Larryd3 reacted to DriverBreaker in L.A.B. DF2.1 Putter
L.A.B. Directed Force 2.1 Putter – Official MGS Forum Review by GolfSpy_CS
Full Introduction - click here
First Impressions (4/5 Stars)
I don’t think anything can really prepare you for how massive the Directed Force 2.1 head truly is. I mean there’s mallet putters and then there’s this thing. I saw a Mezz.1 in person a week before I got the DF2.1 and it was a fine sized putter. Very traditional fang-style size. This DF2.1 is a jumbo jet!
I rolled a few putts on the carpet and it sets up and feels good. I did not notice any issues with the forward ball position setup as I already tend towards forward ball position. Overall, the first impressions are positive. If you sole it correctly for the lie angle it’s built for and hold it with light grip pressure, the thing just wants to stay square for you.
Aesthetics (3/5 Stars)
You’ll either love or hate the aesthetics of the DF2.1… Personally, I love and hate it all at the same time, but am growing to love it more and more. The all black look I went with is clean. The matte black finish on the head and LA Golf shaft are just what I want them to be. No glare and mean looking. I also really like the long white line I chose for the alignment marker.
The size of the DF2.1, as mentioned earlier, could be a huge turnoff to some people. I was just putting with it on TrackMan’s putting analysis and our rep told me that larger mallets sometimes interfere with the TrackMan camera accurately picking up the ball on putts! LOL. He said, “Yeah this one might be an issue…”
The more I’ve putted with it, the more I view the massiveness as a positive though. It just inspires confidence. I know I miss toe side with putters, but with this thing, it doesn’t really matter.
The Numbers (5/5 stars)
Usually I'm all about data. I taught a graduate statistics course at my last university for crying out loud. But I wanted to keep this review on my experience. My stroke is not your stroke. My woes are not your woes. At the end of the day, you've got to like the way your club/putter looks, trust that it will perform, and what works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you. If it gives you more confidence, that’s a good thing right? Here’s what I can say. In my experience, I’ve never putted better. My playing partners have noticed as well. I know that if I pick the right line and speed, I’ve got nothing else to think about or focus on. With other my other putters (of which there are many), I would miss putts low side and wonder if I pulled them (often I did). Now I don’t think about it. I can evaluate if I over/under read break or speed.
Totally awesome putting video:
I have made more putts from inside of 10ft and over 15ft since using the L.A.B. than ever in my golfing career. My lag putting has improved as well. I don’t know how else to say it, this thing just drains putts. There were several putting practice sessions that come to mind. I wrote about these in the comments section, but one time I literally made 10 putts in a row from 10+ feet. Then I drained one from 25ft just for good measure. In other sessions I’m making tour-average percentages from 4-6ft (which never happened before). L.A.B.’s slogan of “You’re a better putter than you think” rings true for me. They also say on the DF 2.1 page, “Every putt is now makeable.” I truly do believe that now.
As far as the actual stats go, my 3 putts are down, my make rate from inside of 10ft is up, and my confidence (while unquantifiable) is also way up. This thing is staying in the bag. Here is a quick screenshot of the consistency of this putter from my short TrackMan putting session today. You’ll notice all of these launch directions were inside of 1* (our TrackMan rep said he’s pretty sure most PGA Tour players are inside of 1* either direction consistently). If you can do that, you'll hit your line over and over. You'll probably ask why these putts aren't consecutively numbered 1-10 or something. The TrackMan rep and I were taking turns so I deleted his putts.
On-Course (5/5 stars)
This thing just makes putts. Again, I don’t know how else to describe it. I feel very confident over the ball. Pick the line, speed, and just let it flow. As I said in the ‘Numbers’ category, my 3 putts are down, my make rate inside of 10ft is up, and more importantly, my 5 footers after a missed green and a short game save chip/pitch shot are up. These are very valuable to keeping my scores where I want them. I’ve also made more putts over 25ft during actual rounds of golf than I ever have before. The ball just seems to be on a string connected to the cup.
The Good, the bad, the in-between (5/5 stars)
One thing I really appreciated during this process was Sam Han, the CEO reaching out to us as testers for a phone call. We ended up having close to a one hour phone call about the putter, golf, and life. Sam is very passionate about the company, the products, and the game. That was icing on the cake for me.
People also take notice of this putter. When you take it out to practice or for a round of golf, people are very interested. Once they see you start rolling in putts, they really get interested!
