- Bettinardi Golf continues their 25th-anniversary celebration with another limited-edition putter.
- The BB28 Slotback is the ninth putter in the series.
- The Slotback cut-out and cavity lines provide a unique alignment scheme.
- Available Sept. 28 with a MSRP of $900.
Another month has passed which means it is time for the next Bettinardi XXV Anniversary limited-edition putter release—the BB28 Slotback.
Last month’s limited-edition anniversary putter, the BB30, is a tough act to follow. That putter was the only one in the XXV Anniversary series with a welded neck and was a head shape previously only available to Bob Bettinardi’s friends.
How can this month’s BB28 Slotback possibly compete with the BB30’s backstory?
Realistically, it can’t. How could any putter compete against a putter called the Goombah? It’s not a knock against the BB28 Slotback. You’ll see shortly that it definitely brings some limited-edition uniqueness to the putting surface. The BB20 Goombah was just next-level unique.
What makes the BB28 Slotback different from the stock model?
The Bettinardi BB28 Slotback is a great example of how simple design changes can significantly change how a putter looks and plays. The BB28 is a staple in the Bettinardi putter line. Bettinardi has produced multiple versions of the BB28 during the past decade. Right now, three different versions of the BB28 are available on the Bettinardi site. Let’s compare the stock BB28 with a spud neck to the BB28 Slotback limited edition.
The stock BB28 is a wide-blade design. Toe hang is just a bit past horizontal, fitting a player with a slight arc putting stroke. The “Aggressive Flymill” face plays firmer than Bettinardi’s F.I.T. (Feel Impact Technology) but softer than a traditional flymill face. The aggressive milling removes more face material than the usual fly milling. More open space in the face translates to less metal touching the ball at impact and a softer feel.
How did Bettinardi change the BB28 design with the limited edition? The first design difference you will notice when comparing the stock BB28 to the BB28 Slotback is the slot at the back. Removing some of the material at the back edge of the putter may not seem like much of a design change but this little tweak significantly changes the optics of the putter at address.
Removing the material at the rear of the putter draws the eyes to the middle section of the putter. For most of us, this is a good thing as we want to hit the ball with the middle of the putter face. Yes, the sight line on the stock BB28 also draws the eye to the center. However, the slotback alteration, combined with the three sight lines, draw the eyes to the center even more than your new Pro V1 is drawn to the water hazard.
The Fine Flymilled face gives the face of the BB28 Slotback a little more pop than the stock BB28. The face is less firm than Bettinardi’s HoneyComb face, their firmest face pattern. Overall, the impact feel of the BB28 Slotback is crisp and typically the ball departs with some pace.
Specifications: Bettinardi XXV Limited-Edition BB28 Slotback Limited-Edition Putter
- Material: 303 stainless steel and 6061 military grade aluminum
- Construction: CNC milled
- Finish: Violet Haze PVD
- Face: Fine Flymill
- Neck: Spud
- Toe Hang: 3:30
- Weight: 361 grams
- Shaft: Stepless steel
- Grip: Navy leather perforated Gripmaster with copper stitch back
- Production run: 250
- MSRP: $900
The BB28 Slotback’s Unique Cosmetics
Admittedly, the shape of the putter was not the first thing I noticed when I took off the head cover. The Violet Haze PVD finish is a showstopper. Initially, I’d have described the finish as a weathered bronze. It had an antique feel and I didn’t notice the colors. I had opened the box indoors and hadn’t yet heard the name of the finish.
Outdoors, the BB28 Slotback was a putter of a different color. The base color was still antique bronze but now it was overlaid with a dusting of purple and blue. The colors vary with the contours but remain subtle and non-distracting at address. Overall, it is more matte than shiny, even in full sun.
The blue aluminum plate in the cavity provides a monochromatic contrast to the rest of the putter. I dig its addition but the plate does seem a bit empty to me. I’d have liked to see a Hex B logo etched in the middle.
The perforated navy leather with copper stitching Gripmaster grip and the navy blue headcover complement the looks of the putter nicely.
Final Thoughts on the Bettinardi XXV Limited-Edition BB28 Slotback Putter
Initially, I was not really excited to see a BB28 when I opened the box. I know, every putter should excite me, especially a limited edition. For some reason, the BB28 and I have never really gotten along on the greens. It’s made Matt Kuchar millions but something about the bumpers and the back end of the putter just doesn’t suit my eye.
So much for me hyping a new limited-edition putter, huh?
Like most quick decisions, my initial blase attitude with the Bettinardi 25th Anniversary BB28 Slotback quickly proved inaccurate. The more I looked at this specific version of the BB28, the more I discovered little tweaks to the design.
Not only were these tweaks cosmetic but the alteration to the back edge essentially changed the BB28 design from unplayable to immediately bagable.
One again, the Bettinardi XXV Anniversary putter carries a price tag of $900. In all fairness, the BB28 Slotback does not have the same level of collectibility as the previous BB30 but it will still sell out quickly. The BB28 design is a Bettinardi classic. Fans of the design will be drawn to this limited edition. Even someone like me who is not usually a fan of the BB28 will be drawn to this version. The altered head shape and the Violet Haze PVD finish make this a standout version of the BB28 design.
Find out more about the Bettinardi XXV limited-edition BB28 Slotback and the rest of the XXV Anniversary series at Bettinardi.com
FAQ: Bettinardi 25th Anniversary Putter Line.
Can you tell me more about Bettinardi Golf?
I’m just going to quote myself on this one. “For the full report on Bettinardi’s history, check out this article by our golf historian John Barba.”
Why are these putters so expensive?
Economics 101. The market dictates the price. The other factor is that it takes longer to produce the limited-edition putters than a stock model. That Econ class also mentioned that time equals money.
Why don’t you like the stock BB28?
My issue with the stock BB28 is the same issue I have with a number of other similar blade putter designs. At address, I want all of the cavity edges of the bumpers to line up.
Putters with rounded rear bumpers and squared front bumpers don’t have a clean line at the cavity. This distracts me at address. With the stock BB28, the rounded rear bumpers are also flat, making their contrast to the higher square front section of the putter even more pronounced.
By adding the slotback, the now square rear section blends in better with the square front section. For my eyes anyway.
Do you really need an expensive putter?
Of course not. What you need is a putter that helps you enjoy playing golf. First point of order should be going through a putter fitting. Making putts is a sure-fire way to make golf more fun. If you are in the area, Bettinardi’s Studio B in Oak Brook has an amazing putter fitting program. If that’s not an option, find a local fitter. Once you know what putter you need, spending extra money for a fancy one is up to you. If you have the inclination and the means, treat yourself to something nice.