Equipment Reviews

Bettinardi BB1 – W Putter Review

The new Bettinardi BB1-W putter brings together the latest in premium materials and technology with the classic blade shaping that has defined the brand’s putters for decades.

As one of their tour-proven lines receiving high praise on professional tours, the BB1-W aims to blend modern performance benefits with the aesthetic appeal discerning golfers expect from a high-end putter.

But does this forged blade live up to its premium price tag for the everyday golfer? Our in-depth BB1-W review analyzes the technology, materials, sound, feel, and forgiveness of this putter to see if it’s worth the investment for golfers seeking a world-class blade.

Bettinardi BB1 – W Putter Review – Overview of Bettinardi’s Legacy of Premium Craftsmanship

Founded in 1998, Bettinardi has established itself as one of the leaders in the putter market, especially among those demanding high-end craftsmanship and materials. Using advanced milling technology and processes perfected over decades, Bettinardi putters have become synonymous with exceptional quality and performance.

The company prides itself on handcrafting every putter in their Illinois factory under the watchful eyes of founder Robert Bettinardi. Their tour presence has grown rapidly as well, with stars like Matt Kuchar, Eddie Pepperell, and Fred Couples relying on their buttery soft feel and consistency.

The BB series stands as their flagship blade line, building upon the successes of earlier models like the BB-Zero and BB-1. Bettinardi relies on extensive feedback from tour players to iterate and enhance the BB’s precision milling, sound, and responsiveness.

The BB1-W represents the latest evolution in premium blade designs from Bettinardi, with several technical elements and finishing touches setting it apart:

  • PVD Stainless Steel Head – A milled stainless steel frame with a multi-layer PVD finish provides durability and a confidence-inspiring profile at address. The classic plumbing neck and compact blade shape promote workability and versatility.
  • Perpetual Flymill Face – Using the latest CNC milling technology, Bettinardi is able to achieve an extremely precise face profile and texture. This enhances roll and speed consistency across the face.
  • High MOI Design – A rear weight pad pushes weight to the perimeter, increasing MOI for enhanced stability and forgiveness in a blade profile.
  • Sound Slot – An oval cutout behind the face acts like an acoustic chamber to optimize sound and feel.

With trademark Bettinardi touches like hand-sewn leather grips and premium shafts, the BB1-W offers the pinnacle of performance and craftsmanship. But how does this translate to results on the putting green? We put it to the test.

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Premium Materials and Design Promote Confidence

From the moment you lift the BB1-W putter from the headcover, the quality craftsmanship is evident. We tested the Pewter PVD finish, which alternates between a lighter brushed steel and darkened PVD coating. Sunlight dances across the surfaces, showcasing the metals and precision millwork.

The plumbing neck lends a slightly offset flow to the compact, 335g head that frames the ball beautifully at address. Aligning putts is intuitive thanks to the short, single flange site line that doesn’t distract. The shape instills confidence without appearing overly bulky or technical.

Golfers who value premium materials will appreciate small touches like the hand-sewn Italian leather grip and sleek PVD shaft band. The grey/blue grip provides a comfortable, slightly tacky feel during the stroke.

While every element caters to traditionalists seeking excellence in craftsmanship, the technology in the sound slot and PVD coating push the BB1-W’s performance to new heights.

Sound, Feel, and Roll Prove Buttery Smooth

The marketing hype around sound and feel often outpaces the actual performance, but the BB1-W lives up to expectations with buttery smooth acoustics and response.

The milled face appears unaffected by the sound slot, instead promoting exceptional consistency across every impact location. Center strikes reward with a satisfying “thunk” as the urethane insert compresses and releases. Towards the toe and heel, the sound pitch increases slightly but performance remains steady.

The stroke feels effortless with the immediate feedback golfers expect from a true blade. The weighting provides enough stability to inspire confidence while retaining the responsiveness to connect with all types of strokes and tempos. This uniformity also helps calibrate distance control no matter where you contact the sweet spot.

