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Odyssey Arm Lock putters: In-hand photos and story
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.”