Day in the life: Putter guru Bob Bettinardi

Good timing and an element of fortune helped get me into the putter-making business.

It was a cold December day in Chicago. I was 31, an avid golfer who had been playing the game for 10 years, and I spotted a poster about a Callaway Bobby Jones Billet Series putter on the wall of my local golf pro shop.

The poster said how the putter was milled on a Bridgeport manual milling machine, which had been the standard in all general machine shops at the time. I knew this was now becoming extinct because I had a business in computerised milling (CNC), producing parts for the Department of Defense.

I thought to myself, “I can’t believe people are milling putters” because back then I had two CNC machines that were capable of processing all kinds of metals. I always thought putters were either cast or forged.

Making several phone calls to a few golf manufacturers in California, I ended up getting through to a guy at Cleveland Golf who hooked me up with someone who designed their putters.

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