Author Topic: SB-9 Playing Review  (Read 2785 times)

Kuch

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SB-9 Playing Review
« on: May 31, 2007, 08:14:45 AM »
Here is my review of the limited SB-9.  Please also reference my review of the BB-5 with the link I have provided.

http://www.puttertalk.com/community/index.php/topic,1091.0.html

Both the BB-5 and the SB-9 are the same shape and grind.  The headweight of both putters is 345g.  The SB-9 is sometimes claimed to be 350g but the SB-9 and BB-5 are generally with 2-3 grams of one another and the swing weights feel identical.  I plan to measure the swingweight on both but I am not too concerned because they both feel the same in my hands.

The specs on the pictured SB-9 are as follows:

34" length
71 degree lie
4.5 degree loft
This Dog will Hunt grip

I took both the BB-5 and SB-9 to the putting green for direct comparision.  The head shape and set up are identical to each other. As I mentioned the swingweights feel identical as well.  The noticeable difference between these two flatsticks became apparent when the ball was struck. But first my initial impressions about the SB-9

At first look the fit and finish was excellent.  Very beautiful mill chatter on the sole, neck and flange.  I personally like the look of mill chatter and think it gives the putter a very unique character.  The mill chatter also alludes to the quality of craftsmanship that went into the milling process.  The putter face was also beautifully machined with the Bettinardi hex design.  The slightly more polished face and sole combined with the matte satin topline and flange made for a very functional and fashionable aesthetic.  The charcoal gray finish was also very rich looking and did a great job in eliminating all glare in the direct sun.  However, I still prefer the black finish of the BB-5 on the course.  As far as the graphics on the SB-9.  I like the simplicity and somewhat understated graphics.  Nothing fancy and just enough to show off the Bettinardi name and the fact that it was proudly milled in the USA.

Now for the real differences between the SB-9 and BB-5.  The BB-5 has an incredibly soft and solid feel when striking the ball, the SB-9 is much more talkative when putting.  It is more crisp sounding than the BB-5 and actually is very similar to sounding to putters that contain a sound slot cut in behind the face.  I definitely prefer the softer sounding BB-5 but the SB-9 gives great feedback due to its higher pitch when striking the ball.  My initial thought is to practice with the SB-9 and game the BB-5 in order to improve my putting stroke. I have never had great success with sound slot putters. I attribute this to the ball sounding/ feeling too "hot" when it comes off the face. This is entirely a personal preference.

Overall the SB-9 is another incredible piece of functional art by Bettinardi and I am glad to have both available to put in my bag.  I would recommend that if you are a fan of putters with sound slots, that you try the SB-9. If you are a person that prefers the softer sound, then stick with the black finish.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 12:33:14 PM by localfitch »

jcigars

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Re: SB-9 Playing Review
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 10:02:49 AM »
Mike...thanks for another great review. You keep this up and Doug might make you one of the editors :)


Loving the new design on the headcover.

Jimmy

moecat01

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Re: SB-9 Playing Review
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2007, 10:38:16 AM »
Thanks for the review - very helpful!

reflog74

Re: SB-9 Playing Review
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2007, 11:03:14 AM »
Superb review Mike! 

John

PS:  Getting psyched for the Open?

Kuch

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Re: SB-9 Playing Review
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 07:50:39 AM »
Thank you John and everyone for your comments.  I hope to continue provided useful reviews for all of you.

As for the Open John...you bet.  I was at Oakmont twice in the last 4 weeks. It is incredible and I think will play very tough this year.  It could bring back memories of the massacre at Winged Foot.  Funny how Phil said he felt pain in his wrist when hitting out of the rough at Oakmont the other day and may be injured.  I thought, join the club....who doesn't feel pain in their wrists hitting from the rough at Oakmont?

Superb review Mike! 

John

PS:  Getting psyched for the Open?