Arm Lock putting has been the fastest-growing putting style for many years now: not just with PGA Tour players, but also with club players and even recreational golfers looking for a way to make putting more fun.
The Arm Lock style is a fantastic way to putt and worth a serious try for any golfer… especially if you’ve considered tossing your putter in a lake in the last 4-6 weeks.
But before you go ahead and pull the trigger on a new Arm Lock — and especially an Arm Lock putter with Lie Angle Balance — there are a few things to know. In this article, we start with the basics and build from there.
At L.A.B. Golf, we’re all about removing variables. That’s exactly what Arm Lock putting does. By resting the putter grip against the lead forearm, the Arm Lock putting style helps golfers eliminate wrist movement during the stroke that can cause them to push or pull their putts. Arm Locking can also help with inconsistent speed control for golfers that either flip their wrists or don’t always release the putter on schedule.
It doesn’t really matter how you hold an Arm Lock putter, but most golfers use a conventional or claw grip where the lead wrist and forearm rest flat against the grip. As a result, the trailing wrist is set at a fairly significant angle.
With the wrists out of play, the stroke must either be driven by the shoulders or by the lead arm. Either way, removing the variable of wrist bend during the stroke is a huge lever in improving consistency.
The Arm Lock style is also simple to execute — at least once golfers get comfortable with the significant shaft lean the style requires. Assuming a golfer aims well and applies the proper speed, the only demand of a successful Arm Lock stroke is to keep the grip resting against the lead wrist and/or forearm from start to finish.
There are people who believe handicaps around the world would drop 2-3 shots if every golfer used an Arm Lock. And that makes sense when you consider that it teaches shaft lean — not just with the putter, but with all the clubs in the bag. That being said, there are some golfers who don’t do well with shaft lean.
If you’re an accomplished golfer who doesn’t have much shaft lean in your full swing or your short game, you’re probably not going to do very well with shaft lean in your putter. The good news is that this describes a very small percentage of golfers worldwide.
That’s why we say, the next time you head to PGA Tour SuperStore or Club Champion or wherever you like to browse golf gear, try an Arm Lock. You’ll know pretty quickly if it’s for you.
A quick refresher on Lie Angle Balance Technology, or L.A.B. Tech for short. At L.A.B. Golf, we make putters that are torque-free, which means that their heads don’t want to twist or turn during the stroke. We have the patent on this.
This twisting and turning of conventional putters is why we think a lot of golfers try alternative methods like the Broomstick or Arm Lock in the first place. They’re trying to make the putter head behave itself.
Going to an Arm Lock with Lie Angle Balance is a double-whammy. You’ll get the dual benefit of removing the wrists from the stroke, as well as removing torque from the putter head. This means that you can lighten your grip pressure and let the putter swing naturally. It’s way better than trying to hold the putter head still.
Golfers have enough to worry about without thinking about torque. Maybe it’s breaking 80. Maybe it’s the course record. Maybe it’s the downhill, snaking 6-footer to take your buddy’s cash. Our point is you shouldn’t have to worry about your putter biting you in the rear.
The Arm Lock putter market is growing, but it’s still extremely niche. For that reason, some of the big putter companies don’t spend much time thinking about their Arm Lock putters. Some don’t offer them at all.
But figuring out how to make putters better is what we do at L.A.B. Golf, which is why we do a few special things to make our DF 2.1 Arm Lock putters the last Arm Lock you will ever consider.
We custom build every L.A.B. Golf putter by hand, and this makes a huge difference with Arm Lock putters because of the wide range of lengths, lie angles, and head weights golfers need to putt their best with this style.
To create their Arm Lock putters, most putter companies simply add loft to the putter by bending the shaft. That saves them from having to develop special Arm Lock putter heads, but it also creates a hooked face at address.
What we do with our DF 2.1 Arm Lock putters is drill a shaft hole with an added 5 degrees of shaft lean, which means the putter will sit perfectly square and flat at address… just like our short putters.
So how do you fit an Arm Lock putter without an Arm Lock putter? It’s surprisingly easy to do over email or the phone with our Remote Fittings.
What we recommend is that golfers who don’t have access to an Arm Lock putter send us a Remote Fitting Video with either their hybrid or their fairway wood depending on how long their Arm Lock needs to be.
Just ignore the fact that your hybrid or fairway wood is resting on its toe and make an Arm Lock putting stroke. Our team will be able to dial in the lie angle and length no problem.
Speaking of length, here’s a hot tip on what you’re going for with your Arm Lock.
While there are no set rules on how long your Arm Lock should be or where it should rest on your lead arm, we strongly recommend that the end of the grip rest closer to your elbow than your wrist to use the style to its full effectiveness.
As you might already know, the rules of golf prohibit a grip that rests against the upper arm, so keep it short of your elbow crease and you’re good to go.
We can build Arm Locks from 34 inches all the way up to 46 inches, and we can build them to just about any Lie Angle.
We also make sure our Arm Lock putters are built to a proper headweight, because a 39-inch Arm Lock and a 44-Inch Arm Lock generally require different headweights. Again, this is the advantage of building Arm Lock putters to order. You can have your cake and putt with it, too.
And last but not least, we’ll plug the customization options of our DF 2.1 putter. It’s available in four finishes (Red, Black, Blue, and Nickel) and 36 different alignment markings. You’ll like at least one of them.
So… how will you build your DF 2.1 Arm Lock putter?