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Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon Putter Review

Mizuno Golf is back in black with three new Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon putters, extending the Black Carbon line that was introduced late last year.

Mizuno’s Black Carbon putters ($249) aim to offer unmatched feel via a proprietary face technology—not an insert, but rather a unique notching pattern milled into a carbon steel head.

Do the Black Carbon putters deliver on their promise? Following is PutterZone.com’s Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon BC4 putter review.

The Storyline
By merging the renowned talents of designer Robert Bettinardi with its own record for producing high-caliber golf equipment (particularly in the irons category), Mizuno Golf seeks to claim new ground in the premium putter category.

The relationship was inaugurated with the Mizuno Bettinardi A Series and C Series putters a few years ago, but, in the words of Mizuno, took a “quantum leap” late last year with the release of the Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon putters with Feel Impact Technology (F.I.T.), a series of milled notches that reduce the contact surface area by 70 percent.

In an earlier interview with PutterZone.com, Mizuno’s Chuck Couch stated: “F.I.T. face technology dramatically reduces the surface area of where the ball makes contact with the face, offering the soft feel of a polymer insert, but in the solid and consistent package of a one-piece 100-percent milled carbon steel putter. You will never know true feel and consistency until you try one for yourself.”

Black Carbon putters come in stock head weights of 330, 343 and 355 grams for putter lengths of 35, 34 and 33 inches respectively. However, Mizuno now offers mix-and-match fitting, enabling golfers to apply the head weight of their choice to the length of their choice for preferred swingweight.

The BC4 heel-toe weighted blade is one of three new models in the Black Carbon line. As with all Black Carbon putters, the BC4 model is 100 percent milled from carbon steel, which is prized in putter circles for its quality and softness. The stock loft of the BC4 is four degrees and the stock lie angle is 71 degrees. The BC4 is nearly fully toe down in balance, which appeals to an arcing stroke.

The View from PutterZone.com
I love it when a putter performs precisely as advertised. Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon putters are promoted on the premise of superior feel. Sure enough, the first thing that charmed me about the BC4 was its superior feel.

Striking the ball on the sweet spot of the BC4 is sort of like biting into a Reese’s peanut butter cup: a supple firmness followed by buttery sweetness. The overall sensation is relatively soft, but also rich and resonant in the hands. Such is the beauty of pure carbon steel crafted with technological virtuosity.

On miss-hits, the BC4 nags you with a little “tink” in the ears and a bit of jive in the hands—nothing too harsh, but just enough to keep you honest. This putter isn’t going to coddle you and tell you everything’s okay when you miss the center, but it always offers ample reward when you get it right

Such responsiveness works wonders on the green. I found the BC4 to perform beautifully in both accuracy and distance control, largely because I felt like the putter was literally talking to me—not a shout, but a guiding whisper. It would be very easy to develop a lasting relationship with the BC4, because it’s so good at communicating.

With its fine matte black finish, graceful double-bend neck, single white sightline and relatively small head (by today’s standards), the BC4 appears sleek and svelte at setup. It’s a very purposeful look—quiet, confident and focused.

Mizuno is also to be commended for stamping the head weight on the sole of the putter (330 grams in my case). It shows that Mizuno is serious about educating golfers about putter swingweight and personal fitting, and that the company does not accept the retail-driven notion that ignorance is bliss when it comes to putters.

The only area where the BC4 falls short has nothing to do with the putter itself, but with the stock head cover. It has a nice look, but it feels insubstantial and employs a velcro closure when magnets would better befit the price point. Simply put, a putter of this class deserves a head cover to match.

The Bottom Line
The Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon BC4 putter boasts one of the sweetest sweet spots in golf, offering remarkable responsiveness for optimal performance. In addition to being a formidable flatstick, the BC4 is also a thing of simple, purposeful beauty. Guided by the masterful hand of Robert Bettinardi, Mizuno has clearly joined the ranks of the elite retail putter makers.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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