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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Bettinardi Arm Lock Putter

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With so many players having recent success with the ArmLock putters on the PGA Tour, we thought we'd see how it works for the average golfer.  So follow four of our forum members as the put the Bettinardi Studio Armlock in play over the next four to six weeks to see how they perform with it. 

Feel free to join the conversation and ask any questions you might have in regards to the putter or method of using it. 

 

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@KCLeo12                Stage 1                         Stage 2

@CarlH                      Stage 1                         Stage 2

@GB13                       Stage 1                         Stage 2

@downlowkey           Stage 1                          Stage 2

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Posted (edited)

First, some apologies that my testing and review has taken longer than I have ever intended. This also has been the most difficult review that I have ever done. I had my biggest tournament of the year which was 9 rounds in 10 days. I would rather take an extra couple days and get you guys the honest and best review I can do. However, I have put this putter through its paces and given it the full treatment. I have been struggling with separating my feelings about the style of the putter and the actual putter.

 

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LOOKS: 10 out of 10 – This is a great looking putter as most Bettinardi putters are. The compact round head that frames the ball fantastic. The matte or brushed finish provides great contest to the green and the shiny ball. It reduces glare and really allows you to focus on the ball. I found that the alignment and the framing of the face allowed me to easily align the ball in the center of the face and I have a tendency to get the ball more towards the toe.

 

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SOUND AND FEEL: 10 out of 10 – The sound and feel are perfect in my opinion. It is soft but of firm feel the shorter putts feel a little softer and the long putts feel firmer. For me this was something I really like because on longer putts with a softer feel and sound I feel like I have to hit them harder. It has a great sound also the has a firm click to it on longer putts and just a nice smooth sound on the shorter putts

 

BASIC CHARACTERISTICS: 18 out of 20. There isn’t anything as far as the putter it self goes that isn’t great about this putter. The only thing I found was that the putter didn’t easily sit flat on the ground when you set it down to align it. I had to develop a different pre-shot routine to get this putter to aim consistently. I will go more into detail about that later. The grip is the only reason this putter itself doesn’t get a score of 20 for this category. I felt the grip was too short, when I gripped the putter in a comfortable position on my right thumb was at the very end of the grip. More about this later also.

 

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ON COURSE PERFORMANCE: 23 out of 30 – So this is the part of the review that I struggle with because half of the review is the putter and the other half is the Arm-Lock style of putting. I loved the putter itself and the style I just couldn’t get along with. I wanted to love it and had a very hard time letting go. My first round was phenomenal I shot a 68 and made everything. Unfortunately that was the last of the success I had with this putter on the course. I played 8 rounds total with this putter. And what I did was track those 8 rounds vs the previous 8 rounds that I played before the review.

 

In the 8 previous rounds I averaged 30.2 putts per round which is about average for me. The 8 rounds I played with the SS38 Arm-Lock was 36.3 putts per round. My scoring average was 3.4 strokes higher also. But part of the increase in putts is because I started hitting the ball better and averaging 2 GIR more per round during the 8 rounds. That is why the 6 stokes difference in putts per round only equated to 3.4 in scoring average.

 

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Most of my struggle came from distance control on long putts of more than 30 ft. I had a tough time getting the speed right. I was consistently long and really struggled on faster greens or downhill putts because I felt like I had no feel. I felt just mechanical not smooth.

 

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MISCELLANEOUS: 9 out of 10 – The details in the putter are fantastic from the beautiful blue paint to the extremely high quality headcover. I loved the headcover design and feel although I really prefer a magnetized headcover vs the Velcro. The putter was built and shipped quickly in a great high-class looking black box. The grip was actually my least favorite part of the putter and I plan on replacing it and seeing if this makes any difference for me.

 

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PLAY IT OR TRADE IT: 12 out of 20 – This score is 100% based off the arm-lock style of putting and has zero to do with the putter or the quality of the putter. There is absolutely no chance this putter in its current set up makes it in the bag. I have ordered a JumboMax putter grip with a flat side that I think will really make a difference. I think the flat side against the arm with make it more consistent against my arm.

 

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CONCLUSION: The armlock putter style is not something you can just tinker with and have success. I think you have to be professionally fit for this putter style in order to get the specs right so that you are comfortable and able to get in the same position every time. For me after the first day it was never able to get completely comfortable over the ball again. I have bought a different grip and plan to get fit properly for this putter because I do see some benefits in the style of putting if you commit to it and get fit properly.

