Ever since January 1, 2016, when the USGA and R&A banned anchoring the putter to the body, users of long and belly putters began to look for new ways to make the stroke simpler and stress-free. One such adopted putting technique became known as "arm lock". This is where the grip rests (or locks) against the left forearm (for a right-handed golfer) during the stroke. The benefits are to help quiet the wrists and let you rotate the shoulders. The arm-lock style also creates a natural forward press or positions your hands ahead of the ball at impact.
First popularized by Matt Kuchar, other notable golfers who have successfully switched to an arm lock putting style are Bryson DeChambeau, Keegan Bradley, and Webb Simpson. And yes, the arm lock putting technique does conform to the Rules of Golf.
Benefits of an Arm Lock Putter
- Removes the ability to become "wristy"
- Promotes a forward hand press
- Produces more of a rhythmic stroke by using the shoulders
Can any putter head be used for an arm lock putter?
In short, no. If the putter is made from a material that is non-adjustable (such as alloy) or you do not have the correct equipment to bend the hosel, post or shaft, then only select putter heads can be used. The primary reason is loft of the putter needs to be increased to offset the forward press. For example, on the Pinhawk On Lock putter, there is 7 degrees of loft with 2 degrees being the actual loft and 5 degrees creating the forward press. Arm Lock putters also tend to be heavier (close to the 380-400g range) compared to traditional putters (330-360g).
What about a shaft for an arm lock putter? The only putter shafts I see are too short.
Well, here is where you need to be creative. Most putter shafts will run between 35 and 38 inches. If the putter is equipped with a Plumber's neck hosel, you can gain close to 2.5", which is still too short for end of the shaft to be about an inch or two below the crease of the player's elbow. This is where a shaft extender comes into play. It will easily be covered up by the long putter grip. Common lengths for an arm lock putter range from 40 to 42 inches but can vary depending upon the player's height and arm length.
What type of grip does one use for an arm lock putter?
A grip for an arm lock putter will need to be longer than normal with many in the 17 to 21-inch length range. Because of the added length and the tapering of the shaft, you might need to add additional build-up tape under the lower part of the grip so there is no unsightly gap between the shaft and grip.
What to look for when building an arm lock putter:
- Increased putter loft
- Heavier club head weight
- Longer golf shaft and grip
As putting is so individualized, an arm lock putter may or may not be right for you. But if you struggle with direction and distance control with a conventional putter, perhaps this is one solution you deserve to try to alleviate your woes on the putting green.
Pinhawk On Lock putter
Specifically designed for the armlock putting method which has been proven to help you maintain better stability in your putting stroke. By anchoring the shaft and grip to your forearm, you are eliminating any deviations in shaft angle from setup to impact where most putting errors occur. The Pinhawk On Lock putter is perfectly designed for this USGA approved method of putting. It helps keep your wrist from breaking, and it also helps you keep conscious of a proper rotation of the shoulders. All of this results in giving you the stable stroke you need for solid, consistent putting, and it can help with the dreaded 'yips' too.