By Dave Wolfe

Happy Betti New Year

We all look forward to different things around the holidays. Some look forward to seeing family and friends. Many impatiently await the return of egg nog, while others revel in the rebroadcasting of Rudolph, Bumbles, and the other animated holiday favorites. I too look forward to that cadre of holiday returnees, but my true anticipation lies not for yule and airing of grievances. For me, the frosty season is not about the cheer, it’s about the gear.

While we have seen a good portion of the 2015 drivers, and a few sets of irons, we have not yet seen any of the new year’s putters. Today we change that. We get the putter lover in on the 2015 golf gear anticipation. Today, we get to see what 2015 holds for Bettinardi Golf.

We are not going to check out just one of the putters, or even one of the lines. Instead, we have all of them. We will show you the new Studio Stocks, the Queen B’s, a new Kuchar Model, a pair of DASS Signature Models, and something brand new, and innovative from them that is unique enough that it needs it’s own new product line.

We’ll let you read what Bettinardi says about the new putters, see in-hand photos from all angles, and give you a touch of inside the ropes play testing. We’ve got all you need to know about what Bettinardi has in store for the coming year.

Let’s get it started with the new 2015 Studio Stocks.

2015 Studio Stocks: SS2 and SS16

2015 Bettinardi Pairs-2

Specifications: 2015 Studio Stock

  • Material: Mild Carbon Steel
  • Finish: Olympic Bronze PVD
  • Head weight: 358g
  • Toe Hang: SS2=4:00, SS16=face-balanced
  • Loft: 3°
  • Lie: 71°
  • Grip: Blue Pure Grip Standard or Midsized
  • Headcover: Studio Stock Legend Blue
  • Available Lengths: 33″-35″
  • Dexterity: Right Handed
  • Price: $399.99

Fans of the Studio Stock line have had to wait a full year to see any new models. This is because Bettinardi has switched their Studio Stock (and BB) production to alternating two-year release cycles. That means that the 2014 BB models will be around until 2016, and that these new Studio Stocks will not be phased out until 2017.

The Studio Stock family grows by two members this year. OK so the SS2 has been offered before, but that was way back in 2011. The Studio Stock 16 is all new for 2015. This year’s Olympic Bronze PVD is also new. It’s a relatively tame finish compared to some of the previous Studio Stocks, but I think that most will find it very pleasing to the eye. There is not a touch of glare in the sun, and if previous finishes are any indication, it should hold up to play very well.

One interesting/surprising feature about these two is that neither one has the classic hex face milling or FIT face milling. Instead, they feature Bettinardi’s improved Superfly milling on the faces. Maybe there are some previous Bettinardi stock offerings that I am not recalling that have been fly milled, but I believe that these are the first production models (i.e. non-Tour Stock) to feature the fly milled faces.

Bettinardi has also continued their relationship with Pure Grips, with the Studio Stocks coming with blue grips in standard or midsized. The headcover is also blue, correction, that’s Legend Blue. Bettinardi aficionados will see some resemblance in these to the Multi-Hex Studio covers from 2010-ish. All-in-all, I find it cool that some of the features and cosmetics that were previously only found in Tour Stock putters have been added to the production lines.

One other think worth mentioning, these are milled carbon steel. I know that I put that in the specs above, but it’s a big deal. It’s tough to find any production putters being made in carbon steel these days. I’m not going to open up a carbon vs. stainless debate, but the carbon lovers should be happy that Bettinardi is still making putters in this softer metal.

2015 Bettinardi Studio Stock 2

2015 Bettinardi Studio Stock 2-7

The Studio Stock 2 putter is fashioned from our classic BB-8 style head, and a proven winner time after time on the PGA Tour. Milled from a solid block of faultless carbon steel, the hozel moved slightly forward toward the toe gives the Studio Stock 2 a traditional appearance. The evolution of our Super Fly-Mill face gives clear and distinct feedback at impact, yielding the results so critically desired. The raised shoulders and flattened bumpers distribute great weight displacement for perimeter weighting. A great blade look with the stability that will make its fair share of short and long putts alike, at address this putter looks money!

