Bettinardi vs Scotty Cameron putters is actually a story that has been intertwined since the early days of both of their careers. The two high-end putter manufacturers both worked together before splitting off to start their own careers to become self-branded titans of the industry.
After answering a newspaper ad and cutting his teeth for Callaway in the early 90s, Robert Bettinardi ended up being the source of all of the Titleist / Scotty Cameron bulk putter heads between 1993 and 1998, with the clubs later finished by Scotty’s shop, ostensibly working “for” Scotty Cameron. Bettinardi was a CNC milling machine shop expert and it was Bettinardi’s technique of milling the entire clubhead and hosel out of one piece of steel as well as his custom face milling designs that originally allowed them to make a splash on the scene. They also both worked under the Mizuno brand for a time, albeit Scotty in the 1990s and Bettinardi in the 2000s.
There is a myriad of speculation as to why and under what circumstances they stopped working together, as well as each “camp” of fans speculating as to who was really responsible for making their products world-class. The one thing there is no speculation about is that both brands produce some of the best putters in the world, and they are very heavily influenced by each other. To decide which is better between the two competitors comes down completely to personal preference and aesthetics, as both are pushing the envelope when it comes to eye-catching shapes and top-grade materials and engineering.
Bettinardi Putters Overview
Bettinardi Golf was founded in 1998 by Robert Bettinardi. Bettinardi started out doing work for a Callaway designer at his CNC milling facility, and then partnered for many years in the mid-90s with Titleist to produce Scotty Cameron’s designs at his facility. The Bettinardi Golf company was born in 1998 after parting ways with Titleist.
At times the putters were made under the Bettinardi brand and there were two different stretches where he made putters for the Ben Hogan brand and then the Mizuno brand in the 2000s. As of circa 2008 the putters have been made available exclusively under the Bettinardi Golf brand.
Bettinardi’s expertise came in precision milling putters, both by milling the entire putter head plus hosel out of one solid block as well as becoming adept at precision face-milling putters to add texture and design.
While his company and Scotty Cameron’s company often mirror a very basic set of designs, a few things set them apart. Bettinardi putters definitely feature less of the aesthetic of a “fashion designer” and more of a technical, clean, elegant kind of aesthetic, in general. There will be less “clutter” and decoration on most of the Bettinardi releases than most of Scotty Cameron’s designs.
More objectively, Bettinardi is known for maintaining the use of carbon steel in many of its designs, while Scotty Cameron moved to stainless steel. Carbon steel is said to feel softer to some players but if uncoated and exposed to the elements it can start to rust.
Last but not least, Bettinardi was a pioneer in face milling and his signature style is the “honeycomb” design on many of the modern Bettinardi putter faces.
Scotty Cameron Putters Overview
Scotty Cameron is more known as a brand than an actual company, as the vast majority of his time in the golf space has been as a designer for putters manufactured by Titleist. Before his Titleist contract, however, Scotty Cameron had made a great name for himself in pro golf circles. He learned how to make putters in the garage from his father, and had made putters for the Cleveland, Mizuno, and Maxfli brands before breaking through when Bernhard Langer won the 1993 Masters using a prototype made by Scotty Cameron, who was working under his own name by then.
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This led to Titleist striking a deal with him and, as they say, the rest is history. He had plenty of success in the meantime but the marketing machine really went into orbit in 1999 when, after a few different attempts, he was able to make a putter that became an almost-permanent fixture in the GOAT’s bag.
Since those days in the mid-90s, Scotty Cameron putters have taken on an almost cult-like following. Cameron made his way marketing boatloads of style along with substance and paved a highway made of gold by pioneering many personal customizations for TOUR players. In a space where everybody is rampantly copying each other, Scotty Cameron has found a way to continually make designs that set themselves apart from the competition and maintained personalized style and eye-catching uniqueness, causing his putters to become true collectables, conversation pieces, and even a status symbol of sorts amongst golf aficionados.
Differences between Bettinardi Putters And Scotty Cameron Putters
Feel is extremely subjective, and you will find players who say that either brand is noticeably “softer” or “better feeling” than the other. Very technically, the carbon steel that is leaned on by Bettinardi putters should be a softer metal than the stainless steel used in the modern Scotty Camerons, but many putters today also use different coatings, finishes, and face inserts that can create a variety of very subtly different feels.
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Forgiveness in a putter is often sought-after, but there is very little that manufacturers can do differently from their competitors in this area. The most modern designs are the “high MOI” putters starting with mallet putters and going into the ultra-modern “spaceship” type designs such as the Scotty Cameron Phantom X and the Bettinardi Inovai lines. These innovations along with face milling mean that technologically both offer the maximum amount of “forgiveness” that can be built into a putter, but perhaps sacrificing some of the feel and touch on longer putts that some players like to have with a lighter blade-style putter.
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Style is probably the biggest difference between Scotty Cameron and Bettinardi. While Scotty Cameron has basically invented and cornered the market on making “cool” putter designs, for some people it can be a “love it or hate it” offering, and they are put off by the aesthetics as being perhaps being too distracting for their personal taste.In general Bettinardi design aesthetics are simpler, with less graphical features and calmer, sleeker looks that are less “loud” than say a Scotty Cameron with dancing lettering and red cherry bombs and a bright red headcover with a golden crown on it might be, just for example.
