By Mike Stachura
Bettinardi putters have long been known for their craftsmanship led by founder and chief designer Robert Bettinardi, the precision of its traditional shapes and the exacting manufacturing tolerances of its CNC milling methods. Overlooked, however, is its pursuit of ways to make golfers produce better putts. In other words, there’s more to a Bettinardi putter than its pretty face. Of course, for this year’s lineup, that’s just it: the face is the story.
The company rolled out its 2021 lineup of Studio Stock, Queen B and Inovai putters and the headline is the face technology in front of its flagship lineup of classic Studio Stock shapes. Developed through tour input with Sam Bettinardi, executive vice president, and requiring inventive upgrades to the CNC milling operations, the new face’s grooved surface enhances the initial forward roll for less skidding and more consistent distance. Called Roll Control, the new face produced forward roll in the initial feet off the putter face five inches faster than traditional models, said Dan Debartolo, Bettinardi’s head of product.
“Our intention behind this design was to find a way to increase forward spin off the face, which really is about reducing the backspin,” he said of the face’s asymmetrical groove pattern.
Sam Bettinardi said the new putters, which require more time than a typical Studio Stock milling, led to adding two more horizontal milling machines to the company’s Tinley Park, Ill., manufacturing headquarters. “You have to be very focused to get this right because of the way the tool wears in making this sharp groove that produces the roll benefits we were after,” he said. “But we also wanted to maintain the feel and sound that the tour players we’ve worked with demand, and I think we have that with the soft feel of this face. I think the sound is just great on these putters.”
The new Studio Stock lineup adds seven models, including the Studio Stock 17 heel-toe weighted blade, which for the first time features what Bettinardi called a “soft tri-sole design,” Studio Stock 17, and the lower-profile classic Studio Stock 18 blade. There’s also the Studio Stock 7 compact mallet, and the line also reintroduces the SS 7 compact halfmoon mallet and the SS 28, which is available in a traditional “spud” neck, center shaft, and armlock option.
The Bettinardi lineup also updates the technology platform on a popular (and major championship winning) high-stability mallet shape from its past in the new Inovai 7.0. Built on the same original dimensions of the frame of the famous Baby Ben hourglass-shaped mallet used by Jim Furyk to win the 2003 U.S. Open, the Inovai 7.0 redistributes mass in the 303 stainless steel and 6061 military-grade aircraft aluminum head to produce not only a putter with 30 percent higher moment of inertia (stability on off-center hits) than the original, but also the highest MOI of any Bettinardi putter ever, according to Debartolo. The Inovai 7.0 features the F.I.T. face, the softest milling pattern in the Bettinardi lineup. It’s also offered in three neck orientations.
The final family set to roll out is the next installment of Bettinardi’s popular Queen B lineup of traditional mallets and blades, featuring the proven responsive feel of the company’s micro honeycomb face mill pattern. Sam Bettinardi emphasized the Queen B’s aesthetic heritage with a new rose gold finish on each head and new softer rounded edges and thinner topline, all milled from a single block of soft carbon steel.
Each model is milled to 362 grams and the lineup includes the widebody blade Queen B6, the crescent neck compact mallet Queen B 11, a compact mallet with the signature Bettinardi crescent neck, and the traditional blade-style Queen B 12.
“It’s the ultimate in both performance and aesthetic charm. Our new finish is absolutely beautiful, and makes the line an unmatched work of art and reflects our ability to combine tradition with innovation,” Robert Bettinardi said.
All models will be part of a special-edition Black Friday Hive release online set for Nov. 27 at 10 a.m. CDT. The official launch of all production putters is set for Jan. 15.