I made my way out to Winderemere Country Club last Saturday and gave the BB1 a good workout. Now, if you’re local, you’ll know that Saturday was one of the coldest days Orlando has experienced in quite some time. To make matters worse, it was raining for the first 1/2 of the round. But despite all of that, I still played because I knew you, my loyal readership, were waiting with bated breath for this review!
About Robert J, Bettinardi and Bettinardi Golf..
Robert Bettinardi has a history of quality metal crafting. It began when he was 12, working in his father’s machining facility, his father who is a master miller taught his son the craft from the ground up. He received his degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and later opened his own milling facility, called X-Cel Technologies. The company specialized in producing parts for the medical and defense industries.
His metal crafting expertise, combined with his love of golf, lead him to begin crafting one-piece putters in the early 90′s and eventually founding Bettinardi Golf in 1998. Not to long after the company opened it’s doors did Bettinardi gain a reputation of precision, innovation and quality within the golf industry. Bettinardi Golf is credited with being the first company to ever create a one piece technology putter.
There’s been some pretty big names in the golf industry who have wielded a Bettinardi Putter. Guys like Nick Price, Bill Andrade, Lee Janzen, Bob Tway, Charles Howell, Rocco Mediate, Olin Browne, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson… to name a few. Jesper Parnevik was instrumental in Bettinardi making a name for themselves. One week after opening their doors, he asked if he could use one of their putters and then proceeded to win the 1999 Greensboro by 23 strokes. He only had 99 putts over four rounds. If you round that up, it’s 25 putts per round..
In addition to his own line, Robert Bettinardi has made putters for Ben Hogan and Mizuno and he is considered one of the worlds hottest putter designers.
Bettinardi’s whole concept on putters is based on looks. He says you’ve got to be able to pick up a putter and say “wow, I could hole some putts with this.” He believes that too many of us select putters based on the technology behind the putter. Only to put it down behind the ball and get no confidence from it. He feels that with Bettinardi Putters, you will get the technology you want and not compromise on style.
On to the putter…
The 2010 Bettinardi BB1 Putter is a traditional heel-toe weighted design and has a more rounded shape punctuated with soft edges throughout. This reoccurring heel and toe cavity back design has more wins on tour than any other putter in golf, and has now been perfected by applying “honeycomb” face milling and “one piece technology” to insure accuracy and perfect feel.
The honeycomb pattern on the face comes from the unique way the putter’s face is milled. Bettinardi discovered that running the mill horizontally across the face caused a little bit of a concaveness, a dishing effect. So they played around with alternative milling techniques, eventually applying the cutting mill ends vertically from above like a sewing machine needle and made the face flat to within .001 of an inch, a 200% improvement on existing putters. The honeycomb pattern is actually a by-product of the milling process and wasn’t an intentional design, but it really worked out!
The putter comes in two sizes, 35″ Length & 332 grams and 34″ 348 grams and has a three degree loft.
My first thought when I saw the putter was “awesome,” and after playing with it, I’ve solidified that comment and turned it into fact.
The putter looks great, I love the sleek one piece black nickel finish putter head,with the (unintentional :)) honeycombing on the face. It’s milled with a single sight-line near the pocket and I’ve always liked the simplicity of that. The pistol style grip took a little getting used to, I still prefer a little fatter grip, but it has a nice feel. The putter also comes with a black Bettinardi head cover. I strongly suggest you use the head cover, I didn’t and I already scratched up the heel of the club. My current putter is quite a few years old and I lost the head cover quite a while ago, so it’s been my habit to just throw it in the bag and move on to the next hole. Well, old habits are hard to break and I did that with the BB1 and by the 18th hole, there was some visible wear on the heel from where the other clubs had rubbed up against it. That was a little disappointing, but that’s why they give you a head cover..
Putting with the Bettinardi BB1 is pretty solid. You can really tell the difference between putting with a one piece vs a two (or more) piece. You get a lot more feel and touch out of the putter. The ball came of the face with a click like you’d hear watching a tour event where they’ve mic’d the green (or however they get that clear crisp click) and it felt really good, pretty soft without being squishy.
I’m enjoying this putter and presently, it’s moved to first string whereas the old Ping putter is riding the pine… (or cheap trunk carpet..)
Now for some really good news.. you can win a Bettinardi BB1 or a Bettinardi BB8 Putter! Fellow golf blogger John Duval is giving them away. Click the link below for details.
Bettinardi Putters are only going to be sold in green grass facilities, like your local pro shop and selected club fitters, so you can’t hope to pick one of these up at a big box retailer. I’m assuming this also means that they won’t flood ebay and other ecommerce sites like many of the other manufacturers.
I’m curious, what are your thoughts on this move? Good Idea? Bad Idea?