Reader Test: Bettinardi Studio Stock

    This month three of our readers test the latest Bettinardi Studio Stock putters to
    see how the clubs performed out on the golf course and in the studio.

    Paul McEvoy – Burnley Golf Club, Elite Golf Performance Centres UK

    I stock Bettinardi putters across my stores, so it’s a brand that I know quite well. We’re having a really good response to people picking them up and trying them. They use the best materials of any putter that we stock, these are the best of the best.

    It sounds silly, but the first thing you notice with a putter is the grip. And these feel fantastic, not too thick. I tested the SS28, which is similar to an Odyssey 1 Wide, and it’s very stable through impact and feels great when you hit the ball. The grooves definitely reduce skid and improve roll. Grooved putter faces are one of the great advancements in putter designs, and this is one of the best setups I’ve tried.

    Bettinardi are the Rolls Royce of putters. Not everyone can afford a Rolls Royce. Everyone can aspire to own one though and can recognize what they are getting. That’s much the same with Bettinardi, except that while expensive for the category, it’s still a price most people can justify if they really want one. This is a putter that will be good for years to come. Other putters are creeping up in price, and we’ve had some expensive limited editions from the bigger manufacturers. None of them are going to be our best sellers. But some customers are looking for something special, and with Bettinardi everyone can feel and see the difference in quality.

    Bettinardi isn’t stocked everywhere, and we’re finding golfers are travelling to us for fitting sessions. It’s a destination product and helps widen our offering.

    Scott Anderson – Vale Royal Golf Club

    I’m fussy on what I’ll use personally. I’m very specific in what I use, and it has to look and feel right. I was introduced to Evnroll last year and have used one since. Bettinardi is a brand I’m aware of and knew from their time making putters for Mizuno, however, I’d never rolled one.

    Almost instantly I realised my Evnroll would have to go and sit in the corner for a bit, as I love the way the Bettinardi performed. It feels softer, and the new grooves work. When I miss-hit a putt, the ball kept travelling. Generally, if you miss the sweetspot of a putter, the ball won’t reach the hole. It doesn’t always hold the line, but if it can reach the hole, it has a chance of dropping unlike a putt that keeps coming up short. I tested the SS17 model, but am now looking for a SS28 that matches the putter style I currently use.

    They are expensive putters. But I put them to the test with our customers at the weekend. We ran a putter fitting day, and the Bettinardi rep left his fitting bag with us. And I sold four putters, with more people looking to get back to me. They are beautiful to look and it is obvious why they are more expensive.

    If a golfer is open to a putter fitting, they are generally open to paying for whatever performs best for them. While these are expensive putters, the more mainstream putters have crept up so much in price that it’s not such a jump anymore. If they’ll pay for a custom-fitted driver they may use a max 14 times, a putter suddenly becomes great value when you realise how much use it gets.

    I see Bettinardi drawing customers from further afield too, if you’re a gearhead, and are interested in trying Bettinardi, you will travel for a comprehensive fitting.

    Tom Warnock – Norwood Park Golf Club

    It’s a simple thing, but it really struck me how well the grip and putter cover match up, before I even looked at the putter head. The putter looks very simple at address, a classic Anser style. I don’t know what Diamond Blast finish means, but I know I like it! There’s nice detailing on here as well, the Milled in the USA graphics popping, without being a distraction. I’m also a fan of a pistol grip being used on a blade putter.

    I’m aware of Bettinardi, and have known they were a premium product, however, I’d never used one before. And £399 is a lot of money for a putter. But gone are the days when putters are £99. Putting is a game within a game. I’m not sure about you, but most of my bad days can be saved when the putter is running hot. So if you pay more for a putter that is fit for your game, and will help you hole more putts I’d say it’s worth the added expense.
    And it feels incredible!!! Lots of putters feel great, but this was the perfect balance between super soft, but not being clicky. The roll was outstanding. I tested the putter on my Capto system to see how it was performing. And the launch and roll were very consistent. I like that the putters come with three degrees of loft. A lot of putters come with more loft which can pop the ball too high initially.

    I don’t personally game a blade as I get more help from the High MOI mallet putters, when you use the Capto system, I can see the difference in energy loss on a miss-hit putt. It makes a blade so tough to justify. A blade has much less resistance to twisting on a heel or toe strike, so I expected this to be punishing. But I’ve never seen this level of performance out of a blade putter. I know it’s heavier than most blades, but I’ve got to think the new Roll Control Face made an impact. It looks the business, the way they’ve milled the insert pattern into the face.

    After trying this I’m going to speak to my boss, and see about stocking Bettinardi putters. They offer something different to what we offer already, and I’ve got captured data that they outperform similar putters which makes it very easy for me to sell something, as I can see that it works. People are open-minded when they can see a performance gain, and it’s especially easy to be open-minded when the products look as good as these. From a retail standpoint, it also helps when the Bettinardi’s can be supplied with custom lofts and lies and lengths without long lead times, and we aren’t having to adjust the putters ourselves on-site. GR

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.