- Bettinardi Golf is releasing five new Studio Stock putter models this spring.
- The revamped line features milled 303 stainless steel construction and Bettinardi’s Roll Control face technology.
- Pre-orders begin Feb. 7 and will arrive first in the United States in April, then worldwide in May.
Keeping to their two-year release cycle, Bettinardi Golf has refreshed their Studio Stock putter line for 2023. “Refreshing” may be the wrong word as Bettinardi had decided to scrap all of the old Studio Stock models and release a completely new lineup this time around. Maybe “scrap” is too harsh of a word, too. Not like they were thrown away forever. Let’s go with Bettinardi has archived the previous Studio Stock models, possibly to return in the future.
Regardless, it is a rarity that a company does not keep a model or two in the lineup from cycle to cycle. Can you imagine Scotty releasing a new putter line without the Newport? What about PING without an Anser? Odyssey without a 2-Ball? Actually, that last one happened this year and it feels odd. How can you not include the iconic Odyssey?
Anyway, it is true that the entire 2021 Studio Stock model lineup has been relegated, with five new putter models replacing them in the 2023 cohort. New models are usually the best part of a release so what should we expect to see in a new Studio Stock putter? Of course you wonder about the models but maybe also if there are any left-handed or center-shafted models included as well?
Easy answers first: Yes on left-handed, no on center-shafted. Let’s explore the other questions as we take a deeper look at the 2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock putter line.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: General Specifications
- Models: SS9, SS9 Plumbers, SS14, SS16 and SS35
- Dexterity: SS16: RH/LH, SS9, SS9-P, SS14 and SS35: RH
- Lengths: 32”-35”
- Finish: Tour Blast with High-Polish face and sole
- Loft: 3°
- Lie: 70°
- Offset: Full shaft
- Face Milling: Roll Control Face™
- Material: 303 stainless steel
- Weight: 358g
- Toe Hang: SS9: 1/8, SS9 plumber’s: 1/3, SS14: 1/2, SS16: face-balanced and SS35: 1/3
- Grip: Lamkin Sink Fit
- MSRP: $450 (based on 2021 pricing)
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: Roll Control Face
Adding helpful putting technology into a 100-percent milled putter can be a challenge. The lack of extra components, such as weights or inserts, means all aspects of the putter are determined on the mill. For example, the shape is now solely responsible for weight distribution. As such, the center of gravity and moment of inertia values are established when the metal is cut away and cannot be changed post-milling. This is one of the reasons many milled putter designs end up looking similar, with mass-containing bumpers at the edges of a lower central cavity.
It’s almost a milled mandate in design. If you don’t mill the putter that way, the MOI and CG values will not be conducive to pleasant putting.
Where we see variation is with the face milling. This is the space where companies try different groove schemes to improve roll. For Bettinardi, it is the relatively new Roll Control Face™. The Roll Control grooves first debuted in the 2021 Studio Stock putter line. Though similar in appearance to Bettinardi’s perennial FIT face, the Roll Control Face is about roll and feel whereas the FIT was more feel-focused.
The groove pattern in the Roll Control Face is asymmetrical. Basically, the top edge of the groove is more angled than the bottom edge. According to Bettinardi, the Roll Control Face is “designed to get the ball into a true roll faster while still maintaining an exceptionally soft feel and audible feedback in every putt.”
To summarize, removing the metal from the face makes it feel softer and the angled nature of the grooves promotes better roll.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: Bettinardi Precision Milling
One obvious feature of the 2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock line is that they are precision milled putters. See, I said it was obvious. It’s so obvious that most of us overlooked it or took it for granted. When something is flawless, it is easy to overlook or dismiss it.
For example, think of someone’s flawlessly beautiful face. Now think of that same face with a pimple. When you first thought of the face, your attention likely drifted all over the face, not focusing on any one feature. When you add a pimple, that’s the focus.
Maybe that doesn’t make total sense but the milling in these Bettinardi putters is pimple-free. The millwork is exceptional. Transitions are clean throughout the head. The word “precision” is not hyperbole for the Studio Stock line.
Are there other milled putter makers who mill putters with similar precision? Absolutely, and nearly all of them should thank Bob Bettinardi for their businesses. Maybe even all of them should, since Bob is really the one that got the whole milled putter thing started.
This year, Bettinardi Golf is celebrating their 25th anniversary. That anniversary relates only to Bettinardi as a company. Mr. Bettinardi’s milled putter pioneering pre-dates his company’s origins, going back to 1991. Not to get too far into the weeds here but many of the milled putters with other company names on them in the 1990s were actually milled by Bettinardi.
You can see the 30-plus years of milling experience in the 2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock putters—or maybe you can’t see it, and that is the whole point.
Enough stalling. Let’s take a look at the new 2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock models.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: SS9 Spud Neck
It has been a while since the Studio Stock line has featured a SS9. The previous SS9 was released with the 2012 line. It was black with yellow-green hexes on the bottom. Remember that one? That SS9 was one of my first Bettinardi putters.
