50 Words or Less
The Bettinardi BB1F has a classic Anser style head shape with a flow neck, but looks that leap far from traditional.
The Bettinardi BB1F putter completes our coverage of the 2016 Bettinardi putter lineup, and shares many of the same pros and cons that we found in our other reviews. True to form, Bettinardi mills a great putter head with tight tolerances, and I doubt I’ll ever be able to take that away from them. On the other hand, the poor finish left a lot to be desired and some of the finishing touches will likely keep a good portion of the buying market from investing.
I’m still standing behind my opinion that “the Midnight Black PVD finish on the Bettinardi BB series feels somewhat confused and stuck in the middle of an identity crisis.” The rainbow finish is cool in theory, but it wasn’t executed as well as I have seen from other manufacturers. I would have liked to see either a darker, uniform finish or a more accented rainbow finish. That said, of all the BB series putters we’ve tested, the BB1F had the “most rainbow” of the bunch. It’s important to note that the finish is proving to not be durable. I have witnessed and read many accounts of it scuffing and chipping pretty badly. All in all, I’m fairly disappointed with this finish from what is considered one of the premier putter makers in the world.
Once you get past the finish issue, the rest of the putter is fine, if possibly polarizing. The lime green paint, lime green grip with purple lettering, and the bold headcover make for quite a statement and will likely not be favored by a wide range of buyers. The buyers that fit that taste profile, however, will love this. The general shape is a solid Anser-style putter, and the flow neck gives you a half-shaft offset.
Sound & Feel
When you hit the Bettinardi BB1F it has a very distinct, firm click to it in both sound and feel. The sound changes quite quickly as you get away from the sweet spot which I have always found to be somewhat small on the BB1F, much like the BB1. I’ve really liked a lot of the older BB1s, but ultimately could never play them for that very reason. The feel is very responsive and far from forgiving. It won’t be a mystery to you where you hit the putt on the face, but missing the sweet spot will be punishing in your hands.
As Bettinardi is well known for at this point in time, the BB1F is tremendously milled and a solid tool of the trade. That said, the small sweet spot directly impacted the performance for me. It made for a more difficult time in maintaining consistency and developing good control with the putter. Players that are very consistent with finding the sweet spot won’t have any issues with the BB1F, but if you’re looking for something the least bit forgiving for better all around consistency, you may want to explore something else.
The Bettinardi BB1F putter will be fine for a vast majority of the Anser-style flow neck fans, but this golfer is walking away disappointed. I’ve generally been impressed with Bettinardi’s execution, but I just haven’t been able to shake the disappointment in the quality of the finish. If you happen to fall into the category of buyer that doesn’t care what the putter looks like, then you’ll be just fine (just hope the finish holds up). This golfer will be waiting for the next generation of BB series putters.