Here is the moneymaker, the workhorse, and likely the gateway putter for those who are thinking about trying on their first Bettinardi. The SS2 has the classic Anser style that most golfers will recognize. The overall feel and play also meets expectations, but still has a feel that is unique to the SS2. Carbon steel plays a role, as does the Bettinardi shaping. Don’t just dismiss the SS2 as another boring clone. If you game this style of putter, it’s worth a long look.

2015 Bettinardi Studio Stock 16

2015 Bettinardi Studio Stock 16-2

Milled from soft carbon steel, the Studio Stock 16 has an impressive semi-circle shape that features a double-bend shaft, flowing right into this face-balanced mallet. A custom radius tool helped shape the back flange that delivers crucial weight displacement for ideal perimeter weighting. The one-piece milling harmonizes effortlessly with the new Super Fly-Mill face, promoting and enjoyable, yet crisp feel when struck. The new Olympic Bronze PVD finish offers this mallet its unique beauty!

This little compact mallet rounds out the 2015 Studio Stock line. Rounds, get it? Anyway, this is another classic head shape that should catch the eye of the mallet friendly. I see the SS16 as an improvement over the previous line’s SS15. Both are small mallets, but I thought that the combination of straight and round lines on the SS15 set up a bit of a visual conflict at address. The SS16 is definitely visually balanced, with the predominance of body lines being very sleek and round. For me, the SS16 is significantly easier to align at address.

The fly-milled face, or Super Fly milled to be specific, along with the carbon steel feels soft, yet sticky at address. The face grabs the ball, rolling it along with minimal hops or skids. I miss the more iconic Bettinardi faces, but these do feel Super Fly.

Bettinardi 2015 Queen B’s

2015 Bettinardi Pairs-3

Specifications: 2015 Queen B

  • Material: Mild Carbon Steel
  • Finish: Savannah Blue PVD
  • Head weight: 360g
  • Toe Hang: Model 6=face-balanced, Model 7=4:00
  • Loft: 3°
  • Lie: 71°
  • Grip: White Pure Grip Standard or Midsized
  • Headcover: Queen B Royal Purple
  • Available Lengths: 33″-35″
  • Dexterity: Right Handed
  • Price: $375.00

Ha ha, you’re playing a ladies putter. That’s right my friend, the Bettinardi Queen B line targets the female golfer, and you are also right in thinking that I would totally game one, possibly both of these. Let’s ignore the idea that I’m not the target market for a minute and run down my list of putter wants:

  • Interesting head shapes? Check
  • Amazingly Colored PVD Finish? Check
  • Carbon Steel? Check
  • Precision Milling? Check

I’m not sure what your putter buying check list looks like, but if a putter goes 4 out of 4 on that list for me, I’m in. These putters may be targeted at women golfers, but they should be checked out by all golfers. There you have it. The Queen B putters are now OK for 100% of the golf market to check out. I would play one of these in a heartbeat, and so should you, regardless of your nether part composition.

Sorry ladies, your secret is out on this one.

2015 Bettinardi Queen B Model 6

2015 Bettinardi Queen Bee 6-5

A wide body, face-balanced blade with a unforgettable finish, the Queen B 6 sets up impeccably square time after time. The wide flange encompasses a high toe top line, and end shaft look that radiates self-assuredness at address. The new Savannah Blue color is a breakthrough in PVD technology, guaranteed to astonish. Created from our soft carbon steel, the Queen B micro honeycomb milling gives the most discriminate player just the right amount of feedback at impact.

I love this putter a ton. It reminds me a bunch of the Studio Stock 9 , but I feel that it has improved on that model in many ways. First, the cavity is a bit wider, promoting a totally different feel at impact and also changing how the ball is framed at address. Second, the flange is wider. You can see in the address photo that this baby packs a wide load.

Third, and most significant, this finish is fantastic. The Savannah Blue finish may be my favorite Bettinardi finish to date. I thought nothing could top the Borealis Black finish on the 2012 Studio Stocks (see an example of the SS7 below with the Sig 9) but this one is prettier. The white Pure Grip and purple headcover perfectly compliment the Savannah Blue finish.

I can best sum up the Queen B Model 6 by digging up some old Outkast. It’s so pimp it’s ridiculous. 