FINAL SCORE: 82 out of 100

 

Edited by KCLeo12
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Stage 2 – Bettinardi Armlock Putter – Official MGS Forum Review by Carl Harsch

 

First, some apologies that I had to truncate my testing because a nagging total knee replacement occurred before I could test further.  However, I still feel as if I had sufficient time both on the practice green, my home putting practice station, and on course play to give an honest review of the putter.  Prior to my surgery, I spent numerous hours on the practice putting green testing the putter, working on controlling distance, off center hits, breaking putts, and straight putts, as well as ball position and various setup positions.  Additionally, I worked on my home putting practice station honing on my comfort with short, straight putts at decent pace to hole the putts.  Beyond mere practice, I was able to get out to play on the course on 4 occasions with the putter to test it in a real game environment with my normal group for competitive pressure with the putter.  I’m not going to provide a bunch of stats about how many putts I had each round as I don’t feel this number is a standard bearer of the putter, but more a feature of my putting abilities (not to mention distances needed for each putt).  I will instead focus on the aspects of the putter itself.

LOOKS:  10 out of 10 – This is a very good looking putter and several people commented on how good it looked.  The compact head is pleasing to the eye and sets up nicely.  The matte steel finish eliminates glare and distractions.  The alignment line and design of the head provide a clear positioning of the ball to the putter face. The compact mallet is free from design doodads that might distract from a clean head at address.

SOUND AND FEEL:  10 out of 10 – The soft, milled face delivers a solid, yet soft feel at impact, very similar to my Cameron Pro Platinum. The feel is consistent across the grooved, milled face, with obvious sound and feel difference on extreme toe or heel hits where the face is not grooved.  The sound is a soft rap, neither loud nor metallic sounding.  I find it to be a very pleasing sound and feel and definitely among one of the best that I’ve experienced.  The consistent feel and sound leads to a more confident stroke at impact.

BASIC CHARACTERISTICS: 16 out of 20 – I had aiming issues with the putter, making it difficult for me to have a confident stroke.  I found myself with a tendency to pull the putter across my chest rather than rocking my shoulders down the proper path.  This did improve as I worked with it and found the ball position and eyeline placement that worked best for me.  On the other hand, the grip of the putter that I found most comfortable and most repetitive for me is a standard hand placement as a normal conventional grip one would take with a standard length putter, with the exception that the putter grip rested against my leading arm and there was significant and noticeable shaft lean.  I opted to have 7 degrees of loft on the putter to overcome the forward shaft lean. 

One definite advantage of this putter over my regular putters is that with the shaft resting firmly against my lead arm, it virtually eliminated my tendency to close the face through the stroke, thus delivering a more consistent square face at impact.  With the more consistent square face at impact, the ball ran true to the path stroked.  I found it easy to get comfortable with distance control on short, medium, and longer length putts.  Even when the putt didn’t fall, I was leaving myself tap in second putts. 

On course play, I found it fairly easy to repeat good ball striking on the center of the putter face.  When I intentionally hit it off center on the practice greens, I found that it maintained a decent distance control, as well as line, more so than my current gaming putter.  I found no significant advantages or disadvantages putting from off the green that I have with other putters.  The ball rolls smoothly off the face and there’s not a lot of skid before the roll.

ON COURSE PERFORMANCE: 25 out of 30 – After the initial discomfort of a different posture, stance, and feel of a different style putter, I was able to feel more comfortable with the putter.  The first round, there was a lot of uncertainty on distance control on longer putts.  I also suffered from not keeping a solid rocking of the shoulders to deliver the putter head square to the ball and the intended path on longer putts.  My tendency was to question my lineup and end up pulling the putter across my intended line and hence miss to the left.  This was more prominent on longer putts of greater than 40 feet.  It’s not all that different from similar issues that I have with a standard putter.  A flaw of me rather than the putter.  With the subsequent rounds I got a better feel for the putter and my confidence rose as I used it more.  By the last round I played, I was putting as well as I normally putted.  I can’t honestly say that my putting was any better or worse than a typical round.  On shorter putts, I can actually state that I see improvement because the putter setup helps eliminate my tendency to roll my hands and close the face.  As long as my read was good and my alignment true, it was almost like cheating from 4 foot in. 

