There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
Your Custom Builder
Dave Wolfe – MyGolfSpy writer and putter fanatic. I’ve tested hundreds (maybe thousands) of flatsticks.
L.A.B. Golf’s MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Putter Customizer
When you design a putter online, does the putter’s online rendering look like the putter that arrives at your house? That’s the first question that should be asked when exploring any online custom putter interface. The whole process fails if the virtual putter and in-person putter are different. Why spend the time and money designing a custom putter if something else entirely shows up at your door?
Today, we review L.A.B. Golf’s new MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Putter Customizer. That’s right. We have a double dose of custom commentary. We will see if what L.A.B. Golf shows in their designer is close to the finished putter. I may even chime in a little bit about how they play as well.
How’s that for the price of admission?
L.A.B. Golf’s MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Putter Heads
Right off the bat, you need to get your head straight. Do you want the more compact MEZZ.1 or the newly expanded MEZZ.1 MAX? While they are similar in shape and construction, the MAX does have the larger profile. Surprisingly, the MAX is not larger in all dimensions, though.
In terms of profile, the MEZZ.1 MAX is longer heel-to-toe than the original MEZZ.1. This extra width mandates a different weighting scheme than the original MEZZ.1. The MEZZ.1 MAX lacks the front corner weights and the sole weight pattern is different. For both heads, the weighting design changes should you choose the armlock or broomstick version.
MAX In All Dimensions?
Before seeing the putters in person, I had assumed the MAX head would be the same as the normal MEZZ.1, just larger. As I mentioned, the MEZZ.1 MAX is longer heel-to-toe but, overall, it has a more delicate profile than the squattier MEZZ.1.
Yes, I did just call a very geometric putter that looks like a large staple “delicate.” It’s the vibe I get.
Back to the different shapes. Visually, the sharpest contrast comes at address. The MEZZ.1 MAX lines stretch my eyes along the face of the putter. With the original MEZZ.1, my eyes focus more on the center of the putter, perhaps even back a bit from the face. I attribute this to the increased length of the lines near the alignment insert. I also found the lines of the cavity in the MEZZ.1 MAX played more of a role in alignment than the cavity edges did with the standard MEZZ.1. The subtle design changes make a difference.
Not to belabor the point, but selecting the head is the first, and most important, part of the process. Spend some time looking at these from address before you pull the trigger. Sure, they are similar but the differences could influence how you aim the putter.
L.A.B. Golf’s MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Build Options
OK, so you’ve picked your head. Now it is time to select the other options for your unique-to-you build. (Hint: First, figure out if you are left-handed. If so, then select left-handed. If you are not left-handed, select right-handed.)
Now decide if you want a standard-length putter, an armlock putter or are ready to go all Adam Scott with a broomstick. Don’t let me see you anchoring that broomstick to your chest!
Choose Your Hue
Next, you get to the important part: color! You have six to choose from. I went with orange because it’s nice and bold and purple was not an option. I almost went with blue because that color packs some visual pop as well.
Should you live life in more neutral tones, there are four more conservative colors. Admittedly, red and cappuccino-brown are lean bold-ish. However, black and platinum are mellow, right? All right, so you have six striking colors to choose from. Happy now?
From here, the options get a little more play-centered and potentially more confusing. You can build your MEZZ.1 or MEXX.1 MAX with one of eight shafts. Relax, it’s really only four shafts with color options. Black steel is stock with the other shafts coming with premium prices.
The ACCRA x L.A.B. collaboration shaft adds $100 to the build. A BGT Stability shaft has an upcharge of $275. The LA Golf P-Series 135 will require you to deposit $380 more into the coin slot should you drive that road.
You may be asking, “Why would I need an upgraded putter shaft?” Well, L.A.B. has a guide for you to follow. Here is a LINK detailing how changing the shaft could change performance of the putter. If LA Golf’s $380 putter shaft has you apoplectic, take solace in knowing that “The Golf Scientist” uses one in his putter.
L.A.B. Golf’s Remote Fitting
L.A.B. Golf can help you with the next build options, especially lie angle. Did you know L.A.B. stands for Lie Angle Balance? This type of putter design keeps the face of the putter square to the arc through the stroke. Ideally, this helps you return the putter nice and square at impact.
To ensure this happens, the putter needs to be built to match your putting stroke’s natural lie angle. Don’t worry if you don’t know your ideal lie angle. Just send L.A.B. a five-second video of you putting and they will let you know your lie angle. There is some necessary framing of the video but it’s an easy process. All the details can be found on the L.A.B. remote-fitting page.
