In my work I have had the opportunity to visit many very cool, unique places. I am constantly reminding myself how lucky I am.
Today, I visited Bettinardi for a putter fitting. Glenn Zagorski, Director of Tour Operations, met me in the lobby and took me upstairs to the "Studio." The Spring issue of the THP magazine was on the coffee table in the lobby. There is a funny follow up to this later.
Step 1 Getting to know me
I brought my current putter, Rife 2 Bar Mallett and hit a few putts, very poorly, for Glenn. He spent 10 minutes on putting lessons with me. This was very helpful and appreciated. We spent time chatting about my game, Bettinardi, putter types, getting to know each other. This is a very good part of the process, IMO. Understanding golfer needs is not easy. AT a golf store they do feature benefit selling, at Bettinardi Studio it is consultative. HUGE difference.
Glenn had been on tour with Bettinardi for 10 years, worked at some golf courses I have played, we knew a lot of the same golfers from the area. All this information came out conversationally as it fit into our process.
There are several options for actually buying a putter. I only knew I wanted to get a fitting. Not 100% certain I wanted to buy a putter. You can do a fitting without buying a putter. I do not recommend that. Getting fit with the putter you will be using is a great benefit.
Step 2 Pick a putter out
I tend to select what catches my eye. Having read reviews here on THP, I thought I would gravitate to the BB32. Bettinardi Studio has several putters on display. SOme from previous years, current year models, and some proto types. Some very cool stuff for the putter addicts out there.
I kept coming back to the Studio Stock 4 putter. Having seen the Studio Stock putters online I would never have thought I would be so drawn to one, but I kept coming back to it. The SS4 just looked right and felt right.
Step 3 The Fitting
Once I picked out a putter, Glenn cut off the grip and asked me what grip I wanted. Guess I am buying a putter today.
Glenn recommended a 33.5 shaft length. Same length I was fitted for last year when I opted not to buy a fitted putter.
So I get the grip I want, shaft length to spec and I stand in to be video monitored. Just before that happened, Bob Bettinardi stepped in and we introduced ourselves. As JB recommended, I mentioned the THP. Did not ring a bell with Bob. I mentioned the THP Spring issue in the lobby and said "THE HACKERS PARADISE DOT COM" Then he identified with THP. I told him about my thread and that as a pro photographer I would take a few photos and post them with my review of today's experience. He offered to have a Bettinardi staffer, Rich Donnellan, take photos of me getting fit. Naturally panic set in. Thank God for photoshop. So there are some really cool images of the fitting.
I hit about 5 putts and Glenn made some loft adjustments. He had me hit some putts and made some more adjustments. Then I hit some more and it was just right thanks to the technology, Glenn's putting lesson earlier and his expertise fitting golf clubs.
Step 4 Picking out the head cover
OK, I have read all the negative reviews about Bettinardi head covers. Well guess what, I like mine! When you buy a putter at the Studio, you pick your grip and head cover. There are a few options too. And, newly designed head covers are coming this fall. I hope it's OK to let that cat out of the bag.
I felt like a tour player. The fitting started at 9:00 AM and ended at 11:15. Everyone at Bettinardi is friendly and professional. I knew that Bettinardi was only 4 miles from my house for some time but was too intimidated to go there because most club makers only let tour pros or VIPs in. After today I would recommend flying to Chicago and getting a fitting if you are serious about getting a Bettinardi putter.