50 Words or Less
Utilizing a two metal design with a modern, but not space-age, look, the Bettinardi iNOVAi 5.0 putter delivers a consistent roll with remarkable forgiveness.
I’ve rolled a few puts with Bettinardi putters in the past, but never one from the iNOVAi Series. Giving a fresh read to Bill’s iNOVAi 3.0 review, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the 2018 5.0 version. But as with all reviews performed at Plugged In Golf, I went into testing with open eyes, ears, and hands.
Compared to the previous model, the Bettinardi iNOVAi 5.0’s obvious difference is its rounded, connected back. Gone are the fangs and the look of a giant bottle opener. Not only does this look better (at least to me), it provides distinction in the large mallet arena.
From the face view, the 3.0 and 5.0 models look identical. The red Bettinardi “B” really pops on the black anodized finish and ties in well with the sole lettering. The stainless steel is hand polished for a smooth feel and natural matte finish. Together, the silver and black create visual appeal.
Sound & Feel
First off, notice the deep milled grooves across the face as they play a big role in sound and feel. Bettinardi refers to this as F.I.T. – Feel Impact Technology – and also utilizes it in its Studio Stock Series. I found the sound from the anodized aluminum head to be a medium ‘tick’ and consistent across the milled face.
Feel is also consistent on strikes across the face, which isn’t surprising for a high MOI putter. If you prefer feedback on off-center strikes, the iNOVAi 5.0 may disappoint, but the results may make you wonder why you care.
Overall the Bettinardi iNOVAi 5.0 is well balanced with its 358 gram head and flowing neck, making it a breeze to put decent strokes on the ball. The shaft does bend back away from the face which, depending on what you are used to, may have you setting up with the face closed. Not an issue, just a caution, and it’s easily corrected for with hand positioning.
The wide white line on the top combined with the long black lines on the body of the putter worked well for me on alignment.
Even on off center hits, the head felt stable and energy transfer was notably consistent. I was impressed by how well the ball rolled off the F.I.T. face.
One thing I learned by accident is that you can pick up your ball just by applying pressure with the window of the sole. It ‘sticks’ right in!
On a more serious note, the 1/8 toe hang allowed the putter head to flow smoothly for my slightly arced stroke. Tie that in with the forgiveness and alignment, and the Bettinardi iNOVAi 5.0 could easily go straight into my bag.
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