2015 Bettinardi Queen B Model 7

2015 Bettinardi Queen Bee 7-2

A compact stout mallet, the Queen B 7 has a ridge milled neck that gently flows into the putter head. The square milling on the flange accompanied with the slightly elongated sightline helps frame the ball naturally at address. She’s a perfect ten with the astounding Savannah Blue PVD finish, combined with the evolution of the micro honeycomb face milling. Milled fro the softest carbon steel, this slight toe hang mallet will provide the assurance and feel to make putt after putt when it matters most.

Bettinardi could have just changed the paintfill and the graphics on the SS16 to make it a “ladies” putter, other companies have done just that in the past. But that’s not what the Queen B line is all about. These are unique putters marketed toward the woman golfer. These are not afterthought putters for the gals. Bettinardi is making kick ass, unique putters to address the needs and wants of the female golfer.

I’ve already made it clear that I’m ready to bend gender lines to play these. If I need to move up a tee box, I’m cool with that too. These are worth it.

One of the things that I love about Bettinardi putters is that they weave subtle tweaks and modifications into their putters. The Queen B 7 is a prime example. A more traditional approach to this putter would have been to go with the double bend neck, like in the SS16. Instead, there is a little flow neck, adorned with cool milled grooves. Not only does this change the looks of the putter, but it changes the play as well. The neck adds a touch of toe hang, and thus accommodates a little more arc with the stroke. It adds a nice dimension to the line, especially with the Queen B 7 already being face-balanced.

Bettinardi 2015 Signature Models

2015 Bettinardi Pairs-1

Specifications: 2015 Signature Series

  • Material: Double-Aged Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Tour Blast
  • Head weight: 348g
  • Toe Hang: Signature 9=face-balanced, Signature 10= 4:00
  • Loft: 3°
  • Lie: 71°
  • Grip: Red Leather Gripmaster Standard or Midsized
  • Headcover: Signature Red
  • Available Lengths: 33″-35″
  • Dexterity: Right Handed
  • Price: $495

These are the big kids in the Bettinardi line up. The Signature Models are like that six-foot seventh grade basketball player, you expect them to dominate the field. The Sigs were the first place that I looked when I got my hands on the new Bettinardi info. Why do I fixate on these? Maybe it’s because they are limited to 1000 pieces. Maybe it’s because they are made of double-aged stainless steel (DASS). I’m not sure. Maybe it’s scoreboard. Scoreboard?

The Bettinardi Signature Model 6 was the first putter to grab the title of MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Mallet.

Trivia Time: The Sig 6 was actually the first putter to earn the title of Most Wanted. These are beautiful, precision putting instruments, and they flat out roll the rock. You are going to pay a premium for Mr. Bettinardi’s signature, but you and your 999 other club members will know that you possess something special. You may be reading this and thinking that I am just blowing hyperbolic smoke. You have the right to your opinion, I just hope it’s educated. I hope you have rolled the various Signature models like I have. I hope you are only dismissing their majesty based upon the data you have collected. They may be expensive, but they are legit.

2015 Bettinardi Signature 9

2015 Bettinardi Signature 9-1

The Signature Models’s are Bobert J Bettinardi’s preference in design and performance, released on a basis of 1000 pieces per year. Milled from the finest stainless steel, the Signature Model 9 is a compact, half-moon mallet that frames the ball evenly at address. A true Bettinardi original, this putter was designed for maximum perimeter weighting that enhances the sweet spot, allowing more forgiveness on those short, must make putts. The perfect blend of material and face milling, our Super-Fly mill face complements the stainless steel in a supernatural way.

Oh look at that. One of the new Sigs is a half-moon mallet. A DASS version of the Studio Stock 7 you say? That same SS7 that is one of my favorite putters of all time? The same SS7 that I love but is too pretty to play? Yep, that one. Do you want to see it? Here are a couple of shots of the half-moon magical mallet and it’s new stainless sibling.

2015 Bettinardi HMM compare-2 2015 Bettinardi HMM compare-1

The Signature Model 9 may not have the same visual impact as the SS7, but it makes up for it in durability and playability. Of all of the new models, I have spent the most time on the green with this one. I will tell you without hesitation that the Signature Models are not just wall-hanging collectables. I guess that they could be, they are that attractive. However, you would be missing the whole point of these, and that is rolling putts.