Another thing I really like is that this is the first putter that ever sits flat for me naturally. And it should! It’s built to my lie angle specifically. All my other putters are always way toe up because of my low hands at address.
I didn’t really like the idea of the online fitting at first. But after talking with the CEO, it makes sense. Get comfortable, they build you a awesome putter, go make more putts. Simple.
Play it or Trade it (5/5 stars)
This should come as no surprise, but this thing is staying in the bag for the foreseeable future (check my updated signature). I honestly don’t think any of my current putters could hold a candle to it. There is no reason to make putting any harder than it has to be. L.A.B. gets my vote.
TL;DR: This thing just makes putts. I have supreme confidence whenever I step on the green. Before, I dreaded putting practice, putting during a round of golf, and only when I was inside of 1ft did I feel like I knew the putts were going to fall. Now, I feel like any putt is legitimately makeable. Inside of 10ft is no longer a weakness for me. Putting is finally fun! (never thought I’d say that)
Final Score (27/30 stars)
Larryd3 reacted to revkev in L.A.B. MEZZ.1 Putter
L.A.B. Mezz.1 putter review
While many OEMs are starting to offer some sort of online fitting component none are as confident about their methods as L.A.B. golf. There’s a drop down on the home page of the website for fitting and a neat instructional video on how to make a short, 10 second video, of a putting stroke plus a couple of measurements that would be needed to complete a remote fitting. The process, viewing the instructional video, making the fitting video, taking the measurements and sending it all in, took about 5 minutes. The promised response of “within 48 hours” was easily met.
I have been fit for putter before, live, and I will say that my fitter arrived at very similar specs through virtual fitting to the live one that cost me $150. Very impressive!
I ended up with a Mezz.1 putter, 70 degree lie angle, 32.5”, black Accra graphite (low torque) shaft, press II 1.5” grip. I opted for a dot on the top of the head as my alignment aid, other choices included a line or no alignment aid what so ever.
The wait for delivery was excruciating but also within the promised time frame. I must say that when I opened the box and first saw my putter I was stunned. I have been gaming an EVNRoll ER 5 which is a beautiful club. I was only familiar with the Direct Force putter from the L.A.B. line which quite frankly is pretty ugly to my eye.
What stunned me about the Mezz.1 was how compact and how beautiful it looked. Honestly, I think it looks like it belongs in a museum of modern art. It’s the most beautiful golf club that I have ever seen. The guys that I play with can’t keep their hands off the thing. One of the pros at my club hit one putt with it and said, “This thing putts all by itself. It’s gorgeous.”
So now it’s time to test Lie Angle Balance out and see if it does what L.A.B. golf claims.
Aesthetics 5 for 5
To me the putter looks like a small brick with a piece taken out. At first, I was taken aback by the inability to scoop the ball up but then I quickly realized that this is because that “feature” makes it more difficult to square the putter at impact. It’s a putter, not a ball picker. If ever I get to the point that I can’t bend over to pick up my ball, I can have some sort of implement that picks it up. That’s not what the putter is for, it’s there to roll the ball into the hole.
There are tons of screws on the sole of the Mezz.1, none are noticeable when addressing the ball or really ever unless you want to look at its sole. (Picture) When you unbox the club there is a disclaimer that tells you not to mess with any of these. The club is already balanced, any sort of adjustment might and probably will mess with that.
I’m not a huge feel guy in that I don’t need my equipment to feel or sound a certain way. If it performs, I will get used to it. But this putter feels solid. Even off centered hits feel solid to the point that it is difficult to say that this one or that one was off center. If it were an iron or driver, that would be an issue, but with a putter? So long as the ball rolls the same, who cares. And the ball does roll the same, seemingly across the face.
Solid, the Mezz.1 feels and sounds solid to me. I love holing putts with it because they feel like: holed putts from days of yore, when I was young.
The Numbers 4 of 5
Just prior to delivery we received another unexpected gift, a phone call from L.A.B. golf founder and CEO, Sam Hahn. Accordingly, this is the point where it is appropriate to thank both he and the MGS crew for entrusting us with this test.
I know that it is fashionable to bash OEMs and to believe that their claims are nothing more than marketing scams. However, in the golf industry, at least, my experience has been that most if not all OEMs care about the quality of the product that they produce and also how that product helps golfers enjoy the game.
