Hall of Fame Golfer Fred Couples Reviews Bettinardi Prototype Irons

Hey, everybody.
We're here at Calusa Pines, and we're with none other than the Hall of Fame golfer and Bettinardi Staffer, Fred Couples. Also, got my father, Bob Bettinardi and I'm Sam Bettinardi. And today's a big day in company history. We have Fred Couples testing our brand new irons: cavity backs, and muscle backs. And who better than Fred to give us some feedback on our new creation?

So, Fred, first thoughts?

Yeah, well, no, I've been a Bettinardi guy a long, long time. And I'll be honest, I thought I was coming here to try some putters out, but lo and behold, I'm going to be hitting irons. So the first one I'm hitting is the muscle back pitching wedge. And then I'll move to what I consider what I call a little more forgiving club, you’re calling them...

Yes, our CB24’s or cavity backs.

Yeah. So muscle back, cavity back. But so far they look beautiful. So I'm just going to hit a few and then give a little input. And we're starting with a wedge. But first the thing I see is I like the color of the steel. So, tell me when I say things wrong, but I like the finish, the look of it.

Very beautiful finish. Diamond blast finish. It's a satin chrome. I love the fact that it's more matte. Really glare resistant in the sun. You know, we're in sunny Florida. It's cloudy today, but looks beautiful outside.

Well, I'm just telling you, this is, I don't need to hit many because I'm going to try and hit most of them but this is, it's really spectacular. And that's just beautiful right there. And the other thing is, you know, I have a couple of friends over here. It, it goes through the ground. Spectacular.

Yeah. We were really hard on that turf interaction on the bounce on the soul. You know all types of playing conditions wet, dry, Bermuda, Bent. So I'm glad to hear you say that.

So it's not a club, I'm a California kid. And...
There's that little cut we love.
I mean, now I'm going to go to your cavity back wedge.
So are you Fred, more of a cavity guy or a muscle guy?
Well, I have to tell you, there's no. I mean, will, this, you know, wll, this shoot the ball higher? This will shoot the ball higher.

But we're going to see how I hit him.

Yes, but I think what we did really well in the engineering phase is on pitching wedge through let's say eight/seven. We want a lower, more piercing flight and on those 4 or 5, 6, we, designed it in a way with our tungsten and ceramic material to get the ball launching, of course, better for a lot of golfers, right? Guys like you and the common amateur.

And so what I see is the bottom. This is the cavity back. It's got a little more of a sole, but it's irrelevant because it's back here. And they're almost the same size. I'm probably wrong. You're probably going with a little teeny centimeters where the cavity backs bigger.

It's off by, the top lines about 40 thou thinner on the muscle. Correct? No. The only thing I see is this line.
That's what you're saying?

That's what I'm saying.

Yeah. And I'm in a doubt they're going to be hit any differently. Will this go, you know, for, for, if I get it higher it might travel another yard or two.

Yes. The way we designed it again on those higher lofted to go a little bit more piercing.We've seen great distance gains. We've seen great, consistency from loft to loft. That looked a very similar flight. Yeah. But you know, being a guy that cuts the ball, workability, that was our goal on the muscle backs. To be able to have guys work it, these to me, seem like they're right on a rope every shot.

No, I'm telling you, I won't hit many. I'll go to the nine iron. Give me the nine, Sammy in the muscle back.

You got it.
They're really, really good.
That’s as good as you can hit it right there.

I think if you gave these to tour players or your buddies who like you are scratches and they go like that, they wouldn't know what club it is, which is probably a good sign because they're not going to say, oh, that's a Titleist or that's, TaylorMade or whatever. I wouldn't be able to guess.

Now, I know this is not really your first, but the first try for Bettinardi to make irons. Yeah. But they don't look like Taylormades. They don't look like Callaways.

Well, I think that was the cool part when him and I sat down to design them. When we were sketching things out with our engineering team, we said, don't look at any other irons on the market. We want it to look and like feel like a Bettinardi product, and we want it to be classic, timeless and got our honeycomb milling on it.

