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  1. LAB Directed Force 2.1 Putter Review

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    In this L.A.B. Directed Force 2.1 putter review, we’ll look at one of the strangest putters you’ve ever seen and describe how the innovative technology behind it can improve your putting. After using this putter, I finally feel confident that I can hit the line I intend and give the ball an excellent chance to drop into the hole.

    lab directed force putter side view

    The Technology Behind the LAB Putter

    L.A.B. Golf uses two innovative technologies in their putters, “Lie Angle Balance” and “Forward Press Technology,” to simplify the process of making a consistent putt.

    What is Lie Angle Balance? (L.A.B)

    Lie Angle Balance eliminates torque (twisting of the putter face) as the putter swings to return the face to the intended target line. This makes it easier to repeat the same putting stroke.

    L.A.B. Golf created a tool called the “revealer” to test this balancing where it’s noticeable that other putters spin in a variety of ways when stroked without hand manipulation (see the video below).

    The idea is that with a traditional putter, in addition to having a constant putting setup and stroke, you also need to use your hands to ensure that the face of the putter returns to square when it’s fighting against you. Having a Lie Angle Balance putter eliminates this factor and makes putting simpler.

    Forward Press Technology

    The second unique technology behind the L.A.B. putter is the Forward Press Technology built into its grip.

    Some of the best golfers on the P.G.A. Tour (Phil Mickelson, for example) have used a forward press in their putting stroke. This technique involves leaning the putter, so your hands are ahead of the face at setup to prevent the tendency of flipping the hands at impact. This helps ensure the ball rolls smoothly by maintaining the face angle and loft through contact.

    This is a helpful technique, but it does require some effort to master and an extra step in your putting routine.

    L.A.B. Golf has built the forward press into their putter grips by pre-setting the shaft at an ideal lean angle. This means you can set up without thinking about the forward press, and you’ll be doing it automatically.

    How to Get Fitted for a LAB Putter

    If you’re interested in trying out a L.A.B. putter, you’ll want to get fitted. If you’ve never been fit for a putter before, the goal is to make sure the putter is suited to your specific putting setup.

    This is particularly important for a L.A.B. putter as you want to let the technology help you make a consistent putting stroke. If you’re using the incorrect lie angle, you’ll have to setup unnaturally or add some manipulations to get the consistency you’d have with a properly fitted putter.

    You have two options for getting fit. You can go in person to one of L.A.B. Golf’s certified fitters, which you can find on this map, or you can do a remote fitting through their website by sending in a video of your current putting stance.

    I did a remote fitting through their website, which was simple to set up, and after a couple of days, they emailed back with recommendations for lengths and lie angles of a custom-built putter or a stock putter. As I’ll go into more detail below, you can have your putter custom-built to your specs with custom alignment marks, or for a lower price, you can buy one of their pre-made stock putters. It happened that my recommended setup matched a stock offering (34″ / 67°).

    I was interested in trying the putter out in person before investing, so I went to both a local P.G.A. Superstore and a local used and new club seller, 2nd Swing, to see what they had in stock.

    lab directed force 2.1 top view

    On Course Performance

    When I initially checked some local stores, they didn’t have a putter with my exact specs available, so I tested out a few putters, primarily a 69° Directed Force 2.1 with a Press 1.L grip. Eventually, I purchased a putter that fit my specs at 67° with a Press II grip.

    Looks

    As everyone will note, just looking at the putter is much different than whatever putter you’re used to. The putter head is giant but doesn’t feel heavy or awkward to swing. The press grip also makes the shaft align differently than you’re used to looking down the club, but once you focus on the ball, you won’t notice it.

    You might get some comments from your playing partners for bringing out an ‘alien’ putter, but ultimately who cares if you can make some putts. I initially heard some of these comments, but it wasn’t long before they were looking into purchasing their own L.A.B. Putters.