2015 Bettinardi Signature 10

2015 Bettinardi Signature 10-1

The Signature 10 is 100% classic Bettinardi. Engraved with Robert J. Bettinardi’s seal of approval and milled from the finest 303 stainless steel, this putter is one you can rely on. The Bettinardi team is full of skilled engineers and expert craftsmen that have been milling putters since the early 90’s, and have created this showcase model as the crown jewel of 2015. The blade style look with a tow-tiered muscle and high toe produces a deeper face, which gives the ball a pure match with the sweet spot. Using the Bettinardi Honeycomb pattern milled into the face, this putter will be the one for the ages!

JAM baby JAM. Here is another head shape that was last available as part of the 2011 Studio Stock line. I’m afraid that it is another gusher for me. This too is one of my favorite head shapes. The high toe, coupled with the sweeping lines of the bumpers makes for an impressive visual package. This putter is also a cup killer. While performance will be somewhat subj ective based upon the swing of the player, I’d be shocked if the slight arc player doesn’t find this blade a valuable putting tool. It sets up so square and just sweeps through the hitting area. Yet again, beauty and beast. It also has a nice little ring at impact.

2015 Bettinardi Signature 10-8

One huge change this year that I have not yet mentioned is the new grip on the Signature Models. During our most wanted tests last year, quite a few testers commented about how much they liked the feel of the Signature putters, but disliked the feel of the grips. The leather grips were slick, and overall quite uncomfortable. These new red leather gripmasters are a HUGE improvement over last year’s grips. They feel amazing, both in shape and in texture. The under layers are better formulated to match the hands as you grip the putter, and the now perforated leather provides ample, and supple tactile interaction. This new grip now feels like a grip that should be found on a premium putter.

2015 Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Model 2 HMM

2015 Bettinardi Kuchar Pair

Specifications: 2015 Matt Kuchar Model

  • Material: Mild Carbon Steel
  • Finish: Meridian Blue PVD
  • Head weight: Standard = 350g / Kuchar Arm-Lock = 400g
  • Toe Hang: 3:30
  • Loft: Standard = 3° / Kuchar = 7°
  • Lie: 71°
  • Grip: Gray Pure Grip Standard or Midsized / 17″ Gray Winn
  • Headcover: Kuchar Signature White/Blue
  • Available Lengths: Standard = 35″ / Kuchar = 42″
  • Dexterity: Right Handed
  • Price: $375.00

2015 Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Model 2 HMM

2015 Bettinardi Kuchar 2HM-1

The Kuchar model #2 Halfmoon has all the attributes of the popular armlock putter that PGA professional Matt Kuchar plays. The only exception is the extreme offset has been eliminated. Robert and Matt teamed up to design the first center shafted armlock putter, something truly unique in arm lock technology which has zero offest with 7 degrees of loft. With the anchoring ban set to take place in 2016, this center shafted armlock is sure to entice more users into this effortless putting style. Milled from soft carbon steel and featuring Bettinardi’s patented FIT Face technology, you will be amazed at the ease of the Kuchar #2 Halfmoon!

The Game of Thrones quote Winter is Coming implies that there is danger on the horizon. In that show, it means that danger is approaching from the north (or it means that we will all die before Mr. Martin finishes writing the damn books). In golf though, that approaching winter is the onset of the anchoring ban in 2016. Putter changes will need to be made for some to keep playing. Keegan has already started rolling standard length putters, and quite a few of the top players like Simpson, Scott, and Clark will need to do something too. We are nearing the T-minus one year mark on anchoring.

Matt Kuchar don’t care. He’s the honey badger of anchoring. Is that reference already dated? How about this? Matt Kuchar arm locks better than Boogaloo Shrimp pops and locks. That’s right. Week after week on the PGA tour, Kuchar performs his rendition of Armlock 2 Electric Boogaloo. Does it work? The proof is in the paycheck.

Bettinardi and Kuchar have put together a nice little partnership over the past few years. I think that it’s safe to infer from the existence of a new model that this partnership will continue for a while, becoming even more important in the coming year as all of the cheaters are forced to ditch the anchored putters. Relax, that cheaters was sarcasm. I don’t care if people putt with anchored magical llamas. Golfers need all the help they can get to make putts on the modern 12 stimp, 6% greens.

