Pros: The BB55 feels very stable and smooth during the stroke. The three sight lines and bulbous side panels nicely frame the ball at address. Counter-balanced model available.
Cons: For an aluminum putter it actually feels pretty good, but it’s still aluminum. No custom weight options.
The Bottom Line: The BB55 is cleaner-looking than a lot of high-MOI putters, with a feel that’s at the top of its class for its aluminum construction.
Bettinardi’s BB55 putter is milled from a solid block of 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum, but unlike most of the company’s putters it incorporates a multi-material design to boost tits moment of inertia to new heights. The “smooth rolling side panels,” as Bettinardi calls them, house weight plugs that drive the putter’s center of gravity (CG) rearward in the head. That can help smooth out a golfer’s stroke, and adds stability to the putter head on off-center strikes, creating more consistent ball speeds across the face.
The BB55 is available in two versions: a standard-length model and a counter-balanced (CB) model, both of which are face-balanced. The standard-length putter ($299) has a head weight of 358 grams, 5 grams heavier than the company’s other BB Series putters. It comes stock with a Pure Grip made custom for Bettinardi in either standard or midsize.
The BB55 CB ($349) comes stock at 38 inches with a 17-inch Winn grip made custom for Bettinardi that weighs 135 grams. Its head weight is 395 grams.
Each of the putters has Bettinardi’s F.I.T. (Feel Impact Technology) face, a face-milling pattern that removes about 45 percent of the face material from the impact area on the putter face to soften the feel at impact.
The BB55 putters have what Bettinardi calls a Champagne Bronze Anodized finish, and come stock with a specially fitted red, white and blue leather head cover. They’re available in right- and left-handed models from select retailers, as well as direct from http://www.bettinardi.com/
Team Bettinardi says that the B55 is the company’s highest MOI putter to date, and my experience with the putter makes it hard to dispute that. With the BB55, there’s a feeling of very little effort during the stroke. Once I got the putter started back, the BB55 wanted to do the rest, gliding back and through toward the target. That could be nightmarish for a feel putter with a lot of arc in his or her stroke, but let’s face it: if you’re looking at high-MOI putters like the BB55, you’re probably looking for a putter that simplifies things.
The counter-balanced model, the BB55 CB, was particularly enjoyable to use. The head felt lighter than Bettinardi’s other counter-balanced putters, the BB1 CB and BB32 CB, and swung with an ease with that minimized my concern about the release. The two 39.5-gram weight plugs added to the rear corners of the putter seemed to help me accelerate the putter on the forward swing and square up its face at impact.
Looks and Feel
The most important part of the BB55’s design from its sales perspective will likely be its F.I.T. face, which is made up of grooves that are milled on the impact area that help soften the sound and feel at impact. There have been some awful sounding high-MOI putters made in the past, and thankfully the BB55 is not one of them. It still has a “tink” rather than a “thwack” at impact, but the F.I.T. face gives the BB55 one of the most subdued sounds I’ve encountered from an aluminum putter.
Visually, the BB55 scored points with me because of its lack of sharp edges, which is impressive because of its shape. It’s basically a square that is milled not to look like one, starting with the parenthesis-shaped transition between its top line and body. The sides of the putters are also rounded, as are the cutaways in the middle of the putter and on the back of the flange, which pinches the rear of the putter head inward toward the face. That “pinch” creates a feeling that the putter wants to keep moving forward — never a bad thing over a short putt.
As for sight lines, there are two of them placed about the width of a golf ball away from each other on the top line of the putter. Those and the longer, single sight line on the body of the putter create what Bettinardi calls “Triple Vertical” sight lines, which are effective at helping a golfer center the ball on the putter face and square the face to the target.
Golfers won’t see it at address, but Bettinardi added a milled, red-and-blue anodized insert to the cavity of the putter that creates a nice “pop” between it and the BB55’s champagne bronze anodized finish when viewed from behind.
The Bottom Line
The BB55 is yet another attractive option from Bettinardi to help golfers find the quickest way to get the ball in the hole. If it’s too large or too goofy looking for you, remember that the company also makes two Kuchar-style “Arm Lock” putters used by none other than Matt Kuchar (click here to read our full review), as well as two additional counter-balanced putters that have more classic shapes (click here to read about them).
The BB55 will face plenty of stiff competition in the high-MOI putter category in 2014, but it’s high-quality construction, subdued sound and handsome matte finish will allow the B55 to more than hold its own.