    Feel

    Hitting this putter feels fantastic. It’s surprisingly well balanced and feels light compared to how it looks. The ball rolls smoothly off the face on nearly every putt—everyone I’ve given the putter to try out comments on this.

    Putters like the Evnroll have this feel by extending the sweet spot. Once you’re used to the Directed Force, the balancing makes it easier to return the face to the starting position, ensuring you’re hitting the center of the face aimed at your line.

    Results

    I’ve struggled a lot with putting over the years, going on hot and cold streaks. I had a lot of success with a belly putter, but after they were no longer legal, I couldn’t find a replacement that I could be as consistent with. So when I tested out the Directed Force that didn’t match my specs, the feel was great, but the results were not much better than my current putter, even if it felt better overall.

    I track my rounds with an Arccos, and it was evident that putting was most often the determining factor on if I had a low round. I was the king of the tap-in, with good speed and distance control, but always just missed the hole. There is nothing worse than hitting an incredible drive, reaching the green in regulation, and then missing what should be an easy putt.

    Then I switched to a putter that matched my specs and immediately saw improvement. At that point, I had the feeling that I could relax and putt on any line that I intended and just needed to adjust my speed and line for how the new putter rolled the ball. The easy putts that I’d been just missing have been dropping more often, and after some practice, I’ve been dropping in more long putts as well.

    lab directed force putter bottom

    Tips for Putting with the Directed Force 2.1

    There are a couple of things you’ll need to adjust as you putt with the Directed Force 2.1 compared to a traditional putter. These tips helped my setup and my lag putting.

    1. With the forward press grip you’ll need to change where the ball is placed in your stance by moving it about a ball forward. On a typical putter the shaft is placed near the face where-as on these the shaft is set further back. Test out this alignment on a straight putt until you’ve found a position where you’re consistent.
    2. If you’re a decent putter with your current putter of choice, you’re probably doing some manipulation of the face with your hands. You will no longer need to do that with this putter, and you can work on this feeling by lifting your thumbs off the grip as you practice putting. This makes it hard to twist with your hands and helps you get the correct feeling once you put your thumbs back.
    3. As with any putter change, lag putting to a bit to get dialed-in. This putter rolls the ball very smoothly, and this can minimize the effect of a breaking putt if your current putter isn’t rolling as well. If you’re missing on the high side of the hole, try taking out just a bit of the break and aiming more at the hole than you might typically.
    4. Finally, another helpful tip for lag putting is to make sure you’re letting the length of your stroke control the distance of your putt. If you’re trying to hit the ball harder it’s going to be difficult to not manipulate the putter face and risk putting it off-line.

    Putter Options

    The L.A.B. Directed Force 2.1 comes in black, red, and blue and is typically paired with one of three press grips. The stock putter comes with the Press II 3° grip, but you can customize it with the larger, elliptical Press 1.L grip, or the heavier Press OG 3.0.

    When purchasing a custom putter, you can also select between additional shaft options, including arm-lock and broomstick style putters, and a wide variety of alignment marks.

    If you prefer the look and feel of a blade putter, you can also look into their B.2 model, which incorporates the same technologies into a blade-style putter.

    One significant hesitation to buying this putter is the cost. Currently, the range is $399 for a stock model and $549 for a custom putter. Fortunately, the resale value is good, and you hopefully have some opportunities to test it out before investing. I’ve seen others note that people don’t balk at paying this for a driver, and you’ll use your putter more than any other club in your bag, which is a great point.

    Conclusion

    Pros

    • Removes torque to make consistent putting easier
    • Feels great and rolls the ball smoothly
    • Smooth fitting process and company cares deeply about its product and customers

    Cons

    • Initial look of the putter takes some getting used to
    • Requires some minor setup and stroke changes
    • This is an expensive putter
    lab directed force product

    LAB Directed Force 2.1 – 4.5/5

    The Directed Force 2.1 is an excellent putter that feels great and will likely help most amateur golfers improve their game. Once you get past the club’s look and adapt your stroke, it’s a sure winner.

