Bettinardi INOVAI 6.5 Putter Review

Bettinardi's INOVAI series has been given an upgrade for 2024. Dave Usher runs the rule over the all new INOVAI 6.5 putter to see if it delivers on its hefty price tag

Bettinardi INOVAI 6.5 Putter Review
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

The Bettinardi INOVAI 6.5 is a premium build, highly forgiving mallet that would be a nice addition to the bag of a wide range of golfers of varying skill levels. It's a well-balanced putter that delivers a consistent roll and soft feel from anywhere on the green.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Premium build

  • +

    Extremely forgiving

  • +

    Milled face aids consistency of strike

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Blocky shape won’t appeal to everybody

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Bettinardi is a brand with a well established reputation for producing some of the best putters money can buy and you will find Bettinardi putters in the bags of Matt Fitzpatrick, Matt Kuchar, Jason Kokrak and Fred Couples amongst others. The brand has four lines of putters; the Studio B Series, the Queen B Series, the BB Series and the INOVAI Series, which along with the BB Series has had an update for 2024.

I recently tested the Bettinardi BB1-W which is one of the best blade putters I’ve tried this year, but the subject of this review is an interesting mallet putter from the INOVAI range. Of the four head options available in the INOVAI collection it was the 6.5 that really caught my eye due to its slightly unorthodox shape. It’s a fang design but not like any fang putter I've used, so I was excited to try it, especially as it’s a design that hasn’t been widely available previously. 

Bettinardi Inovai 6.5 putter

(Image credit: Future)

Until now the 6.5 had only been a limited-run putter but Sam Bettinardi tweaked the design to give it a sleeker, more compact look and it was added to the 2024 INOVAI range. The hexagonal shape and fangs are designed to optimize the putter’s MOI (Moment of Inertia) thanks to triangular vents that save weight, which is then distributed to the perimeter to help provide stability and forgiveness. 

The head itself is comprised of two parts; a 303 Stainless Steel front piece and a 6061 Military Grade Aluminium back piece. The Midnight Armor and Titan Grey color scheme combined with the blend of different metals offers a nice visual contrast while also providing important performance benefits. The steel front features Bettinardi’s Roll Control face milling, which is a groove design that offers a soft feel and is designed to quickly get the ball into a true roll.

A premium quality shaft combined with a nice Lamkin grip and a stylish leather headcover completes the high end look and feel of a putter that sits near the top end of the price scale, but which certainly delivers on performance.

Bettinardi Inovai 6.5 putter

(Image credit: Future)

All of the putters in the INOVAI series are available in a number of different length, loft, lie and neck options so you can have it set to whatever your preference is. While there are four heads in the range, the four different neck options available on each (spud, slant, mini plumbers and center shaft) essentially make it a 16 putter line up.

I had the standard option INOVAI 6.5 which is 35” long with 3 degrees of loft and in a slant neck, which is ideal for golfers with a relatively straight-back, straight-through putting stroke. As one of those golfers, it suited me very nicely and I experienced good results with it.

I tested the INOVAI 6.5 out on my home course, Hurlston Hall in West Lancashire, as well as on my artificial turf putting green at home. As always, I used a mix of the best golf balls available to get a true feel for how the putter reacts to different compression golf balls. A premium golf ball is going to feel a lot different to a golf ball for senior golfers, so it’s always good to mix things up.

First impressions, the INOVAI 6.5 sits nice and square at address and to me the visuals really inspire confidence over the ball. I like the contrasting colors, which in tandem with the dual alignment lines really make it easy to frame the ball and start it on line.

Bettinardi Inovai 6.5 putter

Testing the Bettinardi INOVAI 6.5 at Hurlston Hall

(Image credit: Future)

The putter has strong MOI characteristics and feels very stable throughout the stroke. The feel is indeed soft (softer than the BB series putters I tested) and the sound is more muted than I expected. I was surprised at how often I seemed to find the sweet spot which I suspect is due to a combination of the excellent stability and the fact that it really suits my eye, which I think is extremely important when choosing a putter. If you feel confident with a putter when you stand over the ball that’s half the battle won.

Everything about the INOVAI 6.5 made me feel comfortable at address. I loved the feel of the grip in my hands, the alignment lines gave me reassurance that I was lined up correctly and the balance/weighting of the putter made it very easy to make a nice steady stroke.

Bettinardi Inovai 6.5 putter

Bettinardi’s Roll Control face milling helps ensure a smooth roll

(Image credit: Future)

In terms of the performance and feedback, when I missed the center of the face I could certainly feel it in my hands but there wasn’t a discernible difference in roll compared to when I found the middle and the mishits travelled a very similar distance to the good strikes, making the 6.5 one of the most forgiving putters on the market this year. I would even go as far as to say it is one of the best putters for high-handicap golfers, even if that isn’t necessarily who it is aimed at.

All in all it’s a very impressive putter but it is one of the more expensive options out there (RRP is $400) and that might put some people off, which is fair enough. It's a lot of money for a putter and there are plenty of excellent cheaper putters available. If you do splash out though you certainly won’t be disappointed as the Bettinardi INOVAI 6.5 delivers premium performance in every category.

David Usher

Dave is a distinctly average golfer with (fading) aspirations to be so much more than that. An avid collector of vintage Ping putters and the world's biggest Payne Stewart fan, in 2021 Dave turned his front garden into a giant putting green to work on the weakest area of his game. Progress has been slow but steady! In addition to his work reviewing golf gear and writing features for Golf Monthly and T3, Dave is the founder of the Bang Average Golf website

Dave’s lowest round is a one over par 73 around Kirkby Valley Golf Club in 2018, which included a bogey on the 18th to ruin the one and only chance he’ll ever have of shooting an even par or better score.  That errant tee shot on 18 does not still haunt him to this day though, in fact he hardly ever thinks about it.  No, honestly, he doesn’t. Not at all. Never.

Dave splits most of his golf between Hurlston Hall Golf Club in Ormskirk, Lancs, and Berrington Hall Golf Club in St Helens and has a handicap that fluctuates between 9 and 12, largely depending on how poor his putting is. 

Dave’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Wilson Staff Dynapower Titanium, 9.5° 

5 wood: Tour Edge Exotics 722, 18°

7 wood: Callaway Mavrik Max, 21° 

Hybrid: Srixon ZX 2 hybrid, 16°

Irons: Wilson Staff Dynapower, 6-PW

Wedges: Cleveland CBX ZipCore (graphite), 44°, 48°, 52°, 56°

Putter: Ping PLD Oslo 3

Ball: Wilson Staff Triad