Odyssey Arm Lock putters: In-hand photos and story

by   |   December 8, 2012
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. 

About

Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com.

He's been a part of the company since 2012, when he was hired to develop GolfWRX's front page. Since that time, GolfWRX has become the go-to destination on the web for golf equipment news, tour news, instruction and opinion.

Zak also developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers who want to improve their skills and allows established golf professionals to communicate directly with readers.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond, where he took too many strokes. Good thing he also studied journalism and creative writing.

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14 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. Gary Lewis

    December 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.

  3. Tom tucker

    December 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.

  4. Barry

    December 13, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Clones of Taylor Made rubbish. What a joke!

  5. Shark

    December 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.

  6. jim

    December 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.

  7. Davide

    December 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Danny play guttaperka balls!

  8. Dorf

    December 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.

  9. Kyle

    December 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.

  10. Chad

    December 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

  11. aaron

    December 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.

  12. Peter

    December 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.

  13. Danny

    December 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I have an idea, learn to putt like men.

  14. Austin

    December 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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