How Helpful is the Arm Lock Putting Style?


Welcome back to the Edel Golf Podcast.  This week we received a question about arm lock putting.

To start, I think this style of putting is a tremendously complicated process.  However, “If you’re having success with it, who am I to say don’t do it?” 

When I see people switch to arm lock putting, they’re usually “survivors from long putters or belly putters.” 

What I’ve found is that the complications with arm lock putting stem from the fact that it “doesn’t match your slot.”  Arm lock putting is usually best for “shoulder slot putters… players whose lower arm is longer than their upper arm.”  That said, if your arms are equal in length, you’re a torso slot player and you might be able to make the arm lock method work.  But, if your upper arm is longer than your lower arm, it probably isn’t going to help you putt better. 

For players that use the arm lock putter, two things are going to happen.  First, the ball position might move more toward the middle of your stance so “you’re going to get more of a lean pattern.”  As a result, the loft of the putter changes and it becomes difficult to roll the ball correctly.  Second, players have a tendency to put the ball too far forward in their stance which creates left aim bias. 

When I fit players for arm lock putters, I use a double-bend shaft.  The question then becomes “how do you weight the putter?”  Instead of adding weight to the head, I prefer to add weight to the shaft.  This can provide a lot of stability for players that struggle with short putts.  However, controlling speed on longer putts can be more difficult with an arm lock putter. 

When it comes to choosing one putting style or another, most people do so without really knowing a lot.  Maybe they see someone win on tour with a particular method and decide to give it a try.  That’s why I’ve created both putting and bio fitting processes to help bridge that gap. 

In short, I think arm lock putting is something that can be done, but I wouldn’t recommend it for everybody.  If a player comes to me and wants to arm lock, I’ll help them through the process to the best of my ability.

At the end of the day, putting comes down to finding out what works best for the individual and “physically manifesting it into a golf club.”

I look forward to answering more of your questions in future episodes so keep them coming!  Thanks for listening!