The first time I had the opportunity to use the Bettinardi Golf BB56 putter was at the TPC Four Seasons in Orlando, Florida. It was in a practice round with a friend of mine and he was having a good time hitting the ball. I had a chance to hit the putter and I was able to putt well on that day.
I had a chance to use this putter again during my round at the 2015 U.S. Open. It was my second time playing with this putter, but it was a very enjoyable round. I felt like I was able to putt well on that day.
The weight was nice and I really liked the feel of this putter. I could get it to feel like a putter that I had used in college. The weight was in the right spot for me and I liked the feel of it.
Bettinardi Golf BB56 Putter: Design
I was immediately drawn to the massive alignment feature of the BB56 when I set it down. With the silver, you see you can see a bar of 303 stainless steel with a black sightline running down the middle. In addition to the grooves running parallel to the sightline, the “vented channel grooves” also enhance alignment.
A new finish, Stealth Black, is also available for the 2018 Bettinardi BB56. It offers maximum contrast for the sightline and eliminates glare. This finish, according to Bettinardi, is more durable than traditional PVD finishes.
Although the BB56 is a massive putter, Bettinardi keeps it visually appealing as usual. In every aspect of the putter, you can see the precision of the design and milling of the Super-Fly Mill face. There are also little details, like the Super-Fly Mill logo on the headcover and the holographic, honeycomb shaft band.
Bettinardi Golf BB56 Putter: Sound and Feel
Apart from its look, the BB56 stands out for its material in this series. Unlike other putters, the BB56 is crafted from 6061 aluminum. Due to this, it has a distinctly different feel from other BB putters.
Because of the aggressive face milling, the impact is fairly soft, but the aluminum provides a firmer feel than the other models in the BB line. BB56 impact is also a little louder than the other BB models.
For a large mallet, the level of feedback is surprising. I was able to determine with great precision where the ball was striking the face primarily through my hands.
In my opinion, it is very important that the BB56 gives such good feedback because if you rely solely on the results, you may never realize that you mishit a putt. The ball was hitting on the right side of my face during testing, and I was still making 5′ and 6′ putts. Such forgiveness will directly impact your score.
The high center of gravity of the BB56 is another notable feature. As well as being used for alignment, the stainless steel bar also lifts the CoG above the golf ball’s equator for a better roll. Even though I cannot confirm whether the ball rolls better, I can say that the high CoG and higher loft (2 degrees instead of 3) give the ball a lot of speed. After switching from the BB1 to the BB56, I found myself jamming the ball into the back of the cup. This was intriguing to me as someone who often leaves putts short.
Bettinardi Golf BB56 Putter: Facts
The BB56 is not faced balanced, which is also interesting. Modern mallets have no toe hang, but the BB56 has what Bettinardi calls 1/8 of a toe hang (those who prefer the clock measurement may say it’s about 3:30). The little bit of toe hangs made a very big difference for me. As someone who typically uses half-toe hang (4:30), I often struggle when transitioning to a face-balanced mallet. I picked up the BB56 and was able to swing it right away with confidence because of the one-eighth toe hang. It is worth checking out the BB56 if you have avoided mallets in the past because you need some toe hang.
The design of a new putter is often retired after one generation. This is not the direction I see the Bettinardi BB56 taking. The combination of huge forgiveness, giant alignment features, and slight toe hang made this shoe easy to use right out of the box. Golfers will have a lot more big putter covers in their bags this year if they are willing to give the BB56 a chance.