The stunning news yesterday of the mutual parting of Mizuno Golf and putter designer Robert Bettinardi is no cause for mourning, as PutterZone.com has learned that Bettinardi is already teeing up a new line of putters for release on November 15.
The new line is the Bettinardi BB Series, which will feature five models at a retail price of $275 (BB8 model pictured here). The BB Series will feature two earlier BB designs, as well as three new creations. Two of the models will be available in left-handed versions.
PutterZone.com spoke with Bettinardi today to get the inside scoop on the Mizuno decision, and to inquire about what to expect next from Bettinardi Golf.
As you may recall, Bettinardi and Mizuno teamed up to create three series of putters in recent years: the A Series, the C Series and the Black Carbon Series. The Black Carbon putters have been particularly successful and have earned high marks from PutterZone.com.
Bettinardi reiterated that his parting from Mizuno was entirely mutual. He has a four-year contract with Mizuno that ends in 2009, and he and Mizuno simply decided to go their separate ways instead of renewing the contract.
“It was a great relationship,” Bettinardi said. “I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people at Mizuno. For me, it was a matter of wanting to take my company to the next level, to have more independence in terms of design as well as sales and marketing. I have a lot of dreams. I’m 48 years old. I don’t want to be 68 years old and wonder why I didn’t pursue them.”
In addition to the BB Series, Bettinardi will also re-introduce his famed Studio B Series putters for $375. The BB Series putters will be available at pro shops and via club fitters. The Studio B Series will be available on the Bettinardi Golf web site, which will soon be undergoing a substantial makeover, Bettinardi said.
Don’t expect Mizuno to ride off into the putter sunset, either. With its T.P. Mills-designed putters and later with its Bettinardi-designed putters, Mizuno has released some of golf’s most compelling broad-market putters over the past decade. Mizuno has proven to be very deliberate in its putter releases, with a clear focus on quality over quantity, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
As for Bettinardi, he says he’ll miss working with his friends at Mizuno, but that he’s also pumped up about the future of Bettinardi Golf.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a total restart,” he said.