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A New Putter for A New Decade

How would you like to start the new year with a new  Bettinardi Golf putter custom designed by you?

What if that putter was free?

Walk with me through the design process of my custom putter from my chicken-scratched brainstorming through putter in hand. I’ll show you all of the options and decisions I made and then one of you lucky readers will do the same.

Before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at the Bettinardi custom putter program.

Look Below The Hive

Many people likely learn about Bettinardi’s custom putter program by accident. There’s no password and you don’t need to know the secret handshake but the link is buried a bit under The Hive menu tab so it is not immediately visible when you land on their website.

Placing the link there makes sense though, as visitors trying to score the coveted limited-edition Hive putters and accessories are likely the exact customers who would be interested in building a custom Bettinardi putter. Once you find and click the custom putter link, you’ll plunge into the vast expanse of custom options.

The Design Process

The overall process features seven different design stages:

Step 1: Pick Your Model

The first step is to pick a model. Right-handers have eight different heads to choose from, with lefties limited to four options. While these options should meet the needs (or wants) of most golfers, Bettinardi aficionados will notice that models like the Half-Moon and Boxcar mallets are not available for order. Conversely, some of the available models like the 3 Step Jam and BB0 are only available through custom and are never offered in the stock putter release. It is a bit of a win in both directions as customers can order non-retail models while Bettinardi keeps something in reserve for future special releases.

Step 2: Pick Your Material

In terms of metal, you have two options to choose from: Double-Aged Stainless Steel (DASS) or Bettinardi’s proprietary blend of American-made Soft Carbon Steel. Material selection comes down to two factors: feel and durability.

Carbon steel typically feels softer than stainless steel. It’s not entirely cut and dried. Feel can also be influenced by face milling. A stainless putter with a “soft” face-milling scheme can feel softer than a carbon putter with a “firm” milled face. Stainless typically holds up better to the elements, though adding a PVD finish to a carbon head can help prevent rusting.

Step 3: Pick Your Face Milling

For your putter face, you can select from the three traditional Bettinardi options of Feel Impact Technology (F.I.T.) milling, Super-Fly Face milling or Micro-honeycomb Face milling. The F.I.T. face offers the softest feel while the Micro-honeycomb is the firmest. Again, the material makes a difference. A F.I.T. stainless putter will feel different from a F.I.T. carbon putter.

Option 4 for face milling is, basically, go nuts! The putter face can be engraved to suit the desires of the customer. If you have something that you want engraved into the face, Bettinardi can probably make it happen.

Step 4: Select A Hosel

If you have ever wished your stock putter had a different neck, you’ll love the hosel selection step of the Bettinardi custom process. Stock is always an option, but what if you want something different for playability or aesthetic reasons? Bettinardi has a plethora of welded-on hosel options.

Step 5: Choose Custom Engraving & Details

Here is where you can really send your putter into the one-of-a-kind stratosphere. With few limitations, Bettinardi offers tremendous freedom to create a one-of-a-kind putter. You can customize the finish, the engraving, and just about anything else you can think of.

For inspiration, check out the Bettinardi Registry of custom and tour putters. It contains thousands of custom and tour putters, all searchable by model and keyword. As with all Bettinardi customs, when yours is finished, it will be assigned its own unique Registry number and included in the archive.

Step 6: Select the Shaft and Grip

You can dress up your putter with the grip and shaft of your choosing. Again, you have access to non-retail options. You can get smoked shafts, and grips in colors, or even exotic materials that will never be part of stock offerings.

Step 7: Set the Length, Loft, and Lie

Loft, lie, and length are also customizable. While these specs may seem minor compared to the other customizable options, they are critical if you want a putter that helps you make putts. At the end of the process, you may have created something that is wall-hanger worthy, but it’ll still be able to roll the ball like any other Bettinardi putter.

If I can speak to the process and my overall experience, it would be incredibly positive. Michael Biviano, the “Hive Concierge” with whom I worked throughout the process, was fantastic. He knows everything you can and can’t do with your custom putter. He knows what neck type/position you need for the amount of toe hang your stroke requires. He knows what type of face milling you should choose depending on the type pf greens you regularly play on. From soup to nuts, he is one of the best in the business. –Patrick S

Designing My Putter

Let’s take a moment to walk through my process for designing my custom putter so that you can see the process first-hand from start to finish. Here’s a photo of my initial brainstorming session.

