We have all been there. We have all struggled on the greens and we have all gone through numerous putters trying to find the right feel. The putter is the one club in my bag that tends to change multiple times in a season.
The problem, which I never knew was a problem, is that most putters today require pressure and manipulation to keep the face square during the putting stroke. This short video by L.A.B Golf below gives us a perfect look at how the conventional putters of today require manipulation just to stay square.
Pressure and manipulation are really the last two things you want in a putting stroke, especially when the pressure is on. I have a hard enough time making putts, I don’t need a completely separate factor working against me. Intrigued by the science behind all of it, I decided to give the L.A.B Golf Directed Force 2.1 a go.
DF 2.1 First impressions: Plain and simple, this thing is FUGLY. It’s hideous, weird looking and turns you off just on looks. What looks like a beer bottle opener or something you brand cattle with can’t be that good, right? Be it as it may, I can get past the looks of it as long as there is inner beauty. Right fellas?
The next thing that was noticeable immediately was the forward lean of the shaft, again, just visually, took some getting used to. After some research, I found the forward leaning shaft is designed to promote a slight upward hit on the ball which promotes a tight end-over-end roll. With the forward shaft lean, the grip and putter face do fall on the same line as you can see below:Once you roll it a few times, you immediately get past the looks. Right off the bat, the stroke feels as smooth as a Patrick Reed wedge gliding through sand in a bunker. That’s because the DF 2.1 is balanced to the lie angle. What does that mean? In short, it means the putter will stay in the playing position as you make your stroke. Much like what you saw in the video above. This does two things: It eliminates the torque that exists in traditional putters, and also it keeps the face square to your target line the entire stoke. I also found that the lighter I gripped the putter, the more it felt effortless to create a perfect pendulum stroke.
I will say, the one thing I did struggle with initially was pace on longer putts. I was deadly in the short/mid range, but lag putts took some getting used to. As you can see, the head of the DF 2.1 is quite large and with that, in my head I believed that size equalled mass which equaled putts being smashed. Subconsciously I thought this was going to lead to putts being hit harder, so my strokes weren’t as big.
On the longer putts, you can’t be afraid to take a longer stroke. Early on, I left a lot of lag putts short, but a couple of practice sessions quickly resolved that issue. The positive thing I found with the DF2.1 was how forgiving it was on off center hits. With this design, they apparently backed their way into a putter that is also extremely forgiving. This is a non issue for most putters, but a really big thing when you need a little bit of a further swing on those super long putts!
The science behind this thing is what blows me away. When I see stuff like this I always thank the people in college that stay in their dorm studying while the rest of us go out and party.
Contrary to the old saying, apparently it can be the arrow and not the Indian. I have gone from blades, to mallets, to arm lock putters trying to find the right fit. The putters of today require you to make self corrected adjustments to keep the face square through impact. This, feels effortless.
For those that crave a blade style putter, L.A.B Golf has recently released the B.2. The B.2 resembles the old school bullseye putter and looks like something a mini golf course would hand you before you start playing putt putt. You will get the same smooth feel out of the B.2 with the same lie angle balancing minus the forgiveness of the DF2.1
For those looking to pick up one of these putters: L.A.B. Golf makes it so easy to customize your putter to your liking with many different color, shaft and alignment options.
If you don’t know what lie angle you need, they have a tutorial on how to send them a video of your stroke so they can accurately build your putter with the correct lie angle!
As always, thanks for reading!