L.A.B. golf is about revolutionizing the art of putting by making it easier and more effective. Think science of putting instead. According to their story: “At some point in their life, every golfer has thought, “I suck at putting.” For many golfers, it’s a permanent feeling. And it’s just not true. Every day we show golfers that they’re better putters than they think. They just need better science on their side. And that’s what L.A.B. Golf is bringing to the golf world.”
In our initial conversation Sam asked me to call when I was ready to hit the practice green for the first time. I literally called him on my way to my club. He suggested some drills to try and off I went. Full disclosure I’m a visual learner. I understood what he meant by one handed putting but not thumbs off. Fortunately, when I got home, I found a video of the drills which helped.
The first thing that I noticed on the practice green was that the ball goes where you aim it with this putter and that I had issues with my aim. No doubt this was because I was doing things with my putting stroke to mitigate against issues I was having with my putting. I’m a reasonably good player, mid single digit handicap. At 65 my hands are not nearly as steady as they used to be. Over the past couple of years, I’ve become susceptible to flipping the club face while putting making it difficult to control my speed. At my level a stroke here or there turns a 4 handicap into a 6 in no time.
At first every single putt that I hit went right. While frustrating it was actually a good sign because it meant that I wasn’t flipping the club. The low torque and lie angle balance kept the club face square throughout the stroke and that took some getting used to. Some one-handed putts and having one of the pros check my alignment got me going. In fact, I did so well one handed, knocking in 5 10 footers in a row, that I thought about adopting that method permanently.
It's long been my contention that amateurs miss more putts because they are miss hit than for any other factor. I don’t have the data to prove that, but I do know from experience that mishits usually come up short and are far more subject to being knocked off line by imperfections in the green. The Mezz.1 all put eliminates that possibility. It is extremely forgiving. In fact, I see as I’m completing this review that L.A.B. golf has released a Mezz.1 max which they are billing as being more forgiving. I can’t imagine why as the Mezz.1 is forgiving enough.
On-Course (4 of 5)
Testing a putter on the course is extremely difficult. IMO general data like that from Shotscope or ARCOSS is unreliable. Most of the rounds that recreational golfers play include givemees. A click of the watch is far easier than facing a tricky 4 footer for par.
On the course the Mezz.1 performed well. I certainly had better distance control, especially as the time of my test wore on. I holed any number of putts from 15-3 feet with some money on the line, more than enough to keep me happy.
The only area of concern remains from off the green. I’ve yet to find the right technique to use it from there. I play in Florida and chipping into the grain can be tricky. For now, I’ve switched to my hybrid from off the green but will continue to work the putter to see if I can’t refine that stroke.
In regards to getting some tangible data for this review I resorted to a MGS most wanted type of test. I hit 100’s of putts from 3,10 and 30 feet, measuring the results. For normal expectations I used data from the Tom Fielding Golf School for a scratch golfer.
From 3 feet I made 96 out of 100 putts or 96 %. That’s better than the 94 % listed for a scratch golfer. I was very pleased at this performance but do keep in mind that these were flat putts on two very good putting greens.
From 10 feet I made 32 out of 100 and more importantly did not leave a single putt outside of 2 feet. Perhaps most exciting for me was the fact that most of my misses were long. This supports my earlier statement that the Mezz.1 is extremely forgiving.
From 30 feet I was far more concerned about dispersion and proximity to the hole than makes. I only made 4 of the 100 putts that I hit from that distance, but I also only had 8 of 100 putts that finished outside of the proverbial 3 foot circle. In for real play, I would have holed most of those 8 as several where only just outside that 96 percent circle. Only 2 were outside my 50/50 distance of 7 feet.
My tendency has always been to leave lag putts short. With the Mezz.1 I’ve been getting close to 60 percent of my lag putts past the hole!
The Good, the bad, the inbetween (4/5)
This one is simple, I love the putter’s look, love its feel, solid, remember, and love its sound. Thus far I like its performance for all areas with the exception of from off the green. I suspect that my former putter had a bit more loft which helped from off the green.
Play it or Trade it? (5/5)
As you can see by the picture above the Mezz.1 is in my bag to stay. For me that’s no small thing as my last 2 putters were in my bag for 10 years and 5 years respectively. I do not change putters lightly.
The Mezz.1 eliminates some of the issues that I’ve had over the past, miss hits and flipping the toe end of the putter over. It’s put putting back in my hands, eyes and mind’s eye.
