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Bettinardi BB32 Putter Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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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.

Bettinardi BB32 Putter

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?!?!

BB32 Design

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.

Bettinardi BB32 Putter Milled Face

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.

Bettinardi BB32 PutterBB32 Looks

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.

BB32 Feel

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.

Options

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.

Conclusion

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.

Links

Bettinardi Photo Gallery.


Bob Burns Roll In Putter

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, April 27th, 2010
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Golf PutterPutter Week 2010 continues…

I mentioned some crazy putters were coming during this year’s Putter Week.  This crazy putter (pictured right) is the Bob Burns “Roll In” putter.  If you like to experiment with your putting, your equipment, club configurations and have ADD, you’re going to want this putter.

Bob Burns Roll In – Features

The Roll In has a 350 gram aluminum mallet head with SEVEN weight ports.  The putter comes with 12, count ’em, TWELVE weights and a tool to install or remove them.  The weights vary from 2-10 grams.  If you can’t find the perfect head balance and weighting with this putter, you might want to take up bowling or basket weaving.

Behind the milled face is a “T” shaped sight line to help you align your putts.  Speaking of the face, tiny grooves are milled into the face to get the ball rolling correctly.

The shaft, available in lengths from 32-37 inches, is a center mount.

Golf PutterLooks

Traditionalists may not dig the looks of the Roll In.  Behind the face in the mallet section is quite busy.  Personally I don’t get distracted by the weights, ports and the rest.  Heck, if my putter had a monkey on the back banging a pair of cymbals in his hands and kicking a bass drum with his feet I wouldn’t care, as long as I made putts.

Feel

With heavy weights installed and the jumbo grip,  a smooth pendulum motion with the shoulders and arms occurs naturally for me.  It is difficult to break the wrists or do any sudden movements which might take the putter off line.

Grip

My Roll In has a super jumbo grip.  The super jumbo grip is massively bigger than a standard grip and four times the weight.  If you have wrist breaking problems or other jerky issues with your putting stroke, this grip and the extra weight it adds higher up in the shaft will probably help.

Other than the jumbo grip pictured above, there are 16 other grip options for the Roll In.

Conclusion

This $125 putter is fun.  It combines the art of putting with a set of Tinker Toys.  All joking about it aside, it is a surprisingly good feeling putter.  The weighting and balance are very nice and promote a smooth, pendulum like stroke.  The adjustable weights allow for fine tuning by even the most detail oriented players.

Links

Bob Burns web site.

Bob Burns HOG Image Gallery.


Double Duty Divot Repair Putter

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Categories: Golf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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2010 putter week continues with putter review number three…

I’ve mentioned my bad back many times here, and have reviewed some items which help golfers deal with bad backs or help prevent back injuries.  The “Double Duty” Divot Repair Putter may seem a bit silly to a serious golfer who doesn’t have back issues, but to an older player or someone who can’t bend over well and wants to enjoy golf, there’s an option for fixing ball marks which helps prevent back issues.

Construction

The Double Duty is a center shafted putter with a 36″ shaft.  The back of the 360 gram stainless steel head has a divot repair tool.  I thought that was one of the nuttiest things I’d ever seen in golf until I thought about it through the eyes of the older, fatter calorically challenged or back issue ridden golfer.

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Heavy Putter Mid Weight K4-M

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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This is post number two for HOG Putter Week!

I’ve been looking forward to putting a Boccieri Golf Heavy Putter in my bag for quite some time.  The concept is great.  A heavy putter is harder to yank or push off line.  A heavy putter makes breaking the wrists or wrist flipping difficult.  A heavy putter makes it harder to have a sudden, jerk of a transition from back to forward in the stroke.  A heavy putter will want to stay on the intended target line and promote a smoother stroke.

So do these things really happen?

Mid Weight K4-M Construction

The K4-M is a standard “toe-droop” design blade putter with a thin top line.  I’d say the most comparable design is to that of a Ping Zing.

Having putted only standard weighted putters until my Mid Weight, I want to say that the Mid is heavy.  At 750gm, this thing is drastically heavier than a standard putter or any club in the bag for that matter.  There’s a 200 gram weight inserted into the butt of the shaft.  Having this much weight up where the grip is makes “wristy” strokes nearly impossible, which is good.

The face of the putter is CNC milled with grooves which get the ball rolling end over end, better than a face with no milling.  The milling in the putter’s face also aids in giving the putter a soft feel.

Looks & Feel

Speaking of feel, this putter feels great.  The pendulum like stroke one puts on a putter this heavy is very smooth.  The timing and transition from back to forward with all that weight in the club is very smooth.  I find that my stroke stays on line very well.

