Gear: Bettinardi Studio Stock Series putters
Price: $450 each
Specs: Milled 303 stainless steel
The newest putter line from Bettinardi aims to combine softer feel at impact with classic looks.
Last season was special for Bettinardi Golf, the boutique putter maker based near Chicago in Tinley Park, Ill. Francesco Molinari used a Bettinardi putter to run away with the Quicken Loans National a few weeks before the club helped him win the British Open at Carnoustie.
Building on that momentum, and with the help of four new milling machines at the company’s factory, Bettinardi has released the three-putter Studio Stock (SS) family for 2019.
Each putter starts as a solid block of 303 stainless steel before being precision-milled with a computer guiding a fast-spinning bit so that ribbons of steel are precisely shaved with each pass to ensure consistency.
In the Studio Stock putters, a series of grooves have been milled into the hitting area. Bettinardi calls this Feel Impact Technology (FIT). While previous Bettinardi putters have featured it in the past, the grooves are 20 percent deeper in the SS line, which the company said helps soften feel at impact.
The SS2 is a classic-looking, heel-toe-weighted shape that had been offered in the past, but this time the hosel has been positioned slightly forward, so toe hang is reduced. Subtle adjustments also have been made to the shoulders, and the bumpers have been rounded to create an updated look.
The SS28 Slot Back, offered in center-shafted and arm-lock models, has beefier and wider heel-toe weighting and a slot, or notch, in the back of the flange. While shifting the weight boosts the moment of inertia and forgiveness, the slot brackets the ball and makes this an interesting option for players who like the look of a heel-toe-weighted blade but want the forgiveness associated with mid-sized mallets.
While the standard SS28 Slot Back has a 70-degree lie angle and 3 degrees of loft, the arm lock version is 1 degree upright and comes standard with 5 degrees of loft to compensate for the forward press created by an arm lock putting stroke.
Finally, the SS38 is a compact, rounded mallet that has minimal toe hang, making it forgiving and ideally suited for players with a straighter putting stroke.