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Bettinardi hosts 7th Social, 300 putters quickly find new homes

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A custom Bettinardi BB55 putter with hand-anodized fish graphics. A few limited-edition BB55’s were made for the social and every one of them had custom graphics.

You don’t need a new putter, but you really, really want this one. Why? Because… well…

It’s ok. Bettinardi understands, and that’s why the company has been hosting its social each of the last seven years at its headquarters in Tinley Park, Ill. This year’s event, which took place June 20 and 21, included 40 of the most enthusiastic Bettinardi putter collectors in the world.

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How serious is your putter collection? A Missouri man who attended the social said he had more than 1200 Bettinardi headcovers in his collection. 

Let me explain the passion these people have for putter collecting. Have you ever looked at a putter and wished it had a little different shape or feel? Sure you have, but that doesn’t make you a putter collector. These people research putters more than you check your portfolio. They buy, sell and trade putters with the frequency that the average golfer buys golf balls.

All that to say this: On Friday night, those 40 collectors gobbled up 300 of Bettinardi’s custom putters (which sold for between $800 and $2000, by the way) and tables full of Bettinardi accessories. If you’re doing the math, that’s 7.5 putters per person. Still think you’re a putter collector?

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It’s 7 p.m. Do you know where your favorite Bettinardi putter is?

The schedule included dinner, an open bar, a four-piece blues band and tours of the manufacturing floor so the collectors could see how their favorite putters were made. Then around 7 p.m., company founder Bob Bettinardi gave a speech like he does every year. When he was done talking, that was the signal that collectors could climb the company’s staircase and make one of two turns: left for custom putters, right for custom accessories.

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Pick your favorite: Collectors rushed to lay claim to their favorite custom Bettinardi putters at its 2014 social. All of Bettinardi’s putters are designed, milled and assembled in the United States.

Sam Bettinardi, Bob’s son and vice president of sales and marketing for Bettinardi Golf, joked that there was no fighting this year. Or maybe he wasn’t kidding?

The company spends about 8-to-9 months creating the one-off custom putters that are the highlight of the event, he said, something it’s happy to do.

“It’s worth it to get people together, talk about the brand and showcase the abilities we have,” Sam said.

The next morning, the group played a round at Crystal Tree in Orlando Park, where Sam estimated that about 30-to-40 percent of the collectors were using a new putter for their round. Somehow, I don’t think it will be their last new Bettinardi.

Here’s a few of our favorites putters from the social. Click here to see more photos from Bettinardi’s 2014 Social and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the putters in the forum.

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Only 30 of these Bettinardi Propaganda theme putters were made. Notice how the face milling matches the engraving on the sole of the putter. 

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A twisty-neck “Kool-Aid” BB0 (pronounced bee-bee-zero) with a torched shaft and head. Very few Bettinardi Kool-Aid putters are made, making this an extremely rare find.

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A BB0 putter with alternating copper and aluminum bronze plugs in the face. Each plug is placed by hand and the putter face was milled four times with four different milling patterns that include Bettinardi’s Honeycomb, F.I.T. Face, and Zipper techniques. 

Click here to see more photos from Bettinardi’s 2014 Social and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the putters in the forum.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. joesixpack

    Jun 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I’m sure you’ve all heard the one about the guy who dies and his wife and kids discover that he has this huge collection in his private office of super expensive putters, headcovers, divot tools, etc. Tons and tons of putters that basically all look the same. All with a particular logo on them. They look through the collection and find their father’s journal and discover that he spent more than $100k on all this stuff!

    Since none of them are golfers, the decide to sell the collection. They bring it to an eBay consignment shop and let the agent sell off each and every piece separately. The entire collection fetches about $10k. Their memory of their father is forever tainted with the thought that he was a complete idiot.

    If you read that and thought to yourself, “But my collection is worth way more than I paid for it!”, think again. As long as there are people who will keep paying for this stuff, they will keep producing it, so it will never be scarce or truly rare. A 10 year old putter from one of these makers is not more valuable than a new putter from the same maker. And if someone were to post one of those $2000 bettinardis mentioned in this article today on ebay I can guarantee it wouldn’t fetch $2000. The only people in the world willing to pay that were all in the room!

    I saw an episode of Pawn Stars the other day where someone came in with a couple Cabbage Patch dolls that were mint, never played with, in their original boxes. The pawn shop guys offered almost nothing. The person was shocked! But seriously – who the hell is going to pay big bucks for some stupid doll from the 80s? And who on earth is going to buy that $2000 putter 20 years from now when Bob Bettinardi is retired and nobody remembers who he was?

    Anyone remember Beanie Babies? How about Ray Cook?