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Blade vs. mallet: What style putters do the top-50 players in the world use? (2022 update)
Four years ago, I wrote an article where I analyzed the putters that the top-50 players in the world were using, and the top-50 players in strokes gained: putting. I wanted to find out whether more mallet-style putters, or blade-style putters, were being used by the world’s best.
In 2018, I found that 44 percent of the top-50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings were using mallet style putters, and 56 percent of the top-50 in strokes gained: putting were using mallet putters.
Flash forward to 2022, and it would seem that more and more top golfers are switching into mallet putters – Scottie Scheffler, for example, just switched into a mallet putter after using a blade-style putter throughout his career.
What are the actual numbers, though? Are more top PGA Tour players really using mallet putters these days, or is the shift overblown?
I wanted to find out.
For my research, I simply went through the most recent GolfWRX WITB photos, and the most recent photos on Getty Images, to figure out what style putter each player in the Top-50 in the OWGR is using, as well as each Top-50 player in strokes gained: putting on the PGA Tour for the 2021-22 season.
Below are the results:
Top-50 in OWGR: Blade or Mallet?
Mallet putter users, 62 percent (31 out of 50)
Rory McIlroy (No. 1: TaylorMade Spider Tour Hydroblast)
Scottie Scheffler (No. 2: Scotty Cameron T-5.5 Proto)
Patrick Cantlay (No. 4: Scotty Cameron T5 Proto)
Jon Rahm (N0. 5: Odyssey Rossie S White Hot OG)
Xander Schauffele (No. 6: Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red)
Will Zalatoris (No. 7: Scotty Cameron Circle T Phantom X T-11 Proto)
Justin Thomas (No. 8: Scotty Cameron T5 Proto Tour-Only custom)
Viktor Hovland (No. 11: Ping PLD DS 72)
Sam Burns (No. 12: Odyssey O-Works 7S)
Billy Horschel (No. 16: Ping PLD Sigma 2 Tyne 4)
Cameron Young (No. 17: Scotty Cameron T5 prototype)
Max Homa (No. 18: Scotty Cameron Phantom X T5.5 Prototype)
Sungjae Im (No. 20: Scotty Cameron Flowback 5 Prototype)
Shane Lowry: (No. 21: Odyssey DFX 2-ball)
Abraham Ancer (No. 23: Odyssey White Hot No. 5 Stroke Lab)
Keegan Bradley (No. 25: Odyssey Versa Jailbird)
Sepp Straka (No. 27: Odyssey Tuttle Stroke Lab)
Tyrrell Hatton (No. 28: Ping Vault Oslo)
Kevin Kisner (No. 29: Odyssey 2-Ball 11)
Dustin Johnson (No. 30: TaylorMade Spider GT Black)
Corey Conners (No. 31: Ping PLD Prototype)
Tom Hoge (No. 32: TaylorMade Spider X Hydroblast)
K.H. Lee (No. 33: Odyssey Works Versa 2-ball)
Adam Scott (No. 34: L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 prototype)
Aaron Wise (No. 36: TaylorMade Ghost)
Brian Harman (No. 37: TaylorMade OS CB)
Daniel Berger (No. 43: TaylorMade Spider X Hydroblast)
Jason Kokrak (No. 44: Bettinardi Studio Stock 38)
Harold Varner III (No. 46: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S)
Seamus Power (No. 48: Ping PLD3 Mallet)
Harris English (No. 49: Ping Scottsdale Hohum)
Blade putter users, 38 percent (19 out of 50)
Cameron Smith (No. 3: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype)
Collin Morikawa (No. 9: TaylorMade TP Soto)
Matt Fitzpatrick (No. 10: Bettinardi DASS Prototype)
Jordan Spieth (No. 13: Scotty Cameron 009 tour prototype)
Tony Finau (No. 14: Ping PLD Prototype)
Joohyung “Tom” Kim (No. 15: Scotty Cameron TourType GSS Prototype)
Hideki Matsuyama (No. 19: Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS)
