Bettinardi Is Taking Over All Your Short Game Clubs by @igolfreviews
For years Robert Bettinardi has been making some of the best putters on the market, for the last 5 of those years I have had a Bettinardi putter in my bag. The next logical step in the short game arena is to make wedges. Putters and wedges are two very different clubs, but many of the techniques used for crafting great putters, can also be used to create great wedges and after playing the Bettinardi H2 wedges, Bob is taking over all of my short game clubs.
Bettinardi has an eye for design. Whether it’s the putter shapes, finishes and details and now the wedges, he seems to nail it every time. The H2’s are a perfect example of using logos and stamping, yet maintaining a clean look. The wedges come in two finishes, both of which are muted with the golden cashmere or the silver brushed effect. I liked the silver brushed look and went with a 54* and 58*. There aren’t too many bounce options, basically one in each loft, and the same goes for grinds. Whilst some players might want something different, these were the same specs as what I would typically order from a huge list of options. I assume the options will expand over time, but right now they are pretty limited.
The Bettinardi H2 name comes from their milling machine’s High Helix Cut. I’m no machinist, but after playing these wedges, it works. I had consistently high spin numbers of any CC conforming wedge I have tried. According to my FlightScope testing, I averaged over 10,000 rpms with full 58* shots. That didn’t really surprise me after our test in Hawaii, I was sticking everything from every lie. My playing partners were “wowed” by how many held the greens and ended up tight to the pin. There is a lot of technical information on Bettinardi’s site as to what makes their milling different, but results on course and from the launch monitor showed that it works out in the real world.
The look at address is a very important aspect of wedges for my game. If often offset or onset or too much round, I just can’t get my eyes to adjust to the look, which typically means a lack of confidence and poor results. These however have a smooth transition from hosel to the leading edge all the way out to the toe. They are more rounded in overall shape, but square along the leading edge. They set up very nicely behind the ball.
After the grooves and shape comes the grind. I keep coming back to a version C-grind, which has toe and heel relief with a somewhat narrow sole. These are typically found on lob wedges and a few manufactures will include it as an option on other irons in their sets. I love that Bettinardi has it on all their wedges. It works great when a delicate shot doesn’t need the full lob wedge loft. The 54* was used a couple times on some more delicate swings when I used the grind to my advantage with good success. The ball didn’t have the tendency to climb up the face which can happen when only using a 58* wedge for such shots.
I would probably say that feel is near the end of requirements for my wedges. I like forged best but I’ve enjoy some cast wedges too, that were only slightly more firm. These wedges are the beloved forged steel which really does offer the best feel on full or half shots. I hit them out of bunkers, rough and hard lies and found their durability to be quite tough. I was concerned I’d end up with nicks or marks on the face or sole, but neither resulted after 5 rounds. While that isn’t a lot of rounds, I’ve had dings after one round so the fact that they reached 5 rounds sets them in good stead.
So what’s the catch? The only things that will hold these back are their lack of options and price. They are not quite double the price of an “off-the-rack” wedge, but close. The price isn’t crazy, but more than a high handicapper is probably going to want to pay. Also since they basically offer one wedge in each loft; not hundreds of grinds, bounce angles and finishes, just 5 lofts and 2 finishes, some might be looking for more options. But as golfers start adding these to their bags, Bettinardi will start adding more options. Wedges are just as much an investment as a good putter, there are so many strokes to be gained with a good short-game, and Bettinardi might just take over all the short game clubs in your bag.