While the BB1-W can’t quite match ultra-premium mallets for smoothness, it delivers the blend of feedback and forgiveness that blade purists demand. The roll and extended ball speeds mirror the buttery acoustics to promote accuracy.

Throughout testing, the BB1-W maintained this refined consistency even in warmer conditions where many cheaper putters can soften and lose responsiveness. The PVD coating’s durability shines through over time.

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Compact Design Strikes a Forgiveness and Workability Balance

A common tradeoff for blade enthusiasts is sacrificing forgiveness for the precision shaping and responsiveness. The BB1-W admirably bridges this gap by integrating modern MOI design principles into its blade profile.

The rear weight pad concentrates mass along the perimeter to raise the MOI (moment of inertia). In practice, this stabilizes the face through impact to limit twisting on mishits. During on-course testing, the dispersion from heel and toe strikes was less than expected thanks to the boosted MOI.

While the head doesn’t twist excessively, the feedback remains immediate through the hands on mishits to help calibrate your stroke. Golfers seeking ultra-high MOI models may be better served by mallets, but among blades, the BB1-W is highly forgiving.

The compact shape and single sightline also promote alignment, minimized distraction, and workability. The face activates nicely on an arc to allow curving pitches or bump and runs with some practice. Versatility-minded golfers can execute an array of strokes effectively.

On-Course Testing Reveals the Blade’s Stellar Consistency

Evaluating a putter’s excellence off the green will only reveal so much. We took the BB1-W to the course to assess its true performance when putts matter.

Feel and Feedback – The audible feedback correlated precisely to impact quality and distance. From 10-footers to 30-foot lags, the acoustics provided the right guide on pace and accuracy. The soft, responsive feel let our stroke flow smoothly and repeatably.

Distance Control – Time after time, the BB1-W delivered reliable distance control. Mis-hit speed putts may fly a few feet past, but performance was consistent. Lag putts arrived safely near the hole without the pulled or pushed tendencies some blades can display.

Dispersion and MOI – As noted, the MOI design appeared to minimize the twisting and skipping from off-center impacts. Heel and toe mishits lost a couple of feet of line at most rather than careening off line.

Wind and Slope – Even in gusty conditions, the roll and ball flight held steady. The weight and stability of the head resisted twitchiness. On sidehill putts, the alignment aid remained effective.

Throughout the round’s ups and downs, the BB1-W maintained its excellence. Our confidence grew rapidly in the blade’s capabilities as consistency and responsiveness shined.

Premium Price Justified for Craftsmanship-Focused Golfers

For those demanding the highest quality materials and workmanship, the BB1-W is a worthy investment. From milling and finishing to sound engineering and roll precision, few blades can match this performance.

Golfers obsessed with premium craftsmanship will feel right at home with the ornate PVD finish and buttery responsiveness. The price approaching $500 may cause hesitation, but extended ownership reveals the value.

Compared to many milled, tour-caliber blades eclipsing $300, the benefits in consistency and workability make the BB1-W a reasonable ask. Consider it an heirloom putter to cherish and lean on in pressure situations for years to come.

Final Verdict: An Exquisite Blade for Purists Seeking the Best

In the end, the BB1-W lives up to its pedigree and pricing among premium milled blades. For traditionalists seeking world-class quality and response, it’s an exceptional performer.

The combination of feedback, stability, and consistency in a compact profile is rare. While the price is substantial, it reflects the lasting excellence the BB1-W supplies in the hands of discerning golfers.

Blade aficionados gain an elegant, versatile partner. Milling obsessives find their soulmate. If the cost doesn’t deter you, the BB1-W will reward your faith with buttery perfection.

  • Key Takeaways:
    • With latest milling precision, Bettinardi perfects the forged blade profile in the BB1-W
    • Sound slot engineering and MOI boosting provide ideal feedback, feel, and forgiveness
    • Classic shape, premium materials, and smooth stroke feel justify the investment for purists
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