L.A.B. Golf wasn’t the first company to realize that torque is bad for putting. Before we came along, there were other companies working on putters that reduced torque to help golfers putt more consistently. Raise your hand if you remember the Positive Putter and the Plop!
Yes, it’s been a long time coming for Low-Torque putters. And it’s been the combined efforts of a lot of people that has laid the foundation for what we’re calling the Low-Torque Putter Revolution.
This Revolution is about making putting more fun through science. It’s the same radical thinking that led Karsten Solheim to launch his “Anser” putter in 1966. Back then, people made fun of the way Solheim’s putter looked and told him no real golfer would ever use it. Today, it’s considered a work of art. Nearly every putter company has created its own version of the Anser.
The radicals of 2020 include L.A.B. Golf, Edel, Axis1, and Odyssey. These companies are on my list because they’ve all taken the low-torque plunge and continue to develop low-torque putters. What’s different about L.A.B. Golf is that unlike the other low-torque putters, L.A.B. Golf putters don’t just minimize putter head torque. They eliminate it. And golfers can feel this difference.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a version of this story about the DF 2.1 from a customer: “The first time I saw it, I thought, ‘I would never use that.’ And now I think it’s the most beautiful putter I’ve ever seen.”
Yes, making a few more 5-footers really does change the way golfers see things.
As the CEO of L.A.B. Golf, I am certainly not without bias. But my reason for joining the company was based on my deep conviction that every golfer should be using a L.A.B. Golf putter. The damn thing basically stays square by itself. How can that not be better?
For golfers who can’t use a L.A.B. Golf putter, for whatever reason, I wanted to share my favorite low-torque putters on the market. I realize that it’s strange for the CEO of a company to recommend products that are made by his competitors. The reason why I don’t mind doing this is my belief that low-torque putters are the future of the industry. The look on a golfer’s face when he or she finds out that 5-footers don’t have to be so scary? There’s nothing more important for having fun on the course.
The golf industry is easily big enough for all the low-torque putter companies out there. I believe we’re stronger together than we are apart. Plus, people love choices. This is America. So whether you buy a L.A.B. Golf putter or something else, you’re supporting all of us.
But seriously… buy a L.A.B. OK?
Below are the pros and cons of L.A.B. Golf putters, as well as my favorite low-torque putters. Each includes a video of a test we performed with each putter using “The Revealer,” a device we developed that allows a putter to hang freely so we can see how a putter head wants to move during the stroke. And before we get into the list, there’s one last thing you should know about torque.
While we know torque has a negative effect on putting, we still don’t exactly understand what amount of torque affects a golfer’s stroke. Does 0.25 foot pounds make a difference? Does 2.5 foot pounds? We’re exploring this science deeply, and one day we’ll be able to provide a definite answer.
L.A.B. Golf’s stance today on this is simple; if you can totally remove a variable from putting, you should do it. And that’s why our putters are zero torque.
MEZZ.1 is our best-selling putter and our most used model on the PGA Tour. It was developed to fill the gap between our outrageously forgiving DF 2.1 mallet putters and super minimalistic B.2 blade putters. MEZZ.1 is also available in a new larger and more forgiving MEZZ.1 MAX model.
Golfers that gravitate towards MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX prefer their smaller footprint compared to DF 2.1, as well as the improved responsiveness they provide over DF 2.1. Golfers also can benefit from these enhanced enhanced forgiveness of these putters when compared to B.2.
We call MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX semi-automatic, which means these putters won’t “glide on rails” during the stroke like DF 2.1. But they are 100% Lie Angle Balanced. MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX give golfers more control over the way they want to hit delicate off-speed speeds and putt on super-slick greens compared to DF 2.1.
Directed Force 2.1®, or DF 2.1, is the putter that started it all for L.A.B. Golf. It was developed by our founder Bill Presse IV to fix his own inconsistent putting so he could cash more checks on the mini tours. Through a lot of trial and error, he discovered that putter head torque was holding him back, and he figured out how to remove it with the technology that we now use in each of our putters: Lie Angle Balance, or L.A.B. for short.
To accomplish Lie Angle Balance in each of our putters, we need to be incredibly precise. That’s why all L.A.B. Golf putter heads are first forged and then 100% CNC milled. They’re also 100% made in the USA. They’re built by hand and balanced by hand one at a time by our craftsmen in our facility in Eugene, Ore.
Edel first launched this concept in a putter known as “The Brick,” which was popularized by The Golf Scientist when he turned pro. Edel has since made the awesome decision to expand the Torque Balanced putter lineup to offer golfers a variety of low-torque putter head shapes.
Torque Balanced putters have what’s known as a “Toe Up” design, which means the putter head is weighted so that the toe will point straight up when the putter is laid horizontal on a table — the opposite of what will happen with an old 8802.
In the world of putting, Edel Founder Dave Edel deserves the utmost respect. He’s one of the smartest people in the industry with his most noteworthy work in the science of alignment. We’ve based a lot of our alignment options on Edel’s work, and other putter companies do as well.
And lastly, we want to give Edel a shoutout for its quality. If you’ve ever been to the PGA Show, you may have seen one of the luxury handmade watches Edel makes. His putters exhibit that level of detail. Edel putters are also made in the USA.
Axis1 offers a variety of putters with an unusually shaped heel that is positioned in front of the putter face. It has a counterbalancing effect on the putter head that places the center of gravity (CG) in the exact center of the putter face. The most widely known model is the Axis1 Rose, which is named after the U.S. Open champion that games it.
One really interesting aspect of the Axis1 Rose design is that it looks a lot like the famed #7 putter from Odyssey. That’s a big deal. Axis1 was able to make a low-torque putter using a design that has become one of the most desired shapes in the industry.
Of the low-torque putters, Axis1 is the winningest. This was earned this hard way. Co-Founder Phil Long deserves big props for being the first person to take low-torque putters inside the ropes on Tour. Telling world-class golfers that they could be putting better takes cojones. Repping a small putter company inside the ropes isn’t just challenging; it’s expensive. And Mr. Long made all of our lives easier by doing it.
Odyssey first launched this concept as the Backstryke in a few different head shapes. The shaft placement is in the rear of the putter head, which creates an onset putter head (onset means the putter face is ahead of the shaft).
This putter was most notably used by Tommy “Two Gloves” during his hot streak on the PGA Tour. The latest version of this putter has a new name (Toe Up) but maintains the Backstryke-style construction and onset.
If you have any questions about L.AB. Golf putters or any other low-torque putter on this list, you can get in touch here.
To Better Putting,
L.A.B. Golf CEO