Going back to the beginning, I handed my Mezz.1 to one of the teaching pros at my club. He took one stroke with it and said, “that thing putts all by itself.” Then he asked, “What’s its price point?” I think that the way I have it set up my putter would retail for $549. He said, “For a putter? No way!” But after some conversation it was because of the way he thinks about putters and putting. For him and for many golfers from the top of the game down, putters are expendable, have a bunch in the closet and go with the “hot” hand.
L.A.B. golf is trying to change that way of thought. At price points from $350 to $750 their putters are like drivers, my Stealth for example, retails for $549. If you are properly fit and have a putter that works for rather than against, there is no reason why it shouldn’t stay in the bag for 5 plus years. Looking at it that way, while recognizing that you will use it 30-40 times each round, a putter like this one is well worth the cost for anyone who is serious about playing his or her best golf.
The look is beyond cool, so cool that I can’t keep it out of other people’s hands once they see it. The feel is solid, you strike a putt on your intended line, and it seems as if it must go in. The numbers that I assembled were impressive. A very high percentage of short putts holed a nice percentage of 10 footers with no troubling attempts out of 100 and a tremendous dispersion pattern from 30 feet.
As I’m writing I’m anxious to get out to the course again, stroke a putt, have that solid feel and hear the sound of the ball dropping to the bottom of the cup.
Final Score 27/30 stars
Larryd3 reacted to bens197 in L.A.B. MEZZ.1 Putter
TL;DR, full introduction here…
First Impressions 5/5
From the beginning, this test was different than others I’ve participated in. We were told to avoid contacting the company directly or else you’re subject to disqualification. L.A.B. had requested the contrary, so imagine my surprise when I was on the 17th hole of my home course after missing a 6 footer for birdie and I had an unknown caller from Oregon. It was Sam Hahn. Hi Steve, this is Sam…we had several more exchanges since then and there was nothing off limits for discussion as long as we were discussing the putters.
So how did I choose the MEZZ.1? I thought all heads were pretty interesting and quite honestly, I would have been happy with any if we were voluntold which ones to select. I liked the MEZZ.1 simply because I wanted a mallet that was not too large.
What I’ve learned during this process is that it requires an open mind. The technology we see on the social media ads are designed to break our preconceived notions about putting. How many of us miss putts because we miss the center of the face? Count me in on that group, especially on longer putts. Ever hit one off of the heel and say GD? I do…well, I did.
Now I can…the focused mass simply makes misses better. This technology has been attempted previously with other manufacturers and the side effects were dead faces. Miss the toe or heel, sure, but you better smash it. Not with L.A.B….You can miss them with your normal stroke without hammering putts and you reach your intended target.
So continuing with looks…
I do not care much for hard and square lines on a putter; my preferences are a softer and subdued style so this is certainly in stark contrast to what I’ve always preferred. Here’s the thing, there’s no growth in your comfort zone so get out and try something different. I was apprehensive about signing up for this test based solely upon looks…I decided that I could continue to operate under the same level of comfort OR I could try something new and innovative and see if it could help me improve. I am glad I did.
My first impression video offered looks and sound which immediately pleased me. I would attribute a part of this to the LA Golf shaft as a contributing factor. As the sum of its parts, this feels solid ALL ACROSS THE FACE. Misses feel solid and that tells me this technology is legit. Which putter helps you miss the ball better…Sound is feel and it feels good.
Bottom line…they made tech look cool
The Numbers (5 out of 5 stars)
I only had 3, 3-putts during this entire testing period throughout 11 rounds of golf.
Learning how to play this appropriately so that it would complement my game was the most difficult part of the process. If this were me hitting putts at a local shop on their carpet, I may have hit a few and said nah, I’m good. It took time to sort my mind out and understand where this putter begins the upstroke beyond the base of my arc. I’ve always played my putters off my left toe and purposefully caught the ball in that moment. With the forward press built into the club, I had to move the ball back and realize that this is the optimal setup position. It was not easy, especially considering that I did not like the Press Grip. It was too large for me and after a few rounds despite successful putting, I swapped it out for a Winn pistol. I respect the sum of all parts and how this product works in spite of its design however, I felt like I could get more out of this club. After making the switch, I was making more putts within the 5-15’ range. At the moment I feel unstoppable and get frustrated when I miss from this range. I feel the head better. I've had most success when I set the ball up just off the center of the face towards the toe. It suits my eye, feels wonderful and I try to catch the ball where the center grey part meets the black portion of the toe.
