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Does the average golfer putt better or worse on FAST greens?

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A few months ago, the GolfWRX Editorial Team emailed me three story ideas. The first two have worked out quite well (you can read them here and here), so I decided to dig into the third. Being somewhat of a grizzled veteran, I thought that I knew the answer to the above question… but could I prove it by researching the ShotByShot.com 160,000+ round database?

From the very beginning, 27 years ago, I have enabled ShotByShot users the flexibility to categorize their rounds by what I believe to be meaningful filters. Two of these filters are germane to this topic: Green Speed (fast, medium or slow) and Format (non-tournament vs. match play or stroke play tournament rounds). With considerable help from my genius programmer, we selected 17,000+ fairly recent rounds that represent the average 15-19 handicap golfer. We then sliced up the putting analysis according to the above green speed and format filters.

Let me try to anticipate and answer some obvious questions.

  • Aren’t one man’s fast greens another’s medium or even slow? Absolutely! But as we have no way of knowing, I decided to ignore this variable and accept the indicated speed at face value.
  • Do average golfers actually use these filters? Yes! The program has defaults for those who choose not to, but again, we can only evaluate the information provided.

The default for green speed is medium, and 71 percent of the selected rounds were medium. The default for format is non-tournament, which accounted for 84 percent of the rounds. These numbers made sense to me, as the average 15-19 handicap golfer tends to not participate in many tournaments, especially not stroke play where one must hole out on every hole.

The Answer?

It was what I expected, but nowhere near as dramatic. Putting was slightly better on slow- and medium-speed greens, and the putting on non-tournament greens were slightly better than tournaments.

  • 1-Putt Percentages: These were within one percentage point across all categories, from a high of 18.9 precent on medium greens to a low of 18.1 percent of fast greens.
  • 3-Putt Percentages were a bit more interesting. A low of 12.5 percent on medium greens vs. a high of 14.3 percent on fast greens. Again, not a great difference.
  • Tournament vs. Non-tournament: Rounds recorded as stroke play also showed themselves to be more difficult, which makes sense.

What I found most interesting was the incidence of Four Putts. I used to say that the vast majority of golfers go through an entire career and never 4-putt. Why? They simply pick up after three putts. I was wrong when it comes to our ShotByShot.com subscribers, as they do record their 4-putts. I know that I generally 4-putt once a year. When it happens, I am never happy but always tell myself: “Look on the bright side, we got that out of the way and now won’t have to worry about it for the rest of the year.”

In a Putting Distance Control study of the 2015 PGA Tour, I learned that there were 88 four-putts and five 5-putts recorded by ShotLink last year. More than I would have guessed!

But here’s what I found interesting about our average golfer study; the incidence of 4-putts more than doubled from medium, non-tournament (one 4-putt every 20 rounds) to fast, stroke play rounds (one every nine rounds). This clearly demonstrates the added pressure of having to hole out when it counts.

4_putts_chart

How often do you 4-putt? Do you fall into the NEVER category, or one of the handicap ranges in the chart above?

In conclusion, fast greens (or at least greens golfers consider to be fast) are more difficult for the average golfer. They pose a greater challenge for distance control, leading to more 3- and 4-putts. That’s why before starting a round on an “away” course, I recommend golfers spend some time on the putting green to get a feel for the speed. I like to place tees 30 feet apart, and putt two balls back and forth until I have a great feel for my 30-foot stroke. As the vast majority of lag opportunities fall in the 20-40 foot range, you can measure most of yours lag putts as a slight variation of that 30-foot stroke. You will also avoid a big surprise if the greens are what you consider fast.

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In 1989, Peter Sanders founded Golf Research Associates, LP, creating what is now referred to as Strokes Gained Analysis. His goal was to design and market a new standard of statistically based performance analysis programs using proprietary computer models. A departure from “traditional stats,” the program provided analysis with answers, supported by comparative data. In 2006, the company’s website, ShotByShot.com, was launched. It provides interactive, Strokes Gained analysis for individual golfers and more than 150 instructors and coaches that use the program to build and monitor their player groups. Peter has written, or contributed to, more than 60 articles in major golf publications including Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf for Women. From 2007 through 2013, Peter was an exclusive contributor and Professional Advisor to Golf Digest and GolfDigest.com. Peter also works with PGA Tour players and their coaches to interpret the often confusing ShotLink data. Zach Johnson has been a client for nearly five years. More recently, Peter has teamed up with Smylie Kaufman’s swing coach, Tony Ruggiero, to help guide Smylie’s fast-rising career.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Grizz01

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Totally missed the most important factor. Which made all this null and void. The conditions of the greens. The author is concluding that slow, medium and fast greens are all in tournament shape. Smooth rolling and such. I’ve played some high end courses after playing my muni. I always putt better on the high end course and they are much faster. The roll way better and I can read them better.