Anyway, the Kuchar Model 2 HMM adds a new center-shafted, half-moon mallet to the Kuchar line. It’s got a bit of toe hang, and a little less aggressive half-moon shape when compared to the Sig 9. To my eye, it resembles the older BB53 more than a true HMM. HMM semantics aside, the Model 2HMM is quite a bit different from the other Model 2, both in appearance and in play. It’s a true third model in the Kuchar line-up.

As a bonus, for those of us whose armlockin’ is whack, Bettinardi is also releasing the Model 2 HMM as a standard (non-armlock) version.

2015 Bettinardi iNOVAi

2015 Bettinardi Pairs-4

Specifications: 2015 iNOVAi

  • Material: 6061 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum / Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Black Anodized
  • Head weight: Standard = 350g / Counterbalance = 400g
  • Toe Hang: face-balanced
  • Loft: 3°
  • Lie: 71°
  • Grip: Black Pure Grip Standard or Midsized / 17″ Black Winn
  • Headcover: iNOVAi Black
  • Available Lengths: Standard = 33-35″ / Counterbalance = 38″
  • Dexterity: Right Handed
  • Price: Standard = $300.00 / Counterbalanced = $350.00

2015 Bettinardi iNOVAi

2015 Bettinardi iNOVAi-02

The iNOVAi High MOI mallet is absolutely a work of art. In the design of this truly forgiving putter, Bettinardi Golf has pulled out all the stops. It encompasses a great feel with one of the most beautiful looking putters we have ever produced. The putter head itself is milled from 6016 aircraft aluminum, and included in the milling is a very discernible milled stainless steel weight that is placed low and away from the face. It has two cut outs, strategically milled from the body along with side by side score lines. A Superfly mill and F.I.T (Feel Impact Technology) face are applied to allow for the softest, yet most responsive feel on an aluminum putter head. The “iNOVAi” stands for innovation and we are sure you will agree.

If this article was an Apple new product presentation, the Bettinardi iNOVAi would be the one more thing of the presentation. One might argue that it could also be the what the hell is that? part of the article. I get that. The iNOVAi has a touch of the mallet madness. It’s a multi-material mallet monstrosity. OK, so it’s not monstrously huge, but it is composed of aluminum and stainless steel. It has a Flymill face, and a fit face. It’s experimental, and arguably Frankensteinian. It’s not the norm, and that’s frightening. Once the shock wears off though, I bet you won’t see fear when you look at the iNOVAi, but rather the smiling face of your new putting friend.

2015 Bettinardi iNOVAi-07

I am already on record about my love of the aluminum mallet. The SuperStroke/Sizemore Fatso, the Cameron Futura X, and the Bettinardi BB55 are all killer aluminum mallets. The iNOVAi shares some heritage with the BB55, and also the BB54. The iNOVAi has the parallel holes of the BB55, along with the alignment “T” and a stainless tail weight like the one found in the BB54, though the iNOVAi’s rounded “smile” weight is more attractive in my opinion.

As with any putter that breaks from the norm, people are going to love or hate the looks of the iNOVAi. That’s what personal opinion is all about. It would be a boring world if we all found the same things to be attractive. However as I’ve said before, and I’m sure will say again, don’t dismiss a different looking putter until you roll some balls with it. Departing from the norm is how we discover new and amazing things. Think of how strange the Anser looked compared to other putters when it arrived. I am sure that many of the Calamity Jane users dismissed the Anser as hogwash.

Old Friends, New Friends, and Innovation

All in all, I think that Bettinardi has produced a very compelling stable of putters for 2015. The Studio Stocks are very traditional. The Queen B’s are definitely going to cross the gender barrier. Kuchaloo has another option as he armlocks his way to millions, and the Sigs are flat out ridiculous. Then you have the iNOVAi, a chimera of previously successful Bettinardi ideas. Time will tell if the game of the iNOVAi lives up to the designers intentions.

Time will tell?, you ask. Good catch there. At MyGolfSpy, we don’t just let cliche’ decide the performance of a putter, we test performance directly, measuring accuracy head to head. Hopefully we will see these putters again when we test to determine 2015’s Most Wanted Mallet and Most Wanted Blade putters. As I mentioned earlier, Bettinardi already has Most Wanted scoreboard. Perhaps one of these 2015 beauties will snag the title for them again. Any predictions?

 

Bonus Gallery:

Grips, Headcovers, and More!