Putting is one of the most important skills in golf. It accounts for over 40% of the total strokes in a round of golf. Even the best professional golfers in the world can struggle with consistency on the greens. Finding a reliable putting technique that works for your stroke and improves accuracy is crucial to lowering scores and staying on top.
One unique putting method that has gained popularity in recent years is called “arm locking” putting. As the name implies, arm locking putting involves stabilizing the forearms and elbows in a fixed position throughout the putting stroke. This locked arm position is the core component of this putting style and provides stability in the swing.
Origins of Arm Locking Putting
The arm locking putting technique was pioneered by French-Canadian golfer Bernard Langer in the mid-2010s. Langer adopted this style to help overcome the yips and putting struggles late in his career on the PGA Champions Tour.
By anchoring his forearms and elbows, Langer was able to create a more compact and repeatable stroke pattern. This allowed him to improve his putting consistency and regain his world-class form. Langer’s putting resurgence using the arm lock method has led to 6 major championship wins on the senior tour.
Other professional golfers took notice and started implementing arm lock putting themselves. Notable converts include Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Kuchar, and Danny Willett. Their success has shined a spotlight on arm locking as a viable putting technique for all levels of golfers.
Benefits of Arm Locking Putting
- Improved consistency: Locking the forearms eliminates wrist breakdowns, leading to a more repetitive stroke. The fixed elbow position also ensures the proper arm triangle is maintained throughout the putt.
- Better distance control: With the arms stabilized, the shoulders and torso generate the stroke power instead of the hands. This allows for smoother acceleration and pace without deceleration before impact.
- Minimizes mis-hits: Having anchored forearms reduces the chance of the putter face twisting open or closed. This frontal stability improves strike and direction.
- Fosters relaxation: Arm locking helps eliminate tension in the hands and arms during the stroke. This frees up the larger muscles to produce a fluid motion.
- Provides stability: Fixed elbows and triangle shape create a steady foundation to build the stroke around. This enhances balance and stability over the ball.
How To Execute Arm Lock Putting Stroke
- Set up with the elbows pinned close to the torso and forearms angled vertically. Keep elbows pointed at the belt buckles with wrists flat.
- Position your dominant hand in a low-to-mid grip down the putter shaft. Keep palms facing each other.
- Maintain the elbow and arm triangle connection from takeaway to impact.
- Make a smooth, compact backswing by rotating the shoulders away from the target. Don’t break the elbow or wrist angles.
- Forward swing is initiated by the shoulder turn. Allow the arms to hinge naturally with the chest rotation.
- Guide the putter head inside the target line on the backswing, and release it down the line through impact.
- Let the big muscles in the shoulders and core generate the stroke power. Keep the hands passive.
- Release the putter head naturally through impact without manipulation. Roll the ball off the sweet spot.
- Follow through by holding the finish position with elbows and triangle intact.
How To Fine Tune Putting Stroke
- Find your ideal grip and elbow positions for a comfortable, locked triangle shape.
- Focus on making a smooth, compact backswing-through stroke. Don’t overswing past parallel.
- Work on solid tempo and smooth acceleration through impact.
- Groove alignment by tracing the target line with the putter head as part of your routine.
- Develop touch and pace control from different lengths using alignment sticks.
- Utilize training aids like putting mirrors to monitor your locked arm positions.
- Refine by analyzing results and making incremental setup tweaks.
- Continue practicing arm locked strokes to ingrain repeatability through muscle memory.
Choosing an Arm Lock Putter
- Heavier head (350g+) places mass closer to the axis point for smoother acceleration.
- Perimeter weighted heads enlarge the sweet spot for more forgiveness.
- Shorter shafts (30-32 inches) improve control for arm locked strokes.
- Fixed-bend shafts angle the lie angle for proper impact.
- Mid-hang balanced heads prevent face rotation.
- Stability grooves or wings on the grip add tactile feedback.
Arm locking putters may seem unconventional, but the results speak for themselves. Golfers across the professional tours and amateur ranks are rediscovering their putting prowess thanks to this unique technique. By isolating arm movement and stabilizing the stroke, arm lock putting could be the key to lower scores on the greens. With patience and practice, golfers of all levels can implement this putting style to gain more consistency on those crucial short putts.
Where do you put the ball in armlock putting?
Armlock putting is a technique used in golf, particularly for putting, where the grip of the putter is placed against the forearm to create a more stable and consistent stroke. When using the armlock putting technique, you want to position the ball slightly forward of center in your stance.
How do you use arm lock putter grips?
- Grip Placement: Hold the putter grip against your lead forearm (the arm closest to the target).
- Ball Position: Position the ball slightly forward of center in your stance.
- Alignment: Align your body and putter face with the target line.
- Stroke: Make a pendulum-like stroke with minimal wrist movement, using your shoulders and arms.
Is armlock putting an advantage?
Armlock putting can provide advantages like stability, minimized wrist movement, straighter putts, and improved distance control. However, its effectiveness varies by golfer, and some might find it uncomfortable or need an adjustment period. Personal preference and rule considerations also play a role in determining if it’s advantageous for you.
Is arm lock putting legal?
Yes – arm locking the putter is legal according to golf’s governing bodies and current Rules of Golf. It provides no demonstrable advantage over conventional putting. As long as the elbows maintain some flex and the forearms remain “close to” but not pressed against the chest, golfers are free to utilize this unconventional but effective putting technique.