    • Andrew Todd Yocum

      Aug 3, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      I agree with this Grizz01. Feel the exact same way.

    • Christian

      Aug 4, 2016 at 4:04 am

      This is true. It’s very rare for hairy greens to be uniformly hairy. To add, I always putt better on fast greens, sliw greens makes my stroke more forced/less smooth.

  2. Rev G

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:27 am

    This is assuming that the non-speed factors of the greens are the same, which I wouldn’t think they would be. The courses that can afford to keep greens up at faster speeds are usually those with greens that have had more difficulty put in them by the “big name” architect they had design their course. Typically courses with slower greens are the smaller budget courses that had less extensive shaping of the greens. To me greens with slope, tiers, level changes and saddles are the ones that are tough to putt -regardless of speed – but because of the expense, courses that have those feature also typically are faster.

  3. ooffa

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I put better on temporary greens during the winter.

  4. SirShives

    Aug 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Prior to this summer, I can only remember having one 4 putt in 15 or so years of playing golf. (I’m not saying I’ve only ever had one 4 putt, just that I can only remember that one.) Earlier this summer, I recorded 2 in one round playing at a course with crazy fast greens. To be fair, the starter warned us the greens were going to be that way. This course had recently replaced their greens and they were dealing with a combination of maturing grass and a very hot, dry start to the summer. It’s brutal to have your buddies ask you “How’d you shoot?” and sum up your round with “I had 2 FOUR PUTTS!!” ????????????

  5. Justin

    Aug 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    As a low handicapper, I will almost always putt better on greens that are faster AND roll true. I believe the simple reason behind this is the less you have to take the putter head back, the less chance you have of altering your stroke. A 30 foot flat putt on greens that stimp out around 8 or 9 requires a significant hit to get the ball to the hole. Put that same put on a green that rolls to a 12 and you need significantly less force behind the ball to get it there. Less force causes less “skidding” after impact and gets the ball rolling on line faster.

    That being said, what I have noticed is that the courses that have greens which run a little bit faster also tend to be tougher overall. They’ll have at least a few greens with multiple tiers and tend to have more undulation overall. So, after factoring that into the equation, I think that the “slope” of the greens and what a golfer is used to playing on factor much more into success or failure than the actual speed of the greens. In fact, it would be nice if each course slope rating was divided into two groups: Through the green and on the green. The combination of those would give you your total slope. Take 2 courses with an overall slope of 130 and figure out that 1 of them has greens that rate out at a slope of 75 and the other only 60. Invariably you find that one will be harder on the greens and the other is more about ball placement off the tee and approach shots.

    A lot of golfers rely on reviews on various websites when deciding what course to play on their destination vacations or a little outside their normal area. I feel that if slope (moreso than course rating because slope accounts for your handicap level) was used to measure both green difficulty along with the rest of the course, more golfers would choose to play courses based on their skill set. Everyone wants to have a good time out there and while some courses (Pebble, Sawgrass, Pinehurst, etc) will be played regardless of difficulty, most can make a more educated decision about where to spend their hard-earned money versus how well they “may” play. Lately I’ve struggled with the driver but have always been a very good putter and would likely choose a course with tough greens over one that had tough tee shots and approaches. Some may feel the exact opposite and would not look forward to a hellish day on the greens. My best scores ever have come on days where my putter was hot and if I actually tracked the stats I bet those days would also show up as the longest feet of putts made I’ve had all time. I’ve had incredible ball striking rounds where I’ve not broken par because I either wasn’t familiar with the greens or just had an off putting day. I’v ealso shot under par when I felt my swing was way off that particular day.

    We always hear that putting is the key to improving your game, but I also think it’s the key to the enjoyment of the game. Not everyone can drive the ball over 300 yards and very few who can’t will ever build up enough strength or the proper fundamentals to do so. BUT, everyone has the opportunity to sink a 30+ foot putt, and the feeling that produces is so magical that you may just start to feel like a golfer after you had lost all hope 🙂

  6. larrybud

    Aug 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

    c’mon now, we all know 1/2/3 putt percentages are MEANINGLESS! Unless you have a strokes gained chart, you can’t glean anything from these stats.

