If I’m going to be honest, I need to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed when I took the Bettinardi BB8 Wide Armageddon out of its box.
I suppose that I expected something bolder. The previous two Armageddon putters were not subtle putters. The original BB1 Armageddon, released in 2017, featured a Picatinny rail top line, a bold Flat Dark Earth Thermo Plated finish, and the first Bettinardi uPatch headcover. That BB1 was yards from subtle.
In 2018, Bettinardi pushed the envelope even further, manufacturing the BB56 Armageddon from actual Humvee door armor! That unique material was further enhanced by the father-son story of its sourcing. I’ve never teared up writing about a putter, but that backstory got me a touch misty. As with the BB1 Armageddon, the BB56 Armageddon was a very overt offering.
I was expecting something akin to the previous Armageddon incarnations when I pulled the 2019 version out of its box. When you take your first glances at the putter, you can see why I was a bit surprised, and perhaps even unimpressed when I first looked at the BB8-Wide Armageddon.
At first, I didn’t appreciate what Bettinardi was doing with this release, but once I did, I recognized that this could be the most poignant Armageddon putter to date.
Specifications: BB8-Wide Armageddon
- Model: BB8-Wide
- Material: Soft Carbon
- Face Milling: Tactical F.I.T. Face
- Weight: 355 Grams
- Finish: Sniper Grey
- Grip: Red Lamkin Deep Etch Cord
- Pieces Made: 250
- Release Date: May 23, 2019
- MSRP: $550
The BB8-Wide Armageddon
As far as limited edition putters go, the BB8-Wide Armageddon has all of the trappings that putter collectors look for in a release. Collectors want putters that are different from the more pedestrian retail offerings. Scarcity alone will not guarantee purchase. Here are some of the highlights that separate the BB8-Wide Armageddon from its putter corral companions.
Rare Head Shape
To the best of my knowledge, Bettinardi has not offered a retail version of the BB8-Wide. There was a limited edition BB8-Wide RAW released in 2017, but outside of the 150 in that run, the only other place that you can obtain a BB8-Wide is through The Hive or custom ordered through Bettinardi’s custom putter program.
I know that I just said that scarcity alone is not enough to make a limited edition putter collectible, but it is definitely something that putter collectors desire. There are only 250 of these putters being produced, which places the BB8-Wide Armageddon toward the low end of production runs.
I know that people enjoy collecting “tour” putters, where a single stamp can add thousands of dollars to the value of the putter, but in my opinion, a limited edition putter should have a unique look. I’m not going to cast judgment on what other people enjoy, but if I ‘m buying a collectible putter, I want it to be distinct.
Though perhaps not at bold in design as the previous Armageddon putters, the BB8-Wideadefinitely casts its own aesthetic shadow.
The BB8-Wide Armageddon features a first-time-offered finish and design features that you will not find on another putter, Bettinardi or otherwise. The Sniper Grey finish is brand new for this putter, as are the military insignia inspired engravings on the bumpers, neck, and bottom.
The putter also features a tactical F.I.T. over honeycomb milling that covers the entire face of the putter. Typically, F.I.T. milling, which produces a softer feel, is only found in the center of the face. For reference, I am currently gaming the 2019 Bettinardi Queen B 10, which features a micro-honeycomb face over a carbon body. The BB8-Wide feels much softer than the QB10.
The BB8-Wide Armageddon comes gripped with a red Bettinardi Lamkin grip, slid securely over a black finished shaft. You’ll be keeping that head safe with a multi-tonal grey and blue custom designed head cover.
Subtle Yet Outspoken?
Military inspired and designed by Robert J. Bettinardi. Robert is proud to release this year’s BB8-Wide Armageddon putter in honor of those who have served.
That quote from Bettinardi really gets us to the heart of the difference between the previous Armageddon putters and this one, and also centers in on the reason why this putter release feels more significant.
All three of the Armageddon release putters feature military themes, but the BB8-Wide really speaks to the people who served more than to the gear that they used. Picatinny rails and Humvee armor absolutely make for cool thematic putter elements, but those elements represent the tools of the military, not necessarily the people of the military. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the design, but this is a release, I believe, connects more directly with the people who serve.
My nephew is currently serving in the US Army, and my father served in the Army in the 1960s. This putter pays tribute to both of them. Maybe it’s the subdued, even somber, color palate, forcing one to be a little more reflective about our soldiers past and present. It’s a thought or feeling that I just can’t quite put my finger on. The previous Armageddon putters spoke a bit more of a Call of Duty military dialect, while this one speaks in much more of a hushed, reflective Memorial Day tone.
Like I said above, I didn’t initially understand the direction that Bettinardi was going with his putter. I’ll admit that my new interpretation may be completely off as I create my own interpretative subtext about the putter. Maybe you don’t interpret the design the same way. Perhaps you, like my neighbor, thought that it was a design that was more Thin Blue Line in its theme. Color one of the white stripes on the flag blue, and I can definitely get behind a law enforcement flavoring.
Though the looks may be subject to interpretation, it is tough to argue against the BB8-Wide Armageddon being a conversation starter.
As Always, For a Good Cause As Well
A portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the Armageddon will be donated to The Veteran Golfers Association, dedicated to enriching the lives of Veterans and their family members through sportsmanship and camaraderie of golf.
I don’t have the balance sheet to know exactly how much money Bettinardi will be donating from the sales of these putters, and perhaps you are skeptical about the amount. Think about this; there are a whole bunch of golf clubs that are sold each day with zero dollars going to anyone but the golf manufacturers. I get it, that’s how commerce works. At the same time, that’s why I think it is worth pointing out when a company shares the wealth. If you doubt Bob Bettinardi’s commitment to the armed forces, then you don’t really know what he is all about. Supporting and giving back to the military isn’t new for him.
If you are interested in picking up the 2019 Bettinardi BB8-Wide Armageddon, they will be available for purchase online and from Bettinardi dealer on May 23, 2019.