This is my first experience with Bettinardi and I am impressed with the putters performance, feel, and looks.  I would have liked to have had my putter about an inch longer than I ordered and perhaps had a bit longer grip.  I found myself often placing my hands at the end of the grip.  Another inch or two might have provided a bit more play in hand placement.

MISCELLANEOUS:  9 out of 10 – The putter was shipped to me directly from Bettinardi, well protected in the box.  It appeared to arrive in a timely shipping period, but I don’t know the exact amount of time it took from shipment to my doorstep.  My only complaint is the head cover.  The head cover is one that one would find on blade putters fitting snugly on the clubhead and closed with Velcro.  My personal preference would have been to have a mallet style headcover that closes firmly with a magnetic clasp.  I’ve just had too many headcovers with Velcro closures that wear out quickly and then won’t close properly and become loose fitting.

PLAY IT OR TRADE IT:  15 out of 20 – On this factor, I’m going to need more playing time with it to make this call – one detriment to having to shorten my testing due to the surgery.  When I start playing again in a few weeks, I am definitely going to have it in my bag.  I would say that I’m leaning toward “play it” than “trade it”.  At this point, I don’t know if I’m seeing any significant improvement in my putting, but I really like how easy it is to get the ball rolling on the intended line.  As mentioned before, I’ve virtually eliminated my wristiness through impact with this putter and if I can get more comfortable with my stroke path, I can see this putter as being a winner.  For others that have a difficult time keeping the putter face square, this style putter could be a worthwhile consideration. 

CONCLUSION:  The armlock putter style, and particularly this Bettinardi putter, is certainly a worthwhile consideration to anyone seeking something different in their putting.  Much like chest anchored and belly putters, this putter offers a way to have a more consistent stroke within the rules of golf.  Provided the end of the putter does not extend beyond the elbow, the armlock putter falls within the rules of golf.  The Bettinardi Armlock is an extremely well made putter, with striking good looks, and a solid feel at impact.  Armlock style aside, the putter is one of the better designed and made putters.  The milled steel with grooved facing provides a solid, yet soft, impact that produces immediate roll of the ball off the face and will roll true to the path.  While I didn’t have the opportunity to get as much play with it as others did, it’s definitely a contender to become my putter in my bag.  As soon as I am cleared to go back out to play, I will continue to experiment with this putter on the course and on the practice range. In short, I like the putter and the only thing that might keep it from being my go-to putter is how well I adapt to the different style of putting from what I’ve been doing the last 30 plus years.

FINAL SCORE: 85 out of 100

 

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Posted (edited)

OFFICIAL MGS FORUM REVIEW -BETTINARDI STUDIO STOCK #38 ARMLOCK PUTTER 

Stage 2 - 5-27-2019 by GB13

 

                            INTRO

 

Welcome back! I'd again like to thank Bettinardi and MGS for this testing opportunity. It has been an awesome test and a really fun review to write!

Back in Stage 1, I outlined the criteria this putter needed to meet to earn a permanent spot in my bag. They were:

 -Better Speed Control

 -Eliminate Wrist Hinge 

 -Slow Down My Tempo

 -Help On Short Putts

 -And Make More Putts

 

Has the Bettinardi SS#38 met those criteria? Well, after thousands of putts, 10 rounds, and a couple of "putter face offs", I've reached a decision. Read on to learn more! 

 

                             LOOKS

Classy, that's the best word to describe it. Beautiful would be the next word. The head is a beautiful, small, rounded mallet. It has a clear gloss finish, accented with royal blue paint fill, and a matching royal blue armlock grip. There was definitely a lot thought put into the details. From the polished satin, stepless shaft, to the matching royal blue headcover with an American flag, it's really looks like a boutique putter. Personally, I think this one of the best looking putters on the market, especially in the mid-mallet category. 

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The heel to toe width, is on the smaller side, definitely shorter than my B60. Obviously since it is a mallet, is does have a deeper (front to back) footprint, but it isn't obnoxious like some larger mallets can be. It's firmly in the mid-mallet category, but maybe a touch on the smaller side. I'd say the best comparison is a smaller, more rounded, Scotty Fastback, with softer lines. 

 

The alignment aid is a single line, however the milling on the cavity, does a great job or framing the ball. I did struggle with my alignment, and personally I set up too far to the right most of the time. I'm not sure how much this can be blamed on the putter, but that the alignment line isn't adequate (at least for me) might be something to keep in mind. 

