In 1999, Robert Bettinardi decided to go it alone. For seven years he had milled putters for the finest designers in the business—Tad Moore (who designed putters for Maxfli), Ken Giannini (Ben Hogan Company, Cleveland, and Mizuno) and Scotty Cameron (Mizuno, Titleist)—and he believed the time was right to hang out his own shingle.
Japanese star Shigeki Maruyama justified the decision when he won a couple of tournaments in Japan using one of the Chicagoan’s first eponymous designs. Then Jesper Parnevik used a Bettinardi to win the ‘99 Greater Greensboro Open with a score of 23-under 265, stroking just 99 putts on 72 holes. Cameras closed in on the back of the Swede’s putter a dozen times or more, so on Monday morning Bettinardi’s phone never let up for a moment.