To be fair, this is a somewhat untested review, but I will try to keep the smilies to a minimum to convey how serious my feelings on this putter are. I got my putter too late in the season to give it too much of a go, but I’m betting dollars to donuts that it will be in the bag for quite a while, so I’ll follow up when I get more experience.
For pics click on the link in my signature—again, dollars to donuts it’s still there. My putter is a DASS BB18, Tour Special Southpaw, 27/30 made on 10.6.02. Headweight is 360 grams, currently on a 35” shaft—but I’ll be getting it cut down soon enough (still hesitant to ship and I want to get it cut down either by TKS or Studio B).
Seriously, I couldn’t design a putter better (yes, a big, fat, understated no-s***-sherlock) and wouldn’t change a thing on this one. I love the shaft-over hosel and the minimalized half-shaft offset. The thick top line and finely satinized finish is a perfect balance of bling without the blind—you know from sunlight. The face looks money—I honestly don’t know if the honeycombing has any real world effects, but I can’t eyeball the difference in flatness between forged, cast, and other milled putters. But like the rest of this putter, the face is just one more example of the meticulous attention that Mr. Bettinardi gives his putters (personally, I love the hosel millings too).
For my money, 360 some-odd grams at 33” is about as good as you can get in stainless. This provides the perfect balance of tracking and distance control (look at that, something I learned on the David Mills chat, or at least the articulation—thanks again golfWRX). To be fair, this putter feels VERY similar to my Von’s putter (365g @ 33”, SSS anser-style putter), but what is VERY industrial in the Von’s is VEERRY finished in the Bettinardi. Appearance does affect perceived feel, so the nod definitely goes to the Bett. Also the DASS does have what I like to call the price-tag dampening effect so very good feel.
Honestly, this is where I can’t fairly qualify this putter, too early in the game. Putting green and carpet putts, I can’t miss.
However, it does get a definite nod over the Von’s, which has been my steady backup for over a year so I am very confident that this one will work for me very well.
In addition to the performance factor, the bling factor in this putter definitely keeps me from looking elsewhere. The only putter I really want, really badly (well, TP Mills, but that don’t count) is a backup BB18 from TKSputters.com. Which is another one of the intangible benefits of this putter. Although I didn’t get my putter through him, Todd S. has been incredibly helpful in providing stats and background on my putter. He also hooked me up with a couple Tour-Only/Japanese-released covers. Very great support from Todd S. and Robert Bettinardi. It shows the faith they have in their product, which helps weak-minded souls like me to have faith as well.
For me, it doesn’t get better. I was extremely fortunate to be able to pick mine up for what I did. Right now, I couldn’t afford to pick up a backup, but am comfortable enough to use my Von’s for when I travel. When Slighter is able to flip the Bellevue to the South-Side I’ll look into that as my travel putter (made as close to spec as possible to the BB18). But if I ever get famous, and any of you is asked to pick the Holy Putter of which I played Indiana Jones-style—you guys can now choose wisely.