Catching up with BPutters
These days, if a new golf company can stay in business for two years, that’s a significant accomplishment. Just take a second and think about the companies that looked promising, and then vanished from the market. I’m not going to rub salt in wounds by naming names, but I’ll bet that you can come up with more than one here-then-gone golf company.
Today, rather than dwell on these sad stories, I want to go in the other direction and talk about a company that has succeeded.
It was a little over two years ago when I first talked to Antonio at BPutters to find out what his Italian-based putter company was all about. Antonio initially started BPutters to “turn my golf devotion into something really tangible”. The fact that he is still in business tells us that his devotion to golf, and his craft, is working. Today we are going to explore what makes BPutters a survivor in the golf business, take a look at some of the other golf goodies coming out of the BPutters workshop, and explore a new putter model that one of you may be gaming very soon.
To better understand how BPutters has stayed in business, I went right to the source. Antonio was gracious enough to field a couple of questions, his answers providing insight into how BPutters was able to not only survive but also actually grow in the super competitive golf marketplace.
How has BPutters changed over the past two years?
Many things changed but our approach and philosophy remain the same: quality, design and performance. We sensibly improved the milling process with a more efficient CNC approach, got a little bit more structured and organised internally. We added two models to our series: the B15 Scuderia and recently the Bandit. Both very “unusual” designs with a generous weight and a great balance. We recently reviewed our web page, trying to increase our visibility. We called ourselves “The Italian putter company” as we’re proudly Italian and willing to promote Italian design and creativity. Craftsmanship is the key throughout our production process, from the design, machining, polishing and finishing. We also tried to extend as much as possible our approach to customers with a multitude of custom options: from the face milling to the necks and from finishes to fitting combination. Accessories are an important element to our business as well, they also represent a clear expression of our creativity and attention to details.
How have online sales allowed BPutters to be a worldwide putter company?
We still have a long way to go for a correct placement on the Internet, but we’re making all the steps needed to do so. We decided to refresh the web site with a new layout, keeping it very simple. We didn’t want to make it the classic e-shop but mostly a place where the customer could spend some time browsing, getting a better picture of what we do and calmly decide. We tried to include more options and a constant dialogue with golfers to share information and tips. Whenever needed, we provide a personal fitting program to anyone willing to choose a Bputter. We suggest the best solution (even not to buy the selected putter) in order to make the choice correct. A news section keeps you updated on reviews, new products, videos and curiosity over the process. We’re still improving the presence on the web to provide a full service.
Has the boutique putter market changed since we last visited?
The sector is becoming more competitive day by day. New makers show up with their ideas and styles. This is really exciting from one side and of course stressing to another. The risk is making big confusion among golfers willing to understand better the meaning of custom milled putters. Main issue now is the lack of proper information which makes customers a bit disoriented. Key elements to putter fitting need to be clearly explained to customers in order to make them aware of their needs. The niche is facing many changes, it’s not the “easy selling era” anymore, but I still think it’ll strongly develop in the next few years. From our side we try to concentrate our efforts on quality products and full customization options with an open dialogue with our clients whom are mostly returning customers.
What’s new and next for BPutters?
We’re planning to improve furthermore the web presence, a new blade type weight balanced model is on its way. A new series of handmade accessories with different options will be launched shortly. We’re also renewing our leather accessories including a “one size” pouch and a classic score holder. We’re also working on a fitting system accessible to anyone willing to get a BPutters on the web. Hopefully available for the next season.
Closer Look: BPutters Accessories
Hopefully you are following BPutters on social media sites. If you are, then you have already had a chance to see the amazing pitch tools and ball markers that they have started producing.
Normally, I would just say Damascus steel pitch tool, and that would be the drop the mic moment. However, BPutters are also making ridiculously amazing tools out of stainless steel, with burl wood or resin inserts. I personally place these tools in the same coolness conversation with the Damascus tools, and for me that really says something.
Each and every BPutters divot tool and Moon Markers also comes with its own leather storage pouch. Primo products.
BPutters is also producing leather golf accessories that are 100% made in Italy from Tuscan leather. There are two different sized leather pouches to choose from, as well as leather scorecard holders for those of you still using paper scorecards. I keep track of most of my scores on my phone these days, but the scorecard holders are so nice that they make me want to switch back to paper.
Closer Look: BPutters Bandit Putter
The Bandit represents an innovative mallet concept which combines design and performance. This model is perfectly balanced, very easy to align with one embossed sightline on the face and other two on the back, which helps to find the correct set-up on the ball. The Bandit is generous in weight for a solid feel and comes both center and heel shafted. Available in Italian 303 or Carbon steel.
This model is milled from a single billet of Italian 303SS with the following standard specifications: Satin or Polished finish – 380 gr. – center or heel shafted – 4° loft – 71° lie – 33 to 35 inches – straight or double bend shaft – no or 1/2 offset. It comes with a standard or midsize red Bputters Puregrips both for right or left handed golfers.
The BPutters Bandit Putter is a great example of what a small, custom putter shop can manufacture. The Bandit does its own thing in the putter shape arena. I can’t really think of another putter out there that looks the same. As you peruse the BPutters model stable, you’ll see that this is the norm for their designs. The Hammer may look like a traditional heel-toe-weighted blade, but The Scuderia B15, The Space, The Panther, and The Coyote are all pure BPutters designs.
Keep in mind that the designs are unique, but that they also perform. The Panther tied for third, in a field of twenty-eight putters, in the 2015 Most Wanted Mallet competition. Looks and function combine in the BPutters putters.
In addition to being a fresh head design, one of the things that I like the most about The Bandit, and the other BPutter models, is that you can see that a person was involved with the construction. Though they are just inanimate metal, I’d swear that these have a little life in them. I know that I’m venturing into dangerously esoteric waters, but there is a vibe/feeling that comes from the BPutters putters that I just don’t feel from mass-manufactured putters. Dismiss this if you must, but I’ve had three of Antonio’s putters in my hands, and I get the same feeling from each one. If pressed to explain, I’d say that part of the maker is in the metal.
As I said, The Bandit is classic BPutters. The metalwork is precise, sculpted into an overall very organic shape. That shape has a purpose though: MOI. By moving the metal to the edges and the back, BPutters has produced a very stable swinging mallet. Rather than just milling in some lines, BPutters has incorporated three elevated sight lines. The combination of the front and back lines effectively allows one to line up The Bandit to the target line.
Should you want your putter to truly stand out, you can also order your BPutter with a custom finish and/or custom grip. Maybe Antonio will even add in a little bit of extra custom awesomeness, like a custom etched design on the bottom, or a torched copper shaft band. Custom means custom. Antonio will work with you to get your putter just how you want it.
Enter to Win this Putter
Most of the time, I like to provide you with detailed play notes about a putter so you can have some idea about the given putter fitting your stroke/game. I’m not doing that this time, because I want one of you to do the analysis. That’s right, I’m giving this custom MGS Bandit to one of you.
All you need to do is leave a constructive comment below:
Head over to the BPutters site, check out what they have to offer, and let us know your favorite putter, or accessory in the comments below and you will be entered to win.
One lucky commenter will randomly be selected to win the MGS Bandit. It’s just that simple.
Top Marks to BPutters: The Italian Putter Company
As I said in my first BPutters article, it’s pretty amazing that buying a putter made in Italy is just a few keystrokes away. Internet commerce is amazing, but also risky for a small golf company. BPutters has not only survived, but is growing due to a combination of producing truly unique products, and expanding into other golf product areas. The Ferrari of golf products is definitely ready to make another lap around the track.