|Bettinardi C04-H putter|
It's rare to see a player on the pro tours switching from mallet to heel-toe-weighted putter. Either the heavier, two-ball-style (mallet) fits his or her eye and feel or they're more atuned to the classic look of the blade-style, where the hosel fits into the heel or centre of the club.
And I've found it's a slightly different putting technique too - straight-back-straight-through for the mallet, inside-square-inside for the blade. Once you've sorted one style it's difficult to revert to the other.
And that's where I came across this new Bettinardi model, linked to the Mizuno stable, and launched around the time of The Open at Hoylake.
Having learned over several months to adapt to the Ping Ug-Le, as my preferred putting tool, because it limited my bad habit of taking the putter slightly on the outside in the back swing under pressure, I found the slightly lighter head of the CO4-H model (H for Heavy, apparently) more difficult to control.
I tried several grips - orthodox, left-below-right and claw - and found the 'left low' style much more suited to this putter. A 7-handicap colleague, who generally uses an orthodox grip, also took the putter out for a test run and immediately found his hands adapting a left-below-right hold on the stylish blue and white textured grip. Spooky!
The inspiration behind designer Bob Bettinardi's C series range of four putters is the classic look at address. Too many putters have too much 'going on' when you look down, distracting your eye from focusssing on the ball. This club cuts to the chase with a thick top and simple sight line.
And using his engineering skills, Bettinardi wanted a distinctive honeycomb pattern and soft feel, combining to provide the solid click which pros demand in feedback through their ears and fingers.
In Bettinardi's own words 'A putter should give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when you pick it up - the feeling of confidence that you could hole a few putts. My concept on putters is based on looks - if it looks good, it's probably going to feel good.'
This putter certainly looked and felt as it was a piece of equipment a professional of great skill with a dedicated practice regime would use. And when I was able to put a good stroke on it, the feeling was exquisite and even miss-hits seem to roll the required distance. Unfortunately it needs a precise, repeating stroke to make the most of its benefits. TEXT TEXT
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