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Odyssey Arm Lock putters: In-hand photos and story

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Odyssey Arm Lock Putter

The USGA and R&A’s proposal to ban the practice of “anchoring” during the golf swing has left many golfers with doubts about their continued use of anchored putting styles, which will likely be outlawed by golf’s ruling bodies in 2016.

Odyssey latest line of putters, called “Arm Lock,” could be a lifeline for those golfers. Released just two days the proposed anchor ban, Arm Lock putters are the latest legal option on the shelves for golfers who struggle with conventional-length putters.

At first glance, the Arm Locks look much like Odyssey’s Metal-X belly putters. The two available models, the Metal-X #7 and Metal-X DART, use belly putter heads, belly putter-length shafts and Odyssey’s standard belly putter lie angle of 71 degrees. But their shafts are bent 4 degrees forward toward a golfer’s lead arm, which allows them to be anchored against the inside of a golfer’s forearm throughout the stroke. To negate the effects of the forward shaft bend, Arm Lock putter heads are made with 7 degrees of loft, which gives the putters Odyssey’s desired loft of 3 degrees when placed in the playing position.

Like belly and chest-anchored putting styles, forearm-anchored putters will help golfers make more consistent putting strokes, minimizing wrist breakdown and forearm rotation. But because the end of the putter grip will move freely with the movement of the putter head and not be anchored in the belly or chest, golf’s ruling bodies decided not to propose a ban the style.

Rollison said that when using a forearm-anchored putter, golfers should make a stroke as if they are using a conventional length putter. Because the end of the putter grip is stabilized against a golfer’s lead forearm, their stroke will be dominated by the rocking of the shoulders, not the movement of the hands and forearms.

“The stroke really accentuates the use of the left arm doing the work and the right arm helping guide it along,” Rollinson said. “It’s a lot like a free throw in basketball, one hand shoots and the other is there to help guide the ball.”

The Arm Lock putters won’t negate forearm rotation as effectively as belly and long putters, but one area where the Arm Lock putters have an edge is fitting. With belly and long putters, getting the right length and lie is essential. But with Arm Lock putters, length is less of a concern, which is why the two models are only being offered in one length – 43 inches.

Ideally, Arm Lock putters should be used with the grip resting a few inches short of the crook of the lead arm. If the putter is too long, the butt end will rest off a golfer’s lead arm, decreasing stability. But the fix is simple – cut the putter to a length that places the grip in the proper position.

“We love belly and long putters because we think they help golfers,” Rollison said. But we see the proposed rule change as an opportunity to innovate within the rules set by the USGA and R&A.”

Check out more photos below, or click here to see what members are saying in the putter forum. 

Check out more photos below, or click here to see what members are saying in the putter forum. 

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. STEVE

    Sep 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    WHO CARES I AM USING MY LONG PUTTER TILL DEATH DUE PART I AM 69 HAVE ANXIETY AND I AM THROUGH PLAYING IN ANY TOURNAMENTS ESPECIALLY USGA STUFF AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED THEY DONT EXIST ANYMORE. THEY ARENT THINKING ABOUT AMATEUR WEEKEND GOLFERS LIKE THE GUY BEFORE OLD WEALTHY MEN WHO WANT TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES.

  2. Al

    May 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    There are many people with ailments like Parkinsons, various tremors, and amputations that require anchored putters. They are older though and probably shouldn’t be allowed to compete with younger folks.

  3. Gary Lewis

    Dec 16, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I have experimented with this kind of a setup a little and it seems very awkward to me, perhaps because I am not doing it correctly. I have had better success with using the long putter but not anchoring it. Seems like that can work pretty good, as long as the left arm hugs the body and doesn’t point out towards the target. A change in lie angle might be required for it but it might be a pretty good alternative for people who have the yips so bad they can’t use a short putter.

  4. Tom tucker

    Dec 15, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I have been teaching this method for years – no need to bend the putter or adjust loft, just play it forward enough in your stance. It works very well for short putts, lag putts takes some work.

  5. Barry

    Dec 13, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Clones of Taylor Made rubbish. What a joke!

  6. Shark

    Dec 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I have been anchoring the putter against my left forearm ever since I was a kid, even with a conventional length putter to keep my left wrist from breaking down on the follow-through. I got a Cleveland (short) belly putter and use that on my left forearm now since they make one and now I don’t have to hunch over. I also use my own version of the claw or saw grip and that really feels nice.

  7. jim

    Dec 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I’m with Dorf – playing thru 11:59pm on 12/31/2015 with my legal belly putter and I will not feel guilty. The USGA has no interest in me or my game – just a bunch of very wealthy old men who have the ability to impart their wishes on us. There will be many of options for us 3 years from now.

  8. Davide

    Dec 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Danny play guttaperka balls!