    LAB Putters on Tour

    L.A.B. Putters haven’t become a common sight on tour at this point. However, several players have been testing them out; most famously, Adam Scott used one a few years ago. Likely, this is due to this putter being a pretty significant change from typical putters, pros using clubs from sponsorships, and not wanting to risk a change at such a high level. Simplifying the factors needed to make a good putt will certainly help amateurs, where pros have spent countless hours perfecting every part of their putting stroke.

  2. The Best Golf Gifts

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    We’ve gathered some of our favorite golf products to help you find the perfect golf gifts for any golfer on your Christmas (or other) list. But, of course, if you want to buy a few of these gifts for yourself, we won’t blame you!

    best golf gifts

    Golf Gear for the Course

    First off, here is some of our favorite gear for the course. These are some essential gear to have a comfortable, enjoyable round of golf. We’ve sorted each category by price from low to high so that you can find something in any price range.

    Pro Tee System Golf Tees

    Pro Tee System Golf Tees

    Golf tees make a great inexpensive gift. Standard tees may be a bit boring, but these tees are sure to inspire a little more interest. They’re made of plastic, so they don’t break, but they also have a colored marking making it easier to set your tee to the same height every time you’re on the tee box.

    They come in three sizes, blue being a good choice for those with modern drivers who tee it up high, yellow for those teeing up lower or hitting smaller woods.

    $8


    golf towel set

    Golf Towel Set

    Golf towels are essential for cleaning off clubs during a round, as well as wiping off sweat or cleaning your hands. These microfiber towels are perfect for all these uses and come with a clip to attach to your golf bag.

    As a bonus, they also include a divot tool and a cleaning brush that can also be attached to a golf bag for when things need a deeper clean.

    $22


    Titleist pro v1 golf balls

    Golf Balls

    Golf balls might be an obvious choice for a golfer, but you really can’t go wrong with this gift. Golfers will burn through golf balls and always appreciate having more.

    Depending on where you purchase them, you can customize the golf balls with a word or image.

    If possible, take a look in your golfer’s bag to see what type of golf balls they use. As a golfer gets better, it’s more likely that they have specific brand loyalty. Some great options include:

    • Titleist Pro V1 – This is a premium golf ball that you can’t go wrong with.
    • Vice – A well-branded golf ball with customization options. Try the Vice Pro for most golfers and the Pro Plus for better golfers with a high swing-speed.
    • Callaway ChromeSoft – A softer feel high-quality golf ball.

    $49 | Titleist


    golf polos

    Golf Polos

    You can never go wrong with a new golf shirt. Travis Matthew is a playful brand with some funny branded t-shirts and a full range of golf clothing. Peter Millar is a premium clothing brand with comfortable fabrics.

    Other brands to check out include Greyson and Rhoback. And if you like the funny t-shirts from Travis Matthew, check out Swing Juice.

    $79-90


    puma ignite golf shoes

    Golf Shoes

    Golf shoes have gotten much more stylish over the years, and if your golfer has some outdated shoes, they’ll appreciate a refresh. These Puma Ignite Pwradapt Caged shoes are some of the most popular options and come in various colors. I have been using them over the past season, and they do a great job of holding your foot tight and gripping the ground.

    $149


    golf push carts

    Push Cart

    If your golfer is a walker, there’s nothing better than having a pushcart. It keeps the stress off your shoulders so you can keep swinging for 18+ holes and makes getting the health benefits of walking more attractive. These are two popular cart options, the Clicgear being the more expensive better-built option and the CaddyTek being a cheaper but well-reviewed option. It probably just comes down to your price range and how often you’ll use it.

    Both of these pushcarts come in various colors and have accessories like storage, beverage, and umbrella holders.