    1 putt percentage may be more because players chip farther from the hole on faster greens (short sided chips are harder to get close on fast greens!).

    3 jack percentage may be more because the first putt distance is greater on fast greens (ball rolls out more on fast greens, effectively making the green smaller!)

    • Peter Sanders

      Aug 2, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Larrybud,
      You are correct that Strokes Gained is the true measure of putting performance and I of course had it and used it. That said, it is just a number and I felt it more meaningful to describe the % 1-Putts, 3 and 4-Putts that make up the number.

  7. Other Paul

    Aug 2, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Greens are usually super slow in the spring where i live. And then medium all summer. We got a ton of rain this year and no heat waves yet so the greens are healthy and short. Balls roll far right now. In the spring i averaged 1.9 putts per hole. And then i had a few rounds with hand full of 3 putts, now i am used to it again and my average is dropping back down to under 2 per hole.

  8. Sm

    Aug 2, 2016 at 9:59 am

    It’s not just speed that matters when it comes to Average Joe’s courses.
    It can’t just be fast.
    It also has to be smooth. I bet even Average Joe’s stats would go up if the greens he played on more often than not were smooth.

    • BlakLanner

      Aug 2, 2016 at 10:54 am

      I agree completely. I am far from the greatest putter but I can adjust to the speed of greens within a hole or two if they are consistent and smooth. However, when I am on a course with inconsistent or bumpy greens (like the muni courses around here with the brutal weather we have had this summer), my putting greatly suffers since I cannot trust any feel from previous greens or even if the ball will follow a line without bouncing around in a few spots.

  9. Shallowface

    Aug 2, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Regardless of green speed, one major factor in three putting is the fact that at so many courses the person setting the pins doesn’t follow the USGA’s suggestion that the area three feet around the cup be as level as possible. They’ll set them on the sides of slopes, on top of ridges, anywhere but where they should. It leads to what I call “McDonald’s Putts,” where you have a three footer that breaks a foot and the roll of the ball is in the shape of an arch. How often do see a three footer on TV played any further than the top edge of the hole? Not often. No wonder they make more than we do.

    • Obee

      Aug 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Totally true. For the most part, the tour plays “USGA-spec” greens, that have a maximum slope of ~2 – 2.5 degrees in the pinnable areas, which makes for boring putting. I much prefer slightly slower greens (9 – 10 on the stimp), but with MORE contour. Makes putting much more of a challenge.

    • Philip

      Aug 2, 2016 at 11:33 am

      What! There is a recommendation on this – I’m going to look it up and give it to our course pro and greens keeper. We have a few holes where the ball will never stop near the hole and just keep rolling off the green 10-20+ feet away. If you carefully place it – it will stop rolling almost immediately.

    • JJVas

      Aug 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      So totally true. Living in the Northeast and playing all of the classics that run WAY WAY WAY faster than Ross and Tillinghast ever had in mind gets ridiculous when the Super has a bad day.

  10. Shallowface

    Aug 2, 2016 at 9:08 am

    The only problem with your last suggestion is I have yet to play at a course where the speed of the practice green and the speed of the greens on the course were anywhere near the same. 🙂

    • Philip

      Aug 2, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      I only played one course where the two practice greens where an exact match for the course, but given the entire new huge, oak clubhouse (the locker doors were an inch or two of oak) that required an oak forest – I would expect no less (one would expect it for the price they ask for a round). It also has hosted a few professional events. Any other course I just check my alignment, otherwise, the speed of the practice green can mess up the first couple of holes for my expectation of green speeds.

    • Justin

      Aug 2, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      I find that the vast majority of practice greens in Southern California roll much truer and are in better shape than the greens out on the course. I really wish they would do something about this, but i understand that it’s easier to manicure and keep in good shape a green that sits next to the clubhouse and gets the most use. I will say that more of the courses I’ve played in AZ have matching practice and course greens than here for sure. I also know that it’s harder to replicate like conditions green to green on bent vs bermuda as bent is a more delicate grass in my opinion (it’s also the perfect putting grass when properly manicured!)

    • Keith V Shannon

      Aug 21, 2016 at 7:09 am

      I totally agree here. I’ve fallen into this trap a few times, I’ll warm up with my putter on the clubhouse green, then head out to the first hole and watch my lag putt blow by the hole and come to a stop in the rough off the green because the stimp is as much as double on the course, even at private courses. Then I spend the rest of the round recalibrating muscle memory, being afraid of my putting strength and not really regaining any ability to stick the ball a clublength from the hole until the round is long since blown.