 

 

Overall Looks Score - 9 out of 10

(Deductions - 1 point off for lack of clear alignment aid.)

 

                    SOUND AND FEEL

 

Since this is so subjective, this is probably the most difficult category in which to give a clear, helpful review, but I'll do my best. As a general rule, to me, performance comes first, but I use sound and feel as a tiebreaker is performance is the same or the difference is statistically insignificant. However sound and feel on a putter is more important to me than any other club, not sure why, but I think it has to do with needing extra confidence to putt well, and better sound and feel gives me more confidence. 

 

For reference, my B60 has a milled insert, so I'm coming from a putter that falls on the soft end of the spectrum, and with a sound that is a little metallic. I prefer a little firmer of a feel so I tend to shy away from inserts, but the B60 is such a solid putter, performance beat out feel. Sound is a little trickier, I usually like a muted click, (if that makes any sense?). So not really loud, but still crispy. 

 

One thing I discovered while testing is that the SS#38 sounds and feels way different depending on the ball that is used. I know this is a fairly common occurrence with putters, but the Betti seems to really exaggerate the differences. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I'm not really sure. My gamer is a Pro V1X so that is what I'm going to base this section on, but if you'd like my opinion on it with a different ball, just let me know, and I'll let you know. So far, the basic rule is; firmer = louder and clickier, while softer = more muted and dull. 

 

Bettinardi has claimed that they've added, "20% deeper grooves for an even softer feel at impact." Is it true? Well, maybe. It's tough because, softer than what? An unmilled block of steel? It is a milled putter, and feels like one. I wouldn't say it is a particularly soft milling either, but again, I like a firmer feel, so it doesn't bother me. I'd say the feel is similar to any milled Scotty, or Toulon maybe just a touch firmer, so if you like a milled feel, you won't be disappointed. 

 

Sound for me, ties very closely into feel, so much so that it can be difficult for me to make a large distinction between the two. The SS#38 sounds extremely crispy. No other word could be used to describe it. It's almost on the verge of clicky, but has a little more low end to turn the click into a crunch. If you use a softer ball, it definitely gets less crunchy/crispy. A softer ball produces a more muted thump.

 

This is all IF you hit the center of the face. If don't, well, expect drastic differences in sound and feel. Personally, I like some change in feedback so I know that I hit a bad putt, and where on the face I missed it, but this is borderline excessive. A toe miss sounds and sounds really clunky and it feels like you just hit a baseball instead of a golf ball. A heel miss is less noticeable, it still feels similar, maybe a little less "solid" than a sweet spot hit. It just sounds a little thinner, with less depth to the sound. It's still provides adequate feedback to notify you that you've missed the center of the face. I'd prefer feedback similar to the heel, when I miss off the toe.

All in all, I like the sound and feel of this putter when you hit it well, if I'm using a higher compression golf ball. If I'm using a lower compression golf ball, it isn't my favorite, but that is due to my sound and feel preferences. When you miss the sweet spot, heel is tolerable, but toe is very bad. It does provide good feedback as to where and how much you missed the center of the face. 

 

Overall Sound And Feel Score: 7 out of 10 

(Deductions - 0.5 for the sound with a softer ball, 0.5 for the sound on a heel miss, 1 for the sound on a toe miss, and 1 for the sound on a toe miss) 

 

Side Note: This score almost feels unfair, since this putter is so sweet when all of the variables are aligned properly. It's kind of like scoring a set of blades, how much do you weight the awesome feeling pured shots VS the ones that make your fingers go numb? It's a tough question to answer, but I tried to find a balance. 

 

 

                 Basic Characteristics

 

 

The Basic Characteristics (Accuracy, Distance Control, Stability, Forgiveness, and Playabilty) of the SS#38 seem to be fairly consistent with milled, low face tech putters, with certain exceptions due to the armlock style. I did do a couple of experiments to test accuracy, distance control, and performance from 3-5 feet (not a basic characteristic, but probably the biggest issue I wanted to address), the results of which I will outline below. 

 

I have found the SS#38 to be extremely accurate. The biggest issue with accuracy, after making a consistent stroke, for me, has been alignment. I had to change from a single Sharpie putting line to something that more closely resemble Egyptian Hieroglyphs than anything else. Yes, the single Sharpie line is much nicer looking. (See, it annoys me enough to have to add a picture about it.😡)

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Isn't the single Sharpie so much nicer looking?!?! Would that not annoy you? Grr! 

