His objective clear, Robert Bettinardi set out in 1991 and began crafting some of the world’s finest putters. Already a master engineer milling parts for the defense and medical industries, his talents were sharp and his timing perfect to make the move into the world of golf. After tinkering with some prototypes of his own, Bettinardi was soon designing and producing putters alongside some of the industry’s best; he was soon in demand by some of golf’s top manufacturers.
Over the next seven years Bettinardi would hone his skills and become recognized as the premier engineer of one-piece milled putters. As a matter of fact, they are credited with being the first company to ever create a one-piece technology putter. In 1998, wanting to do his own thing and put his name on the putters he created, Bettinardi Golf was born. A few of the original prototypes are among the most sought-after putters by collectors today.
The world of professional golf really began to take notice of Bettinardi golf in 1999 when Jesper Parnevik shot 23 under par at the Greater Greensboro Open using a Bettinardi BB-10. Major tournament wins by Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh would seal the deal a few years later and make Bettinardi the name in milled putters. Bettinardi putters now have more than 20 PGA tournament victories to their credit. Nick Price, Bill Andrade, Lee Janzen, Bob Tway, Charles Howell, Rocco Mediate, Olin Browne, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson are players that were/are using a Bettinardi putter. Bettinardi has also made putters for Ben Hogan and Mizuno and Mr. Bettinardi is considered one of the world’s hottest putter designers.
In an era in which many manufacturers are under tremendous pressure to move their operations overseas, Bettinardi Golf is proud to be one of the few putter makers to have remained in the United States. Despite numerous offers to set up facilities in China and elsewhere, Mr. Bettinardi remains committed to his staff, his community, and ultimately his dream to produce the finest putters requiring extreme attention to detail. The staff at Bettinardi Golf has grown from a mere handful in the 90’s to over 50 employees who design, craft, and fit one-piece putters (and now high-end, stylish belt buckles) for players around the world. Dedication to quality means dedication to quality craftsmen. The highest quality craftsmen are found in the United States of America. They are the force behind Bettinardi Golf’s success.
In 2010 he followed up with the BB Series putters, and earned many accolades from PutterZone.com. At the time, Bettinardi told PutterZone.com, “It was a matter of wanting to take my company to the next level and have more independence in terms of design, sales and marketing.” 2011 has brought about a new suite of putters, the Studio Stock, as well as two limited-edition Signature Series putters.
Robert 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.
I was lucky enough to receive one of the new Studio Stock 8 putters for review. I really like the putter; it has a great feel and instills a certain level of confidence as you stand over the putt. I have been using a two-ball mallet style putter for a number of years, so going back to this style putter will take some time to get used to. The grip is thinner, like my Ping Scottsdale putter however the Winn grip has a great feel to it. The “honeycomb” milled face adds a nice look to the putter and also has an interesting story behind it.
It wasn’t an intentional design; it actually comes from the unique way the putter’s face is milled. The folks at Bettinardi discovered that by running the mill horizontally across the face it created a little bit of concaveness. After playing around with some alternative milling techniques, the honeycomb milled face was created.
The one piece, black nickel finish on the putter head, makes this a good looking club. Along with the putter you also receive a sharp looking headcover; I’ve had several people at golf courses around Florida inquire as to what kind of putter I had, just because of the headcover.
You won’t find any new Bettinardi putters in golf megastores such as like Edwin Watts, Golf Galaxy or Golfsmith. These putters are only being sold through “green grass” accounts (i.e. golf course pro shops) and select club fitting shops.
Such a location is Studio B, located at the Tiburon Golf Club in the Rick Smith Learning Academy, in Naples, FL; Bettinardi’s first remote fitting location. Studio B employs the Science and Motion (SAM) fitting system, as well as having an array of special Bettinardi products. The Studio is open to the public year round by appointment only. You can contact T.J. Shelton at (239) 593-1111 to schedule an appointment or go online to www.rsgatiburon.com.
For more information on Bettinardi products, visit their website at www.bettinardi.com.