      Maybe the club wants the practice green to look nicer because it’s right there. Maybe the shade of the clubhouse or outbuildings requires thicker grass to avoid losing it altogether. Maybe higher traffic calls for a thicker carpet. Maybe the course groundskeepers aren’t responsible for those greens, that’s a job for the separate landscaping crew (made up of the scrubs the greensmaster doesn’t trust with the money grass yet). Whatever it is, it’s extremely frustrating to the casual golfer who doesn’t get practice rounds on the course before the putts start to count.

      It’s gotten to the point that I don’t practice my putting at the course before the round, and I don’t pay attention to the actual roll distance after impact when warming up my chipshots; if I want to practice, there are a few ranges near me that do a better job at replicating local courses’ stimps than the clubs seem to be capable of on their own practice greens. Then on the day of a round I trust my muscle memory, with more minor adjustments based on the first few holes.

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 Shriners Childrens Open Preview: Back Rickie to finally win again

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With a roll call of winners that includes Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na, TPC Summerlin offers players of all skill sets the chance to compete, but no matter how long off the tee, find the fairways in order to have the chance to record a score similar to that seen over the last four years – over 20-under.

Joohyung Kim – Win

Rickie Fowler – Win and Top-5

Hayden Buckley – Top-10 and Top-20

Full respect to the top of the market, but look slightly further down to Joohyung Kim, who may be priced closer to the likes of Patrick Cantlay and Sungjae Im at this time next year.

‘Tom’, as he is fondly known, has had a meteoric rise since turning pro at 15 years of age, but the short five years has seen him win at every level from Asian Development to the PGA Tour.

Even ignoring the impressive early years that includes a sixth place finish on debut at the Thai Country Club, a course that two-time Shriners winner, Kevin Na, won at some 17 years earlier, and the South Korean still retains an incredibly progressive profile.

Early days on the PGA Tour saw the then 18-year-old miss the cut at Harding Park, though he was top-50 after the first round; finish 67th at the Safeway (11th after round one) and 33rd at the Corales, before again dominating the Korean Tour in 2021.

Returning to the PGA Tour in 2022, an early top-20 at the Byron Nelson and 23rd at the U.S Open at Brookline was enough to confirm promise, although he surpassed all with a 3rd at the Scottish Open, in front of Patrick Cantlay, winner and two-time runner-up around Summerlin, and Cameron Tringale, top-five at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, an event that strongly links Tony Finau, and therefore Matt Wolff, Sungjae Im and Kevin Na, a two-time winner of the Shriners.

Everywhere you look, Kim’s best three efforts of the year have connections with previous winners or challengers at this week’s course.

Seventh place at the Detroit Golf Club sees form lines with Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Wolff, whilst his impressive five-shot victory at the Wyndham Championship sees him go after the same double that Webb Simpson achieved when beating Na!

The figures work well throughout, ranking an average of 10 for approaches and around 20th for tee-to-green across his last five starts on the tour, whilst his top-class accuracy off the tee – an average of better than 5th since Brookline –  will continually give him chances to attack the right side of the pins.

Of course, Kim went on to be one of the stars of the Presidents Cup last month, being one half of a winning duo that beat world number one Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns in the foursomes, and Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele in the later four-balls.

A self-confessed joker, he relaxes at all the toughest moments and yet is still focussed enough to record final rounds of 63 and 61, as he did at Detroit and Sedgefield.

He’s on his way to the top.

 

I wanted to be with Dean Burmester, playing very well across the Korn Ferry and now PGA Tour, but I’m uncertain this will be his track, so row along with another 33-year-old, this time one that might do a ‘Martin Laird’ and resurrect his career.

Rather like Kim, Rickie Fowler was linked with a move to LIV, but whilst admitting the PGA Tour had its faults, it was still the best place to play golf.

And he has backed that up with what looks like a new desire. Having jacked his former caddy and recruited Rickie Romano, it looks as if he will reunite with former coach Butch Harmon, with whom he had great success. The changes look as if they have struck gold almost immediately.

Having not had a top-10 finish since the C.J Cup almost a year ago, Fowler bounced back to form at Silverado last week, when his sixth place finish saw him improve in almost all aspects. Indeed, his overall strokes gained of +8.8 were the best set of figures since the Wells Fargo in 2019, and came courtesy of positive aspects in driver, irons and putting, the latter something he is concentrating on above the other factors.