And I'm not talking about like when I'm cheating, looking at that, I'm talking about when I just grab it. I would say I don't even know what it is. Yeah.

That's a good thing.
Yeah. Oh no, that means it's fresh. Yeah. Leading edge looks very good to my eye. Good, not too thin.
Oh, it's so good.

Now for better players. Right. Such as yourself, If you're going to try and work the ball, talk to us a lot about the performance here because you do have the muscle back. And that's how it was designed.

So, for good players, I mean you could put this right in your bag. Now again, I want to keep hitting. But it's the divot too right, Griff. Right. So the ball is going right through this. I mean, honestly, I feel like I'm hitting off a putting green, right? I'm a California guy. We have turf.

You've got the zoysia. I got a little poof.

This is like hitting off the ground. So when you go through these divots are absolutely perfect. When you still see the grass underneath, that's what you want.

You're not getting the diggers.
No. No. These go through the ground so good.

Here's the cavity back. So for the average golfer if they're looking to decide between a muscle and a cavity, I always tell people to get fit. What would your recommendation be?

No. I tell all my buddies to get fit. Go, go and look at all the clubs and then try and find if you're going for Bettinardi Irons now, if they're going to be out there soon, go to the cavity back and then go to the muscle back. There's not a whole lot of difference, but the guy doing it may say,

well, you're hitting the cavity back two yards further. Two yards is what you want, but they're not going to look any different. I mean, to be honest,

Looks are very similar. Again, the major difference is top line thickness and a few again some manipulation in the back flange with the CG all trying to be behind the sweet spot.


That was pretty.

And that's I noticed that's the hardest I've swung. That went a long way. Let me hit one real quick. Before I fall over. But that's the hardest I’ve hit one and that went, I don't know, 140.

140. Beautiful.
And that went right there almost the same.

You know what, Fred? I was going to say one thing for a guy, I'm an eight handicap. And if I look at something with a thin top line, I get a little freaky. You know?

You do.
I'd rather have a thicker top line. Thus the cavity back.

But the key is, while I got you guys standing here. I don't I don't have my clubs, but this way is still the same. Correct?

Correct. Yes, yes.

Yeah. And I bet if I put my irons they'd be because they look, they don't look a lot like them but the face. Whereas when I go look at like when I play with Cantlay or Tony Finau or Brooks and I look at their clubs and I go, oh my God, I couldn't hit those. I could, but I couldn't. You know, they're small and stocky but this is a beautiful looking club.

Guys with faster swing speeds.. One of the big things too to me, Fred. So when it comes down to picking a set of irons for my whole life, until the Bettinardi irons, it's been about look right when you look down and feel. Yeah. So tell me you feel those are all forged 1025 carbon steel. What do you notice the difference with our heads versus other forged shots?

Well, I like to tell you now, now we're going to notice if there's any difference because now I'm going to start hitting them 150, 160, 170. Yeah. How heavy are these, this set? Just I mean you just built these, are these like D2's?

Yes D2.

Yeah. So that's what I use. So. They feel like my weight. In terms of feel ball impact, feel off the head?

I mean, the nine irons were perfect. And like I say, so the big thing for me is what it looks like right now. And these look really, really nice.

Nice. Now were you trying to work that a little bit or? I pulled that, but I hit it hard.
So, no I mean I'll hit a couple but that was just a pull. Dead straight. Yeah.

So that got up a little higher. But wow. I mean they are. How do you like that launch?

That's a perfect launch. Yeah. So now if the wind starts to howl... So, the best thing I can tell you right now is you built a great club with this thing here.

The soul. Yeah. Interaction with the turf.

Yeah. I mean, that's my first one. If it was not right for me, I could have come off of it a little bit or tweaked it, but I feel like I can hit that shot all day.

Love it. Yeah, I think the big thing, when I knew we had something when we were designing and testing these irons, was the fact that on my miss hits, the ball was about 5 to 7 yards less versus some of the other brands were 10 to 15 yards less. So, you know, chalk that up to what's inside the head. It's not a hollow body where the ball hits the clubhead and it just shoots off. So I feel like again, the overall construction and that feel, the forged feel, the carbon steel all goes right into that production of that iron.

