In December, a series of metal monoliths of unknown origin prompted a social media frenzy when they began appearing seemingly out of thin air — and disappearing just as fast. The futuristic metal structures, which measured 10 by 12 feet, befuddled scientists and drew more than a handful of comparisons to the alien relics used in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
This week, Jimmy Walker quietly began experimenting with the golf disciple of those monoliths — a bizarre-looking, center-shafted putter seemingly cut into a tiny, perfectly rectangular head shape. So quietly did Walker experiment, only the popular gear account and website GolfWRX noticed the shift, later confirming that the former major championship winner planned to keep the club in his bag. The only difference it seems is this monolith appears here to stay.
So, what’s going on behind the scenes of Walker’s futuristic looking putter? According to the company that makes it — L.A.B. Golf — a whole heck of a lot.
L.A.B., whose name you might remember from Adam Scott’s oblong mallet, specializes in making golf clubs that, it claims, have perfect lie angle balance. The company sees the root of all putting evil beginning with the direction of the putter face at impact. By building putters with lie angle balance, L.A.B. believes it gives golfers the greatest chance at pointing their putter in the proper direction at impact.
“Lie Angle Balance (L.A.B.) Technology makes it effortless for golfers to deliver a square putter face at impact because, unlike other putters, it keeps the putter face square to the arc throughout the stroke,” the L.A.B. website says. “It makes putting as easy as picking the right line, the right speed, and making your natural stroke.”
L.A.B. makes two putter models (Scott’s aforementioned mallet, and Walker’s symmetrical blade). While both clubs look startlingly different, they’re built with the same approach in mind.
Walker’s B.2, which comes in both stainless steel and brass, has a U.S. patent and is less forgiving than its mallet counterpart. It is fully milled and designed with four weight ports to allow for optimal customization. Before a player can purchase a putter, they must undergo a putter fitting to ensure their L.A.B. putter is built to the exact specifications of their game.
For $350, golfers can purchase the “stock” option of Walker’s putter or they can opt for a custom option for $550 (not including add-ons). As for the monoliths, GolfWRX says that Walker has confirmed he’s keeping the new putter — so no need to worry that the new gadget will disappear overnight (or is there?).