Joaquin Niemann (No. 22: Prototype Ping PLD Anser)
Tommy Fleetwood (No. 24: TaylorMade TP Juno)
Ryan Fox (No. 26: Ping Anser 2D)
Thomas Pieters (No. 35: Scotty Cameron Squareback Select 2 Tour Only)
Talor Gooch (No. 38: Odyssey Tri-Hot Two)
Brooks Koepka (No. 39: Scotty Cameron Teryllium TNP2)
Kevin Na (No. 40: Odyssey Toulon Madison)
Kurt Kitayama (No. 41: Scotty Cameron Newport prototype)
Louis Oosthuizen (No. 42: Ping Vault 2.0 Voss)
Mito Pereira (No. 45: Ping Vault 2.0 Dale Anser Stealth)
Paul Casey (No. 47: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype)
Alex Noren (No. 50: Odyssey O-Works 1W)
Top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting
Mallet users: 70 percent (35 of 50 players)
Lucas Herbert (No. 1: TaylorMade Spider X Hydroblast)
Denny McCarthy (No. 2: Scotty Cameron GoLo N7)
Tyrrell Hatton (No. 4: Ping Vault Oslo)
Beau Hossler (No. 5: Odyssey 2-Ball Ten)
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (No. 6: Odyssey White Hot OG #7)
Kelly Kraft (No. 7: Odyssey Versa 1-ball Red Prototype)
Kevin Kisner (No. 9: Odyssey 2-ball 11)
Sam Burns (No. 10: Odyssey O-Works 7S)
Martin Trainer (No. 12: Scotty Cameron Circle T Prototype Phantom T12)
Chesson Hadley (No. 13: Odyssey White Hot OG 2-Ball)
Mackenzie Hughes (No. 14: Ping Scottsdale TR Piper C)
Rory McIlroy (No. 16: TaylorMade Spider Tour Hydroblast)
Ian Poulter (No. 17: Scotty Cameron T-11 Proto)
Justin Rose (No. 20: Axis1 Rose Prototype)
Billy Horschel (No. 21: Ping PLD Sigma 2 Tyne 4)
Matthew Wolff (No. 23: TaylorMade GT Notchback)
Adam Long (No. 24: Scotty Cameron T5 Proto)
Viktor Hovland (No. 25: Ping PLD DS 72)
Max Homa (No. 27: Scotty Cameron Phantom X T5.5 Prototype)
Patrick Cantlay (T28: Scotty Cameron T5 Proto)
Jon Rahm (T28: Odyssey Rossie S White Hot OG)
Wyndham Clark (No. 31: Scotty Cameron T5 Proto)
Xander Schauffele (No. 32: Odyssey O-Works #7 CH Red)
Vince Whaley (No. 33: Odyssey White Hot OG #7)
Rory Sabbatini (No. 34: Scotty Cameron Flowback Prototype)
Austin Cook (T35: Ping Sigma G Tyne)
Sungjae Im (No. 37: Scotty Cameron Flowback 5 Prototype)
Andrew Putnam (No. 38: Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Rossie)
Sepp Straka (No. 39: Odyssey Tuttle Stroke Lab)
Seamus Power (No. 40: Ping PLD3 Mallet)
J.T. Poston (T41: Scotty Cameron GoLo 5 Black Tour Prototype)
Adam Scott (T41: L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 prototype)
Troy Merritt (No. 43: Yes! C-Groove Mollie Tour)
Jason Kokrak (T46: Bettinardi Studio Stock 38)
Mark Hubbard (No. 50: Odyssey Metal X Milled #9HT)
Blade users: 30 percent (15 of 50)
Brendon Todd (No. 3: Sik Pro C-Series)
Cameron Smith (No. 8: Scotty Cameron 009M Prototype)
Matt Kuchar (No. 11: Bettinardi Tour Department SS28 DASS)
Marc Leishman (No. 15: Odyssey Versa #6)
Alex Noren (No. 18: Odyssey O-Works 1W)
Maverick McNealy (No. 19: Toulon Stanford MM Custom)
Matt Fitzpatrick (No. 22: Bettinardi DASS Prototype)
Tommy Fleetwood (No. 26: TaylorMade TP Juno)
Patrick Rodgers (No. 30: Odyssey Toulon San Diego)
Seung-Yul Noh (T35: Scotty Cameron Select Prototype)
Scott Stallings (No. 44: Scotty Cameron Newport 2.6 Prototype)
Brooks Koepka (No. 45: Scotty Cameron Teryllium TNP2)
Justin Lower (T46: PXG Prototype)
Richy Werenski (No. 48: Scotty Cameron Circle T Prototype)
Patrick Reed (No. 49: Odyssey White Hot Pro #3)
In 2018, 44 percent of the top-50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings were using mallet style putters, and 56 percent of the top-50 in strokes gained: putting were using mallet putters.