On-Course (5 out of 5 stars)
I played 11 rounds of golf (18 and 9 hole rounds) and only had 3, 3 putts. 2 of those came during one 9 hole round where I was just lost and had no touch. While I often feel strong about my putting, this only made me stronger. I felt phenomenally confident on my 5-15’ putts where I could give them a shot yet still leave them in a makable range. My scoring average this year prior to testing was in the low 80’s and my index was 6.3 to begin the year. I was able to get that down to a 5.1 during my 9th round with this putter. That works for me.
The Good, the bad, the in-between (5 out of 5 stars)
“Hey Steve, here’s my cell. Please call me and text me throughout the process if you have any questions regarding the MEZZ or L.A.B. In general.” Now I am paraphrasing however this is the essence of what we (I) dealt with and experienced. Sam gets it. This is the good stuff, the humility and genuine concern for the golfer’s experience. Sam Hahn was accessible and sought feedback on our testing. Not much else to say…we spoke more via text however the two phone calls we had were 14 and 8 minutes respectively. That’s a lot of time to talk shop without much filler.
Play it or Trade it? (5 out of 5 stars)
I said from the beginning, if this putter was better than my Cameron, I would sell my Cameron. I am selling my Cameron.
A perfect score? Seriously Steve?…without pause, I say absolutely yes…I am remarkably better with this putter and that’s the entire point. Accessible CEO, quality product, better results.
Different is good. Try something truly different that is engineered to make your misses better; it worked for me.
Larryd3 reacted to B_R_A_D_Y in L.A.B. DF2.1 Putter
Looks like an old-fashioned bottle opener to me.
Aesthetics and Reactions from other golfers
"It’s Big" - Response of 80% of People Who I Showed it to
I knew that someone had read about this putter whenever they echoed the words, “looks like a branding iron.”
Yes, it is big. Although, I was around when PING irons first came on the scene. When everything else was a blade, they seemed massive. One old boy used to say, “You could dig up potatoes with them things,” meaning they looked like a hoe.
And then Big Bertha appeared on the scene. “It’s huge," everyone exclaimed. Not by today’s standards though. So while the Directed Force (DF) is indeed larger, it means to me exactly what PING and Big Bertha meant back then … better performance and an increased margin of error.
"It Sounds Different" - A Youtube Reviewer Mentioned this, too
I couldn’t wait to try this club, so I grabbed 3 random balls and went to the practice green. First ball I hit, the club let out a distinctive ping. I’m old enough to remember the original PING 1A putter and it was named PING because of the ping sound it emitted. (Take a look at the L.A.B. B2 ... it resembles the original PING 1A) Turns out the first ball I tried was a Topflight. The other 2 balls were softer, a Titleist and a Callaway which did not ping near as loudly. So the harder the ball is, the louder the ping. It is a non-issue to me, because I don’t even hear it anymore.
"It’s too Light" - Immediate Response from a Golfer
I had not realized how light this DF configuration was until I picked up my Spider EX. There was a noticeable difference. I bought that Spider cuz I wanted a heavier putter head than my old PING Anser. Maybe it was lucky that I never compared the putters until after I had been using the DF for a week. By then I didn’t care that my old favorite felt heavier. I definitely can see that head weight does not make a difference in performance. I actually think it’s easier to hit the DF 2.1 on really long putts. I thought I wanted that weight for those long putts … but the DF proved me wrong.
By the way, the guy who said it was too light never even hit a putt with it. His loss.
"Is that a L.A.B. Putter" - Response from Several Golfers
While I was on the putting green a guy yelled over from the first tee, “Is that a L.A.B. putter?” Another person caught me on the chipping green, without the putter, asking if I was the guy with the L.A.B. And I also heard a few times that guys had a friend who played one. People have heard about this putter,
"That’s a Lot of Lines" - Response from Several Golfers
I love these lines. I set it down, align it to my target, and feel fully confidant that I’m right.
"The Grip is Fantastic" - Response from Several Golfers
I love this grip ... the soft tackiness and the way it fits my hand. Several other people echoed these sentiments exactly.
"How Can You Putt off the Toe if it’s Not Dead" - A Collegiate Player
As I touted the benefits of the soft feel of the ball leaving the face and the fact that toe hits don't lose momentum, a young college golfer said that he needs to have a dead hit on the toe, so he can putt a fast downhill slopping green. Sounds like something I heard when I was his age.
