This is the final putter review for Putter Week 2010. Did I save the best for last?
I’ve been drooling over Bettinardi Putters for some time. Bettinardi Golf has really established a good brand which is associated with very high quality and high performance. My new BB32 mallet putter carries on that high level of quality and performance and possibly even raises the bar.
I knew I found a great putter when I hit the first putt with it. I was in bare feet, taking photos of a bunch of putters for reviews. I threw a ball down, tore the wrapper off the head and didn’t even do a practice stroke or line it up. I knocked in about a 25 footer with about a foot of break. How good would this thing be if I took the time to aim or tried some practice strokes?!?!
The BB32 putter is a face balanced mallet. What is face balanced? You can tell if a putter is face balanced by balancing the putter via the shaft, on your finger. When balanced, the face will be pointing up to the sky and be perfectly parallel to the ground. When mallets are face balanced, at least to me, they feel “right.” For me to switch from a blade to a mallet could only happen if the mallet was face balanced.
Unlike lower quality putters, the putter head is not cast and then skim milled, where they just mill the outside. The entire putter head is milled from a single block of material. Bettinardi uses a local supplier which provides them soft materials for their heads, resulting in softer feel. Yes I know, “soft metal” doesn’t sound logical, but when you are talking about the precision of putting, it can make a big difference, especially with distance control.
The double bend shaft helps put the center of gravity and balance right where it needs to be in the swing.
The BB32 is available in two weights, 332 grams and 348 grams. The weight of the putter can be seen milled into the label on the bottom of the head, inside the single honeycomb. Mine is 348 grams.
Speaking of honeycombs (not the cereal), the face of the putter has a honeycomb pattern milled into it (pictured above). This pattern is patented by Bettinardi. The milling provides even more feel, and with the putter’s three degrees of loft gets the ball rolling quicker and smoother than standard putters.
All you have to do is look at this thing and you almost fall in love. She is a beauty. I might buy her a few drinks and try to take advantage of her.
There’s nothing busy or distracting about this putter. The black nickel finish looks very stunning, clean and classy. The single white aiming line really stands out and impresses itself on the player contrasted against the black nickel finish.
Those soft metals I mentioned before, along with the perfect weighting and honeycomb milling in the face, produce an incredible feel. This putter is buttery smooth and simply loves to travel on the intended target line. I’ve mentioned many times, that to me it is important for a putter to “want” to travel on line. This baby does.
Distance control with the BB32 is almost automatic.
The BB32 comes in the two weights I mentioned, 332 and 348 grams. Available shaft lengths are 35″ and 34″. And good news for lefties, a left handed model is available.
Bettinardi makes all their putters in Chicago, not China. That way they can keep a close eye on the manufacturing process and quality. They don’t crank out thousands of clubs a day. That isn’t what they are about. To Bettinardi, quality and craftsmanship are paramount, and it shows in the performance and enjoyment I get out of my BB32.