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WRX Spotlight: L.A.B. Golf BLaD Putter

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L.A.B. Golf putters have been a cult hit for quite some time now. They offer a unique fitting process designed by engineers to make sure each golfer get a putter build just for them—it’s called Lie Angle Balancing.

The company on Lie Angle Balancing:

“It’s perhaps best defined as the putter head’s ability to stay square through the ball during the putting stroke without any adjustments from your hands. The result — the body’s smaller and less reliable muscle groups relax, allowing a player’s stronger muscles to maintain control over swing speed and path. Lie-angle balancing creates a “pendulum-like” stroke with unmatched stability, ball direction and distance control.”

“Every putter we manufacture has our proprietary lie-angle balancing formula built-in, ensuring our players achieve the pure putting stroke they desire — and sink more putts!”

Their original design is the Directed Force now in version 2.1.

We all know that shape and appearance from address is almost as important as the fit itself so L.A.B. Golf has introduced its second design (now available in Stainless Steel) that offers all of the technology advances of Lie Angle Balancing but in a much smaller package.

This is the L.A.B. Golf BLàD.

Looks: When it comes to putters I’m all over the map, I’ve used everything from large mallets to traditional Anser-styles with success. Regardless of putter style one of the most important factors (for me)  is alignment and with my right eye dominance the shorter the line the better I set up. For me, the BLàD is VERY easy to line up because of if very squared-off look from address. If you prefer some onset then, this could be an even bigger winner. The sole shape is drafted in such a way that it wants to get square as soon as you set it down, and thanks to the lie angle fitting you should get with this putter is helps you get into the perfect position every time you address the ball.

Performance: Getting used to the feel of the stroke with the BLàD was interesting. It feels like the face really wants to stay online which is pretty cool. The putter also comes stock with its proprietary Press Grip that creates a forward press without having to adjust your natural setup—this also makes getting used to it a LOT easier.

Feel: This part is obviously going to be very subjective. I found that for me, even using a premium ball that it was a little firm. I think for many used to an insert putter it would take some getting used to but overall it’s by no means harsh—just SOLID. I think that if there was one thing that could be done to improve the sound, it would be the addition of traditional mill marks on the face to help damped the sound at impact.

Overall, I really like the L.A.B. BLàD design. It’s a straight forward looking putter packed with a bunch of well-engineered technology to help any golfer that goes through their fitting process the opportunity to drain more putts. If you are looking for more info on L.A.B. Golf, the BLáD putter, of the Direct Force design check out their website L.A.B. GOLF

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Samuel Rainey

    Mar 27, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Very solid putter. I have a DF 2.1 and love it but the Blad 1 is great feel look etc. doubters should watch videos on YouTube or LAB site on how this technology works

  2. HKO

    Aug 30, 2019 at 4:07 am

    grip is not installed correct

  3. JimmyRay

    Aug 28, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I am also wondering how this technology differs from a well-fit center shaft putter like a Seemore or Edel…

  4. Samuel Rainey

    Aug 28, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Get over the looks the Original DF 2.1 is strange but so was the Big Bertha compared to my persimmon driver but it worked so everyone flocked to it. Give it a chance the engineering is there. I haven’t tried the BLaD because I’m very happy with my 2.1 much more MOI on long putts.

  5. Milo

    Aug 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Why does your comment system suck so much?

    • Tiger Noods

      Aug 28, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Because this is a paid article, and they don’t like people saying how silly it is.

      • JP

        Aug 28, 2019 at 10:06 pm

        And the site owners/staff all get freebies from these companies…

      • Milo

        Aug 29, 2019 at 10:05 am

        I mean, kinja is better than this and that’s saying something.

  6. Eric Hutchens

    Aug 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    I would try it. Looks like SeeMore and Edel Brick made a baby!

    • Funkaholic

      Aug 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      My thoughts exactly! That’s not a bad thing.

  7. jm

    Aug 28, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    looks a lot like a seemore

  8. DB

    Aug 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    I like the idea of them having a blade option, but this is just too weird looking.

    Their mallet is huge but it at least has some flow to it and looks finished. The blade looks like an unfinished prototype or something. I’m not sure how to explain it.

  9. Tester

    Aug 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    The Lab Golf stuff is AMAZING! It nearly strokes itself. You literally have to mess it up. It would be nice for it to look a little better but THERE IS NO DOUBT IT WORKS. Quite possibly the best putter I have ever used…. and I even invented my own.

    • Frank Diaz

      Aug 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      What position at this company do you hold?

