Published on May 7th, 2013 | by Ryan Heiman1
Review: Matt Kuchar Bettinardi Signature Putters
One of the hottest putters on Tour right now is Matt Kuchar, who has been using a Bettinardi putter for his run of wins. At first glance the Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Series putter may look like any other, but it is so much more, and now the custom-designed putter that Kuchar uses is coming to retail. With the proposed anchored putter ban, people are looking at alternatives for stability during the stroke, and some will likely find it in the Kuchar-style arm-lock method, which has been approved by the USGA and has obviously been successful for Matt. The two new Bettinardi Matt Kuchar putters are based off his style and stroke. They can also be ordered in a standard configuration if you like. I worked with the arm-lock Model 2 putter, which is more mallet-like while the Model 1 is heel-toe shaped
I’ve yet to find a person that doesn’t like the looks of a Bettinardi putter. They are practical, useful works of art. The Matt Kuchar Series is in similar to the BB series for 2013, with its pewter finish and white and blue paint fill. The arm-lock model is heavier, longer and bigger. It is close to a belly putter in some ways, but is played with the arm-lock stroke. You can get these in conventional sizes too.
This putter line is made out of Bettinardi’s standard mild carbon and then PVD finished. The real difference with this model over the standard Bettinardi line is the extra weight. The arm-lock putter head comes in at 400 grams — noticeably heavy. The feel is also a little softer because of the extra weight. It has the FIT-face technology that Bettinardi uses to make it feel even softer than his normal Honeycomb face. The solid thud at impact is excellent
There is a reason Matt Kuchar is such a hot putter right now: the arm-lock method is a legitimate alternative to a belly putter. It really takes the wrists out of the stroke and creates one less variable. Another nice feature is that it trains you to dominate the putting stroke with your left arm. The larger, heavier head seemed to be less resistant to twisting — not only the head, but the method really secures this putter for a straight stroke.
This putter has some features that are specifically designed to help with accuracy. The one thing I noticed is the surprisingly high loft on the face and the extreme offset. That really is the only way to make the arm-lock method work. If it was less offset you would have trouble seeing the putter and if it had less loft, you would probably pound the ball into the ground. It is also face balanced which wouldn’t fit my typical stroke, but feels perfect for the arm-lock stroke. If you lock it in and roll the ball, this thing is deadly accurate. When I tried it at 2nd Swing indoors and I missed the cup almost every time, but the good thing was that I missed in the exact same spot. (If I would have moved the cup over 3 inches I would have made every putt.) Once I got it on the course, I fixed my alignment and started sinking everything. There is a level of consistency with this putter that is impressive.
Matt Kuchar is on to something with this arm-lock stroke. It works best with a putter designed for it, and you won’t find too many out there that will work. The Special Edition Bettinardi Matt Kuchar Series is a great design to help you make more putts.