Form figures here need a touch of editing. The last two missed cuts are during a long, barren and depressing period for the man in orange, but previous course figures of 4/25/22/7 sit well with the most recent record of contenders.

Back happy with his game, with a team he is comfortable with, and with back form at the Memorial and Honda events, expect better still.

With course form repeating year on year, take a chance with Hayden Buckley at a big price for both a place and a top-20 finish.

A winner on the Canadian Mackenzie Tour and on the KFT (beating the highly rated and strongly fancied Taylor Montgomery), the 26-year-old hasn’t quite hit the heights expected, even if we are all too quick to expect players to be winning within months of arriving on tour. That is harsh given in 32 PGA stars, the former Missouri athlete has six top-20 finishes that include three top-10s.

Best of Buckley’s starts in a handful of top level starts last year were a fourth place in his home town at the Sanderson Farms, followed immediately by a top-10 here, and therefore last weekend’s top-20 in Mississippi may be the catalyst for a similar effort this week.

Long off the tee, Buckley should again give himself plenty of chances to score and, importantly, confidence with the putter will be high after finding almost six shots on the greens last week, a similar figure to that at the Rocket Mortgage and Detroit.

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 Open de Espana: Betting Picks & Selections

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Golf may be in a strange place at the moment, but at least the DP World Tour is serving up quality courses, if not always the best of fields.

It seems as if we have had quality courses on show for a few weeks now, and with Valderrama, Dom Pedro, Gary Player CC and Jumeirah still to come, the tail end of the season does not let up.

This week, the Club de Campo hosts the Spanish Open for the third year in succession, and whilst a gifted short game will never go amiss in mainland Europe, the course is more forgiving than previous locations, allowing the likes of Julien Guerrier, Wil Besseling, Alex Levy and Bernd Wiesberger the chance to win despite the frailties in other departments.

Hennie du Plessis Win/Top-10

Lucas Bjerregaard Win/Top-10/Top-20

Hot favourite Jon Rahm could lap this field as he did when winning by five shots in 2019, and whilst he was nowhere near right and had several excuses last year, it serves as an example to those wanting to smash their way in to the 9/4 chance, a price shorter than many of the prices offered about Tiger Woods in his prime.

Whilst it’s tough to see Rahm out of the frame, there are cases against Adri Araus and Eddie Pepperell for win purposes, so look further down the list for a couple of players that should suit the course, even if current form doesn’t scream out.

South Africa has seen a couple of winners here in the shape of former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Thomas Aiken, and I’ll take a chance that fellow Springbok Hennie du Plessis can join them.

 

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Although the winner of just two events in a career close to 150 starts, the 25-year-old has shown enough in five starts in Spain to think Club de Campo will light him up again.

At the beginning of the season, du Plessis led the MyGolf Life Open for three rounds before finishing runner-up at Pecanwood, behind Pablo Larrazabal and Adri Arnaus.

Having then finished runner-up at the Limpopo Championship for the second time, has finished third to Larrazabal at the ISPS Handa at infinitum Golf Course and sixth in Girona behind Arnaus again – cracking form if the latter’s second and fourth in two attempts around here ae any guide.

He then flirted with the LIV tour, and banking almost $3 million when running up at LIV London, would not have been too depressed when he was dumped by Greg Norman et al, even if it seems as though the move took something out of him.

Despite a top-20 at Crans, recent form leaves a bit to be desired, but he should be buoyed by returning to Spain, where he can add finishes of fifth,18th and 39th to the results listed above.

Very long off the tee, there is a chance he performs similarly to the players listed higher up the page, those that also took advantage of length.

Lucas Bjerregaard is tough to read, but is another that comes to a track that should suit his length and par-five skills, as it did when 12th last season.

As a winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links and Portugal Masters, the Dane’s modus operandi should be fairly clear, and with last year’s leaderboard showing correlation with much of the courses in the Middle East, I expect the 31-year-old to thrive this week.

Lucas turns up when least expected, as he did when coming off a series of missed cuts and poor finishes to finish third at Celtic Manor in August, whilst he also did the same when needing to do well to keep his card, recording his best finish of 2021 in Portugal, and when just outside the top-10 here last year, again off a series of poor results.

When he is ‘with’ us, the Dane has a game full of strong tee-to-green product, using his length off the tee and strong iron play, but it is also the way he repeats form at certain tracks that just pushes him into being a play.

