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Mizuno Bettinardi BC6 Putter Review

Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon BC6 Putter

Mizuno Golf is set to unveil the third installment in its Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon putter line with the upcoming introduction of the BC6 and BC7 models in early April.

The BC6 and BC7 echo the classic looks of the PING Anser and Wilson 8802 blade, respectively, making them the most traditional designs in the Black Carbon portfolio.

But do these new models do justice to their Black Carbon predecessors? Following is PutterZone.com’s Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon BC6 ($249) putter review—the first review anywhere of this model.

The Storyline

After taking a break from putters and focusing on the irons business, Mizuno partnered with designer Robert Bettinardi three years ago with the intent of becoming a major player in the putter market. First came the Mizuno Bettinardi A Series and C Series putters, followed by the Black Carbon line, which is now being expanded for the third time with the Mizuno Bettinardi BC6 putter and BC7 putter.

(For more information on the Mizuno side of this equation, read PutterZone.com’s interview with Mizuno’s Chuck Couch and review of the Mizuno Bettinardi BC4 putter)

Robert Bettinardi started making putters in 1990 and quickly became one of the world’s elite putter designers. In addition to producing putters for Mizuno, he has a thriving operation of his own, including a state-of-the-art putter fitting studio at his headquarters near Chicago.

Bettinardi is renowned for his attention to detail, which includes milling all of his putters in his own facility. In a recent interview, he said, “My office is just 20 feet from the shop floor, and I can see the product being made…I design and manufacture the product, and that is important.”

Incredibly, a recent article in Golfweek about America’s top putter designers failed to mention Bettinardi, which is akin to writing a story about Mt. Rushmore without mentioning Thomas Jefferson.

The calling card of the Mizuno Bettinardi Black Carbon putters is Bettinardi’s Feel Impact Technology (F.I.T.), which consists of finely milled notches in the carbon steel putter face. These notches reduce the contact surface area by 70 percent for enhanced feel and responsiveness. The F.I.T. portion of the Black Carbon putter face is surrounded by an elegant milled honeycomb pattern that is Bettinardi’s signature.

The BC6 is the first heel-toe weighted Black Carbon putter to feature a plumber’s neck. It comes in stock head weights of 330, 343 and 355 grams for putter lengths of 35, 34 and 33 inches respectively. These head weights can be mixed and matched with different lengths, however. The stock loft is four degrees and the stock lie angle is 71 degrees. Mizuno also offers custom lofts, lie angles and grip sizes.

The View from PutterZone.com
I selected the Mizuno Bettinardi BC4 as one of my top
Power Picks heading into 2009, and the BC6 picks up right where the earlier models left off—with superior feel and a sleek, distinctive look.

Words probably don’t do justice to the feel of the Mizuno Bettinardi BC6 (and other Black Carbon putters). Soft? Perhaps, but it’s much more than that. There’s an underlying firmness, too. And when you strike it just right, you are rewarded with the purest of velvety bass notes. Such is the difference between a mere piece of metal and a masterfully designed instrument. On feel alone, I believe that this putter has the ability to raise your game.

Of course, some would argue that feel is a secondary concern for most golfers. After all, aren’t alignment and forgiveness more relevant when it comes to getting the little white ball into the hole? Not so fast, I say.

For one, superior feel translates to improved command on the green. If your putter speaks clearly to you, I think it raises your game. You become more consistent in your ball striking, reducing the need for forgiveness. You become more aware of your mechanics, reducing the need for alignment assistance. Your distance control is enhanced. You sink more putts.

This isn’t to say that alignment and forgiveness are unimportant. Far from it. But I believe that feel is equally important to long-term performance.

Additionally, if you fall in love with the feel of your putter, the less likely you are to commit serial putter adultery. You will enjoy a lasting relationship. You will want to practice more, further improving your putting game. Which brings me back to the BC6. This is the kind of putter that I look forward to pulling out of the bag on the basis of feel alone.

From the initial photos, I thought that the BC6 was close to a traditional Anser design, but it’s actually curvier and softer in its lines than a true Anser. Still, with its heel-toe weighting and plumber’s neck, it’s what I would call Anser-esque. In terms of cosmetics, the BC6 features the exact same black finish, paintfill schematic and grip style as earlier Black Carbon putters

I love the fact that Mizuno goes the extra mile by offering different head weights with different shaft lengths, allowing golfers to achieve their desired swingweight without being shackled by the one-weight-fits-all mentality.

There’s not an ounce of trendiness in the Black Carbon line. These are straight-up, performance-driven, big boy putters—no overweighting, no oversizing, no gimmicks and no moving parts. Just pure carbon steel crafted to perfection.

The Bottom Line
With its new Black Carbon models, Mizuno Bettinardi is back with one of the sweetest sweet spots in golf. The BC6 is an exquisitely rendered putter that merges traditional design with cutting-edge craftsmanship. By keeping its focus squarely on performance, Mizuno Bettinardi must now be in any discussion about the best putters on the broad market.

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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