Off-center putts are so soft I don't really feel them ... and they definitely don't lose momentum. I set this putter up on the line I want, and then think of nothing else except pacing. I don’t care if I miss the center of the face because I know the ball maintains it's momentum wherever I strikes the face. The ball will stay on line and still not lose distance like toe & heel hits on other putters. And that is a confidence builder.
Because this putter does not torque on impact, the entire face stays square to where your hands are. That doesn't mean you can't push or pull it. As long as your hands are locked in, the face will stay square to the line on miss hits ... heel or toe.
I was one of the last in the group to receive my putter because of issues delaying my fitting process and also from being away on vacation. So I probably had 2 weeks less with my DF than most of the others. I started playing with it immediately.
I could have set up a putting trial with chalk lines and gates, but I don’t believe quantifying practice tells me anything about playability under pressure. Putting 25 balls down a chalk line with both putters on a flat putting green, doesn't help me on the course when trying to win skins. Besides, the practice green is the only flat green on our course. And at my age fatigue is an issue, too. My back is so bad it starts aching if I practice putting or chipping for more than 10 min. And that fatigue would have affected bulk testing. I have no problem trying out a club under fire. We play small $5-$20 games 3 times a week, so it was no big deal trying the DF out in a skins game. I was so happy with the club, I used it in a tournament after only playing 3 rounds with it. We tied for first, but lost on a coin toss.
I felt like I was fairly good at putting with my Spider. So, here are a few comparisons between it and the DF, so you can see my base and where the DF excelled.
I had 9-hole rounds with 5-1 putts using both putters in our men's association ... all over 10 foot putts I've had 15-putt, 9-hole rounds with both putters I had sub 30-putt, 18-hole rounds in skin games with both putters I achieved a 50% reduction in 3-putts with the DF I feel that my lag putts land closer with the DF I had been tracking Distance to pin 1st putt / Number of putts / Distance missed, on my score cards, but I gave up and relied on my Arccos Caddie stats instead. So the only stats of mine that I feel are worthy of sharing are from my Arccos data.
I had lost my original Arccos putter sensor and Arccos replaced it for free … many thanks Arccos. I also purchased a second putter sensor so that I could track both putter’s stats separately.
Included in these graphics are the last 100 putts with both my Spider EX, and the last 100 putts with the Directed Force 2.1. As you can see there is a slight improvement in 1-putts. But the huge impact for me was the reduction in 3 putts. Every 3 putt eliminated is a stroke saved.
I wish I could show y’all a graphic for distance left after the 1st putt. I tracked it manually a few rounds with each putter, but didn’t feel like I saved enough data to make it anything more than anecdotal. Which is unfortunate, because I honestly feel I am leaving my 10’-30’ putts much closer with the DF … less than a foot in a majority of cases. The fact that my 3 putts have been reduced by 50% proves that I am leaving long putts closer.
It’s difficult to quantify confidence in a putter. I had it with my old putter … I’ve got more of it with the Directed Force 2.1.
On The Course
“Set It and Forget It” is a trademarked phrase by marketing genius Ron Popeil that took on pop culture status in the 90s. His catch phrase has become my putting mantra for the DF 2.1. I set the club on line and I never think about it again, instead concentrating on distance and pace.
I have a random putting flaw where I occasionally pull my hands outside my swing plane. Sometimes, as I take the putter back, the head jumps off my swing path ... I’ve got a bit of nerve damage in my hands. But the point is, I see it when it happens, and that blows my concentration ... instead of focusing on pace, I am thinking about mechanics and it’s not going to be a good stroke. With the DF I don’t worry about controlling the stroke path anymore. I have complete confidence that if miss the center of the face, the ball will still travel on my intended line at the pace I wanted. That has given me freedom to focus on touch. Now when I see the putter move, I ignore it and toss the ball to the hole.
With the margin of error the DF provides me, I can ignore my hand drift when I see it. Sure, I still push an occasional putt. I still roll my hands on occasions, too. I’m not saying the DF eliminates all my problems. I’m saying that for me, it takes my mind off trying to control my swing, too precisely. My Arccos data has shown that using the DF has reduced my 3 putts by 50%, and that's the difference between a 4/3 skin and a 5/4 "also ran".
