50 Words or Less
The all new Bettinardi INOVAI 8.0 midsize mallet brings a fresh, stellar look to the INOVAI family. New face milling provides a great roll and wonderful soft feel. Excellent forgiveness.
Throughout Bettinardi’s two plus decade existence, the BB and Studio Stock series have represented the more traditional styles of milled putters, while putters in the Queen B line are more artfully inspired renditions. The INOVAI series has featured mixed materials and somewhat futuristic designs [check out the INOVAI 7.0 HERE]. Brand new for 2022, the INOVAI 8.0 offers a more contemporary take, with sleek lines and a size that has broad appeal.
Looking for something more traditional? Check out the 2022 Bettinardi BB46 HERE.
At address, the INOVAI 8.0 has several wonderful visual qualities. The thick stainless topline gives the putter a substantial yet refined look. The black anodized aluminum body is full of interplaying facets that create an artistic blend of form and function while allowing the heavy white alignment line to really pop.
Examining the face, I am once again mesmerized by the exemplary milling the crew at Bettinardi executes. The integrated slant neck adds to the attractiveness and ups the bar of craftsmanship.
Flipping the putter over, the sole of the INOVAI 8.0 conveys a lot of information – seemingly replicating the whiteboard from the Bettinardi staff meeting on the new model. Worthwhile details for the buyer but a stark contrast to the stealthy topside.
I love the carbon fiber weave and well executed stitching on the head cover. However, the grossly oversized fit is a bit baffling.
Sound & Feel
The INOVAI 8.0 features Bettinardi’s Roll Control Face which provides the softest feel of their three milled face styles. There’s no way to describe the feel other than incredibly soft. Tactile feedback was almost non-existent with contact in the deep milled center section. It took a concerted mishit to get a hint of torque on the toe or muddled feel on the heel.
Adding to the soft profile, the sound was a quiet ‘tock.’ On longer putts the sound increased a tad, but was always restrained – like the voice of a fairway reporter during a golf broadcast. To my ears, any reasonable contact sounded pure.
With its 1/4 toe hang and 358 gram head weight, the slant neck INOVAI 8.0 flowed nicely with my putting stroke. The putter is also available in a spud neck and spud arm lock versions. For that customized fit, Bettinardi provides plenty of options in length, lie and loft – plus two branded Lamkin Sink Fit grip sizes.
Thanks to the full body alignment line, aiming the putter head and aligning my stance was a breeze. The ball seemed to get rolling end-over-end instantly off the face. I was also impressed with the consistency of rollout. The INOVAI immediately built up my confidence – putts inside 5 feet seemed automatic and two putts from distance almost ensured.
Obvious to anyone who’s golfed with me, “seemed” and “almost” should be emphasized in the previous statement. But the forgiveness of the INOVAI 8.0 is real and substantial. For anyone who has gamed previous INOVAI models with F.I.T. Face milling, it’s worth noting that the Roll Control Face on the 2022 versions is the new and improved version featuring asymmetrical grooves to enhance topspin.
While some previous INOVAI models have been a little “out there” in the looks department, the Bettinardi INOVAI 8.0 is sleek and stealthy. Add in a soft feel and impressive performance, and the INOVAI 8.0 is going to garner a lot of attention from golfers looking for a new putter in 2022. The $400 price tag may seem excessive, but it’s right in line with other premium brands.