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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

Best utility iron of 2021 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 2021 utility irons. WRXer ‘Krod10359’ kicks off the thread, saying:

“Just want to know your opinion on what new utility iron you have hit this year. Looks like a lot of solid offerings out right now from Ping, Srixon and Callaway. Let me hear what you have to say about these clubs.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts 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.

  • hypergolf: “This…(photo above)”
  • TigerInTheWoods: “Sim Udi is a beauty. Launches a bit higher and is a bit more forgiving than the P790 UDI which was really the benchmark for this kind of club.”
  • craz-e: “Hard to go past the Srixon for performance and value. The current offerings from Titleist (u500 & u501) and Mizuno (HMB) are also great options and worth trying.”
  • Golfingfanatic: “The new Callaway one is pretty good.”

Entire Thread: “Best utility iron of 2021”

Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.

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2021 Callaway Epic driver: Epic Speed, Epic Max & Epic LS drivers

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Callaway Golf introduces new Epic driver lineup for 2021—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers—giving us the best of everything.

When it comes to a hot face, Callaway Golf has been at the top of the heap since its introduction of Jailbreak Technology back in 2017. In simplest terms, Jailbreak allowed Callaway to vertically stiffen the face, which allows the face to absorb a ton of energy and release it right back into the golf ball.

When Epic hit the market, it was instantly the driver of that year due to its ball speeds and forgiveness across the face, but most importantly for Callaway, it gave the company a strong foundation to build from for models to come.

In 2020, with the help of artificial intelligence, Callaway engineers were able push that idea a bit further with the successful Mavrik line. This time, artificial intelligence took Jailbreak and found ways to make it even more efficient with the addition of the Flash Face.

Now, in 2021, using every piece of tech at its disposal, Callaway officially launches the new 2021 Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers.

The new AI-designed, carbon-loaded, MOI machines are the culmination of now four iterations of Jailbreak technology, and in my opinion, Callaway has its fastest but more importantly—most golf-course friendly—driver ever.

Let’s dive in…

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed Driver, Cyclone Aero Shaping

In addition, the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and the new look Jailbreak Speed Frame create stiffness not only vertically across the face but east and west as well. The result? Speed, stability, and a ton of forgiveness.

The new 2021 Callaway driver, face on

“Spin robustness” is another key term in the 2021 Callaway campaign. What this means for us is giving players spin where we need it (i.e. off the heel spin stays down, off the toe spin stays up, out of the middle the ball goes forever).

Another key aspect to notice across the line is the enhanced composite crown. The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver has a triaxial carbon crown that covers even more real estate allowing Callaway to redistribute 16 grams of discretionary weight. The larger carbon surface area also innately created a way for Callaway R&D to make the Epic Speed a bit more draw friendly without having to add external weight to the heel.

Callaway Epic Speed driver, address

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

Sole view of the new Callaway Epic Max driver

Yes, the new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Sliding weight

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Address

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Incorporating the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and Jailbreak technology, Callaway has created a new more forgiving profile in a players driver.

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.
Like Epic Max, LS also has a sliding weight to tune in adjustability.
Inspired by the Triple Diamond tour heads of the past, Callaway decided to go away from cranking spin down to oblivion and offer a driver that was actually closer to what the tour leans towards. Yes, they love a low spin head, but not too low spin. The Triple Diamond heads were basically a Sub Zero shape in a higher MOI profile. If you go through our tour photos, you will see more Triple Diamonds than anything. Obliterating launch and spin sounds good for Trackman, but it’s hard to play that way on the golf course all the time.

Initial Tour Reaction

I had a chance to chat with  Callaway’s PGA Tour Manager Jacob Davidson on the early response and this is what he had to say.

JW: In early testing, what is the first thing players are seeing with Speed and LS?

JD: Early feedback from the tour guys has been a noticeable difference in an increase in ball speed across the face but more importantly the dispersion has tightened down range. Many guys have also quickly fallen in love with the sound of the new metal woods.

JW: What most excited you with the new line?

JD: We knew early on with this product launch that we had an exceptional driver. To start- the look of the heads and the shaping allows the clubs to sit beautifully at the address position. From there the overall feel and sound matches exactly what tour guys prefer. The guys we have worked with have converted into the new woods extremely quickly with very positive feedback. For us, we are excited to have some great starting lines, a competitive ball speed advantage, and an increase in forgiveness.

We are constantly studying what makes world class drivers of the golf ball world class. After much research, we determined the ideal spin/ degree of launch and worked closely with our R&D team to reach these numbers. We were absolutely amazed to see what they came back to us with. Using AI they were able to figure out how to increase the MOI in this line of drivers while also focusing on more ball speed. It truly is remarkable the new frontier of technology we are using in our drivers to help our players play their best golf.

Overall Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Epic Flash (acoustics), and Mavrik was solid but didn’t blow me away. This new 2021 Callaway Epic line of drivers is exactly what players want: a golf club that is playable all while providing the distance and performance we have gotten used to over the past few years. It’s a new trend in the market that I’m loving. Drivers are becoming golf course friendly again. We tried to kill spin—when ultimately it was our best friend in the long run.

Specs

At Retail: 2/18

Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 degrees (Epic Speed) 9, 10.5 degrees(Epic Max & Epic Max LS)

Price: $529.99

Stock Shaft Offerings

  • Epic Speed Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g – S)
  • Epic MAX Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g -S)
  • Epic MAX LS: Mitsubishi MMT (60g – S,X. 70g – S,X)
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Equipment

Callaway unveils new 2021 Epic Speed and Epic Max fairway woods

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Callaway Golf has introduced its all-new Epic Speed and Epic Max fairway woods that contain the brand’s Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades.

2021 Callaway Epic Speed Fairway Woods

The 2021 Epic Speed fairway woods feature the brand’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades. Callaway engineers used A.I. to design a completely new Jailbreak system which spreads and angles the Jailbreak blades. The result? Along with stiffening the body, the new design allows the forged face cup to flex more in design to provide exceptional ball speeds all across the face.

The A.I. Designed Flash Face SS21 across the brand’s Epic Speed fairway woods are uniquely designed using advanced A.I and are designed to put an even greater emphasis on center and off-center ball speeds. 

The Epic Speed fairway woods contain a forward center of gravity (CG) combined with a new leading-edge. This pairing aims to provide a strong ball flight, spin robustness, and consistent shot shape dispersion.

In addition, the new fairway woods from Callaway feature a forged C300 maraging steel face cup. The C300 maraging steel is engineered to offer maximum strength and flexibility, while the steel face cup is designed to provide speed and spin consistency across the clubface.

Specs, Pricing & Availability

Lofts: 3+, 3, 4, 5, 7

Price: $299.99

Availability: February 18

2021 Callaway Epic Max Fairway Woods

Just like the brand’s new Epic Speed woods, the Epic Max line also features the company’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades in design to provide increased ball speeds as well as a club that is easy to launch.

As well as containing an A.I. Designed flash face SS21, the Epic Max fairway woods are engineered with a forged face cup to give golfers increased speed and spin consistency across the face.

The oversized head on the new Epic Max woods combines with a shallow face to make the clubs extremely easy to launch from the fairway while also offering added forgiveness.

The Epic Max line also offers adjustable weighting allowing golfers to adjust launch and spin using two and 14-gram weights. The added weight in the rear provides more forgiveness while more weight in the front offers lower launch and spin.

Specs, Pricing & Availability

Lofts: 3+, 3, 5, Heavenwood, 7, 9, 11

Price: $299.99

Availability: February 18

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