As of today, the putters are almost identical in price for the retail consumer. Most models from both manufacturers are in the $400 range at your local sporting goods store.
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By far, Scotty Cameron putters have a bigger footprint on TOUR, both in overall use and the pedigree of players using their putters. Matt Kuchar has been Bettinardi’s biggest ambassador over the years and has been a pioneer with Bettinardi offering one of the most widely-available armlock putters for consumers. They also have Matt Fitzpatrick in their stable currently, who is routinely near the top of the strokes gained putting stats throughout his young career.
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Scotty Cameron putters are constantly in use by several dozen tour pros at any given time, as well as some of the biggest household names. The list is far too long to be comprehensive, but as of 2023 we can say that Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Cameron Young, Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, Will Zalatoris, and, (ahem) Tiger Woods all make a very solid start to that list. As if this weren’t enough, in early 2023, shortly after presumably being given some freedom from his TaylorMade contract, Rory McIlroy switched back to a Scotty Cameron putter as well. It is also well known that Scotty relies on the personal feedback of many of these superstars when tweaking putter designs and making changes for new releases.
Bettinardi BB1 vs Scotty Cameron Newport
These putters are probably the two most “classic” and simple and most popular designs from each manufacturer, and represent exactly how different companies can try to be while designing something that is completely based on the now decades-old design of the PING Anser series putters.
The actual shape of the putters is nearly identical with very subtle differences discerning the two. One of the things that sets Bettinardis apart is their honeycomb face milling, but even that is not present on the latest BB1.
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Performance-wise the Bettinardi BB1 is made from carbon steel, similar to the older-model Scotty Camerons that are very popular and fawned over to this day. Functionally, the one main key difference is that the modern Scotty Cameron Newport putters feature changeable weight ports in the sole of the club adding tungsten weights. This creates a feel of more stability with more weight moved to the heel and toe with the max weights in, and the ability to adjust for a lighter putter head either because of a feel/stroke preference or to match a lighter grip or longer club.
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Overall though most users will immediately be drawn to the aesthetics such as color scheming and finish of the two clubs. Basically everything about the Bettinardi is more “muted” from its toned down matte finish to the limited lettering and decorations. Meanwhile the Scotty Cameron goes with a more “flashy” look, managing to find places to print the “Cameron” name three different places on a 4.5 inch putter, add two weight ports, a signature crown logo, and red lettering on a stainless finish all completing the ensemble.
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Bettinardi Tour Issued Putters vs Scotty Cameron Circle T
The Bettinardi answer to the Scotty Cameron Circle T is their “Tour Issued” line of putters. Both are featuring the same ideal, the same concept: that you can get an exclusive item with premium features and hand-crafted customizations and designs. These might feature unique letterings, custom sight lines and paint, modifications to weight and shape of stock models, alternate hosels included welded and “twist” hosels which are the ultimate sign of hand customization, and so on.
In this particular sector, however, Scotty Cameron’s absolutely dominate the landscape and while there is a broad range of values for Circle T putters you’re likely to find a Bettinardi Tour Issued putter for a fraction of the cost.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do Bettinardi putters rust?
People have reported rust issues from time to time with Bettinardi putters. They use carbon steel as a base just like the 1990s Scotty Cameron putters, which is a material that can and will rust if exposed to moisture or humidity. The Bettinardi putters however are generally treated with a coating that will prevent the putter from rusting and the company is usually very gracious about replacing any putters that do have an issue with the coating and start to rust in time.
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Do any pros use Bettinardi putters?
Yes. Matt Kuchar, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Alex Fitzpatrick, Jason Kokrak, and Freddy Couples are counted as Bettinardi staffers as of 2023.
Are Scotty Cameron putters forgiving?
While a Scotty Cameron putter won’t hit the ball for you, they are as forgiving or more forgiving than any other putter on the market. Their blade lines feature heel and toe weight ports that can move more weight to the perimeter and stabilize the face, and they supplement that with a full offering of mallet and high-MOI dual-flanged and X-flanged putters that represent all that the engineers can offer as far as consistency is concerned.
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Are Scotty Cameron putters beginner friendly?
Scotty Cameron putters are absolutely great for beginners. One of the selling points of a Scotty Cameron is that they will both last a lifetime (see: Tiger Woods’ putter for example) as well as maintain their value over time, traditionally.
Also, beginning golfers have no problem putting a high-end putter into play, as the advantages that tour pros seek out in these clubs are generally the same things that will help the beginning golfer, unlike a driver or iron set tailored for an accomplished ball striker that might be harder for a beginner to handle.
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Do pros use Scotty Cameron Putters?
Scott Cameron putters are always one of the most-used putter brands on TOUR. While there may be competitors who have a higher count of players, Scotty Cameron absolutely dominates when it comes to the elite players and household names that are on its roster. Just a small sampling of names and major championship winners loyal to Scotty Cameron are: Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler, and Rory McIlroy.
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