Expert Review: Bettinardi Putters
Golf expert Rob H. does a deep dive into the history, function, and features of Bettinardi putters.
Before we buzz any further, I am not paid nor sponsored by Bettinardi Golf. The opinions in this article are my own. I am also the sole owner of the products reviewed in this article. I am an avid golfer; I typically play at least 9 holes once a week. I am a solid 10 handicap. When I was practicing everyday, I was down to a 2 handicap. I have been using Bettinardi putters throughout my golfing career. It was even the putter I had in my bag when I broke 90 for the first time, at Poppy Ridge in Livermore, California. I have always trusted this brand. They make amazing putters and I know if there was a mistake made, it was me who made the mistake, not the putter.
In the early 90s, golfers were trying to find any edge on the competition. Working in conjunction with other golf equipment manufacturers, Robert Bettinardi started producing milled putters for them. During the mid-2000s, Bettinardi Golf partnered with Ben Hogan Golf to create the successful Big Ben and Baby Ben putters. It also aligned with Mizuno Golf, making the popular C-series and Black Carbon series. Bettinardi is now an independent family-run business with putters that are milled in the USA.
Robert Bettinardi has been leading the industry in making milled putters. Milling allows the putters to be more accurately produced with much tighter tolerances. Each putter starts as a solid block of stainless steel or carbon steel and, with a CNC machine and other machine tools, gets crafted into any putter spec needed.
Bettinardi has three innovative and different face technologies that change the feel of the putter: the Feel Impact Technology (F.I.T.) face, Super-Fly Face milling, and the Micro-Honeycomb face milling. These are not going to have inserts, like a lot of putters do on the market. Everything is milled into the putter head.
Honey-Comb - Firm feel and distance control
F.I.T. - Soft feel and aggressive swings
Fly Face Milling - Soft feel, yet distance control
The flagship putter in the Bettinardi lineup is the new BB series of putters. The models are the BB1, BB1f, BB8w, and the BB45. The BB1 is the anser style putter that everyone is accustomed to seeing. It is a very popular look on tour.
The BB1f features a flow neck which increases the toe hang on the putter; this allows the putter face to be closed slower through the swing. The BB45 is the midsized mallet which is face balanced, so it is easier to keep the face square through putter impact. My personal favorite out of the bunch is the BB8w. It has the same neck as the BB1, but offers a bigger sole and flange to make the putter a little more forgiving especially on short putts. While there are many great attributes to these putters, the major drawback is the price. A BB putter will set you back $300.
My overall favorite Bettinardi putter comes from the Queen B line. It is the newest release to the line, the SBS #6. It features a Slot Back Slant neck to provide a little more toe hang. It also has a little more weight behind the heel and toe to make the putter more stable on an off center hit. This putter also has a black PVD finish to keep the glare off the putter, unlike most Queen B putters, which come in a champagne silver finish. I really like the feel and how the ball rolls off of the honeycomb face. This has been a real game changer for me. It allows me to have more control and stability without having a large mallet. The only drawback to this putter is the price tag. This putter costs $400.
Bettinardi offers many more different models beyond the BB line and the Queen B. They have the mallet-sized INOVAI putters and the soft-feeling Studio Stock series. In the past few months, they have also launched their new HLX 3.0 series wedges. All in-line options can be customized by length, lie, loft, and grip. The wedges have different shaft options as well.
The Fun and Limited
During the year, Bettinardi likes to drop Limited Run putters. These are definitely fun to find, since they usually have different cosmetics and components. For example, the current BB line had a limited run called Black Out—the major differences were that the heads were grey instead of black and the shafts were black instead of chrome.
My favorite part is the access to The HIVE. Occasionally on Thursdays at 10am CST, Bettinardi will release limited release headcover/accessories and extremely limited putters that are truly one of a kind. Most of these items are sold out by 10:03am CST. This is a premium brand, any Limited Run putter or anything off of the Hive will have a costly price tag.
There are three main factors to consider when selecting the putter that works best for you.
Face Tech: As stated earlier, look at what face you need for your game. This will narrow down the options to the models that would suit you best.
Neck: Within each model there are different necks, these need to go with your putting swing. The Queen B line has a crescent neck for swings that have a big swing arc. The plumber neck is great for moderate swing arcs. The single bend is for players who want to swing the putter as close to straight back and straight through as possible.
Length: You want your eyes to be over the golf ball when you putt. Grab a blank cd and place it on the ground with the ball sitting in the center. You’ll want to lock eyes with yourself in the CD’s reflection as you putt. Alternatively, you can have a friend look behind you to see where your eyes are positioned. If you are way over the ball, you need a longer putter. If your eyes are not quite to the ball you need a shorter putter.
No matter which putter you choose, there is a style and feel for everyone. I really love these putters, particularly the attention to detail, the unforgettable feel, and the confidence that my putter will not let me down. These clubs have served me well throughout my golfing career. Chat with me or another Curated golf expert today to find out if a Bettinardi putter would be right for you.