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As the CEO of one of golf’s hottest putter companies, Sam Hahn was in a favorable spot while watching the Sony Open playoff in his living room two weeks ago.
With Byeong Hun An (Mezz.1) and Grayson Murray (Link.1) wielding L.A.B. Golf wands, he had two-thirds of a three-man playoff covered. Then, as play reached the green of the first playoff hole, Hahn went supernatural.
“Grayson hit it to 40 feet–but I knew he was going to make it,” Hahn says. “I was just positive it was going to be a moment.”
Another moment for a company that’s had plenty over the last couple years.
Murray’s putt was not only the first final-hole “wow!” winner for a player wielding a L.A.B., but it was also the company’s first Tour win with a conventional-length Link.1, the closest putter to the blades predominantly used by pros.
L.A.B. Golf is best known for its unconventional models. Its face-squaring “Lie Angle Balance” (hence the company name) technology is especially effective with long putters, and Lucas Glover wielded a Mezz.1 broomstick late in last year’s Tour season while winning twice. The company sold 130 broomsticks in the first seven months of 2023, then in August thanks to Glover it sold some 2,700.
Adam Scott put the company on the map at the 2019 Masters with a Directed Force model, whose oversized shape is more reminiscent of a cattle branding iron than an everyday mallet putter. So in a full-circle moment, L.A.B. Golf this week launched the DF3, a slimmed-down version of the putter that started it all.
“The Mezz is a polarizing shape, but the DF … people can’t stand it,” Hahn says, laughing. “On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, I’ve had no less than a thousand comments of ‘it’s really cool, can you just make it a little smaller?’
“We said no for a very long time, then we decided to say yes.”
The DF3 is smaller from heel to toe and front to back, in a size now comparable with other mallet shapes. Its other distinct feature is a ball scoop in the back–yes, something like that matters to a lot of golfers.
“Besides the putter being too big, the next biggest complaint we would get is not being able to scoop up the ball,” Hahn says. “My smartass response was always ‘we prioritize the ball going in the hole.’”