.

Our take on the Miura MGP-NM1 putter

Miura Giken has become the brand where Miura can push some limits and try out designs and technology not really fit for the standard Miura line. And if doing something new and different is what Miura Giken is about, then the MGP-NM1 fits like a glove. When most people think of Miura, they think forged carbon steel and traditional, old school shapes. The MGP-NM1 is a long ways from that, being milled from 303 stainless steel, having adjustable weights and milled stepped pockets in the sole.

If you love mill marks, then the MBG-NM1 will fulfill all our needs because the head is covered with them. I really liked the top line where the mill marks go front to back but then get much finer around the alignment line. If you look close the milling is still there, but just much finer. It works great along with the alignment lines on the “fangs.” The MGP-NM1 is a great size: large enough to give you confidence that a mishit will stay online, but not too big to be distracting. Like most putters with this (Odyssey No. 7)  shape, it frames the ball really well and looks great to my eye. The way the shaft goes into the head is for sure unique, it is straight from address but does drop down into the head.

I will get my one con on this putter out of the way early: the way the shaft goes into the head from address. I love the shape of the head, but the way the shaft enters the head makes it harder for me to line up. At address you can see the the top line of the putter on both sides of the shaft and for some that might be helpful, but it took me a long time to get comfortable with my alignment. Also, the head cover isn’t up to standard for a putter in this price range.

But the good of this putter really outweighs that bad. The putter  feels and sounds great, much like the Miura KM-009 reviewed previously. Feel is very solid with, to me, the perfect amount of click on impact. There might be just a slight bit of vibration on contact, but very minimal and will probably vary with the ball you play. Contact on the toe and heel really stay on target well; you can tell this mallet has a fairly high MOI. Like any responsive putter should do, this really provides good feedback on mishits. Toe and heel shots are not punished as much as you would think, the ball still rolls out well with minimal distance loss. That solid, soft Miura feel really does come through with this putter.

Overall, I think the Miura Giken MGP-NM1 is a really great way for a mallet user to put a Miura putter into the bag.

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