  9. Dorf

    Dec 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    I’m using my anchored belly putter until Dec. 31, 2015. Should be plenty of these Kuchar style putters (by many manufacturers) to choose from by then.

  10. Kyle

    Dec 10, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Iv been playing with a putter like this for years. You can make one your self. Just get a long shaft and bend it with you machine than bend it just right with your foot. Its that easy.

  11. Chad

    Dec 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I agree 100% with Aaron. We should be trying to make this game EASIER for people to play. We are involved in a sport that is dependent on keeping people interested and creating new interest to start playing year after year. The putter ban is just hurting that, however small the anchored putting community is… If something really has to be done on the Pro level (it doesn’t) it should be a condition of competition not a rule change

  12. aaron

    Dec 10, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Danny, play wood headed woods. Long putters are just a way to play better, just like HUGE headed metal woods. Take advantage of what works for you, its a hard game. Idont use a long putter, but disagree with the ban.

  13. Peter

    Dec 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    There is no ‘genius’ in this. Hasn’t Matt Kuchar already used this (and added loft to his putter)? This just seems like a reaction after probably being annoyed by the banning decision.

  14. Danny

    Dec 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I have an idea, learn to putt like men.

  15. Austin

    Dec 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Would love it if Ping would follow suit with this idea and possibly replace existing adjustable belly putters with a forward “arm lock” shaft. Might save me a little $$$$.

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Accessory Reviews

I tried the great Golfboarding experiment… here’s how it went

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Corica Park Golf Course is not exactly the first place you’d expect to find one of the most experimental sports movements sweeping the nation. Sitting on a pristine swath of land along the southern rim of Alameda Island, deep in the heart of the San Francisco Bay, the course’s municipal roots and no-frills clubhouse give it an unpretentious air that seems to fit better with Sam Snead’s style of play than, say, Rickie Fowler’s.

Yet here I am, one perfectly sunny morning on a recent Saturday in December planning to try something that is about as unconventional as it gets for a 90-year-old golf course.

It’s called Golfboarding, and it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: an amalgam of golf and skateboarding, or maybe surfing. The brainchild of surfing legend Laird Hamilton — who can be assumed to have mastered, and has clearly grown bored of, all normal sports — Golfboarding is catching on at courses throughout the country, from local municipal courses like Corica Park to luxury country clubs like Cog Hill and TPC Las Colinas. Since winning Innovation Of the Year at the PGA Merchandising Show in 2014, Golfboards can now be found at 250 courses and have powered nearly a million rounds of golf already. Corica Park currently owns eight of them.

The man in pro shop gets a twinkle in his eyes when our foursome tells him we’d like to take them out. “Have you ridden them before?” he asks. When we admit that we are uninitiated, he grins and tells us we’re in for a treat.

But first, we need to sign a waiver and watch a seven-minute instructional video. A slow, lawyerly voice reads off pedantic warnings like “Stepping on the golfboard should be done slowly and carefully” and “Always hold onto the handlebars when the board is in motion.” When it cautions us to “operate the board a safe distance from all…other golfboarders,” we exchange glances, knowing that one of us will more than likely break this rule later on.

Then we venture outside, where one of the clubhouse attendants shows us the ropes. The controls are pretty simple. One switch sends it forward or in reverse, another toggles between low and high gear. To make it go, there’s a throttle on the thumb of the handle. The attendant explains that the only thing we have to worry about is our clubs banging against our knuckles.

“Don’t be afraid to really lean into the turns,” he offers. “You pretty much can’t roll it over.”

“That sounds like a challenge,” I joke. No one laughs.

On a test spin through the parking lot, the Golfboard feels strong and sturdy, even when I shift around on it. It starts and stops smoothly with only the slightest of jerks. In low gear its top speed is about 5 mph, so even at full throttle it never feels out of control.

The only challenge, as far as I can tell, is getting it to turn. For some reason, I’d expected the handlebar to offer at least some degree of steering, but it is purely for balance. The thing has the Ackerman angle of a Mack Truck, and you really do have to lean into the turns to get it to respond. For someone who is not particularly adept at either surfing or skateboarding, this comes a little unnaturally. I have to do a number of three-point turns in order to get back to where I started and make my way over to the first tee box.

We tee off and climb on. The fairway is flat and wide, and we shift into high gear as we speed off toward our balls. The engine had produced just the faintest of whirrs as it accelerated, but it is practically soundless as the board rolls along at full speed. The motor nevertheless feels surprisingly powerful under my feet (the drivetrain is literally located directly underneath the deck) as the board maintains a smooth, steady pace of 10 mph — about the same as a golf cart. I try making a couple of S curves like I’d seen in the video and realize that high-speed turning will take a little practice for me to get right, but that it doesn’t seem overly difficult.