    $319 / $189

    Golf Technology

    These golf gifts are the envy of any techie or gearhead. Technology can bring your golf game to the next level!

    bushnell golf speaker

    Bluetooth Speaker

    If you’re out to have some fun on the golf course, there’s nothing like having an excellent speaker to play some tunes! This Bushnell speaker not only has great sound, but it has some golf-specific features, like a magnet so it can mount to the frame of a golf cart and a rage-finder that can read out the GPS distance to the hole.

    $129


    arccos smart caddie

    Arccos Caddie Sensors

    Arccos is an incredible tool for understanding and improving your golf game. The package includes a set of sensors that screw into your golf clubs and send data to an app on each shot.

    This lets the app map out your entire golf round so you can learn which club to use, what parts of your game are going well, and where you can improve.

    $179


    range finders

    Range Finders

    A range finder is a handy tool to have out on the course to get an exact distance to the pin or some other target (e.g., how far is the sand trap). The great thing about modern range finders is that they are faster to lock onto a target, suggest distances based on slope, and even adapt to weather and altitude on more expensive models.

    Here are two of the top range finders in different price ranges. The Bushnell has the top quality optics and all the latest features, and the Precision Pro has a good feature set for a smaller price.

    $479 / $199

    Training Aids

    These gifts are great for anyone who is looking to improve their game.

    orange whip

    Orange Whip Swing Trainer

    The orange whip is a long-time favorite golf training aid. It helps practice the golf swing and improve rhythm, balance, tempo, strength, and flexibility.

    $109


    perfect practice putting mat

    Perfect Practice Putting Mat

    You may have seen this mat as endorsed by pro golfer Dustin Johnson. Unlike most putting mats, it’s a great design that looks classy. It’s the perfect addition to a home office or living room. It comes in two variations, one with two targets and a smaller version with one.

    $109 – $139


    superspeed golf speed training

    SuperSpeed Golf Training System

    The SuperSpeed training system helps train your body and brain to swing the golf club faster and hit further. There have been many tour pros using this system to increase their distances, and you can do the same from the comfort of your home by following training videos with these weighted clubs.

    $199

    Fun Gifts

    These golf gift ideas aren’t exactly for the golf course, but rather some fun golf-related things to do.

    top golf

    Top Golf Gift Card

    If you have a Top Golf in your area, this is an excellent gift for a golfer to get some relaxing practice in. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s like a bowling alley meets driving range with various game types you can play.

    $25+


    chippo game

    Chippo – Chipping Game

    This game combines chipping in golf with cornhole (aka bags). Use your wedge to chip the foam golf balls into the holes on the boards to earn points. A fun game for the backyard, park, or beach; plus, you can work on your golf skills simultaneously.

    $149

    Books and Magazines

    Finally, if you’re gifting to a reader, these are some of the best golf reads around!

    harvey penick's little red book

    Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book

    This is a classic golf book loved by players and fans of golf. It discusses the core of golf instruction—a must-read.

    Some other great golf books include:

    $20


    golf magazine

    Golf Magazine

    It’s fun to receive something new to read in the mail, and Golf Magazine is a good choice for covering tips, courses, news, gear, and pros. It’s a pretty broad mixture of things and always a good read.

    $30

  3. Tee Claw Review

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    The Tee Claw is a multi-purpose golf accessory that allows you to hit real golf tees off a mat, provides an anchor for plastic tees on a simulator setup, and even works as an alignment tool on the range or the putting green.

    tee claw review

    How does the Tee Claw work?

    The Tee Claw includes four claws that can twist into grass or a mat, and then you can place a tee into the center. The package also includes five lanyards that can be attached to a claw and used as a bungee for another tee device or another claw to use as an alignment aid.

    Using a Tee Claw on the Driving Range

    Have you’ve ever gone to the driving range expecting to hit off the grass and been disappointed to find out you’ll need to hit off mats, and even worse, you’ll be hitting off an awkward rubber tee?

    The Tee Claw is the ultimate solution to hitting off golf mats.

    Its claws allow it to be embedded into the turf so you can place a tee into the center of it and it stays put as you hit balls. So now you can tee the ball up to your preferred height with your preferred tees. It works with any standard size tee, plastic or wood, and even broken tees you find on the range.