So the main thing for me is if I hit ten, seven irons, right? Yep. And this is the pin. I want my balls to be like this, around. Not necessarily all going to be 15ft away, but I don't want a seven iron to go way up here and then one the plug in the bunker here. So one of the things that I always do is I hit at home, when I get new clubs, and yours will be the same... I walk out there and I'll work with the wedge nine and eight, because I can hit 500 balls anymore. And if they're in that radius,

You want to see what consistency?

Well consistency though is, like, I've hit a couple of these really, really well. And if we walked out there and they were going 172 and the rest of them were going 165, then I'd say, you know, we gotta fix that.

Yeah, then we got an issue.

But, but the bounce is also a key thing and these are all going through, but what I'm saying is once you get all warmed up and you get ready to go... for, for me, I've never been a guy that says, “oh my God, I'm stiffing every seven iron.” I want them to be across, be all 165, because if I come off the ball a little bit, I don't want it to be on the right front of the green. I want it to be middle-ish of the green. And then if I really pull one, I don't want it going a mile.

Correct. Good.
Yeah. So, these are, these are fantastic. One more and I'll go to the cavity back seven.
That was more of that piercing flight.
So, I think that's what we want golfers to experience on those muscle backs.
Yeah. And I'm going to hit one, I'm gonna try and hit one way up in the air without really working. Just a little steeper?
Yeah. Beautiful. They go up.
They go up.
I mean, they fly very straight.

Yeah. And that's again when we knew we had something, it was the distance control. They weren't going too hot. They weren't going to less on miss hits. It's the accuracy and that dispersion I mean that is on a rope right there.

Well yeah I've hit three, that's the best one. So that's going right next to the.... That one may have gone a little further.

The MB’s? Yeah I feel like they do go a little further. Just because of the launch. Alright let me try a five.

A five muscle?

A five muscle first. So, I'm going to try and go a little further left. But I mean this is a beautiful, beautiful club right here.

A little butter cut into the red? And I love too, that that height. Right. Five irons go a little lower, we know. That looked like a beautiful flight. Had some nice hangtime on there.

If you're looking for a problem, you gotta look another direction. They're spectacular looking. Thanks, buddy.

I'm not shocked. I just thought I was putting today. Can I ask how are the grooves? The grooves look...

Grooves are good. And that goes into our machining background, right? We know metal. Bob's been doing it for 30 plus years. The honeycomb milling on the back flange. The face is milled, right? It's all USGA approved. So, that goes into our background and our knowledge, putting them into this iron.

Plus Griff, got the right grips on them too. And they feel real... I've been struggling with grips too. And this is just the right size. Some of the hosels can get longer, and obviously some get really blunt. And I'm used to, I mean, so a lot of things are catching my eye because they look like clubs that I could fit right into.

Should we put a zombie green, finish on there?
You could, you could, but let's, let's, let's get me a set soon.
These are great looking clubs.
Thank you. Fred, that means a lot.
I mean, I don't hit my four iron like that.
Not today.
Really? So we got something?
Am I lying? Am I? Am I making this sound good? No. I mean, I need fresh. Fresh grooves, fresh forging, fresh milling from your favorite putter company.

I need that last shot right there from 205. Great grips. And I want to tell you, I was actually trying to...

Nice. That sounded like it. Yeah.
All right. Last one. I'm gonna trim that tree.
So good. Love that cut.
You know, so if I can cut those, I can cut them. Awesome.

Basically, Fred, thank you so much for trying our new sets of irons. You got the muscle back. The cavity back. Sammy, great job explaining the technology about it. And we will definitely get you a set before Tucson. You got two weeks off.

Two weeks. Yeah, no I'm dead serious. These are really... Thank you.

I don't change much. And it takes a lot for me to change. And all I gotta do is go out and hit them 80% good. I can work my way to 90 and 100, but they're, they're beautiful. And now I’ve got the four. So when we, when we go off the air, I'm gonna hit a couple more four irons and then I'm done, but I appreciate it thank you. And like I said, the putters you guys have down.