2019 marks the celebration of 20 years in business for Bettinardi Golf – an amazing run, making the best putters in the world. Twenty years of Bettinardi has seen 3 major championships and over 70 professional wins from the world’s greatest talent in golf – a true testament to our meticulous craft.
Bettinardi’s Double Decade Durability
Doing anything for twenty years is an accomplishment. Anyone who has worked a job for twenty years, been married for twenty years, or who has a twenty-year-old kid knows what I am talking about. Even those of you who have just been on the planet for twenty years likely have some well-earned scars and lessons. Going double decade on anything is a big deal, and still being at relevant after twenty years is even more of an accomplishment.
Someone once told me that whatever year you are living in should be your best year, and 2018 has been a pretty good year for Bettinardi. The Bettinardi tour profile grew in 2018. Sure, some big name guys like Fred Couples and Matt Kuchar have successfully gamed Bettinardi putters for a number of years, but Francesco Molinari’s success while gaming a Bettinardi putter was a big deal for the brand. In 2018, Molinari demonstrated powerful putting prowess, using his custom DASS BB0 to win the BMW Championship, The Open Championship, and to deliver a truly dominant Ryder Cup performance. As a successful tour pro, Molinari could pick any putter on the planet to putt with, and he went with a Bettinardi, really reaping the benefits with his BB0 blade. Well done Francesco, and kudos to the tour stock team at Bettinardi.
Bettinardi’s 2019 Putters
I love checking out tour putters like Molinari’s BB0, but like fancy paintings in fancy galleries, those tour putters are typically beyond the reach of us mere mortals. Sure, maybe you could get lucky and score a one-off putter from The Hive, but most of us have a much more realistic shot at grabbing a putter from one of Bettinardi’s retail lines. The good news is that the Bettinardi retail lines are typically pretty sweet as well. The 2019 lines keep that tradition alive.
Keeping with their two-year release cycles, 2019 will feature new models in the Queen B and Studio Stock lines. The 2018 BB and iNOVAi lines will continue on for another year, with those likely being updated in 2020. Overall, that makes for a solid 2019 putter catalog from Bettinardi.
Let’s take a closer look at what’s new with the Queen B and Studio Stock lines.
2019 Queen B Putters
The most elegant and stylish appearance across three unique head shapes, the Queen B Series blends class with performance in the 2019-2020 lineup. Featuring a head weight that offers more balance and stability at 362 grams, each Queen B putter has been tweaked and refined under Robert Bettinardi’s discerning eye. Micro Honeycomb face milling over its Soft Carbon body makes for a responsive feel at impact, while still maintaining that classic Bettinardi appearance our customers have come to know and love. Complemented by a deep-etched corded Tiffany blue grip and matching headcover, the Queen B Series remains desirable models for everyone.
It’s interesting how the story of the Queen B line has changed since its inception. Back in 2015 when the line first launched, Queen B putters were initially targeted toward female golfers. Since then, the market for the Queen B line has shifted to all golfers. Why wouldn’t it? The initial Queen B putters generated plenty of interest across gender lines. If the putter doesn’t care, why should anyone care?
In 2019, we will have three different models to choose from in the Queen B line. Well, unless you are left-handed, in which case, we hope you like the QB6.
Here are the specs and my initial thoughts on the new Queen B models.
2019 Queen B Specifications:
- Weight: 362 grams
- Material: Soft Carbon Steel
- Finish: Champagne Silver
- Face Milling: Micro Honeycomb
- Lie/Loft: 70°/3°
- Length Options: 33 to 35 in
- Dexterity: Right Handed (QB6 available Left Handed)
- Toe Hang: 1/2
- Grip: Lamkin Cord (Tiffany)
- Grip Options: Standard/Jumbo
- MSRP: $400
The QB5 was the first putter to catch my eye when I perused the 2019 Bettinardi catalog. I’m always a sucker for a wide-body blade. Once the putter arrived, I was surprised at how short it looked heel to toe dimension is at address. Spoiler: It is actually shorter heel to toe. It’s about a half inch shorter than my BB0, and about a quarter inch wider from face to flange. All in all, it’s a pretty unique head geometry.
The QB5 does deliver a certain thickness to the roll. Though constructed from carbon steel, it delivers with a level of thunk, not squish. This wasn’t a total surprise though as the cavity is small and shallow, with the face being quite husky.
The QB6 may be the BB1 equivalent of the Queen B line. It was one of the original models offered in 2015, took a hiatus from the line in 2017, and now it returns for 2019. To some extent, it never left in 2017 as Bettinardi released a sweet copper-faced limited edition version of the putter that year.
If you are looking for something that sits square behind the ball and swings straight, this is your putter. As I mentioned above, this is your Queen B option if you are left-handed.
