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Club Junkie: LAB Putters CEO Sam Hahn on the new Mezz.1 putter

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LAB Putters CEO Sam Hahn joins me to talk about the new Mezz.1 putter. He breaks down all the tech that goes into the putter and how it works. We also talk about my experience with the putter and what has been so good about it.

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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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Club Junkie

PXG M16 putter shaft: On-course review

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Exotic putter shafts are becoming a big thing and we have seen many models over the past couple of years. PXG is the latest to stuff a whole lot of technology and engineering into a putter shaft with its M16 shaft.

The M16 putter shaft is made up of a steel tip and a carbon fiber handle section that are bonded together to make a shaft that is 26-percent stiffer than a traditional steel putter shaft. The carbon handle section is made up of layers of carbon fiber, rubber, and 22 metal wires that run vertically through the shaft. This high-tech recipe creates a shaft that is stiffer and more stable than a traditional steel putter shaft. The shaft also comes in at a little lower price point than other offerings on the market at just an $89 upcharge when ordering a PXG putter.

I have played a handful of these new putter shafts, so I was excited to try this new offering from PXG. First off I love the look of the M16 with 3/4 of the shaft a matte black, it blends well with the black putter heads and grips. I have been playing the PXG Bat Attack putter this year with a traditional steel putter shaft and enjoy the stability of the putter and how the “wings” frame the ball. When I was fit for the putter PXG raised the weight of the head to help with the feel since I play the putter short, at 33 inches. PXG was kind enough to send me another Bat Attack in the same spec as my current putter, but with the new M16 shaft, so it was very easy to see how the new M16 performed.

Before heading out to the course, like all golfers, we do the waggle test, and just from that you can tell the M16 is stiffer than a traditional steel putter shaft. Out on the green the first thing I noticed, with the first putt, was the softer feel at impact. The PXG putters are fairly soft feeling anyway with their pyramid face pattern, but the M16 seems to soften that up just a little bit.

Impact brings your hands less vibration and a more solid feel as well as a more muted sound. I noticed the more muted sound with the M16 in my basement, putting on my mat. Outdoors you can still hear the difference between the two shafts and the sound is just a little more crisp, or high-pitched, with the steel shaft.

I said this before, but I am a big fan of a stiffer putter shaft and like the feel of the putter head not moving throughout the stroke. The M16 delivers on its promise of a stiffer profile and the putter head does not move during the stroke. For some players with quicker tempo putting strokes, the stiffer profile will more than likely give them a little feeling of added control.

On short putts the M16 feels stable and that the head is always aimed at your target line. There is zero movement or unwanted rotation from the head and you have the confidence to roll putts with a slightly more aggressive nature.

Lag putting I think is where the M16 really shines. The harder the stroke the more you can feel the M16 keep the putter head with your hands. The putter head just does not release as your bing the head to the bottom of the stroke to impact. Even with putts across greens and uphill you feel like you are in complete control of the putter and the ball leaves on your intended line.

Overall PXG’s M16 putter shaft is a great option at a good price to add some stability and feel to your putter. If you are looking to try an exotic putter shaft and don’t want to break the bank, then I think you have to give the M16 a good look.

More on the M16 putter shaft and new Titleist TSR2 woods in the latest episode of Club Junkie, below. 

 

 

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Club Junkie

TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 wedges review: Forgiving and versatile!

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The third generation of TaylorMade’s Hi-Toe wedges is here and ready for any lie you can find. The Hi-Toe name has kind of taken over the whole class of wedges with the flared toe design but TaylorMade coined the name. You have probably seen Hi-Toe wedges in Tour players’ bags as well as in the bags of weekend players all over.

The new Hi-Toe 3 wedges are boasting some new technology to go with the classic “hi-toe” shape. TaylorMade updated the milled sole with a four-way camber design that will allow you to play the wedge open without the leading edge getting to high off the ground. The CG has also been adjusted to be a little higher for a lower trajectory but still being high spin. And speaking of spin, the new grooves take their tech from the Milled Grind 3 wedges, adding the raised Micro Rib to the full face grooves. Those Full Face grooves are also raw steel, just like the MG3 and Hi-Toe wedges before them. The raw steel face helps in wet conditions, keeping the spin you normally would have lost.

The new Hi-Toe 3 wedges look great out of the box with the bronze color that will wear as you play them. The 50 and 52 Hi-Toe 3 wedges are a little more traditional with less flair to the toe section and a standard set of grooves in the center of the club. The profile is a little larger compared to a TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 wedge but for some players that will just add to the confidence in the Hi-Toe 3. For me, a gap wedge is used primarily for full shots but I also use it for some pitch and chip shots around the green when there isn’t any hazards.

The Hi-Toe 3 really plays similar to my MG3 when it comes to spin into the green and feel. The Hi-Toe 3 is cast from 8620 carbon steel and has a soft feel to it on impact. The flight is a little lower and flatter than my MG3 gap wedge but the amount of release on the green seems to be very similar. Turf interaction is really good, the slightly wider sole help prevent digging for the steeper swing or if you play in soft conditions. The new camber on the sole also allows you to press the wedge forward and really get the leading edge down on right lies.

The sand and lob Hi-Toe 3 wedges are equally as versatile and do offer the full face grooves, so shots out off the toe carry a little more spin for consistent release. Shots for tight fairway lies check up immediately, and when the rough gets long, you still get consistent and predictable roll out.

The new sole design with four-way camber does allow you to open up the wedges and play higher lofted shots without the leading edge coming up too high. Opening the face in the rough, where the ball might be sitting up is still no issue and I never had any fear of the lob wedge sliding under the ball and it coming up way short.

The Hi-Toe 3 is great out of the sand and offers ample amount of float so even if your entry point into the bunker is a touch behind the ball, you will still get out of the trap. TaylorMade also rolled out three different bounce options for the 58 and 60, so depending on how you deliver the club and the course conditions you can match up your lob wedge perfectly.

If you are on the search for wedges that can give you some added forgiveness while being versatile, the TaylorMade Hi-Toe 3 are well worth a demo. Check out the full review of the Hi-Toe 3 wedges on my Club Junkie podcast, on all streaming platforms. Just search GolfWRX Radio.

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