    • Hud

      Jun 25, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      I don’t really know why you felt the need to post this. I guess as a cautionary tale… However, you are right when it comes to some issues and dead wrong when it comes to others.

      I too have heard of quite a few of these tales, similar to the one you described. In some cases, yes the collection brought in a much lower sum of money than was spent on it, but in about 1 of 5 instances the putters and collection brought the family a large sum of money and sold for more than the original investment. In a majority of those cases, 2-3 out of 5, they will break even and at least get their money back. Also you have to realize there is a difference in collecting and “investing” many of these men are not “investing” in these putters in hopes of striking it rich down the road.

      You simply can NOT place a blanket statement on everything and say that this is how it will always go. It depends on what brand is being collected. What particular portion of the brand was focused on. When it was purchased and for how much. I can personally think of a dozen collections that I personally have knowledge of that would bring far more than the collector ever put into it.

      Your statement is not only misleading, in some ways it is just wrong. I can’t speak for the Bettinardi market, I don’t know it, but I have a very deep knowledge of the Scotty Cameron market and I can assure you that many of these gentlemen that can afford these putters are not leaving their family a burden. Their family will not need the money from the sale of their collection to survive. Is it possible that if it were sold it would bring less than what was paid? Of course, depending on the items and how quickly they decide to move it, but just like with anything if you sell a large quantity of items just to sell them and get them off your hands you are going to lose money.

      Selling a large and complex collection takes time, it takes giving the market the chance to realize what is being sold. If you put a $100,000 collection up for sale in a week long auction broken up piece by piece it is possible a large portion of the potential buyers will simply miss it because they don’t have the time to watch eBay all the time. Even if they see it, they may not have or want to take in that many items at one time. But if you take your time and sell it carefully, you can find the right buyers and get the proper amount of money.

      Finally, you talk about the fact that many of these putter makers are simply making more and more of the putters and so their rarity is lost or non existent. That is certainly not the case for a large majority of the early Cameron items. Of course Titleist/Fila pumps out tons of Scotty Cameron OTR putters each year, and they are great putters, but that is usually not what is being collected. You said in 10-20 years no one will know these guys, well think about the early Cameron items. Pre-Titleist Cameron’s sell anywhere from 2-20 times the original sale prices. I could talk about the money early Titleist era handmades and tours or even limiteds bring, but I have probably already wasted enough of my time proving my point here. The fact that there are companies and individuals that make quite a profit off of brand new Cameron items would seem to disprove your theory that if it cost $2,000 today it would not even sell for that tomorrow. Profit making on these items have gotten so bad that it has become a serious problem within the collecting community, and has really become a devisive issue.

      Sorry for the ridiculously long post, I don’t really even have a dog in this fight. I only have three Cameron’s in my “collection” although a couple of them are nicer ones, but seeing something like this comment struck me the wrong way.

      • joesixpack

        Jul 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        It’s people like you that Scotty Cameron is preying on.

        If you think I’m wrong, prove me wrong.

        You have 3 camerons in your “collection”, and 2 of them are “nicer ones”. I bet they are not worth what you think they are worth.

        If you will post on here what they are, show photos of them, and say what you paid for them and when, and then publicly post them for sale (here or ebay or wherever) with reserve prices set for what you think they are really worth, I bet they will not sell.

        I will wager money (or even better, a scotty cameron putter from my personal collection, which you may think is hugely valuable but since he made about 100,000 of them I think is worth about $50), that your “collection” isn’t worth what you think it is.

        I dare you.

  2. Andy

    Jun 25, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    What a cool story! Really neat some of the putters with the plugs in the face, and different face millings. Bettinardi is on the up and up

  3. Pingback: Bettinardi hosts 7th Social, 300 putters quickly find new homes | Spacetimeandi.com

  4. Scott

    Jun 25, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    On a smaller scale this is very similar to the annual Scotty Cameron ICC. As a Cameron collector I am in no means putting down this event, in fact I think it’s very cool. Bob has done some great work for Scotty in the past and has been doing great work under his own name for a long time now. Very cool that Bettenardi is cranking up the head cover and accessory lines even more.
    Congrats to all who attended, I’m sure it was a blast .

  5. dot dot

    Jun 25, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Making a limited edition is a very nice thing to do. It limits the amount of people who can get ripped off. Corporate responsibility is taken seriously at Bettinardi. Nicely done.

  6. Joel

    Jun 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Attending one of these is definitely on my bucket list, just need to suddenly be independently wealthy first…then just buy ALL of them at the social.

  7. AK

    Jun 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Who says we are in a struggling economy? Certainly not these 40 guys!

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