LA Golf Putter: What you need to know
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: LA Golf, the company with tour players Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson as members of the board and design consultants and famous for its high-end graphite shafts designed to facilitate the fastest swings, has expanded its repertoire to now also focus on the game’s slowest swing. It has bought the SIK putter brand and launched its first golf club as a result, a putter made from the same lightweight carbon composite technology that powers its shafts. The putter includes SIK’s descending loft technology, where the loft increases in one-degree increments from low on the face to high for consistent launch conditions regardless of whether the putter is swinging up or down coming into the ball.
THE DEEP DIVE: When you introduce a putter that costs two-and-a-half times the going rate for the most expensive drivers in the game, it’s fair to say that you need to be doing something no one else is doing—and ideally for benefits not previously thought possible.
But then maybe a blade putter with a body not made of metal and heel and toe weights that account for 40 percent of the head's mass is the kind of extreme thinking we should expect when a high-end shaft maker with big-hitting PGA Tour star power on its board all of a sudden starts making clubs, too. LA Golf, which developed distinctive graphite shafts made to withstand and enhance the swing speeds of Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, both of whom are shareholders, recently purchased SIK Golf. SIK’s putters feature a face with lofts that increase by one degree starting at low on the face to high. The idea is to produce more consistent launch conditions on putts regardless of whether the putter is moving in a downward, neutral or upward angle coming into the ball. DeChambeau has used a SIK putter for the last few years, including a distinctive graphite putter shaft designed by LA Golf.
The new LA Golf putter ($1,500), however, constructs the body of its blade design not from super rare steel but from the same kind of elite carbon composite used in its shafts. Obviously, it also throws in the proven SIK descending loft technology in the face. The lighter structure of the carbon composite body allows the blade style putter to feature heel and toe weights in the sole that are 70 grams each.
By comparison, traditional steel putters use stock sole weights that range from as little as three grams each to as much as 35 grams each on the Titleist Scotty Cameron Studio Select models. The recently launched Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K features 28-gram tungsten toe and heel weights, but a total of 120 grams in internal tungsten weighting to push its moment of inertia, or resistance to twisting to over 5,000 grams/centimeters squared, extraordinarily high for a blade style putter.
While LA Golf has not provided an MOI number for its putter, the company says the benefit of the carbon body construction is that it is five times less dense than stainless steel. That allows for a larger putter head that has 140 grams of tungsten in heel and toe weights while still maintaining a conventional putter head weight of 350 grams. The company believes the design provides increased stability both during the stroke and on off-center hits, pointing out that a face that is one-degree open or closed at impact would result in a missed 10-foot straight putt.
Of course, the putter also benefits from LA Golf’s carbon composite technology in the company’s original strong suit, the shaft. DeChambeau’s SIK putter has used the LA Golf putter shaft for the last few years, and the LA Golf putter will feature a similar version. The wide-bodied structure touts what the company calls an “anti-vibration material” to increase stability both during the swinging of the putter as well as at impact. Where a typical steel putter shaft might have an S flex, the company says its putter has a shaft with four times the stiffness of an X-flex shaft at approximately the same weight as a traditional steel putter shaft. The combination of shaft and head weights means the balance point of the putter is similar to standard models on the market.
The LA Golf Putter comes in 33-, 34-, 35- and 36-inch lengths. Its $1,500 price includes custom engraving. It can be ordered now with delivery expected in March.