Anyway, clearly, I'm OCD. once I made the change to my new alignment aid, my accuracy has been impeccable.  I believe the extra two lines, which closely resemble Callaway's Triple Track, help me align the whole body of the putter, instead of single narrow line, to single narrow line. Is it real? Is it a placebo effect? Maybe, but it works, so I'm not gonna mess with it. 

 

To test accuracy farther, I set up a test, which I completed over five different days, rotating putters (B60 and SS#38) frequently throughout each testing session as to not get comfortable with one of them over the other. I found a level spot on the putting green, and set up a tee gate about five feet in front of me and hit 20 putts with each putter, seeing how many I could get through the gate. For reference on stroke length, I was attempting to hit each putt with about 10-12 feet of speed. Over all 5 sessions, the B60 went 72 out of 100. The SS#38 went 83 out of 100. So I averaged about an 11% improvement in accuracy with the SS#38. Pretty good if you ask me. I do believe most of the difference is due to the arm locking, not necessarily the putter itself. YMMV 

 

Distance control with the SS#38 has been a definite work in progress. Again mainly due to the armlock method. It was a significant adjustment to go from throttling putts by gauging how much of a wrist flick to learning how much I have to rock my shoulders to get the proper speed. At this point, I can say I'm definitely improving, but this is the main area I need to practice when on the putting green. 

 

My test for distance control was performed very similarly to the accuracy test, but I was seeing how close I could get the ball to a marked spot about 40 feet away. (Slightly uphill as there were no flat sections this long on the green I used.) 

This time, the B60 averaged 5.4 feet away, while the SS#38 averaged 6.1 feet away. However, most of the damage was done in the first session for the Betti, in which I averaged 14.4 feet away. This was the first day I had the putter on the green, so removing that outlier, this test ends up in a statistical draw. I'm still working on my speed control especially from slightly farther away where my average would go up. A lot. 

 

The SS#38 isn't particularly stable for a mallet, due to its smaller footprint, especially on shorter putts. This very well may be due to my quicker tempo throwing the putter off-balance, but I really don't have confidence that the SS#38 will produce a smooth stable stroke, especially from 6 feet and in. Outside of 6 feet, the SS#38 is very steady, and has no tendency to waiver. 

 

Again, I conducted a test almost identical to the other two, but this time, I hit 3 footers exclusively. That was one of my main goals to improved upon, and it's time to see if the Betti delivered. (At least in a controlled environment.) Well, it improved upon the B60 by a score of: 83 to 72 out of 100 total. So the Betti won this round, but I still feel like I could/should make more in this range. At this point, it is probably more of a practice issue than equipment problem. So even though I "feel" the Betti waiver, it still performs better. I guess this is a case of feel isn't real. 

 

In terms of forgiveness, the SS#38 has decent MOI, but it isn't a huge chunk of heavy metal that has crazy high MOI either. Anyway, MOI is just one method of quantifying forgiveness, not the end all be all. If it were, everyone would use a high MOI mallet. Mini-rant aside, the Betti is pretty average for forgiveness across the face, although toe hits do have a tendency to struggle. Heel hits usually go about the same distance, but there is no corrective groove tech to bring them back online, so they do wander off right. Toe hits, fall a little left, but it really doesn't matter, because if you hit it off the toe, it isn't getting to the hole. "But what if you would have hit 10 feet by?" Nope, not gonna happen, still short. Long story short, if you have a consistent toe miss, this isn't the putter for you, so keep on looking. 

 

How does the Betti do out of fringe or around greens with big slopes? Well, pretty darn good. It puts amazing forward roll on the ball. My only guess to why is the milling. Those grooves are SHARP!! And I mean cut yourself sharp. Like, ridiculously sharp for a knife...err putter. It's insane. (Maybe I am too for rambling on about these grooves.😁) Whatever it is, if you have positive AOA, those grooves want to get the ball rolling ASAP, and that leads to excellent playability around the greens. It really reduces hopping and helps the ball "cut" through the longer grass. It's tough to see in the picture, but trust me, the grooves are there, and they are super sharp.

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It's difficult to condense all of that information into one score, but I'll do my best. 

Accuracy - Alignment is a concern if you don't like using an "crazy" aid, but otherwise impeccable.

