- Bettinardi Golf continues their 25th-anniversary celebration with their 11th limited-edition putter.
- The BB2 design infuses the classic shape with iconic Bettinardi elements.
- Only 250 produced.
- Available Nov. 30 with a MSRP of $900.
The turkeys have come out of hiding and the awkward conversations with relatives are on pause until the next round of holidays. Neighbors are arguing about the correct number of yard inflatables and how to light their homes brighter than the sun.
Welcome, everyone, to the end of November.
As the eleventh month leaves the calendar, it is time for the penultimate Bettinardi XXV Anniversary putter release. This year, Bettinardi is celebrating their 25th anniversary in the putter business with monthly limited-edition putter releases, each reflecting a moment in Bettinardi’s history.
This month, the putter speaks to a putter history well beyond that of Bettinardi’s tenure. We are heading back to the days of Jack and Arnie. This is a putter that our parents, or even grandparents, played.
Maybe some of you “seasoned” folk even played one.
Bettinardi’s 11th XXV Anniversary model is their BB2, a spin on the more classic-than-classic Wilson 8802 design. Few other putters evoke the feelings of nostalgia (and frustration) like the 8802. Its place in the history of golf equipment is well established.
The Bettinardi XXV Anniversary BB2 shares many aspects with the original design but also includes elements that are pure Bettinardi.
The Bettinardi BB2: A True Blade Putter
The Bettinardi BB2 is as a blade putter as a blade putter can be. More than once, I’ve read the “that’s not a blade putter” comment when we post our annual Most Wanted Blade results.
In principle, I don’t disagree. Many of the putters we call “blades” these days are more of a homage to the blade putter than blade-like at all. Times change, though. The PING Anser now is the blade baseline. Some will disagree with that but some disagree with everything. I can see someone arguing that the 8802 is not a blade since it has a rear flange.
At that point, we are left with only the Bullseye as the acceptable blade.
Regardless, the Bettinardi BB2 is a blade putter. It has an almost knife-like shape and none of the subsequent structural silliness design elements like a cavity, alignment lines or perimeter weighting. If you are looking for computer-assisted moment-of-inertia boosts and center-of-gravity positioning, this is not the putter for you.
The Bettinardi Spin In the BB2 Blade
How did Bettinardi spin the design to make this blade uniquely their own? Thankfully, they didn’t mess with the overall shape. The BB2 retains the overall geometry of its iconic ancestor.
The overall aesthetic is minimalistic. All the engraving is restricted to the sole, save a nod to the 303 stainless steel construction on the toe.
The first Bettinardi “signature” you likely will notice is the Micro Honeycomb copper face. I suppose that is two things. First, you have the addition of a copper insert in the face. Copper putters were a thing a few decades ago but eventually the cost of materials and environmental issues removed copper from the marketplace.
This is why we saw putter companies switch from solid copper construction to a copper insert around the turn of the millennium. This move retained the feel of copper at impact and reduced some of its manufacturing drawbacks. These days, copper has almost disappeared from the putterverse. The only time we see copper construction is in limited runs like this one.
The Micro Honeycomb milling pattern is the real Bettinardi signature on the BB2. No other putter feature says ‘Bettinardi” like that face milling. In an industry where good ideas are frequently “borrowed”, the Micro Honeycomb milling is one aspect never copied. The origins of other face-milling patterns is far murkier. No one company really gets credit for originating those patterns so putter companies can use them with little fear of consumer backlash.
If some other company released a honeycomb face, there would be issues.
The final piece of Bettinardi found in this 8802 design is one that will probably be overlooked: the precision milling. The lines on this putter are sublime. So much so that you don’t even notice them. Every edge flows as it should with milling tolerances down to the micron.
