50 Words or Less
With elegant curves and precise milling, the Round 4 Slider is a moderately sized mallet putter that delivers on performance and results.
Discovering new products and new companies is sometimes an adventure. In this case it was the result of Chicago Matt travelling to Chambers Bay in Washington, meeting someone playing a Round 4 Competition Putter and suggesting I investigate further, only to then find out it’s a Florida based company. Shortly after that, I had the pleasure of meeting Al Vikmanis, the founder of Round 4, rolling some putts, and hearing his story. It was easy to tell Al has a true passion for putters and the intricacies of design and fabrication. He doesn’t preach swing mechanics, point out flaws in your stroke, or make proclamations – he lets his putters speak for themselves.
The Round 4 Slider is all about the curves. From the side, the mallet extension begins with a precision milled quarter round that falls off slowly to the back. From the top view, those curves create a half circle cavity that frames the proper ball position. Looking face on, the heel and toe continue the rounding curves, producing a visually well-balanced head. Even the shaft has a smooth double-bend. With so many companies producing ever larger mallet putters, the moderate size of the Slider is very appealing. The chrome black PVD matte finish allows you to really focus on the white alignment line.
Sound & Feel
Although a bit more pronounced in the center, contact most anywhere on the face of the Round 4 Slider produces a moderate “tock”. The face feels firm, but not hard. Similarly, feedback in your hands with mishits is subtle.
With a head weight of 365 grams, the putter feels heavy, but right in that solid zone that I prefer. There’s such a great balance in the head overall that it just seems to flow naturally with every stroke.
True story – my very first hole with the Round 4 Slider, I sank a 30 foot birdie putt. After the round I proudly texted Al and this is what I got back: “Nice! You wouldn’t believe how often I get that message. Always the first hole. Always makes me smile.”
The combination of the long alignment line and weight balance has my accuracy, both line and speed, really dialed in. There’s a slight loss of energy transfer with mishits, but it’s not penal. I’ve also been impressed with the performance just off the green. The heel and toe roundness coupled with the flat sole glide the putter right through longer grass.
Hand a new putter to most golfers and they give it a few pretend strokes. Hand one to a putter geek and they’ll instantly look at the milling. The Round 4 Slider is expertly crafted with straight, tight milling lines. Even the lettering on the sole is impressive. Precision takes skill and extra time, both of which add to the cost of a putter – which is $349 for The Slider. That’s right in line with other boutique houses and big name brands so why not be the first in your circle to have something unique?
Still not sure about the name? Hear Jim Nance in your head saying “It’s Sunday, and the final round of this epic battle….” It’s about making putts to win.