Distance Control - A definite adjustment if you have a wristy stroke, but once you get used to it, I think you'll see an improvement. 

Stability - Amazing outside 6 feet, inside of 6' it gets a little wobbly. 

Forgiveness - Heel miss is okay, toe miss isn't. 

Playability - Did I mention sharp grooves? Yeah, it's incredible around the greens. 

 

Overall Basic Characteristics Score:  15 out of 20

(Deductions: 1 for alignment, 1 for stability inside 6', and 3 for forgiveness off the toe.)

 

               On-Course Performance

 

Well, on course performance is the single biggest deciding factor for me as to whether a club goes into the bag... or not. Did the Betti perform well enough to earn a spot in my bag? Short answer, yes. Long answer, Hell yeah!  Let's dive deeper into why the Betti made this such an easy decision. 

 

First and foremost, my putting stats improved, my number of putts per round went down 4.1 and my total feet of putts made went up 247%! 😍 And the crazy thing about it, is I'm not doing anything super special! I'm just not missing as many putts that I know I should make! That 6 footer straight up the hill, now I have the confidence that'll I'll make it. Before, I was just hoping to not make a really big error and leave myself a 3 footer back down the hill. It's just been crazy, to not actually be putting out of my mind, but be posting numbers like this with my putter. 

 

Now for the other big question, is this the armlock style or the Betti itself leading to this gain? Well, I'd say it is a combo. I'd say it's 75-25 in favor of the armlock. Don't get me wrong, Bettinardi made an incredible putter, and while that isn't at all surprising, I just think the armlock has made the larger difference. It really has given me the confidence to make the pressure putts. I used to be terrified putting in tournaments, but now, I want to be on the green, and shoot a low score that way. I no longer feel like my ball striking has to be perfect for me to play well. It's really improved all facets of my game, by taking the pressure off and letting me "play my game". 

 

I really love the face milling pattern, and I hope Bettinardi continues using it on future iterations of this putter. It just gives me such great confidence that I'll get a good roll on every putt. However, I wish this putter could be a touch more forgiving on mishits. I don't know how to achieve this without changing the milling, but hopefully someone much smarter than me can figure it out. At this rate though, the lack of forgiveness hasn't impacted my putting stats negatively, so I can't complain too much. 

 

Overall, the Betti performed admirably on course. I feel like I should have made this section longer, but I can't say much that those two little numbers can't. It just performs well. I just feel that little spark of magic that you can't quite put your finger on and can't even really write about.

 

Overall On-Course Performance Score: 30 out of 30

I mean, even with my nitpicking observations, I can't argue with numbers, and numbers say it's about as good as I can get, so I don't feel like I can justifiably take any points off. 

 

                       Miscellaneous 

 

Two thing stand out for me as something I need to add here. Bettinardi's quick shipping/order processing, and the darn headcover. 

 

First off, Bettinardi's turn-around time is incredible, given that they were presented with custom specs, and are a smaller company. Their shipping time and total order time is on par with any large OEM. It's very impressive. 

 

Now about that headcover. 😡 It is a beautiful, handcrafted, leather piece, embroidered with an American flag. (A detail which I love.) But is is TOO SMALL!!!! And it's VELCRO!!!! I initially thought it would stretch out but I truly knew even if it did; it would never be enough. I can now get it on and off without a *significant* struggle, but it's still a hassle. Everything was so well thought out, and no one thought to check the headcover dimensions! It's just annoying! 

 

Overall Miscellaneous Score: 8 out of 10

 (Deductions: 5 off for that darned headcover, but plus 3 for great customer service.) 

 

                     Play It Or Trade It

 

The SS#38 firmly locked into my bag now. It just flat out performs. Do I think $450 is worth it for this putter? If you are able to afford it, yes, but if not, I definitely recommend looking for a cheaper armlock too. It may not be quite as good, but the armlock style is amazing. It's remarkably consistent, and even if you don't end up gaming it, it could really be a great training aid, if you have a little too much wrist action in your stroke. I will say, that if you try an armlock, don't expect much until you've really gotten comfortable with it. It does have a adjustment period, for me, about 2,000 putts (about a weeks practice), for me to feel confident and comfortable. But, it was all worth it! I'm putting better than I ever have, so in the bag it goes! 

