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Putter Reviews

Review: Kenny Giannini G-3 Slimline II putter

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Pros: Like all of Giannini’s putters, the G-3 Slimline II has a classic look and finish, and offers superb feel and feedback. It sets up very square, and treats golfers to a pleasing sound at impact.

Cons: Those who prefer more ornamentation may be disappointed by the minimalist stamping/continuity across all models. Lack of custom options commensurate with putters in its price range (about $350). Right hand only in many models.

Bottom Line: Giannini putters, and the G-3 Slimline II in particular, are legitimate rivals to traditional industry heavyweights.

Overview

Kenny Giannini has been making putters for 35 years for the likes of the Ben Hogan Company, Cleveland Golf and Mizuno. Giannini’s putters have been in the hands of tour winners for years, and he’s mentored some of the top names in the industry. Following his tenure at Mizuno, Giannini stepped away from putter production to serve as a consultant to top companies. However, the industry veteran — who keeps a pad of paper eternally handy to jot down new putter designs — felt he still had work to do.

Such was the impetus for launching Kenny Giannini Putters.

Of the initial six putters the company has released, the G-3 Slimline II is reviewed here. The 358-gram milled putter, like the others in the Giannini lineup, features Soft Slotted Face Technology (SSFT)® to enhance feedback and feel. The carbon steel, billet-milled putter, like all Giannini putters, is manufactured entirely in the United States.

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The Slimline-II is available in either Nickel Platinum or PVD Black finishes, and either 34-or 35-inch lengths with a variety of grip options. The putter retails for $345 on the company website.

Performance

In speaking with Mr. Giannini, he was adamant about the fact that when you set one of his putters down, it sets up square, and neither too flat/upright, every time. Adhering the the “K.I.S.S.” philosophy across the board in his putter construction, Giannini doesn’t want to make putting any more difficult than it already is. It’s with this in mind, too, that he seeks to maximize feedback and performance on off-center hits in his putters, which is welcome news for those who sometimes strike putts off the heel/toe of the club.

The Slimline-II offers the feel one would expect from a premium putter, and then some. The auditory feedback the club provides, in particular, is superb, as is the feel on shorter putts. As noted, performance on off center strikes is superb, as well.

Looks and Feel

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When you set the Slimline-II down at address, it looks square and it looks good.

Mr. Giannini prefers to stay away from high-polish finishes, as he believes any glare from a putter head to be distracting at address. He is also a proponent of a “less is more” aesthetic when it comes to designing putters, preferring to stay away from the creation of “miniature billboards.”

The traditional Anser-style look of the G-3 Slimline II is particularly appealing, as is the subtle PVD Black finish. The intersecting yellow and white “Kenny Giannini” stamping on the heel is consistent throughout the other models and is a nice touch.

Overall feel and feedback, as mentioned above, are superb.

The Takeaway

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When it comes to premium putters, personal preference rules. Whether you’re a Cameron loyalist, a Bettinardi lover, or prefer to go the route of such custom manufacturers as Machine and Slighter Golf, buyers in the premium marketplace are looking for something that both both looks and performs better than offerings from major OEMs. 

The G-3 Slimline II clearly belongs in the premium putter category from a performance standpoint. Both feel and feedback are first rate, too, and all of the six Giannini designs are sure to both sit square and look appealing. The traditional, subtle design of the Slimline II and its minimal stamping are compelling in a marketplace saturated by multicolored, gimmick-laden wonder wands.

The G-3 Slimline II is a great putter. By his own admission, Mr. Giannini is now making the best putters of his life and is still striving to get better. Given the quality of this offering, it will be very exciting to see what Kenny and company do next.

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7 Comments

  1. snowman

    Jul 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    uhh…OK, Yes I understand the Ping Anser is a classic and great putter design. It has been copied by virtually every putter-maker. So I guess we need 1 more copy for $350…..? I’ll check out his other designs, but no thanks on this one.

  2. J

    Jul 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Some people expect more for 350.00.

    Petty minimal, which I get is the concept.

    Lower price tag would make it more appealing… A good custom can be had for roughly the same price.

  3. Jeff

    Jul 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    good to see ken coming back. he makes some great flatsticks.

  4. rj vanro

    Jul 29, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    It’s so sad that some putter designers continue to make cosmetic changes, 0 change in physical/functional design and yet they keep their jobs. bizarre.

  5. Kane Carpenter

    Jul 28, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Looks a lot like my Mizuno/Bettinardi BC4… and I love that putter to bits! Exciting.

  6. TD

    Jul 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Nice putter, dislike sightlines though, picture how nice of a putter this would be without that line!

    • Mike

      Jul 29, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Agree totally I would purchase now
      without a sight line.

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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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