Grip

The Winn mid-size V17 grip is very soft.  My hands feel like they blend right in and become one with the shaft of the putter.  With the weight and the grip combined, my arms, shoulders, wrists and putter all feel like one piece.

Specifications and Options

The Heavy Putter K4-M is available in standard lengths from 32″ – 36″ (right hand only), and can be ordered as a custom putter in other lengths.

  • Finish: Black PVD or Satin
  • Stock lengths 32″ – 36″ (custom lengths available 30″ – 38″)
  • Dexterity: Right Hand Only
  • Total Putter Weight = +/- 750 grams
  • Head Weight = +/- 400 grams
  • Back Weighting System (weight in grip end of shaft) = 200 grams
  • Proprietary Steel Shaft
  • Custom Winn Mid-Size Grip
  • Custom Head Cover included
  • Stainless Steel Material
  • CNC Milled Face
  • Loft = 3° (custom loft adjustments +/- 2 degrees)
  • Lie Angle = 70° (custom lie adjustments +/- 2 degrees)
  • Custom Mid Length Putters available

Head Cover

The included head cover looks great and protects the putter well.  I’m not a fan of Velcro enclosures which wear and the look shabby after a while, so the magnetic enclosure on this unit scores points in my book.

Conclusion

If you don’t feel that your stroke is smooth or you have a hard time with excessive wrist action; if you have a hard time keeping your putts on line or you have poor timing, try a Heavy Putter (any model really).

Nike Method Putter Model 001 Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, April 19th, 2010
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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This is post #1 of 2010 HOG Putter Week!

Once again, this review is another of the many cases of “being a golf web geek doesn’t suck.”  My daunting and difficult task is to test out the very hyped up and popular Nike Method putter, mine being the model 001.  Yes, being a golf web geek can be a rough go sometimes, but someone has to do it.

Many people are comparing the quality level of the Nike Method putter to that of a Cameron.  I didn’t even know Cameron made putters.  I thought he was a film maker.  You know, Terminator Two, Aliens, Titanic, Avatar…

Nike Method Putter Model 001 Construction

The Method putter has a multi-material face.  “Flowed through low durometer Polymetal Groove Technology” (that’s what I was going to say) dampens vibrations and gives the club a soft feel.  The “interspersed milled steel face” gives audio feedback which helps the player control distance.

What does all that mean in plain English?  The putter has a soft and buttery feel.   The physical and audible feedback gives the player a closer connection to the stroke, the ball and the proper club head speed to deliver the ball the correct distance.

Extreme heel-toe weighting via Tungsten inserts makes the MOI (moment of inertia) of the putter very high and increases stability of the head during the stroke and especially impact.

Rock & Roll

I can roll the rock fairly well.  Ask any of my victims golf buddies.  Putting with the Method is a joy.  I can sense and see that the ball is rolling very quickly off the putter face and not skidding.  The previously mentioned Polymetal Groove Technology gets the ball rolling end over end much faster than a regular putter and I can definitely attest to that.  The roll is pure and there’s not much initial skidding like on many other putters.

Looks

The Method 001 is a sharp looking putter, similar to that of a standard heel-toe weighted blade.  But looking closer reveals many finer details than you’ll find on any standard heel-toe offering.

The finish of this putter is a very nice gray/silver color.  The bottom is chrome.   The milling in the face, the bottom and the back is very sharp and precise.  The face not only has the large Polymetal Grooves, it has thousands of tiny milled round diamonds.  See the face image below:

Feel

One of the first tests I do with putters is to simply see if the putter “wants” to stay square during the stroke.  I’ll just take a few lightly gripped swings and see what the weighting feels like and what angles that weighting wants to take the head.  Due to the distribution of more than 30 grams of weight in the heel and toe, the Method 001 wants to stay square.  This is a good thing.  If the person putting goes to sleep a tiny bit, the putter will still tend to stay square, resulting in the ball starting out on the right line.

The softness of the face is noticeable.  It feels like you can sense the split second that the ball is in contact with the face.  In fact that contact feels longer.

Grip

The grip is an old school pistol grip style, but with a tacky rubber which I really like.

The grip is crucial, as it is where the player connects to the putter.  Without a good connection and feel through the grip, the best milling and design in the world can’t help make putts.

Head Cover

No zipper: check.  No stupid Velcro: check.  No wacky, nutty, clunky design: check.  The head cover passes the test.  It is classy looking, functional and best of all, easy to use.

Conclusion

Though the golf world didn’t necessarily need another heel-toe weighted blade, the Method 001 should be strongly considered when looking for a new putter.   All aspects of this club, from aesthetics to feel to performance, are at the highest level.

Related Links

HOG Nike Image Gallery (more Method putter pictures and other Nike products).

Nike STR8-Fit vs TaylorMade R9.


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