What do Matt Kuchar, Jordan Niebrugge and Eddie Pepperell have in common? They’ll likely be using a Bettinardi putter during the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
A putter is one of the most-used and most critical clubs in a golfer’s bag—and MSOE alumnus Robert Bettinardi ’82 has dedicated his career to developing the perfect putter. He is the president and founder of Bettinardi Golf.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from MSOE, Bettinardi returned home to Tinley Park, Illinois to take over his family’s manufacturing business and eventually started his own manufacturing business called X-Cel Technologies. His company specializes in milling highly sophisticated equipment for the Department of Defense, telecommunications and medical industries, on state-of-the-art CNC machines.
In 1991, he saw an advertisement for a putter milled on an out-of-date machine. Knowing the machines in his shop were far superior, Bettinardi was confident that he could produce a better product. He spent months with his team of engineers developing prototypes on CNC milling machines. They ultimately changed the way putters were made—by milling them from a single block of steel rather than welding multiple pieces together.
Bettinardi said he’s proud that he was able to become a successful businessman with an idea that became his passion. “It takes time, energy and practice to develop the highest quality and highest performing product.”
“MSOE was fantastic for me because the professors were hands-on and not buried in theory. They were part of industry and I learned first-hand from faculty with experience at Allen-Bradley, Harnischfeger and Harley-Davidson.”
That foundation is what has helped him expand Bettinardi Golf. The company continues to improve its products and develop new technology and face milling styles. It’s also expanded to offer professionally fitted and customized putters for golfers around the world.