    • Adam

      Sep 6, 2019 at 8:20 am

      ” It nearly strokes itself.”

      Best comment by far

  10. BO BO

    Aug 28, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    $400 bucks for one of these monstrosities. The cost of golf equipment is starting to get ridiculous.

  11. JP

    Aug 28, 2019 at 11:45 am

    No thanks!

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers on USGA Conforming List

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When it comes to drivers, Mizuno isn’t usually the company that comes to the top of mind for many golfers, but starting with the ST-190, and then the ST-200 series in 2020, they have quickly changed the perception of their metal woods thanks to wins on tour and more players choosing to put them in play—most recently Brandt Snedeker as a non-contracted player.

This morning, with the update of the USGA and R&A conforming equipment lists, we are getting a sneak peek at what Mizuno will have in store for 2021 with the release of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers.

What we know

Based on the information provided in the USGA submission by Mizuno, the ST-X will only be available in right-handed (10.5 and 12-degree lofts), while the ST-Z will be available in both right (9.5  and 10.5 degrees) and left-handed (9.5 degrees only).

ST-Z

Based on the images from the USGA list and our experience with the Mizuno product line, it appears that the ST-Z is the next step in the evolution of the standard ST200 with no adjustable CG but with a customizable weight in the back of the head.

We haven’t seen any images of a moveable weight driver in this new ST series, so it could be that the G-woods are getting phased out in favor of more internally biased weighting, but since those types of drivers often take a bit more time to get just right, it could be a matter of time before a “G” type driver hits the list.

As for technology, it has Mizuno’s standard wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and based on the images, more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole. I would also expect to hear a new face material or design story to complete the package and to boost MOI and ball speed.

ST-X

Based on the image from the USGA list and our experience, it appears that the ST-X is the next step in the evolution of the ST200-X driver, which is the lighter weight, more upright, and draw-biased driver from Mizuno. Don’t think draw bias always means it’s for higher handicaps either, because Mizuno staff player Chris Kirk got along very nicely with his out on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours in 2020, including a win.

The tell-tale sign is the more heel biased weight in the back of the driver and what looks to be some sort of textured area to create “visible technology” towards the heel of the clubhead.

Beyond being draw-biased, when it comes to technology, it shares a lot of similarities to the ST-Z with Mizuno’s standing wave to create flexibility behind the face, an adjustable hosel, and more carbon fiber used around the head compared to previous generations, especially on the sole, and in the case of the ST-X, on the sole.

We don’t have any information on the release of these new drivers, but considering Mizuno didn’t adjust product release schedules in 2020, I would imagine it will be doing the same in 2021, and we can expect to hear more about these ST drivers either late 2020 or early into 2021.

To see what other golfers are saying about the newly spotted Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers, check out the GolfWRX forums and join the discussion: GolfWRX – New Mizuno drivers spotted on USGA Conforming List

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Equipment

5 hybrid vs 5 iron – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the logic behind removing their 5 iron from their bag. WRXer ‘rwl’ asks whether any fellow members have experiences doing so, and WRXers have been sharing their thoughts and experiences in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • RobertL.: “I replaced my 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. I find it far easier to hit than my 5 iron. I also took my 6 iron out of the bag, so now my longest iron is a 7. I now carry a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid since they’re so much easier to hit than long irons. Makes a big difference for this senior golfer.”
  • JohnKHawk: “For last 2 seasons I’ve played with a Cobra F9 5 hybrid. It’s 24 degrees & gaps perfectly between Cobra OS 3-4 hybrid at 20.5 degrees & Apex19 6 iron which is 26.5 degrees. The 5 iron was just getting to be to undependable. Misses with the 5 hybrid were more playable than the 5 iron. Use what works best for your game.”
  • Abe21599: “Never a bad idea to have both a 5i and 5h options in the trunk, just gotta watch lofts.”
  • nitram: “I know it sounds so “old man” but if you want to make a change in your 5-iron slot and can’t seem to get along with a hybrid, give the 9-wood a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.”

Entire Thread: “5 hybrid vs 5 iron”

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Kokrak’s winning WITB: 2020 CJ Cup

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Accra TZ5 85 M5 Proto 

3-wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees @14.5)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke 80

Irons: PXG 0311T Gen2 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F, 60-08M)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Bettinardi Studio Stock 38

  • F.I.T. Face
  • 303 Stainless Steel
  • 358 grams

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GTR 1.0

(Image c/o Bettinardi)

Grips: Golf Pride MCC Black/White

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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WITB

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