First, second, ninth and 12th at the Dom Pedro, and second and ninth at Crans, both courses can be tricky but are susceptible to those with experience in the wind and with power on their side – again, find the short stuff leaving wedges to the greens.

Whilst he may have his supposed safety net of Portugal in a few weeks’ time, Lucas needs a good finish to get him much closer to the top 117 in the rankings. Why not start at a course at which he found over seven shots in overall strokes gained just 12 months ago?

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie Reviews: L.A.B. Mezz.1 Max Putter

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L.A.B. Golf pushes the limits of putters and putting to try and help as many golfers as they can make more putts. Lie Angle Balanced putters are different because the face of the putter is always pointed towards your target. We all know L.A.B.’s famous Directed Force 2.1 putter. However, a lot of golfers didn’t like the looks and size of it. So L.A.B. developed the Mezz.1 putter that has a more traditional mallet look that so many golfers use, but with Lie Angle Balanced technology engineered into it. This year, the Mezz.1 Max putter was introduced to make a great putter even better. The Mezz.1 Max is 20-percent larger than the original Mezz.1 and offers more forgiveness and stability.

I have played the Mezz.1 this year and think it is a great putter, so to be honest, I wasn’t that excited to try the Mezz.1 Max at first. That changed pretty quickly once my putter showed up. To start, getting fit for a putter is one of the last things we golfers think about. L.A.B. has a very unique and effective remote fitting process if you cannot get to a fitter in person. You email a short video to them using your current putter and they use their internal genius to get your specs processed. The remote fitting video took me about seven minutes from start to submission.

Once you have your putter specs, you can then order a stock or custom Mezz.1 Max. I went down the custom path of various head colors, alignment aids, shafts, grips, and even a headcover to build my putter. My original Mezz.1 is black, and I wanted to go with some color to change things up and, for whatever reason, the cappuccino color kept grabbing my attention. The cappuccino color online looks more gold, and I was pleasantly surprised that in person the color is more brown and muted than I expected. The color goes well with the matte white Accra shaft and Press II 1.5-degree smooth grip.

Headcovers are now becoming big accessories, and the brown headcover I chose is kind of retro-looking while feeling high quality. Overall, I love the look and my Mezz.1 Max stands out without being too flashy and distracting.

As soon as I got the putter out of the box, I rolled a few putts on the carpet here at the office, not expecting much difference. From the first couple of putts, I could immediately tell something was a little different with this putter. The weight and balance through the stroke is more stable and you get an even better feeling of the putter wanting to keep the face pointed at the target. The other interesting find is that I didn’t even notice the 20-percent larger size that the Mezz.1 Max has over its older sibling. Maybe if I had them both side-by-side I would notice the size difference more, but the Mezz.1 Max on its own looks normal to my eye.

The first putts I hit on the carpet were great feeling and the Mezz.1 Max felt like it wanted to stay on its path regardless of how your hands tried to manipulate it. The same feeling was present on the putting green, and it was far stronger to me than the standard Mezz.1 felt. When you put the Mezz.1 Max on a target, the putter just wants to hit the ball at that target. The other interesting note is that, to me, the new Max has a softer and more solid feel compared to the smaller head. The sound at impact was more muted and had a lower pitch to it, even on mishits. Just like the original, the grooved face puts immediate forward roll on the ball and reduces almost all skipping.

L.A.B. says this Mezz.1 Max is 20-percent more stable, and I don’t think that is just some marketing talk. I have been in this putting funk where I have been making contact on the toe of the putter regularly. This miss has caused me to miss more than a few putts this year, and I hit a few with the new putter as well. Those toe misses still went straight and I wasn’t losing much speed. Those putts left the toe of the putter and either came up just short or just missed my intended line by a small amount. Those misses are a great improvement over the traditional blade that has been my gamer all summer. The biggest problem I had with the original Mezz.1 is that it took me awhile to get used to longer lag putts. This wasn’t the case with the Max, as I felt much more comfortable from long range and was able to get putts closer and reduce the 3-putt chances by a good amount.

Overall, if you’re searching for a new flatstick, the new L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 Max putter is something to check out. You have a putter that can truly help you make more putts thanks to the Lie Angle Balanced technology, additional forgiveness, and stability.

For more information on my Mezz.1 Max putter review, listen to the Club Junkie podcast, which is available below and on any podcasting service.

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