    How well does it work?

    I’ve found that the claws do a great job of staying put in the ground over many hits, and you only occasionally may need to twist them in to tighten. Depending on how you’re striking the ball, the tees may still break, bend, or fly as they would on a typical tee-into-grass setup.

    If the mat you’re hitting on is firm, you’ll find that because the tee doesn’t sink into the turf, it will sit up higher than expected. To overcome this issue, you can use standard-size tees (instead of taller, driver tees) or cut down tees to a specific size. I’ve found a snips works great to make these cuts.

    light bulb - tip icon

    Cut down some golf tees and size them up using the Tee Claw on the carpet. Once you’ve cut the perfect size, use that as a template to make some copies. Then keep them in your bag for the next time you’re at the range.

    I have yet to have any issues with wear-and-tear, so a pack of these should last you a long time. I’d imagine hitting irons with these may slowly wear down the plastic barbs, but they’re pretty sturdy depending on your angle of attack.

    Using the Tee Claw as a Training Aid

    If you’ve ever taken golf training seriously, you’ve likely used an alignment stick or some other method of making sure you’re aiming where you intend. The Tee Claw can function as an alternative to the alignment stick and do things that an alignment stick isn’t well suited for. Some benefits include:

    • Small and easy to transport in a golf bag or carry
    • Can be placed closer to a golf ball without damaging something if it’s accidentally hit
    • Stays in place vs an alignment stick which can be moved if bumped
    • Lines can be crossed over each other

    Here are some ideas of how they can be used (if you have other ideas that you’ve found helpful, share them in the comments below):

    Feet and Ball Alignment

    Align one or two sets of claws and lanyards parallel to each other, pointed in the direction of your target. This ensures you’re correctly aligning your feet to eliminate a potential factor in missed shots.

    feet alignment

    Ball Placement

    Place one claw set pointed toward the target and the other from between your feet toward the ball. Use this line to ensure proper ball placement for the club type you’re using or to practice different alignments (e.g., driving with the ball farther forward).

    ball placement alignment

    Club Path

    Either tee up the ball on one claw with the lanyard and other claw behind it along your intended club path, or place the first claw behind the ball if you’re hitting off the ground. This can be useful for visualizing your path or testing out the effect of changing your path.

    club path alignment

    Putting

    You can use the tee claw as an alignment tool for your feet similar to on the driving range or as a chute to help align your putter path and help make sure you’re squaring the face and rolling the ball down your intended line.

    tee claw putter alignment

    Using the Tee Claw as an Anchor on a Golf Simulator

    Tee Claws are a popular product for golf simulator users who want to use alternative types of golf tees. These tees are typically plastic cage-type tees that don’t break (though they wear out over time) and offer a consistent height. These work great if you don’t have a built-in teeing system, prefer not to use the Tee Claw as described above, or don’t have a mat that already accepts tees.

    The Tee Claw functions as an anchor between the cage tee and the mat to prevent it from flying off and being chased down after every shot.

    tee claw for golf simulator

    I use this setup on my home simulator as it’s a speedy way to keep the tee in place and ready to go. I have had the lanyard slowly fray and break over time, but it can be cut and re-tied onto the cage for continued use. You can also purchase additional lanyards if necessary, but after a ton of use, I have yet to need to do this.

    Some popular alternative tees that work for this setup include:

    Conclusion

    Pros

    • Makes using tees on golf mats easy
    • A helpful tool for alignment practice
    • Durable and easy to use

    Cons

    • If you’re actively hitting the lanyards they slowly break down over time
    • Alignment sticks provide a slightly larger visual
    tee claw product thumbnail

    Tee Claw – 4.5/5

    The Tee Claw is beneficial for various purposes and highly recommended for any golfer who hates hitting off mats with plastic “tube-tees” or wants to practice their alignment without traditional sticks.