In 2022, 62 percent of the top-50 players in the OWGR use mallet style putters, and 70 percent of the top-50 in strokes gained: putting were using mallet style putters.
What do you think this means?
To me, it means that each golfer should try as many putters as possible – under the supervision of a professional fitter or local club professional – and find the best possible putter to fit their stroke style and preferences.
REVIEW: Ping’s new PLD (Putting Lab Design) putters for 2022
Not every golfer has access to custom-built golf putters like PGA Tour players do, but with Ping’s new PLD (Putting Lab Design) program, they can get pretty darn close.
Through the newly launched website, pingpld.com, golfers will have access to precision milled putters like the ones seen on Tour, and they can even customize their own putter with a Tour-level fitting experience either online or in person.
There’s three essential levels to the new PLD program: PLD Custom, PLD Limited and PLD Milled. Each of the levels comes with different putter options at differing price points.
“The PLD program allows us to bring golfers more of what we do best – design and build the highest-performing custom putters in the game,” said Ping President John K. Solheim, in a press release. “It offers nearly endless possibilities. Golfers can craft their own custom design through PLD Custom, choose the proven performance of a PLD Milled model or add to their putter collection by acquiring a PLD Limited. It gives golfers a chance to play what the pros play and own a piece of Ping history.”
“We established the PLD name several years ago as an extension of the PING Putting Lab,
where we’ve been fitting some of the top players in the world for more than 20 years,” said
Solheim. “Until now, access to the master fitters who deliver these custom putter experiences has been limited to the best players in the game. We can now bring golfers what they’ve been asking for either through a virtual or in-person experience.”
Below, we go further in-depth on each of the three options within the PLD program.
Ping PLD Milled
PGA Tour players such as Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau and Bubba Watson use Ping PLD precision milled putters, and now consumers will have access to those Tour-proven putters.
Each of the heads (Anser, Anser 2, DS72 and Prime Tyne 4) are machine milled from forged 303 stainless steel. Ping offers a breakdown of the specs for each available model, which will sell for $485 each:
Matte Black finish
Ping black graphite shaft
Lie Angle: 20° +/- 4°
Loft: 3° +3°/- 2°
Chrome stepless steel shaft
Lie Angle: 20° +/- 4°
Loft: 3° +3°/- 2°
Chrome stepless steel shaft
Lie Angle: 20° +/- 2°
Loft: 3° +3°/- 2°
Prime Tyne 4
Aerospace grade, machined aluminum hosel
Matte Black finish
Matte-black stepless steel shaft
Lie Angle: 20° +/- 4°
Loft: 3° +3°/- 2°
“The PLD Milled is an exciting addition to our putter line,” said John K. Solheim. “We’ve
identified a couple of our most popular models from the past and some newer designs that have attracted a lot of attention in the last couple of years. We’ve given the new putters a very clean, premium look to emphasize the precision process they undergo before they are ready for play. As we collaborate on new designs with our engineers and tour staff through the PLD program, we’ll add new models to bring golfers the latest in tour-proven performance on the putting green.”
Ping PLD Limited
Ping’s PLD Limited will feature periodic limited-edition releases consisting of either putters that are played on Tour, or iconic designs from history. According to Ping, these putters are mostly targeted toward collectors, so they will have serialized numbers and will not be available for custom modifications.
For its first release ($790), Ping developed a 2022 version of the original Ping Anser, celebrating the 55th Anniversary of receiving the original Anser Patent on March 21, 1967.
“A lot of time has passed since the invention of the Anser putter,” said John A. Solheim, Ping’s Chairman & CEO and the youngest son of Karsten Solheim, who designed the original putter. “We think it’s important to remind the golf industry and some of the younger golfers that the iconic design they see with other brands’ name on it was created by Karsten in his garage in the mid-1960s. I was fortunate to be at his side building the first Ansers, and continued to do so for many years. It’s time Karsten gets the credit he deserves for inventing the Anser putter.”
Ping PLD Custom
The highest level in the Ping PLD program feature the PLD Custom putters, where golfers can customize their own designs with either the help of a Ping Master fitter in person, or virtually through the PLD program online. To help golfers find their perfect putter, they will use the PLD iPing putting app, and a Ping Master fitter will analyze the player’s data to recommend a putter.
