A New Approach
Last year, Bettinardi delivered a new BB Series with eight different models (all reviewed HERE). For 2015, the company is taking a different approach by releasing eight new putters across five separate lines. There are two new Signature Series putters, two new Studio Stock putters, a new Matt Kuchar model, a pair of new Queen B’s, and the new Inovai putter. In this comprehensive review, we’ll give you the details on each to help you find the best one for your game.
Signature Series 9
The Signature Series 9 is far and away the putter I was most excited about. In my opinion, the Half Moon Mallet is Bettinardi’s best original head shape, and it’s executed perfectly here: compact from heel-to-toe with just a little extra size in the flange to boost forgiveness and confidence.
The Signature Series keeps the look classic with a silver finish that’s low-glare at address but high-polish on the sole. My only complaint about the #9 is that Bettinardi’s signature honeycomb milling has been abandoned in favor of the new Super-Fly Mill. While others may appreciate this change of pace, to me, a Bettinardi putter without honeycomb milling is like an ice cream sundae without a cherry on it.
At impact, the #9 delivers a firm feel with a quiet “tock” sound. The feedback is good – off-center hits feel a little firmer and sound a touch louder – and the extra size does seem to provide a little more forgiveness. This particular version of the HMM is face-balanced, so it’s best suited to “straight-back-straight-through” putters.
Signature Series 10
The #9 is accompanied in the 2015 Signature Series by the #10. The #10 is another favorite Bettinardi design, the JAM. The JAM/Signature Series #10 is essentially an Anser 2 with a high toe. This particular version also has a beefed-up top line that makes the flange look a little smaller in comparison. Unlike the Signature Series #9, the #10 does have Bettinardi’s signature honeycomb milling across the face.
Despite the different face milling, the #10 feels very similar to the #9. The feel is firm with a clear “tock” at impact and excellent feedback.
Both Signature Series putters retail for $495, and only 1000 of each model will be made.
Studio Stock 2
The 2015 Studio Stock line starts with a nod to its own recent past with the #2. This is Bettinardi’s BB8 or Anser 2 style putter, something no putter line should be without.
While there’s nothing revolutionary about another Anser 2 putter, this version is executed beautifully. Everything is in perfect proportion from the top line to the shoulders and flange, and the feel is the best in the 2015 line, in my opinion. The combination of carbon steel and the Super Fly Milling produce a feel that is as soft as it can be without crossing into “mushy.” The feedback is superb and comes across in both the feel and the sound. I also really like the look of the Olympic Bronze finish with the white and light blue paint fill.
Studio Stock 16
The new addition to the Studio Stock family is the #16. The Studio Stock 16 is a traditional mallet with a round, symmetrical shape and a double-bend neck. Like the Studio Stock 2, this putter is made of carbon steel and has the Super Fly Mill face.
Unsurprisingly, the Studio Stock #16 feels very similar to the #2. If anything, it’s a touch softer, but it still produces a crisp sound on well struck putts. At 358 grams, the #16 is definitely on the heavier side, but the weight is expertly distributed so that it still feels under control during the stroke.
Both Studio Stock models retail for $399.
While it’s not talked about as much as the craftsmanship of their putters, Bettinardi has a strong history of designing innovative mallet putters. Last year, they unveiled the BB55 – a huge, ultra-forgiving mallet. This year’s Inovai delivers that same level of forgiveness but in a much smaller package.
The size of the Inovai is what surprised me most when I took it out for the first time. The pictures I’d seen had led me to believe that it would be enormous, but it’s actually quite compact. From heel to toe it’s the same size as the Signature Series #9/HMM, and from front to back it’s 3.5″ – not tiny, but not gargantuan.
The forgiveness in this putter is achieved largely through its combination of materials. The body of the putter is aluminum, and the silver weight in the back is stainless steel. This places much of the weight far from the face to improve stability on mishits. The downside to the forgiveness is that there’s very little feel difference between mishits and well struck putts.
While the feel does not suit my taste, there’s no arguing about the forgiveness of this putter. Even extreme heel and toe misses stay on line and get to the hole. If you need help on the greens, the Bettinardi Inovai should be high on your list of putters to try.
The standard Innovai retails for $300, and the counterbalanced version sells for $350.
Matt Kuchar Model 2 HM
If your goal was to get your putter on TV, there is almost no one you’d rather have than Matt Kuchar. The guy is always in contention, and the putting style he uses bears his name. That’s tough to beat. Accordingly, Bettinardi has released a new Matt Kuchar Model, the 2 HM (Half Moon).
The Model 2 HM is a significant departure from the old Model 2 or the Model 1. Where both of those feature double-bend shafts with significant offset, the Model 2 HM is a near-center-shafted putter. This eliminates offset, even in the arm lock model. Where the arm lock model does differ from the standard is in loft – the arm lock has significantly more loft to compensate for the mechanics of the arm lock stroke.
Aesthetically, the 2 HM is very sharp. The finish looks like a standard matte silver, but there are hints of color in the cavity and along the flange when you get it in the sun. It’s not as bold as the finish on the Queen B putters, but it’s subtle step up from the norm.
In terms of the feel, the 2 HM is quite different than the other HMM, the Signature Series #9. The combination of carbon steel and FIT Face milling create a very quiet impact and soft feel. The feedback is good with mishits feeling much duller than the crisp center strikes.
The Matt Kuchar models, in standard configuration or arm lock, cost $375.
Queen B Model 6
The sleepers in the 2015 line up are the Queen B putters. I’m saying this right at the start: if you overlook these because they’re “girl putters,” you are an absolute fool.
The Queen B Model 6 is a wide-body Anser-style putter with a high toe and a double bend shaft. This unusual combination will really please those straight-back-straight-through putters who want a classic look but also need some forgiveness. The feel of the Model 6 is very similar to the Studio Stock putters – both are carbon steel – but just a touch firmer.
While it can perform with the best of them, the look of the Queen B putters is the real highlight. The finish, which Bettinardi calls Savannah Blue, has tremendous color in the cavity and along the flange. Additionally, the retro Bettinardi logo in the cavity and on the grip and headcover, combined with the royal purple paintfill, looks great.
Queen B Model 7
Finally, we come to the Queen B Model 7. This putter is shaped much like the Studio Stock #16, but with a few noticeable differences. The face of the Model 7 is a bit taller, the trailing edge is squared off, and it has a defined channel in the flange and taller shoulder.
Interestingly, this traditional mallet is attached to the shaft via a flow neck to produce a slight toe hang and less offset. This will better suit players with more arc to their stroke.
Both Queen B models retail for $375.
While in some ways, the 2015 line is quite a departure from what they’ve done in the past, the one thing you can always count on with Bettinardi is that the putters will be top shelf when it comes to quality. Their latest offerings cover a wide range of looks, feel, and performance, and should please virtually every golfer.