L.A.B. Golf DF3 Putter Review

50 Words or Less

The L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter is like a magic wand for starting the ball on your target line.  Shockingly stable and forgiving off of mishits, it refines what was already one of the most technologically advanced and customizable putters on the market. 

Introduction

L.A.B. Golf putters are catching fire.  They used to be the occasional oddity seen in the bags of gearheads or golf junkies.  Now they’re a staple in the bags of thousands of golfers including winning professionals like Lucas Glover, Adam Scott, and Camilo Villegas.  The reason why is that they make golf simpler.  The L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter – despite being so new – has already found its way into the bags of pros like Phil Mickelson and Garrick Higgo. 

If you haven’t read about the Lie Angle Balance putter technology in previous reviews on this site, the short version is that they are torqueless putters.  That means they square themselves to the arc of your putting stroke.  It’s a particularly fantastic fit for those of you with minimal arc and face rotation for your strokes, but I have seen it improve those with other styles as well. 

Looks 

The aesthetic of the original Directed Force 2.1 (review HERE) was infamous.  The putter was consistently reviled, mocked, and roasted for its looks.  With that said, L.A.B. has always seemed to revel in the online discussions, and has been quick to respond that looks don’t matter if you make more putts.  The putter’s shape is actually the logo for the company. 

The L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter, the updated model, is more palatable in the looks category.  While it still retains the general shape and overall branding-iron look of the original, it’s in a much smaller, more streamlined profile.  With that said, the CEO of the company recently took to Instagram and said that it looks a bit like a toilet seat… so, it’s still not exactly a handsome putter. 

Just like the prior model, the DF3 is one of the most customizable putters in golf.  It’s offered in 8 different colors: black, blue, red, green, pink, orange, platinum, and cappuccino (pictured).  Moreover, you’ll have 33 different alignment aid options to make the putter completely your own. 

One last detail is their new “Gimmie Getter,” a little nickname for the golf ball-sized hole on the back of the putter.  While it could be argued it’s a bit of an alignment aid, its main purpose is to pick up a golf ball, which, coincidentally, was a big critique of many fans of the MEZZ.1 and MEZZ.1 MAX (review HERE).  I can happily say in my testing of the putter, I didn’t have much use for this feature, because the golf ball was going in the hole more often. 

Feel & Sound

The looks of the L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter aren’t the only customizable thing – the feel and performance are customizable as well.  They can be personalized with several graphite shaft options from Accra, BGT, LA Golf, and TPT.  On top of the upgraded shafts, there is also the ability to make the putter counterbalanced or a broomstick.  

I decided to make my L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter a counterbalanced one with an Accra shaft.  That caused a different feel when compared to the MEZZ (review HERE) and Directed Force models I’ve tried in the past.  While the Accra shaft makes strikes feel softer off the face, the longer and heavier counterbalanced shaft and grip give a feeling of stability and weight.  

Performance

While I have had excellent experiences with both the LINK.1 (review HERE) and MEZZ.1, the L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter is unquestionably an improvement from those models.  In using it for hours of practice and several rounds of golf, I have never had an easier time starting the ball on my intended target line.  

Speed control was initially an issue (I tended to miss putts short), but nearly every attempt finished in the jaws of the hole.  On top of that, I didn’t have any three putts.  The putts from 11 feet and in felt nearly automatic.  While putting is the strength of my golf game, this putter gave me even more confidence.  

That added confidence came from the sheer mass of the head.  The larger head presented a ton of MOI and there was almost no noticeable deflection from heel or toe misses.  While L.A.B. has admitted that they weren’t able to give the DF3 model all of the stability of the Directed Force 2.1, I can’t say that I noticed a drop in forgiveness. 

Conclusion

While putter technology has been at a standstill for years with some manufacturers, L.A.B. is working tirelessly to up their game.  They continue to find ways to reinvent the wheel.  L.A.B.’s slogan is, “You’re a better putter than you think” and it is true for many.  If any new putter can earn a spot in my bag in the 2024 season, it’s the L.A.B. Golf DF3 putter.  

Buy the L.A.B. Golf DF3 Putter HERE

Drew Koch
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13 Comments

  1. Comprehensive review! I’m qualified to respond since I owned a DF2 putter. I say “owned” because after 2 years I had to replace it. I putted well initially but the size & esp the weight really threw me off when I would play on different courses w/ varying green speeds. I had difficulties actually “feeling” the putter head.

    I thought the concept was fantastic & it was a major disappointment that this putter didn’t work out. I see the new model can be made a tad lighter At some point would love to try it, the problem is there are so few retail outlets you can actually test this club. But it’s also relevant to mention to the readers that this putter will set you back $600 (w/o any shaft upgrades). I honestly think that alone will reduce the number of interested buyers.

    • The golf galaxy near me carries them. It’s the stock option. I have heard the PGA tour superstore also carries them.

