Arm Lock Putting Method Tested
It’s a manner with which to hold the putter that is gaining some serious traction out on tour given how it’s main two protagonists, Matt Kuchar and Bryson DeChambeau, appear to be walking cash machines notching up win after win.
It all doesn’t seem fair does it? There have been calls to ban it altogether, but the fact is that anything anchored below the elbow is permitted under the Rules of Golf, even the updated ones for 2019. A loophole cleverly exposed, perhaps, but with others like Bubba Watson also recently adopting it I was keen to discover what all the fuss is about.
The model we tested was the Bettinardi SS38 Arm Lock, which was 40-inches long and featured a 15-inch Lamkin cord grip and 5° of loft.
The theory is simple enough, rest the longer shaft up against the inside of your lead forearm with a lot of shaft lean and simply rock the shoulders. In practice, it takes much more getting used to although we actually saw some impressive results from the very first shot, nearly holing two consecutive 40-footers from the off.
Unquestionably your right hand feels less active during the stroke, which should be a good thing for consistency and clubface control. You might even decide to change your bottom hand grip given its less dominant role, with the line formed from your left arm all the way down to the putter head moving as one unit and the bottom hand just tagging along for the ride.
We did experience some added tension from the constant need to push the shaft against our lead arm – it has the tendency to want to break away initially, but once mastered we certainly felt at home on the greens employing the technique from different lengths of putt, especially short range.
Over time, I’m confident it could help me hole out more consistently and become less anxious as it uses more of the bigger muscles and involves less moving parts.
It was difficult to tell if were more successful with the Arm Lock method than the traditional choice, but for those seeking a change in fortunes on the greens it could well produce the spark that reignites your inner Jordan Spieth.