Indeed, within a few holes I might as well be Laird himself, “surfing the earth” from shot to shot. I am able to hold the handlebar and lean way out, getting the board to turn, if not quite sharply, then at least closer to that of a large moving van than a full-sized semi. I take the hills aggressively (although the automatic speed control on the drivetrain enables it to keep a steady pace both up and down any hills, so this isn’t exactly dangerous), and I speed throughout the course like Mario Andretti on the freeway (the company claims increased pace-of-play as one of the Golfboard’s primary benefits, but on a Saturday in the Bay Area, it is impossible avoid a five-hour round anyway.)

Gliding along, my feet a few inches above the grass, the wind in my face as the fairways unfurl below my feet, it is easy to see Golfboards as the next evolution in mankind’s mastery of wheels; the same instincts to overcome inertia that brought us bicycles, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards, and more recent inventions such as Segways, Hoverboards and Onewheels are clearly manifest in Golfboards as well. They might not offer quite the same thrill as storming down a snowy mountainside or catching a giant wave, but they are definitely more fun than your standard golf cart.

Yet, there are obvious downsides as well. The attendant’s warning notwithstanding, my knuckles are in fact battered and sore by the time we make the turn, and even though I rearrange all my clubs into the front slots of my bag, they still rap my knuckles every time I hit a bump. Speaking of which, the board’s shock absorber system leaves something to be desired, as the ride is so bumpy that near the end I start to feel as if I’ve had my insides rattled. Then there is the unforgivable fact of its missing a cup holder for my beer.

But these are mere design flaws that might easily be fixed in the next generation of Golfboards. (A knuckle shield is a must!) My larger problem with Golfboards is what they do to the game itself. When walking or riding a traditional cart, the moments in between shots are a time to plan your next shot, or to chat about your last shot, or to simply find your zen out there among the trees and the birds and the spaciousness of the course. Instead, my focus is on staying upright.

Down the stretch, I start to fade. The muscles in my core have endured a pretty serious workout, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to muster the strength for my golf swing. It is no coincidence that my game starts to unravel, and I am on the way to one of my worst rounds in recent memory.

Walking off the 18th green, our foursome agrees that the Golfboards were fun — definitely worth trying — but that we probably wouldn’t ride them again. Call me a purist, but as someone lacking Laird Hamilton’s physical gifts, I’m happy to stick to just one sport at a time.

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Equipment

Titleist AVX golf balls passed the test, are now available across the United States

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Titleist’s AVX golf balls first came to retail as an experiment in three markets — Arizona, California and Florida — from October 2017 to January 2018. AVX (which stands for “Alternative to the V and X”) are three-piece golf balls made with urethane covers, and they’re made with a softer feel for more distance than the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls.

After proving their worth to consumers, Titleist’s AVX golf balls are now available across the U.S. as of April 23, and they will sell for 47.99 per dozen (the same as Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls) in both white and optic yellow.

According to Michael Mahoney, the Vice President of Golf Ball Marketing for Titleist, the AVX is a member of the Pro V1 family. Here’s a basic understanding of the lineup:

  • AVX: Softest, lowest trajectory, lowest spinning, less greenside spin and longest
  • Pro V1x: Firmer than the Pro V1, highest spinning and highest trajectory
  • Pro V1: Sits between the V1x and the AVX in terms of feel, spin and trajectory, and will appeal to most golfers

Different from the Pro V1 or Pro V1x, the AVX golf balls have a new GRN41 thermoset cast urethane cover to help the golf balls achieve the softer feel. Also, they have high speed, low compression cores, a new high-flex casing layer, and a new dimple design/pattern.

For in-depth tech info on the new AVX golf balls, how they performed in the test markets, and who should play the AVX golf balls, listen to our podcast below with Michael Mahoney, or click here to listen on iTunes.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the AVX golf balls

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Andrew Landry’s Winning WITB: 2018 Valero Texas Open

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Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.8 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX65 TX
Length: 45.25 inches, tipped at 1 inch
Swing Weight: D3

3 Wood: Ping G (14.5 degrees at 15.15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 75
Length: 43 inches, tipped 1 inch
Swing Weight: D2

5 Wood: Ping G (17.5 degrees at 17.75 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 85
Length: 42 inches
Swing Weight: D2

Irons: Ping iBlade (3-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105X
Swing Weight: D2

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (52-12F and 60-10S)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping PLD ZB-S
Grip: Ping Pistol
Length, loft, lie: 33 inches, 3 degrees, 3 degrees flat

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord

WITB Notes: Landry tweaked his iron lofts before the Valero; 1 degree weak in his 4 and 5 iron, and 0.5 degrees weak in his 6-PW.

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Landry’s clubs.

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