What Are Armlock Putters? Unveiling the Golfing Innovation

Armlock putters have become a significant talking point in golf communities, appealing to players aiming to upgrade their putting with a focus on consistency and performance. Unlike the traditional putter, an armlock putter is designed to anchor the club to the inside of your forearm, which has been found effective in reducing wrist action during the stroke. This method provides a more stable and controlled putting experience, leading to potentially fewer putts per round.

The mechanics of armlock putting are a deviation from the usual wristy motions. Your leading arm and the putter form a single unit, which can help in aligning the putter face more consistently at impact. This advantage explains why some professional golfers have adopted armlock putters as a part of their arsenal. Enhanced alignment and a reduction in variability as you stroke the ball contribute to a smoother roll and can help in delivering the ball to its target with greater precision.

Manufacturers have responded to the growing interest in armlock putting by introducing various models equipped with features such as specific grip designs and length adjustments to suit your style. These putters often come with an increased MOI (Moment of Inertia), providing additional forgiveness on off-center hits. While adjusting to an armlock putter might require some practice, the benefits could be significant in terms of lowering your scores and achieving a more stable putting technique.

Understanding Armlock Putters

Armlock putters have brought a significant shift to the putting aspect of golf by offering an alternative technique to stabilize and control the putting stroke. This section sheds light on their history, design, the technique they employ, the regulations they must adhere to, and the benefits they offer to your game.

History and Evolution

Armlock putters gained prominence on professional tours with golfers such as Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau adopting this technique around 2021. Its evolution has seen brands like Odyssey, Ping, Cobra, and Bettinardi incorporate advanced materials and technologies into their designs to cater to this style.

Design and Features

The typical armlock putter is longer than standard putters, usually measuring 40-42 inches in length, with 5-7 degrees of loft and a lie angle optimized for the arm-lock technique. They often feature high Moment of Inertia (MOI) designs and may include specific technologies such as Odyssey’s Microhinge Star Insert, Sik Face Technology, or TaylorMade’s F.I.T. Face, which aim to enhance performance on the greens.

Armlock Putting Technique

The armlock putting technique involves extending the putter grip up the inside of your leading forearm, creating a stable connection through the stroke. This style necessitates a slight forward press to position the shoulders correctly, ensuring a consistent swing path and helping maintain alignment through impact.

Regulations and Conformity

Arm-lock putters must conform to the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A’s rules. As of the current knowledge cutoff, there have been discussions about the legality of armlock putters, but they remain compliant provided their specifications such as length, shaft, and grip do not violate the stipulated guidelines, including the maximum allowable limit of 7 degrees of loft.

Benefits of Armlock Putters

Golfers may choose arm-lock putters for enhanced stability and a reduction in wrist action, which can lead to increased consistency, especially on short putts. This method can also offer improved distance control and forgiveness, potentially increasing comfort and confidence on the greens. Armlock putters are particularly favored by players looking to combat the yips or seeking a more consistent roll.

Selection and Usage Tips

Selecting the right armlock putter can significantly affect your putting game. Factors such as putter head design, shaft length, and grip contribute to comfort and performance on the greens. Understanding how to effectively use this style of putter can lead to a more consistent stroke and better control of putt speed.

Choosing the Right Armlock Putter

When selecting an armlock putter, comfort and performance should be your top priorities. Look for a putter that has:

  • A length that matches your height, ensuring the grip rests against your leading forearm without causing tension in your shoulders.
  • The appropriate lie angle to help maintain a consistent angle between the putter and the ball at impact.
  • A head design that suits your putting style; blade putters are usually preferred for a smooth, straight stroke, while mallet putters are more forgiving and better for players with an arc in their stroke.

Mastering Your Stroke

To ensure a consistent roll and speed control, your stroke with an armlock putter needs to be smooth and stable.

  • Practice maintaining a slight forward press to engage the putter’s loft correctly.
  • Align your eyes directly over the ball or slightly inside the putting line to achieve a better view of your line.

Adapting to the Style

Adapting to an armlock putter requires adjustments in your putting technique.

  • Keep the grip firmly against your leading forearm to stabilize the putter during the stroke.
  • Adjust your stance so your eyes are over the ball, promoting a more consistent stroke.

Considering Your Skill Level

Armlock putters can benefit golfers at various skill levels, but they may not be ideal for everyone.

  • Low handicappers and tour players often find armlock putters enhance their consistent roll on fast, challenging greens.
  • Beginners might prefer more traditional putters as they are more versatile and easier to handle on different greens.
  • Armlock putters often have heavier swing weights, which can help stabilize the putter head for short putts but might require some adjustment period.