• First limited-edition Bettinardi putter of 2021.
  • Only 350 of this uniquely crafted Studio Stock 18 Slants will be available.
  • Find it Jan. 12 in The Hive at Bettinardi.com or Bettinardi retailers.

Aloha! While many of us are stuck under the blankets of winter, the Bettinardi 2021 Tiki putter should produce some tropical reverie. Island time is but a state of mind, right? Though our cities may socked in, our thoughts are free to blissfully roam Polynesian putter paradises. On that note, here’s your first look at the Bettinardi 2021 Tiki SS18 Slant limited-run putter.

Specs: Bettinardi Tiki SS18 Slant Limited Run

  • Model: Studio Stock 18 Slant
  • Material: Soft carbon steel
  • Finish: True Black PVD
  • Face Milling: Tropical Fancy F.I.T.
  • Weight: 362 grams
  • Neck: Slant
  • Units Produced: 350 worldwide
  • Price: $800
  • Release Date: Jan. 12

Robert J. Bettinardi’s first Limited-Run putter of 2021 starts the new golf season with a splash! Robert engineered the 2021 Tiki SS18 Slant from one piece, precision-milling the newly designed head shape from soft carbon steel to 362 grams and including a sound slot to offer players more responsive acoustics at impact. Impressively designed with Hawaiian island vibes, the SS18 Slant was given a tropical Full Fancy F.I.T. Face extending across the bumpers, intricately engraved along the inner neck and perfectly displayed across the pocket and sole.

The 2021 Tiki putter was completed in a True Black PVD finish with Honolulu blue, electric pink and white paint scheme with key Bettinardi engravings, including “Limited Run” on the sole with the iconic Orca whale and a unique island-inspired Hex B in the pocket. The SS18 Slant Tiki comes paired with a matching Made in USA leather headcover and black Gripmaster perforated grip with sharp pink stitching.

Bettinardi 2021 Tiki: Honolulu Blue and an Orca or Two

As expected, Bettinardi has incorporated the Hawaiian theme throughout this putter. Island-inspired symbols are engraved on the neck, cavity and bumpers. The Full Fancy F.I.T. face is completely covered with the unique pattern of symbols. The design even continues into the heel area of the face, a spot usually adorned with a different engraving of some sort. For example, last year’s putter had a pineapple on the heel end of the face.

I enjoy seeing how Bettinardi changes up the thematic elements each year. Last year’s tiki putter was bright gold, featuring engraved “Sponge Bobian” pineapples. Previous tiki versions have had sharks, turtles and various other inspirational island iconography. This year, it’s a whale of a theme.

Whales hold an important place in Hawaiian culture. The phrase “Hanau ka palaoa noho i kai” translates to “Born is the whale living in the ocean” and describes how whales are a bridge between light and darkness in the Hawaiian creation story. The Kohola (humpback whale) is viewed as the physical manifestation of the Hawaiian ocean god Kanaloa.

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Orcas are one of my favorite animals. Since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by the amazing grace and speed of the massive orca, its dedicated family structure and predatory savagery. Sharks may hold the reputation as the big bads of the ocean but that is just because the orcas don’t have the same PR people. Orcas are the top of the food chain.

The orca is not the Kohola of legend. Killer whales are actually rare in Hawaii with only about 400 or so living in the Hawaiian Island area. Complicating the island vibes theme a bit is the fact that the orcas may eat the revered Kohola.

Flipper’s Cousin

Did you know that orcas are more closely related to dolphins than other whales? In fact, pods of orcas are known to eat other whales, even blue whales. They hunt in packs, ultimately overpowering the prey with numbers and persistence. In some ways, it is similar to how packs of wolves hunt on land. Wolves aren’t 30 feet long and 12,000 pounds though. Orcas are the apex predator of the ocean. Maybe Kristen Wiig can play one in the Orca remake.

Sorry for the oceanic tangent but it’s fun to dust off my Marine Biology degree now and again.

The Hawaiian theme naturally continues on the head cover. Bettinardi did a great job on this one. The orca looks amazing on the teal leather. Though potentially Betti-blasphemous, I think this orca headcover is even better than the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show Bettinardi orca cover. That’s not a trite statement for me as I gamed the 2009 orca cover from gleaming to threadbare.

What Else Does It Got? Some Slant and a Slot

Above all, I expect limited-edition putters to be different from retail offerings. Not just cosmetic differences, either. I want the build to be unique. Bettinardi once again feels my vibe on this.

The Bettinardi 2021 Tiki begins life as a Studio Stock 18. Obviously, this is a good play on their part as the SS18 is part of the new 2021 line of Studio Stock offerings. But this is a limited edition. Therefore, it can’t just be a stock 2021 SS18 with a fish on it. Settle down. I do know that orcas are mammals, not fish. Did I mention my degree yet?

Bettinardi 2021 Tiki: Slant Neck

So, what kind of metal manipulations has Bettinardi brought to the Tiki SS18? First, you get a slant neck. This neck is not welded on but rather 100-percent milled in with the rest of the head. These days, slant necks are pretty rare in the putter market. Like all putter features, slant necks have a dedicated fan club. That feature alone may loosen the strings on the coin purse. Play-wise, you are looking at a little less offset and rotation compared to the more common plumber’s neck.

Bettinardi 2021 Tiki: Sound Slot

Second in the metal manipulation category is the Tiki SS18’s sound slot. This, too, is a feature with a following. Sound slots have been around for decades but, once again, not recently. Adding the slot changes the feel and tone of the putter at impact. Like the slant neck, some golfers get sound slot stirrings, thinking that the slot is a perfect way to ring in the new year.

Dreaming of Whales and Tropical Wanderings

This year more than ever, we need some positive island vibes. While not many people will actually be able to snag one of the 350 available putters, we can all take a moment to daydream about rolling it, perhaps even as a warm, gentle breeze caresses the 18th green of the Plantation course at Kapalua. Daydreams are free. You just need the right inspiration. That inspiration is what the Bettinardi 2021 Tiki putter is all about. Mahalo for the Hawaiian musings Bettinardi.

Should you want to do more than dream about the putter, you’ll need to hit The Hive on Bettinardi.com or a local Bettinardi dealer on Jan. 12. Yes, the 2021 Tiki costs $800 and, yes, that’s a sizeable amount of coin for most. However, should you have the means and inclination, act on your impulses and be there when they hit the site that morning. I bet these will be sold out in less than 10 minutes.

Find out more and snag your Tiki at Bettinardi.com.