I recently had the unique opportunity to get a custom putter fitting at the Bettinardi factory in Tinley Park, Illinois. The “Studio B” experience is unlike any other club fitting I have ever had and my results on the course can prove it. If you haven’t invested in getting fitted for a putter, trust me it can make all the difference in your game.
A Little History
Bettinardi Golf was founded in 1998 by manufacturer, designer and entrepreneur Robert J. Bettinardi. In 1991, Robert took his passion for golf and turned the putter industry upside down and into what it is today by crafting a putter from a solid block of metal. He coined the term “one-piece technology” where at the time other manufacturers used castings, forgings, and weldings to create putters. Robert became the go-to for all the top OEM’s in the golf industry after his manufacturing breakthrough, which was born from a tenacious effort to make an average putter obtain added confidence and greatness on the greens.– Bettinardi website
I was originally drawn to the Bettinardi brand as many of my college teammates had the opportunity to have their own custom putters made at their factory. Robert is a proud graduate of my Alma Mater, The Milwaukee School of Engineering. While our school is not typically associated with golf nor the golf industry, I am happy to report that his engineering degree is being put to good use improving your golf game.
Located just above the factory floor is the “Studio B” fitting center. This putting Mecca is part showcase, part fitting studio. Your head will be spinning with all the unique gear, accessories and putters to browse. Take a look at just some of its offerings below:
If you can move yourself past the accessories selection, the second part of the studio is where the putting magic really happens. The raised putting platform, complete with multiple high-speed cameras, is where most of your time will be spent.
Your assigned fitting specialist will monitor and direct your session using putting analysis software. The multi-angle cameras provide a look at your front, side and back impact. Using all of this data, the fitter will start to analyze a few aspects of your swing and overall needs. You may not realize it, but there are a number of adjustments / considerations that must be made when crafting the right putter profile for you, including:
- Toe Hang
As you work through your fitting, your specialist will watch all these metrics using slow-motion video and sensor data to show exactly what’s happening. My data showed I had an inconsistent swing path (no surprise), but ultimately a straight back and forth swing is what I felt was my desired approach.
The next step is what you have been waiting for since you walked in: Trying out some of their different models. Based on the data your fitter collected they will have a recommendation on the type of putter you should use and provide some options. This part of your game is all about feeling and what’s pleasing to your eye, feel and touch. You won’t be able to linger on this step for too long, so I recommend trusting your gut and going with your initial positive reaction.
I ended up selecting an Inovai series putter as the best fit for a few reasons: First, the fanged mallet appearance is very pleasing to the eye when viewed from above. Second, the milled metal face provides a firm yet forgiving feel, similar to my previous style putters. Third, the weight of the Inovai makes it feel solid when taking a shorter stroke. Finally, the great face balance complements by stroke perfectly.
Once you select your putter style, it’s back to the cameras and sensors you go. The fitter will do analysis with your selected Bettinardi putter to determine all the right adjustments. Then, the real magic happens.
Building Your Putter
While I have done putter fittings before, by far the coolest part of the Bettinardi experience is the fact that your putter is built in front of your eyes. Nothing is worse than leaving a golf shop empty-handed and being told you will get something in 4-6 weeks.
After choosing a custom grip your fitter will get to work behind the tool bench. Your putter will be cut, bent, wrapped and delivered with your exact specifications in just 5-10 minutes!
Book a Fitting Today
The cost of a Studio B fitting is $75 and at that cost it is one of the best investments you can make in your game. Understanding your putting stroke, seeing the data and watching your putter be created in front of your eyes is an amazing experience. I have been really pleased with my new putter and had some of the best rounds of my life last season because of it.
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