The New 'Anti-Establishment' Company Making Waves In The Golf Industry

LA Golf may have only been around for two years but its shaft technology is resonating with some of the world’s best players, with plenty more innovation in the pipeline

The New 'Anti-Establishment' Company Making Waves In The Golf Industry
(Image credit: LA Golf)

 “Do you know why every putter ever made is made out of solid steel with a flat face?” These are the type of questions LA Golf founder Reed Dickens has been asking, and the answer according to him, “absolutely, no f****** reason!” It is this type of inquisitive questioning that lured Dickens to golf from baseball where his company Marucci sports had already disrupted the bat industry, overtaking the Louisville Slugger as the number one bat in Major League Baseball.

Photo of LA Golf founder and Dustin Johnson

LA Golf founder Reed Dickens chats with Dustin Johnson, a partner in the company

(Image credit: Future)

The company, based in Beverly Hills, entered the golf market in 2021 primarily as a premium aftermarket shaft manufacturer. “I started LA Golf to be a pro-player, anti-establishment vibe.” says Dickens. This “pro-player” outlook soon caught the attention of a number of Tour players. Renowned for his thirst for improvement, Bryson DeChambeau was soon in touch asking for input in designing his own shaft and, after a dinner conversation between Dickens and Dustin Johnson, the former World number one also immediately wanted to get involved with LA Golf. Along with former LPGA star Michelle Wie West, these players are now partners, board members and heavily involved with R&D for the company.

LA Golf shafts have been gaining increased traction in the professional game and, if you keep a close eye on tour equipment you may have seen the likes of Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Tom Kim and Rickie Fowler all using LA Golf products in the recent past.

It seems that what is making LA Golf stand out from the competition is the desire to question what has been previously accepted and disrupt the status quo in equipment design and manufacturing. This is an attitude the company is certainly bringing to its new Gen 2 carbon putters, which includes the Bel-Air putter.  

“There’s no regulation that says you have to use solid steel” explains Dickens. “So we made the first putter ever out of carbon. It's five times less dense than steel, so we have twice as big of a sweet spot”.

Photo of Tommy Fleetwood using an LA Golf putter shaft

Tommy Fleetwood using an LA Golf Putter shaft

(Image credit: Future)

In addition to this, the company's putter faces feature something called descending loft technology. This is essentially a curved face from top to bottom with the loft descending in a 4-3-2-1 degree pattern towards the lower portion of the face, a technology initially implemented by SIK Golf. 

“So Bryson called me about two years ago and said, I think the SIK descending loft face technology is the biggest innovation in putter faces,” explained Dickens. “He explained to me the center of gravity and the descending loft face makes the ball roll immediately, and on a flat face the ball skips and skids off the putter. I immediately reached out and cut a deal to acquire SIK”. 

LA Golf Putter Shaft

(Image credit: MHopley)

Dickens also believes that putter shaft technology is something that has been grossly overlooked for years, stating that when you purchase with other putter brands. “You get a flat face, tiny sweet spot and a $4 flimsy steel shaft. We feel like material sciences have advanced exponentially and there’s no reason golf shouldn’t be progressing with it.” 

The basic premise is that making the shaft as torsionally stable as possible reduces club head twisting at impact and can have a huge effect on improving the start line of putts for golfers, but as Dickens explains, it’s not that simple; “If you tried to make a putter shaft as stable as an LA Golf putter shaft, it would feel hard as a rock. But we have anti-vibration material that makes it feel buttery soft.”

LA Golf balls

(Image credit: Future)

With LA Golf branching out into metalwood shafts and about to launch a premium, four-piece ball with a urethane cover that Dickens believes we will see “in play, hopefully on every tour”, it seems that this innovative and exciting company is only just getting started with disrupting the equipment space.

Joe Ferguson
Staff Writer

 

Joe has worked in the golf industry for nearly 20 years in a variety of roles. After a successful amateur career being involved in England squads at every age group, Joe completed his PGA degree qualification in 2014 as one of the top ten graduates in his training year and subsequently went on to become Head PGA Professional at Ryder Cup venue The Celtic Manor Resort. Equipment has always been a huge passion of Joe’s, and during his time at Celtic Manor, he headed up the National Fitting Centres for both Titleist and Taylormade.  He’s excited to bring his knowledge of hardware to Golf Monthly in the form of equipment reviews and buying advice. 

Joe lives in North Devon and still plays sporadically on the PGA West region circuit. His best round in recent years came earlier in 2023 where he managed a 9 under par 63 at Trevose GC in a Devon & Cornwall PGA Tournament.

Joe's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Switch between Ping G430 Max 10K & TaylorMade Qi10 - both with Fujikura Ventus Black 6-X

Fairway wood: TaylorMade Qi10 Tour - Fujikura Ventus Black 7-X

Irons: Callaway Apex CB 24'  3-11 - Project X LS 6.5 shafts

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM10 54D and 60M

Putter: Odyssey Toe Up #9

Ball: TaylorMade 2024 TP5x 

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 60R

Bag: Vessel Player IV Pro DXR Stand