I typically hate round putters. Hate is probably too strong of a word as I tend to like all putters, but I usually just can’t aim very well with round ones. Square trumps round at address for this guy, and I fully expected that trend to continue with the QB10.
I was way off because I wasn’t way off at all.
The QB10 is my pick of the 2019 litter, and it’s the model that will likely go in my bag. I can’t really pinpoint what makes this round mallet different. Maybe it’s the extra toe hang, or maybe it’s the square cavity at address. Whatever it is, this round putter goes where I point it, swinging in sweet harmony with my stroke. Honestly, it’s a bit upsetting. I felt like I had my putter preferences pretty well defined, and then this putter changes the paradigm. Never say never, I suppose.
2019 Studio Stock Putters
Robert Bettinardi refined the 2019-2020 Studio Stock lineup, which features five striking putters precision milled from 303 Stainless Steel in a rich Platinum finish. Each model is hand- polished with clean lines and beautiful aesthetics that are complemented by deep mill marks throughout. Based on feedback from the game’s best players, Robert was able to mill a 20% deeper FIT Face for an even softer feel at impact. Completing the cohesive look is an exclusive deep-etched rich navy corded grip from Lamkin, paired with a matching Velcro headcover.
At first pass, one might think that the new 2019 Studio Stock line-up is just a rehashing of the previous lines. That’s true to some extent, with the SS2 and SS28 showing up in previous releases. However, as you dive in a little deeper into the line, you’ll see that there are some legitimate changes in this batch of Studio Stocks.
The most significant change, in my opinion, is the shift from carbon steel to stainless steel. In terms of design, the switch to stainless actually should increase the durability of the putter, and as such, the longevity of the putter in your bag. Stainless steel just doesn’t ding as easily as the softer carbon steel. The switch to stainless was also likely instrumental in Bettinardi’s ability to mill the FIT face 20% deeper, with carbon steel being too soft to withstand that geometry shift.
Finally, the switch to stainless in the Studio Stock line means that people who like the feeling of stainless over carbon now have a stainless steel Bettinardi putter option.
Once again, let’s take a look at the specs and 2019 models.
2019 Studio Stock Specifications:
- Weight: 358 grams (Armlock SS28: 400g)
- Material: 303 Stainless Steel
- Finish: Platinum
- Face Milling: F.I.T. Face
- Lie/Loft: 70°/3°
- Length Options: 33 to 35 in
- Dexterity: Right Handed
- Toe Hang: SS28, SS: 1/4; SS28 CS: 1/2; SS38:1/8
- Grip: Lamkin Cord (Navy Blue)
- Grip Options: Standard/Jumbo
- MSRP: $450
At first glance, the SS2 seems like the most traditional putter design in the Studio Stock line. Once you look a little closer though, you’ll see some design elements that separate this heel-toe weighted blade from other heel-toe weighted blades in the putter corral.
While the SS2 features a traditional plumbers neck, the position of that neck is atypical. The neck sits a little closer to the middle of the putter, causing the SS2 to hang a bit less than a standard putter where the neck is a bit more heel-ward. What this means for you is that this putter will not arc as much as a BB1 will, instead favoring a stroke that leans a little more toward a straight path. This neck move was most apparent to me at address, where the neck sits a little closer to the cavity than I’m used to seeing.
The SS28 also makes a return appearance in the Studio Stock like, but with some small, and some large tweaks. This time around, all versions of the SS28 gain the additional title of Slotback, referring to the notch of metal removed from the center region of the trailing edge. In general, putter making terms, when you remove material from the middle, it allows you to reposition that material and the weight that comes with it, at the perimeter of the putter. This weight shift boosts the MOI score for the putter which should manifest as a more stable putter.
The SS38 is a new model for the Studio Stock line, catering to those looking for a nearly face-balanced, round mallet. Those of you who roll that way will appreciate the thick topline, and the curving profile at the rear.
This putter really does have a traditional vibe to it, especially when comparing it to the slant-necked, deep-hanging QB10. They will meet the needs of very different players, which is my gentle way of saying I couldn’t make anything with the SS38. For me, the strong arc of the QB10 is a better fit, but for many of you, I’d expect the opposite to be true, with the SS38 being more suited and familiar to your play. I guess I’m not totally on Team Round Putter after all…
Now You Just Need to Wait Til January
And so we get to the bad news about this new release, you are going to need to wait until January to get your hands on these. On 01/19/2019 though, you will be able to find these fine new models in shops across the United States, and around the rest of the world as well (Cheers to you Bettinardi UK!). But hey, that late-ish January release gives you a little time to recharge the old pocketbook after its holiday depletion. After that, you’ll be Queen B and Studio Stock ready!
In the meantime, I’ve got a couple of extra shots to share below to hold you over.