The best place to start is the model. I initially considered the Queen B10, but since that model has already spent a good bit of time in my bag, I decided to go with something different. This led me to the Queen B6. The design provides more space for customizations and I thought that, with a custom neck, it might play like my QB10.

I also wanted to do something bold. I chose the tie-dye finish from the sample on the Bettinardi custom page. It’s not a choice everyone would make, but I wanted a unique look. Ideas in hand, I made the call to Bettinardi to get the ball rolling.

Biv is The Best

I got a custom done from Bettinardi. One of the best experiences hands down. Nothing better then having a true one-of-a-kind putter in your bag. From the design process to the putter fitting, Biv at Bettinardi made the process fun and I would recommend Bettinardi to anyone in the golf game. Most people overlook that the putter is the most used club in your bag, so getting fit was a big help to my game. –Mike P

As others have said, Bettinardi’s Mike Biviano quickly put me at ease. Designing a custom putter is a big deal and could likely cause some anxiety. Some may have concerns about not understanding the significance of toe-hang or other design details. Worry not putter neophyte, Mike will take care of you.

Mike and I chatted about my initial design: what would work and what wouldn’t. We discussed metals and finishes and how welding a double barber-pole neck would not only alter the playability of the QB6 to play like my QB10 but how it would also look amazing as the grooves would pick up random colors from the tie-dye finish.

The only real letdown in the process was learning that my spilled Kool-Aid and poison design wasn’t part of the custom program. After a bit of Registry searching, I decided on a negative space engraved Kool-Aid face. Mike said that he would have a rendering to me in a day or two for final approval.

While it doesn’t show every detail, seeing the computer rendering for the first time made my day. It’s one thing to come up with an idea but it is something totally different to see it brought to life.

With final approval granted, Mike got the mills spinning. After a week or two, he sent me this in-progress shot.

Dude.

Once milling is complete, there can be a waiting period. Bettinardi doesn’t apply the finish in-house so turnaround time is depending entirely on when the finishing house is doing a run of your particular finish. In my case, it took about four weeks.

Dave’s Custom Queen B6

After some brief discussions about paint fill and a final inspection, Mike got the putter boxed up and on its way.

Here is the final product: RJB022440

To say that the putter exceeds expectations is an understatement. The finish is amazing and I love how the colors appear random; the textures reacting differently as light hits the putter. The mirrored look of the sunglasses on the bottom may be my favorite.

Some of the design elements were a surprise to me. I gave Biv some guidance but left the final selection up to him. The purple grip and crazy yellow headcover fit the design perfectly. Again, Biv knows what he’s doing.

Greens are a bit sloppy here so I haven’t played a full round yet. Head-to-head trials on the practice green vs. my QB10 have been encouraging. The putter looks spectacular and puts an excellent roll on the ball. It’s a looker and a gamer.

Welcome to the Bettinardi Family

Why Bettinardi? First and foremost, it’s really the whole community. I’ve met so many people because of the brand. Whether it’s Leonard and Biv at the Studio or any of the members of the Colony or FB Talk page, everyone treats you with generosity and respect. These people are knowledgeable and helpful. The way the community comes together for the Summer Social hosted by Bettinardi or the spring and fall events hosted by members is nothing short of awesome. –Danny F

All of this customization comes with a price. Pricing starts at $2,000. The price puts the custom option out of reach for many but for those who can afford it, the process allows you to design nearly anything you can imagine. Bettinardi doesn’t hide the base price. If you can’t afford it, you know right away without the need for a soul-crushing phone call.

Many in the Bettinardi collector community cite Bettinardi’s people as the reason why they buy customs from them. Some collectors are working on their 10th, or even 20th custom putters. The testimonials I’ve included today are by no means outliers. Seemingly, everyone comes away from the custom process with the same exceedingly positive experience.

If you are in the market for a custom putter and feeling more like a new family member than just another customer is important to you, give Bettinardi a call and you may soon find yourself designing your second custom putter.

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Win A Custom Bettinardi Putter

One of you is going to get to experience the Bettinardi custom program first-hand. To enter, describe your custom putter design in the comments below.

On 01/31/20 we will be selecting one random winner from the qualified entrants.

The Rules:

  • One entry per person
  • Open to residents of the continental USA only.
  • You must include your basic putter design ideas in your comment entry to be eligible.
  • As always, void where prohibited.

Good luck!