 

Overall Play It Or Trade It Score: 20 out of 20

Again, I can't argue with numbers, it HAS to go in the bag. Would have liked there to be less of an adjustment period? Yes, but I think it actually trained the wrist hinge out of my stroke, without me realizing it, so I think even that helped. 

 

                        Conclusion

 

Back in Stage 1, I outlined five goals that I had for the SS#38. 

 

 -Better Speed Control - Well, that's kind of a toss up, but I can see the speed control improving with every practice session. 

 -Eliminate Wrist Hinge - This is the main benefit of the armlock, and it has blown away my expectations of LM this goal. 

 -Slow Down My Tempo - Ehh, maybe a little, but at this point, it hasn't become a problem, so I'm not going to worry too much about it. 

 -Help On Short Putts - Still some meat left on the bone here, I think this one ties closely into the tempo goal, so I'll keep working on it. 

 -And Make More Putts - Absolutely! 247% more feet of putts made!  If that isn't making more putts, I don't know what is! 

 

 The SS#38 beautifully milled putter with a classic look and design. It is very accurate, and the armlock style makes distance control easier. Forgiveness is the main feature that I find lacking, toe hits are severely punished. I'd recommend that you at least try the armlock style once, as I think it can have a significant positive impact on your putting, once you get past the initial adjustment period. In the end, I made 247% more feet of putts, so who knows how much it can help your putting...

It's so good, it almost feels like cheating. 

 

Final Score: 89 out of 100

Edited by GB13
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My stage 1 is up! 

Please let me know if you have any questions, or any things you want tested. 

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Nice work GB! You said you’re still putting conventional with the Betti. Is this how most guys putt with this type of putter or do they use claw, left hand low, etc?


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8 minutes ago, Wedgie said:

Nice work GB! You said you’re still putting conventional with the Betti. Is this how most guys putt with this type of putter or do they use claw, left hand low, etc?


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Well, I'm putting with an overlap grip, which is what I use on all shots, the only difference from my normal is the shaft running up the left forearm.  

I can't say how most people who putt armlock putt, but my guess is it's mostly "conventional". I can't say I've ever seen anyone putt left hand low with an armlock and I understand why, if the putter shaft is running up the forearm, you can't grip all the way around club with your right hand. The claw is the only other grip I've commonly seen used. I tried it but I started using my right hand to control the putter face too much. I am able to release the putter head very naturally with the convential grip, so that is why I've stuck with the traditional grip. 

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Great start so far GB.


How does the putter/arm relation feel after contact? It seems with the putter shaft running up the left forearm, the left wrist stays locked through the entire putting motion. How is that feel for you?




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1 hour ago, deejaid said:

Great start so far GB.


How does the putter/arm relation feel after contact? It seems with the putter shaft running up the left forearm, the left wrist stays locked through the entire putting motion. How is that feel for you?




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Honestly, it feels great. It feels like you have less variability in your putting stroke. It's one of those things that is very hard to adequately describe, you just have to do it to understand, but I have no complaints about it at all. It seems very stable and the follow through is not uncomfortable once you get past the initial adjustment period. 

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15 hours ago, deejaid said:

Great start so far GB.


How does the putter/arm relation feel after contact? It seems with the putter shaft running up the left forearm, the left wrist stays locked through the entire putting motion. How is that feel for you?




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I actually like the feel of the shaft against the forearm and it provides some really good feedback.  The left wrist indeed does stay locked in position and if you do get flippy with the wrist, the shaft will move away from your forearm and you'll get that feedback telling you so.  As I was out testing it the other day, I handed it to several of my friends.  Immediately, they tried to use it as you would a conventional putter, with the shaft pointing to the belly.  When I explained how to properly hold it to them, they gave it one quick try and said they didn't like it.  Of course, they didn't properly stroke it and the shaft did move away from their forearm as they flipped their hands through impact.  Point being, like any change, you have to repeat it several times before it becomes familiar.

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Nice start everyone.

I must admit, I am really interested in seeing how this style of putting works for all of you. I’d hoped to be selected for testing but since a I wasn’t I decided to make my own armlock out of an old Ping CU5.

One thing I noticed is the lie angle needs to be more upright for the shaft to lock with my forearm. Second is I had to change how I addressed the ball. Usually I like the ball under my left eye for all my shots, but I had to put the ball further back in my stance with the arm lock design.

I look forward to hearing more from you all!


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