If someone had mentioned the brand KZG to you at the end of 2019, would you have known who they were and what they stood for? I’ll be honest, I would not have, so it’s ok if you fall into that same category. Here at THP, we have gotten a little more acquainted with the brand thanks to product reviews like their Tri-Tour irons, Super Sole wedges, and most recently, the H370 hybrids. My fellow writer James Miles has done a fantastic job of both filling in the details of KZG as well as highlighting how those products perform, so if you haven’t given those articles a read yet, make sure you do, after you read this one of course. Since irons, hybrids, and wedges have already gone through the review process, let’s focus on what KZG offers for putters.
Quick Take: KZG’s DS-3 putter offers players a clean, attractive mid-mallet shape that will give a boost in forgiveness over their blade models. Golfers who have gone through the fitting process for other KZG clubs will find that this would be a worthy addition to their bag.
While KZG could sound like a newer name/brand to many, they have a history that runs over 25 years. Their mission is to provide golfers with high-quality equipment that is properly fit for their game. Being properly fit by one of their master club fitters, KZG firmly believes that they have the products that can help players take their game to the next level. That right there all sounds pretty good, but there is a downside to it, and that is the only way you are going to get KZG products is by visiting one of these fitters. In some areas of the country, that will be more difficult than others. For me, my nearest fitter is out in Buffalo, NY, which is a good 4.5-hour drive from here. We do know that KZG is working on expanding its fitting network, which is promising.
Perhaps there is a misnomer out there that these types of custom fitting brands don’t carry a wide variety of offerings. KZG on the other hand, has a pretty deep catalog, which is why it comes as no surprise that there are five different putter models, all of which come with different finishes. Of the five shapes, there are two mid mallets with the DS-5 being center shafted. There are also two anser style putters, one with a plumbers neck and one with a slant neck, as well as a putter that draws upon the nostalgia of the 8802 blade. Every single one of their five offerings comes in three different finishes, matte black, champagne, and brushed satin. That brushed satin finish on the DS-3 gives the putter a classy look, but after seeing the photo samples, I’d be remiss if I didn’t have the urge to roll this putter in that champagne option.
Taking a look at the DS-3 that we have in hand, there are a lot of attributes that make this putter an attractive option. Combining a plumbers neck with a mid-mallet design for me has always brought in some visual challenges; however, what KZG has done here has married those design elements seamlessly. Admittedly, this is all personal preference so there will be others out there who disagree. Upon looking down at address, the steps seem to melt towards the cavity. That same design is utilized on the rear flange with the outer bumpers rising and shallowing out behind the cavity.
Not to be lost on these putters is the fact that they are both forged and CNC milled. Sound plays a pretty big role in how a putter, or any other club for that matter, feels. With non-insert models, the type of milling plays a role in the kind of sound that is generated. In general, a deeper milling pattern tends to deaden the audible feedback giving off a softer feel while a shallower design does the opposite. What was experienced here was a sound that was a touch on the louder side, but nothing that was a turnoff. In fact, with a softer tour caliber golf ball, the sound profile was pretty neutral.
With this being my first experience with a KZG product, it is easy to walk away impressed. This putter produced a good roll to the naked eye, and it felt like it was effortless to get the ball rolling on my intended line. Thanks to the weighting and styling, there was plenty of forgiveness that will come in handy on days when the putting stroke is not consistent. Once again, we come to the caveat of what KZG is all about, and that is fitting. With their model of using certified fitting locations, the price point on their products becomes a bit of a mystery. On the bright side, you know that if you have a KZG club in your bag, it has been finely tuned and built for your game.
If any of their putters or other products interest you, a full list of their fitting locations can be found at www.kzg.com.