Then, golfers can fully customize the putter to their liking, with ability to change head model, Tungsten weighting, face milling, finish, alignment aids, stampings and paint fill. Ping’s Master Fitters will also help golfers get the correct length, lie angle and loft for their stroke and biometrics.
The putters themselves will sell for $1,290, and a $200 non-refundable payment is required to schedule and participate in a PLD Custom Fitting, whether it’s virtually or in person.
Personally, I received a Ping PLD Custom Fitting in-person at the company’s indoor facility in Phoenix, Arizona. After identifying my stroke flaws (of which there many) using Ping’s iPing putting app, I tried out a slew of different head options and we made head adjustments along the way to figure out what truly works. Here were my final specs:
Head model: Ping Anser
Weight: 350 grams
Alignment line/dot: None
Stamping: “T” on the hosel
Length: 35.5 inches
Shaft: Chrome Stepless Steel
Grip: PP58 Black Midsize
What blew me away most was how impactful length and lie angle can be on comfort at address and stroke pattern. Even minor changes felt drastic. Also, the depth of face milling can truly change both feel and sound; I never realized how much.
Another point of note: Switching up alignment lines obviously can affect aim, but for me, they also influenced my stroke itself due to the visual changes. I highly suggest going through a full putter fitting to determine what specifications you prefer for yourself.
Check out the photos below of the putter that was designed for me through my work with a Ping Master Fitter:
Ping PLD putters are available for pre-order today, and head over to Ping’s PLD website to book your own fitting here.
WRX Spotlight Review: T Squared TS-713i Standard Series putter
Product: T Squared TS-713i Standard Series Putter
About T Squared: T Squared Putters is a small putter manufacturer just south of Buffalo, New York. The company was founded by Tony Tuber who created his first prototype putters, after hours, in his father’s machine shop. Since then Tony and his father have been creating high-quality putters in the same facility that creates high precision instruments for the medical field. They pride themselves on creating the highest quality, most precise putter they can offer. They offer a few different head shapes from small traditional blades to high MOI mallets and even a custom program to get exactly what you want.
The Ts-713i Standard Series is based on the Ts-713, the first prototype that Tony created. It is a blade-style putter with a slightly longer flange and a unique face insert milled from 6061 aluminum. The body of the Ts713i is milled from a solid block of 303 stainless steel that is produced in the USA and has a Teflon backing between the body and face insert.
This Teflon backing helps give the putter a softer feel at impact and reduce any unwanted vibration. Details are what T Squared is all about and the neck of the putter shows off their milling expertise. The neck is similar to a plumbers neck, built with multiple pieces and offering some cool texture on the section bonded to the head. Another great detail is that all the silver markings on the putter are not filled with paint, they are milled into the head. T Squared finished the head in a sharp matte black and then milled all the markings on the putter for a unique, shiny silver look that really stands out. Ts-713i putters are built for customizing and have a ton of options that you can select if you would like to build something totally unique
On the green, the T Squared TS-713i really performs fantastic. I found the feel at impact very solid without any unwanted vibration. The impact produces a muted click and soft feel that I wasn’t expecting from this aluminum insert and thin face. The deep milling and Teflon coated back to the insert really work together to produce a great, responsive feel that I enjoyed. Deep milling usually makes me a little worried because it can soften the putter too much and lose that feel we all demand.
The TS-713i has no issues and transmits impact feel back to your hands with ease. Mishits are a little louder and harsh, but nothing even close to unpleasant. I have used putters that don’t feel as good on perfectly struck shots as the TS-713i feels on mishit putts. Distance and accuracy on those mishit putts are not as drastic as you would expect with a blade putter. I often just missed the cup by small margins when I struck a putt on the toe or heel of the TS-713i. There aren’t too many blade putters that have shown this level of forgiveness on the green for me.
The “T” alignment aid on the flange of the putter is large and easy to use. Not only do you get a straight line from the face to the back edge for alignment, but the back of the “T” also helps you square the putter up to your target. The Pure grip is not my thing, and it would be great for T Squared to offer a few more options, but that is an easy fix and a very minor criticism.
Overall, the T Squared TS-713i is a great putter from young Tony Tuber that exceeded my expectations. His attention to detail, precision milling, and take on a classic head shape offer golfers something different without sacrificing any performance. If you are looking for a great feeling putter that is made in the USA, you should take a look at T Squared and see what they can make for you.
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