Interesting sidebar: L.A.B. determined my ideal lie angle is 72 degrees, almost the same angle the PING PLD Custom sensor determined for me last spring. Call me Mr. Consistency …
MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Grip, Weight and Alignment
Most of L.A.B. Golf’s putter grip options come with some built-in forward press, the reason being that this type of press works well with the lie angle-balanced design. You can go with a 1.5- or 3-degree press or a standard grip, should you prefer.
L.A.B. also recommends going with the standard weight unless you know for sure that you need a heavier or lighter head. Though there are a lot of screws in both the MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX, they are not intended to be adjusted by the customer. Should you change your mind and want to reweight your putter, you’ll need to send it in and it will cost you $100.
MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Alignment Insert
The last selection that you will make is the alignment insert. You have 11 options. You can go blank or something a little more exotic like a dot, arrows or even a heart. Can your choice impact how you aim the putter? I believe so. Putter maker and Edel Golf founder, David Edel has told us for years that the lines on the top of the putter influence how one aims the putter. Unfortunately, there is no real way to know how the graphics will affect your putting if you are doing this all online and these are not interchangeable inserts. I went with the three-line scheme primarily because I saw that configuration perform well during my Edel putter fitting.
Dave’s MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Putters
So how did L.A.B. Golf do with the “online to in-hand” challenge? They killed it! The in-hand putters look way better than they did in the computer rendering. That’s the recipe for any good interface. Make it look good online and then make the actual putter even better.
The interface itself was easy to use, especially if you had the data from the remote fitting to enter. How nice is that orange? Man, it pops in person. The overall build quality is excellent as well. These putters are not inexpensive and that shows in the materials and workmanship. The finish on the shaft and the feel of the grip and headcover speak to the quality of materials.
Comparing the MEZZ.1 and the MEZZ.1 MAX on the Course
These putters are more different than you would think. I alluded to this a bit when talking about the heads. Both require a little bit of acclimation if you are not familiar with lie angle-balanced putters. Your hands will want to force the putter as per usual but you just need to let these putters take the wheel. Let the putter be the boss.
Both of my L.A.B. putters featured the ACCRA x L.A.B. graphite shaft and 1.5-degree press grip. The shaft/grip combo produced a balanced stroke, so much so that I sort of took it for granted. It swings pure, so I paid little attention to it. Even the odd grip was not odd at all. Instead, it allowed me to set up consistently at address.
Back to the Heads …
So what about the heads? For me, the differences between the two heads were noticeable. I found the original MEZZ.1 easy to aim and consistent on the green but it just didn’t grab me and shake me. I’d be happy to have it in the bag but it didn’t really separate itself from the other putters in my garage competing for bag time.
The MEZZ.1 MAX was a whole different story. The first round out, I dropped putts from everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. The longest was more than 30 feet. It was stunning. I can’t recall another time when I have had so many “Holy s**t!” moments with a new putter. The MEZZ.1 MAX just dropped bomb after bomb. It was point and shoot. I am sure I had a personal best feet-of-putts-made statistic that round. Had my iron play shown up at all, I would have easily had a personal low round while rolling an unfamiliar putter.
Subsequent rounds have produced similar results. Rough green conditions impacted performance a bit. Such is the case for all putters, though. That said, on smooth fast greens, the MEZZ.1 MAX is a true weapon. It’s small wonder that so many PGA TOUR pros are looking at L.A.B. putters these days. Maybe L.A.B. is right when they say we are better putters than we think we are.
The Takeaway: L.A.B. Golf’s MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Putter Customizer
Back to L.A.B. Golf’s MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX Putter Customizer. L.A.B. Golf has produced a quality online custom interface for the MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX putters. Options are easy to select and, maybe except for the alignment insert, L.A.B. does an excellent job of explaining how the options could affect your putting.
Excluding an upgraded shaft, going from stock to custom will cost you an additional $110 for the original MEZZ.1 and $90 for the MAX which is $20 more for stock. That additional cost allows you to pick your color, grip, headcover, alignment aid and custom specifications. To me, that seems like a deal. You are already investing $449 or $469 for the stock MEZZ.1 or MEZZ.1 MAX respectively. How can you not spend the extra few bucks to get it customized?
Don’t let the odd look of the L.A.B. MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX put you off. Full disclosure: I was not a fan of the looks and, as such, was in no real rush to try them. Funny how making a bunch of long putts will make a putter look more attractive.
Design your own at L.A.B. Golf
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