Pros: Bold alignment features. Aluminum F.I.T. Face creates a soft feel at impact. Great size and shape.
Cons: No adjustable weights.
Who it’s for: Anyone can use an Inovai 3.0. It will be preferred by golfers who like mallet putters, even more so by golfers in search of greater stroke stability.
- Weight: 358 grams
- Material: 6061 Aluminum/303 Stainless Steel
- Finish: Black Anodized/Hand Polished Stainless
- Face Milling: F.I.T. (Feel Impact Technology) Face
- Stock Lie/Loft: 71 degrees, 2 degrees
- Stock Length Options: 33, 34, 35 inches
- Stock Grip: Lamkin Deep-Etched Paddle, Lamkin Deep Etched Jumbo, SuperStroke options
The Inovai 3.0 is also available in center-shafted and counter-balanced ($349) models.
Like most readers of GolfWRX, I change putters frequently. In fact, quite frequently. In my defense, however, I spent a great deal of time fiddling around with different shapes to determine if I am a “blade” or “mallet” guy.
Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a blade guy – and why not? Blade putters look cool and next to flushing a forged 7-iron, there is no better feeling than holing a snaking 30-footer with a pure blade. Unfortunately for me, launch monitors, video playback, instructors and ultimately results have all steered me into mallet putters. Now that I know who I am, I can assure you that I have invested a great deal of time searching for the perfect mallet.
From Guerin Rife 2-Bar putters to TaylorMade Spiders to Scotty Cameron Futuras to recently an Odyssey #7, I am a purveyor of high-MOI putters because of their great stability and consistency. Throw in a soft feel at impact, and I am really hooked.
Based on these personal putter preferences, you can understand why my interest was especially piqued when I first saw Bettinardi’s new Inovai 3.0 (pronounced in-o-vai).
If Looks Could Kill
Without even as much as holding the putter, it appeared to check all of the required boxes to make it in my bag. The first thing that sucked me in was the Inovai 3.0 stainless steel “wings,” which act as a mechanism to help move weight more rearward to create what the company calls the “perfect head weight.” For me, I just like the wings because it frames the ball and helps with alignment. But I’m not going to argue with “perfect” head weight, either.
Next, the body of the Inovai 3.0 is not too busy (like some high-MOI putters), nor is it too small, which in my mind defeats the purpose of a high performance mallet. In the words of the fictional character Goldilocks, the size of the Inovai 3.0 is “just right.”
If the shape of the Inovai 3.0 doesn’t draw you in, perhaps you will fall for the black anodized finish or the hand-polished 303 stainless steel weight bolted to the aluminum chassis. The concept of affixing a stainless steel section to a specific portion of the body is not a new concept for Bettinardi. The original Inovai also employs a hefty piece of steel to assist with weight and stability. This stainless steel back weight creates added density giving the user a solid, proportionately weighted weapon for the greens.
As seen on TOUR
Bettinardi refers to the Inovai 3.0’s shape shape as the “newest tour-proven shape.” If you don’t believe them, tune into Golf Channel and you will see many equipment companies with their interpretation of this shape. Everything about this shape just seems to work. Maybe the secret is out and this shape will soon overtake the unforgiving (yet beautiful) blade putters?
What about the face? The Inovai 3.0 has a sleek, all-black face. Upon further inspection, the construction is Bettinardi’s proprietary F.I.T (Feel-Impact-Technology) face. According to the company, 55 percent of material is removed directly from the putter face during the milling process, creating the softest feel of any Bettinardi face finish. Typically, a soft, responsive feel is a mandate for those playing at the highest level. To no one’s surprise, the F.I.T. face is engineered for the golfers who have an “aggressive” putting style, and used by all of Bettinardi’s PGA Tour players.
Alignment, Alignment, Alignment
Perhaps one of the reasons that this shape continues to attract Tour players is because of its inherent alignment benefits. The stainless steel “wings” provide critical mass to stabilize the putter, but also double as an effective way to frame the ball at address. Look closely and you will also notice two subtle black lines on each wing. Throw in a half-inch, solid white line that stretches to the leading edge of the putter and you have an excellent chance of starting a putt on the desired line.
On the Green
Before I even struck a ball with the Inovai 3.0, I wanted to like it. I wanted to impart a smooth strike to the center of the ball and watch it roll end-over-end into the hole with precision and ease. After all, this is the shape I like to see at address. I dropped three balls on the green and alternated between 3-footers, 6-footers and 10-footers. As expected, the short putts dropped with ease as I was able to rely on the intuitive alignment features for added confidence. When employing a longer stroke, the ball rolled beautifully and reliably to the hole. Even on off-center strikes, the roll was consistent.
Not to be forgotten is the choice in grip. For the Inovai 3.0 putters, Bettinardi offers a traditional Lamkin paddle grip – a perfect choice to manage the weight of the head. For those seeking a thicker grip, a jumbo paddle grip is offered.
The Inovai 3.0 isn’t just flash or gimmick. The mix of milled aluminum and stainless steel gives, while providing the necessary size and mass to deliver a solid and reliable strike. The soft F.I.T. face provides incredible feedback and is a no-brainer for those who like a soft feel, as well as those who prefer completely milled putters
Overall, the iNOVAi 3.0 is worth a look if you are a purveyor of mallet putters or simply a frustrated blade guy. Personally speaking, the Inovai 3.0 has everything I am want and for that reason, is in the bag for the 2016 season.
Editor’s Note: Several GolfWRX Staff Members contributed to this review.
- Behind the scenes at Bettinardi HQ
- Bettinardi launches new BB Series, unveils Inovai 3.0
- Bettinardi releases 10 new putters for 2015
- 10 awesome photos from Bettinardi’s 2015 Summer Social