I may come off looking like an egotistical ass for this next graphic ... but I believe this putter played a huge part in my performance in a recent tournament. I had a Cinderella round ... I’ve included the scorecard ... and as you can see I played out my ass. This is an anomaly folks. Although I must say it stems from the confidence I had standing over every putt. And I am thoroughly convinced that that confidence carried over into my entire game that day. My drives were longer & straighter and I was confident I was going to chip-in a ball before I hit it. Don’t get me wrong, there was a fair amount of luck involved, especially on several approach shots. And hell, if you look close enough you can see that I got too cocky on the 14th, rushed the putt and lipped out an easy 5’ putt for par/birdie. Plus I had 2-3 putts of which I am thoroughly ashamed.
Full disclosure: the next round after that tournament was in our Tuesday, senior skins game, and I shot an 85. It consisted of 4-1 putts and 14-2 putts. Two skins and not a 3 putt in the bunch. I'm happy with that.
The Good, The Bad, and In Between
This is an anti-torque head with an anti-torque shaft and they work perfectly together. I do not see any degradation in off center putts.
I love the soft feel of the BGT - Stability Tour Fire shaft. The LA Golf shaft is listed as having an even a softer feel. The soft feel gives me the impression that my putts are effortless as opposed to throwing my heavy headed Spider at the ball on really long putts.
Don’t confuse soft feel with weak ... soft does not equate to loss of feel ... I do not need to swing harder on long putts. When I putt now, my stroke feels far more intuitive ... like throwing darts. This configuration putts as easily on 35’ putts as it does at 10 footers. The ball comes off the face easily and rolls straight as an arrow.
The alignment lines are fantastic. I love how confident I feel that I am on target.
I can’t think of a single thing to change on this club. People say it’s ugly. I don’t care because I'm putting great with it.
The Bad ... Slightly Unhappy
I was unhappy with the remote fitting process. I screwed it up by submitting a poor fitting video. I would have preferred to try before I buy. That’s my only hang up in this process. I honestly believe that face to face interaction would have been better for me.
I sincerely feel that if it had been possible for me to try this putter out first, and experiment with different lies, maybe I could have had even better results than I got. Seems petty and doesn't mean I'm right. But there will always be that doubt in my head … could it be better? Would I have liked a blade better?
I tried a myriad of putters before selecting the Spider EX I was using. When I ordered it, I asked for a custom bump to the standard lie by 2°, (assuming standard to be 67°). Turns out my Spider is a 70° standard; 72° as ordered. In the fitting video I sent L.A.B., I can see that I have the toe of the putter in the air. Lots of people putt with the toe in the air ... how was L.A.B. to know I didn't too? Nope, I did not pay enough attention to my setup and I regret it. They came back with a measurement off the video of a 67° lie, (which I have verified on my computer). It was my fault that I didn't get the lie I wanted.
I thought I was matching the putter I liked. I was wrong. So my unhappiness was caused by me. I regret that I did not match the Spider's lie angle, because like I said, it might have increased my success with the DF. And there's no running to a local fitter, if we had one, to have the lie adjusted ... you can't bend a composite shaft.
So if you order via the remote fitting process, do your homework. Try and determine what you are currently using before submitting your video. Do you want to match your current putter or improve on it? Talk it over with them. They will work with you. One caveat is that it took 2 days to get any of my questions answered. And with a holiday in the mix, a question on Friday didn't get addressed until the following Wednesday. It's only an issue if you are in a time crunch, as I was, needing the putter for my review.
Lie Angle Hack: Hold your putter flat against a tabletop, and using a protractor app on your phone, measure your lie angle.
Due to buttons getting in the way, you are probably going to get a measurement within ±1° ... make certain your table top is 0° too.
One minor caveat about the grip … I have a cart bag, and the extra width of the grip can interfere with other clubs when bagging or un-bagging them.
Play it or Trade it
In My Bag - Forever
I actually GOOGLED "Will a New Putter Improve My Putting"
A change of putter can never compensate for a lack of skill. At best it can make poor putting slightly less bad.
Hey GOOGLE, WRONG!
When you’ve been playing for a decade or two, you develop bad habits. And bad habits using a putter with no margin for error just makes things worse. A new Directed Force can actually compensate for some bad habits.