Specifications: Bettinardi XXV Limited-Edition BB2 Limited-Edition Putter
- Material: 303 stainless steel and copper
- Construction: CNC-milled
- Finish: Tour Blast with polished face and sole
- Face: Micro Honeycomb with copper insert
- Neck: Flow
- Toe Hang: 1/2 (5:30-6:00)
- Weight: 357 grams
- Shaft: Stepless steel
- Grip: Brown leather perforated Gripmaster
- Production run: 250
- MSRP: $900
The BB2’s Wee Tiny Head Cover
It’s not often that a putter’s head cover warrants some discussion. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend a bit of time on this one. The Bettinardi XXV Anniversary BB2’s head cover made me chuckle when I saw it.
Why? Because it is a wee tiny head cover!
The head cover on the BB2 is the Mini Me of head covers. It’s just like a normal Bettinardi headcover except one-eighth its size. No, it is not really that small but it’s smaller than usual. It needed to be smaller since the BB2 would be as snug as a bumblebee in a barn residing in a standard head cover.
Whether its size makes sense or not, its slightly smaller stature brought me joy.
Rolling Balls with Bettinardi Anniversary XXV BB2
So how does the BB2 feel on the course? Wonderfully awful, just like most of us would expect. This style of putter is not an easy one to use for a number of reasons. First, the same aspects that keep it clean-looking are counterproductive when it comes to putting.
The complete lack of alignment lines makes it difficult to aim the putter or even find the sweet spot. If you happen to miss the sweet spot, which is toward the heel by the way, the lack of cavity and modern weight distribution means there is no corrective help coming.
The toe hang is severe. If the BB2 had any more toe hang it would be working its way back up the other side of the clock face. Toe weight is all you are going to find here.
All that negativity aside, this putter is a blast to roll. The feel and feedback are sublime. The copper face is soft and, when you strike the ball well, no putter will feel better. When you don’t hit it well, that’s a smack with a ruler across your hands. There is no in between with this one.
I could roll 20-foot putts with the Bettinardi XXV BB2 all day. Not roll them in, mind you, but I would just take pleasure in kicking the balls on their way. From five feet, no thank you. At that distance, I spray more balls than the bull washers after a muddy rodeo.
Final Thoughts on the Bettinardi XXV Limited-Edition BB2 Putter
Bettinardi could have finished their XXV Anniversary run with this BB2. I’d have offered no protest and likely have been satisfied with the closure of the series. This shape represents an inflection point in putter history. I can’t imagine a Top 5 list of all-time putter designs that does not include the 8802.
Bettinardi deftly walked the line between respecting the classic design and putting their own spin on it. The BB2 maintains the shape and heritage of the original but also benefits from Bettinardi’s addition of a copper face insert and precision milling.
I fully expect this release to sell out quickly. People have emotional attachments to this putter shape. Bettinardi collectors know the BB2 is not a model that is released very often. Bettinardi’s first BB2 release was in 1999. A few years later, there was the BC2 from Bettinardi’s partnership with Mizuno. Since then, we have had only a couple of Studio Stocks and Signature model with this shape. That’s it.
As I said, I would have been satisfied with this BB2 being the last in the XXV Anniversary series. It would be a solid closer but it is not the closer. We have one more to go. If Bettinardi is going to top this one, that last putter should prove to be epic. See you in a month.
Find out more about the Bettinardi XXV limited-edition BB2 and the rest of the XXV Anniversary series at Bettinardi.com
FAQ: Bettinardi 25th Anniversary Putter Line.
Where can I learn more about Bettinardi Golf?
Our own John Barba penned a fine article about the history of Bettinardi right here.
What would you say is the one key characteristic of Bettinardi putters?
Precision milling. When you look at the lines in a Bettinardi putter, you see their attention to detail. If a putter is not up to their quality-control standards, it will never leave the factory floor.
What will we see with the last Anniversary XXV model?
After seeing this BB2, I have no idea what Bettinardi has saved for last. All I know is that it will likely be amazing. If it’s a BB0 with copper plugs, I will need some alone time.
How do limited-edition putters differ from stock models?
Limited-edition putters usually differ from stock offerings in a couple of ways. First, the limited editions are often head shapes that are not part of the stock line. Even if the head is one that is also in the stock retail line, the limited edition will typically feature a different finish, a different neck or some other change that differentiates it from the stock putter.