  2. I finally took the plunge last year and purchased a Mezz 1 max. It took about a month or two to get used to it, but after years of multiple 3 putts per round (I’m ashamed to admit it, but that was what my playing partners used to call me) I’m definitely probably, mostly, a slightly above average putter. Seriously though, I rarely 3 putt anymore and anything inside of 3-4 feet is no longer a knee knocker. These L.A.B. golf putters just work. Removing torque is just one less variable to make things go wrong. If my back swing or start of the down swing feels off, I just “let go” reduce my grip pressure and the club squares itself and the ball rolls on line. I know these putters are expensive but please remember it is the only club that you use on every hole. Seriously, this putter has dropped at least 4-6 strokes off my typical round. We all follow and chase the technology curve on all other clubs from drivers, irons and wedges, putters shouldn’t be any different…. This is new technology and it works… Every time. If you struggle when the grass gets really short, do yourself a favor and check out the line of L.A.B. golf putters. You will probably find out as I did, that Sam is right, you are a better putter than you realize.

    • Mike Francisco

      This putter is a stock at the PGA SUPETSTORE Black head but different length shafts. Think it is. $449

  3. Lloyd Davis

    I’m in the market for a new putter, and one of our local pro shops is a LAB fitter. The pro doesn’t recommend the LAB, but he’s never tried the DF3, only the DF2. He claims the members he’s fit with the DF2 have mostly (80%) abandoned the club. I’m deciding now between the DF3 and the Evnroll ER11vx.
    I’d really be interested in ANY thoughts/guidance!

    • Hi Lloyd,
      Firstly a putter is an extremely personal thing. However it’s just as important to get fitted correctly.
      The 2.1 was their first attempt with this technology they have moved on a lot since those early days. I started out with the Mezz 1 as I struggled from 5 feet and in. I keep all my stated and on a season average playing twice a week my putts have been 3 less per round.
      I them moved onto when the Max version came out, which had been a step up again. For me it gave me More stability snd pace control on longer putts as I had it made in the heavier version. I basically chose a L.A.B. putter in the first place as it out performed anything else on The Sam Putting Lab. Stats don’t lie
      The fact that these putters are more customisable than anything out there. Yes they are expensive but no different to the price of a new driver.
      Travel to somewhere you can get fitted try all the models and compare it to other models that’s all you can do. However believe me when I tell you the technology works. Ask Lucas Glover, look how bad he was inside 4 feet, that putter had literally transformed his game. He is just one of many and don’t forget LAN don’t pay anyone to use their putters.

  4. I gamed the original DF in 2017 and putted well with it, but I did not have a handle on lengthy lag putts. I thought the putter was very light in swing weight and possibly lacked feel for distance. Reading what LAB now says, instead of accelerating too quickly, of course you are to take a longer stroke going back.

    As an aside, I don’t believe LAB carries LA Golf shafts

    So I bit on the DF3, customized with the TPT shaft. I did the remote fitting and just received the putter – it took 33 days from placing the order to receiving the putter.. The first thing I noticed is that the swingweight is heavier, even though I grip down an inch. Feel is solid yet soft with a ProV1.

    Because of the onset, LAB advises to place the ball position fairly forward in the stance.

  5. A couple of comments, as a devoted DF 2.1 user. Darren is absolutely correct that you need to be fitted for one of these. As someone who first tried a stock PGASS DF, and didn’t see the fuss, the balancing only *really* works if you’re in the correct lie and length. I’m 4° more upright than std, so yeah, not useful for me at 70°.

    The feel is *very* different than even another mallet. “Anesthetized” is how I’ve described it. Yet the putter will twist in your hands through the stroke. Which the “thumbs-off” grip allows. The whole thing, coupled with the much more fwd ball position, as Jerry noted, makes calibrating distance challenging. It takes awhile to learn. If you’re not a pendulum-type putter, I wouldn’t recommend these, honestly.
    OTOH, it can be precise enough to where you can stroke it 10′ vs 12′ on v. fast surfaces and it’ll actually do it.

    LAB used to carry LAGP shafts as a (hideously) expensive add-on. Guess they’ve stopped. (I do love my L-series in my irons though, but jeez, buy them used if you can.) The Accra white in my DF is just fine.

    Finally, there are training videos at LAB to help a new LAB owner figure things out. Really useful.

    Great review.

  6. Oops, forgot one thing. Despite what I said about needing to be fitted, going to a big box is *very* useful for accquainting you with their strange grips. Most LAB grips have some degree of forward press built into them. This can feel weird. It also isn’t great if your fingers (raises stubby hand) aren’t long enough to get a secure grip on the *standard* 3° Press grip. The new Pistol grip they sell works great for me though.

    So try, if you can, the Pistol vs 1.5° Press vs 3° Press vs the Garsen they sell. Then they can balance it to your desired grip.

  7. Have used the DF3 for 3 weeks on the practice green. It takes a week or two to rid yourself of the “accommodations” one may make with a traditional putter. I found it is best to relax, don’t use hands or wrists, use a shoulder driven stroke, and let the putter do its thing. Weight with the TPT (adds 30g over std steel shaft) with the std weighted head at 35 in gave me a just right swingweight when putting –

  8. Jim W Rosteck

    George F. mentions training videos at LAB Golf. Where do you find them? I sent an email to LAB Golf asking about this a week ago and have not heard back.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      I don’t see them on LAB’s website. Perhaps they have videos on social or YouTube Channels.
      With regard to emailing them, I know they’ve been completely swamped since the fall. It’s a small, relatively new company experiencing enormous success.

      Best,

      Matt

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