Case in point: I showed my Directed Force to Dan, a fellow golfer in our Saturday Morning Skins Game. He has fought an outside-in putting stroke his entire life, which is kind-of similar to my hands drifting off my intended swing path. For both of us, missing the center of the club with our old putters, means our putts will probably be off line and short. The DF does not penalize you on off-center hits, because the head doesn't torque open and you don't lose momentum at impact ... the entire face stays square to the target line. My off-center hits did not affect my putt distances. When I know my putter is square to my target line ... when I can ignore a swing path error, then I am going to be more successful with my pacing, and that means I’ll make more putts. To me the DF is a game improvement putter and it works.
Dan has been practicing specifically to control his putting swing plane … to a moderate success. It is a habit he picked up / ingrained at the beginning of his golf career, and those are near impossible to eliminate. From the first time he tried my DF was on the 9th green ... he started rolling them in from +10 feet. He was so excited he didn’t give the putter back to me for 10 minutes. Yes, he was still swinging outside in, but what was different this time, was that the putter was not penalizing him for off center hits. The face stayed square because it did not torque and the putts rolled true because the face maintained momentum along its entirety.
If you struggle with your putting swing plane, you need to give L.A.B. putters a try. It could make a big difference.
Trade It - Never
When I announced to my fellow golfers at the club, that I had been selected to review the Directed Force, some of the guys joked that I could trade it for a new driver after the review. I’ll say it right here and now, I wouldn’t trade it for an entire new set of new clubs.
To give you a better idea as to the value / price of my Directed Force configuration, consider this: My custom made Spider EX retailed for close to $500, with a standard shaft. The price for a stock Directed Force 2.1 with the fantastic Press-II 3° grip is $399. To customize it with non-standard length or lie, it starts at $549 and that is just slightly more than the Spider EX. Then there are upgraded shaft options from $100 - $380. The DF 2.1 configuration that I tested has the BGT - Stability Tour Fire shaft ($275) and Alignment markings ($25) for a total of $849.00. I believe it is in the same price range as mass market putters, and worth every penny.
I said it before: “I was not in the market for a new putter.” I was curious though. I wanted to see what a torque-less putter was all about. Drive for show — putt for dough hints at a deeper concept here … confidence in your putter is far more important than confidence in your driver. You can always fall back to your 3 wood, but lack of confidence in your putter can be disastrous.
I had issues with the remote fitting process ... part of it turned out to be my fault. I believe putters are intuitive weapons, and I want to hold it in my hands before I buy it. That said however, I love this putter. Yes, I initially thought it was big and ugly, but I don't anymore.
As far as looks go … who cares. I think it must look intimidating to my opponents. Besides, I have won money with it. The grip is fantastic and instills as much confidence as the putter head does. And the shaft not only adds to the non-torque capabilities, it provides a soft, pleasant feel.
My stats show that I’ve reduced 3 putts by as much as 50%, and that’s the difference between a 4/3 skin and a 5/4 no-one-cares. The reduction in 3 putts is proof that I’m leaving my putts closer … I honestly feel like I have more putts stopping within inches then I did with my old putter.
Confidence. Lining a putt up is easy for me with these top lines. Fantastic grip makes me feel like my hands are locked in. Linear face momentum from the non-torque head eliminates my worries for an imperfect stroke. Soft feel off the face gives me the the sense that I’m tossing darts.
The Good, the Bad, the In-Between:
For me, this is a game changing putter. The non-torque head and shaft compensate for my occasional drifting off the swing path and off center hits still track true. And yet, even though this is simply a mental hangup for me, I can’t help but wonder whether this is the perfect L.A.B. model for me.
Someone asked me:
"Are you happy with it."
"Then get over it and move on."
"Yes, but ..."
Play it or Trade it:
The Directed Force 2.1 is in my bag to stay. The guys at the club keep joking about me trading trade it for a new driver(s) … they think it’s ugly. I just laughed while they were handing me my tournament money. Enough said.
It sounds a little cheesy, but the DF 2.1 lead me to begin thinking “I can do this.” And that powerful thought is a positivity that has seeped into my game overall. I’m enjoying my game more. There's tons of room for improvement, but I'm coming home in a much better mood. My wife is really happy about that.
I'm showing this putter to everyone, whether they have doubts about their putting stroke or not. While the base model DF is about the same price as discounted big name putters out there, custom versions of the DF are priced in line with big name putter customizations. So the next time you are in a golf store, pick one up and give it a try, then think about remote fitting. It might change your game.
I know, it's only a 6 footer. But anything further and y'all would be accusing me of staging it.