Since then, the SS9 shape only surfaced in limited-edition designs. One model in and I’m on board with the all-different-models idea for 2023. The design of the SS9 is a straightforward heel-toe weighted wide blade. The spud neck is situated just a touch toward the heel, providing the SS9 with a modicum of toe hang. It’s not face-balanced but should feel comfortable for someone with minimal swing arc.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: SS9 Plumbers Neck
Admittedly, Bettinardi forgot to add the apostrophe to “plumber’s” but that is about my only grief with the inclusion of the SS9 Plumbers neck model in the 2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock line. Swapping the neck means this version of the SS9 gains a bit of toe hang and should then fit a swing with a little more arc than the spud-neck SS9. If you normally play a Anser-type putter, this is the SS9 to check out.
One other cool feature with both SS9s is the high toe. It’s not the highest of high toes but it add some flair to the shape and a slightly different look at address. The neck is a deliciously long version of the Plumbers as well, significantly longer than the ’90s-themed limited-edition SS9.
Bonus Coverage: SS9 Versus QB6
Since both are wide-blade designs, I bet some of you are wondering how the Studio Stock 9 compares to the Queen B 6. As you can see in the photo, the SS9 is longer and narrower than the QB6. Honestly, I was a bit surprised when I put them side by side. I would have never said the QB6 was a compact mallet but it looks downright pudgy compared to the SS9.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: SS14
OK, so the SS14 is actually the most Anser-like putter in the 2023 Studio Stock line. Truthfully, it gives me more of an Anser 2 vibe. Obviously, that’s not a bad thing. This design is a classic. Maybe the SS14 is the gateway Bettinardi. The familiar appearance of the SS14 allows folks new to the brand to try out Bettinardi for the first time.
The last time a Studio Stock 14 hit the market was around 2013. It had a black finish with orange paint fill and a wild version of the FIT face. Once again, Bettinardi is giving us something we have not had in a while.
The feedback when rolling putts with the SS14 is immediate and instructional. Normally I’d concede that feel is a subjective characteristic of golf clubs in general, especially with putters. Change in feel with strike quality is not as subjective. When you deviate from the center of the face with the SS14, you know it right away. Drifted impact produces more of a “thud” versus the softer “pop” resulting from center contact. It’s like the putter is telling you, “That’s not it”.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: SS16
Normally this is when I would make my traditional round mallet snarky comment. Thankfully for all of us, I think I have grown as a person and I no longer hold a negative bias toward this shape of putter. Am I going to game one? Unlikely, but I also don’t immediately dismiss them. In large part this is due to my time with another Bettinardi round mallet, the Queen B 10.
And so, I approached the SS16 with neutrality and found it a solid-rolling face-balanced mallet. Lefties, this is your one option in the groups and so I am glad that it is a good one.
One thing that I really like about the SS16 design is the new cavity design. The 2015 version of the SS16 had a curved flange. I prefer the more carved-out new cavity design. I found the wide cavity edges and sight line worked very well together in terms of alignment. It is like there is a nice and square putter sitting inside of the round putter. If this had a slant neck, I’d happily game it.
2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putters: SS35
You know what does have a slant neck? The new Bettinardi Studio Stock SS35. As an admitted fanboy, I was super excited to see a “boxcar” in the 2023 Studio Stock line. When I saw that it had a slant neck, I had to go outside to get a little air. Not only is it a classic, near mythological Bettinardi shape but it has the exact neck I need to play it. Sorry, I’m going to need another moment here.
Historically, this shape was only available as limited editions or in The Hive, Bettinardi’s collector concierge. The SS35 is a round mallet where the trailing edge has been cut off. I’m not sure where the term “boxcar” originated but it refers to the shape of the SS35 looking like a boxcar on a train. I believe this shape has only been offered in a retail line once before with the BB35 center-shaft. I played that BB35 putter for quite a while before realizing that the center-shaft was not optimal for me.
Other putters in the garage are in serious danger of neglect now that the SS35 has entered the conversation.
The 2023 Bettinardi Studio Stock Putter Line
If the plan was to generate some buzz by completely swapping out the 2021 models for different Studio Stock models in 2023, then I would say Bettinardi was successful. Admittedly, those familiar with the history of Bettinardi may be more excited by the return of models like the SS9 and SS35 than someone unfamiliar with Bettinardi. That said, as I mentioned, I believe the SS14 and even the SS16 could bring new customers into the fold. The SS9 and SS35 will stand out in the putter corral as no other putter looks quite like them.
Will the $450 price tag make these inaccessible for some? Of course, but it does place them in the same price range as Scotty Cameron and Odyssey’s Toulon Design milled putters. I know, saying a $450 putter is priced competitively will ruffle some feathers. You’re not wrong in bemoaning the expensive nature of the game we love.
Context is important, though. I just searched “Bettinardi Boxcar” on eBay and there is one available and it is listed at $2,999. That’s for a used putter by the way. I’d wager that $3K for a putter puts that out of fiscal reach for about 99.9 percent of us. That is why I got so geeked up about the new Bettinardi Studio Stock line and the inclusion of the SS35. While $450 is still expensive for a putter, it is way more accessible than $3,000. Collectors may be mad that there is now a retail version of the SS35 and a SS9 reissue but the rest of the putter-buying community welcomes their release.
Should you want to grab one, pre-orders begin today. The putters hit retail locations in the United States in April with worldwide distribution in May.
Find out more about the new Studio Stock line and pre-order yours at Bettinardi.com.
2 months ago
I am with Dave on the SS35. Was rolling it today and falling seriously in love. The hosel comes in at the perfect spot. Was a precise and smooth-rolling putting work of art.