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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Bettinardi Arm Lock Putter

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18 minutes ago, Wedgie said:

I just pulled the trigger on a like new Bettinardi Arm Lock for under $200.  Picking it up today and they will make the needed adjustments for me at the shop when I arrive.  So I guess the biggest thing is 2 inches under the elbow for length, get the lie angle right and then adjust loft accordingly?  

That's a good plan! Loft will be dependent on where you normally set up to the ball, so try to keep that fairly consistent as what you normally do.

Good luck!! 

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Posted (edited)

@joen, @Wedgie, and @bellairemi- How are the armlocks working for y'all? And feel free to chime in with any thoughts, good and bad! We'd love to have your input as well! 

Edited by GB13

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23 minutes ago, GB13 said:

@joen, @Wedgie, and @bellairemi- How are the armlocks working for y'all? And feel free to chime in with any thoughts, good and bad! We'd love to have your input as well! 

I ended up not getting it.  I found a barely used one but the fitter said he didn't want to cut it as much as it needed to be cut and the loft was way out of whack as well.  I'm kind of back to square one as to whether or not to get one.  If I could be properly fit then I'd do it, but until then I ponder.

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11 hours ago, GB13 said:

@joen, @Wedgie, and @bellairemi- How are the armlocks working for y'all? And feel free to chime in with any thoughts, good and bad! We'd love to have your input as well! 

GB,

Here are my thoughts after getting the Bettinardi out for 18 holes today. 

I used it for multiple sessions on my indoor putting green before taking it out to the course. 

First....this method feels awkward as anything. It just doesn’t feel right. 

With that said....this putter starts the ball on line each and every time. I missed the second round cut of a tournament just recently because my putting stroke broke down when the heat got turned on because I knew I needed to shoot a number. I got handsy with the heat, so I decided to give this armlock thing a try. I am glad I did. You cannot get handsy with this putter. 

My strokes gained for the round was a +1 putting handicap. I had no three putts. Surprisingly...my distance control was spot on with this putter despite it feeling so awkward!  Did I mention yet it felt awkward?

Here are my questions for you guys...,and I know feel isn’t real. But, how do you feel like you are powering the putter?  It seems to work best when I feel my lead shoulder rock down and then rock up. 

Also....do you guys let your shoulders stay open like they want to do or do you close them down to square?  

This putter may be a game changer with the ability to start this thing on the intended line every time. I made two birdies and I missed several birdie putts just leaving the putt at the edge of the hole. 

566B087B-54E0-460F-9C88-AC8F972DD100.gif

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22 minutes ago, joen said:

GB,

Here are my thoughts after getting the Bettinardi out for 18 holes today. 

I used it for multiple sessions on my indoor putting green before taking it out to the course. 

First....this method feels awkward as anything. It just doesn’t feel right. 

With that said....this putter starts the ball on line each and every time. I missed the second round cut of a tournament just recently because my putting stroke broke down when the heat got turned on because I knew I needed to shoot a number. I got handsy with the heat, so I decided to give this armlock thing a try. I am glad I did. You cannot get handsy with this putter. 

My strokes gained for the round was a +1 putting handicap. I had no three putts. Surprisingly...my distance control was spot on with this putter despite it feeling so awkward!  Did I mention yet it felt awkward?

Here are my questions for you guys...,and I know feel isn’t real. But, how do you feel like you are powering the putter?  It seems to work best when I feel my lead shoulder rock down and then rock up. 

Also....do you guys let your shoulders stay open like they want to do or do you close them down to square?  

This putter may be a game changer with the ability to start this thing on the intended line every time. I made two birdies and I missed several birdie putts just leaving the putt at the edge of the hole. 

566B087B-54E0-460F-9C88-AC8F972DD100.gif

Thank you for your thoughts!! 

 

It is super awkward at first. You WILL get more comfortable. Sounds like it worked fairly well, and kudos to you for putting it into play for a tournament this early. 

My feel for powering the putter is similar to yours. I really don't like saying "powering" because it should be a fairly smooth stroke no real "powering". But I generally try to rock my front shoulder back and forth. No hands or arms at all. 

I'm very much a feel putter, so I just go with wherever my shoulders are, I don't try to get "technically correct". It's usually a little bit open and not square. I'd say it's totally fine to have open shoulders, but I'd love to hear @downlowkey's thoughts on this matter. He understands the mechanics of putting much better than I do. 

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8 hours ago, GB13 said:

Thank you for your thoughts!! 

 

It is super awkward at first. You WILL get more comfortable. Sounds like it worked fairly well, and kudos to you for putting it into play for a tournament this early. 

My feel for powering the putter is similar to yours. I really don't like saying "powering" because it should be a fairly smooth stroke no real "powering". But I generally try to rock my front shoulder back and forth. No hands or arms at all. 

I'm very much a feel putter, so I just go with wherever my shoulders are, I don't try to get "technically correct". It's usually a little bit open and not square. I'd say it's totally fine to have open shoulders, but I'd love to hear @downlowkey's thoughts on this matter. He understands the mechanics of putting much better than I do. 

GB,

Thanks for your input regarding the shoulders. It does feel more natural to let them be open. And yes....powering may not be the right word....it is just a smooth motion. And I may not have worded it correctly...I put the armlock into play because I imploded with my regular putting method with tournament pressure. I look forward to @downlowkey thoughts on this subject. 

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OK. 18 more holes today. Shot an even par 72. Putting handicap was 3 today. I had six birdie looks 15 feet and in....,which is what I consider realistic. I converted one out of six. I made a fifty foot bomb for birdie....left a 44 foot birdie right on the lip. I did three putt one green when I left myself with a circus putt....so I am not sure that one really counts....lol. Overall I am pleased with the putter and I suspect it will get more solid as I use it more. 

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I found a place that had a couple in stock and the guys didn’t know squat about them so they were no help. I’m a normal sized dude and boy these seem to just not fit me at all. The ball is just too far away for me to line up a putt.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

 

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On 6/17/2019 at 10:10 AM, GB13 said:

@joen, @Wedgie, and @bellairemi- How are the armlocks working for y'all? And feel free to chime in with any thoughts, good and bad! We'd love to have your input as well! 

Stroke is far better with the armlock but now I need to work on my alignment.  I think I cheated with my alignment to counteract whatever flaws my stroke had (I tended to "block" putts a bit I know from a putter fitting).  

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On 6/17/2019 at 8:48 PM, joen said:

Here are my questions for you guys...,and I know feel isn’t real. But, how do you feel like you are powering the putter?  It seems to work best when I feel my lead shoulder rock down and then rock up. 

Also....do you guys let your shoulders stay open like they want to do or do you close them down to square?

Both my elbows are tucked tight into my ribs and I would characterize the feel (for me) to be driven by the obliques. Anchored against your lead forearm, the Armlock neutralizes the hands/wrists but it’s still possible to get your arms moving out of sync with your shoulders. Which is why I’m more focused on balanced (right/left side) trunk rotation.

On the “open” shoulder subject - I think a lot of people technically “extend” their right shoulder because the exaggerated forward shaft lean requires a longer reach. But if your lead shoulder moves in a perpendicular rotation around your spine, I don’t think an open shoulder setup is necessarily a dealbreaker.

Because you are left side oriented, if you want to square your shoulders without a major setup change, a right-hand claw grip requires less reach and should allow your right shoulder to settle into a more neutral joint position.  

23 hours ago, GB13 said:

My feel for powering the putter is similar to yours. I really don't like saying "powering" because it should be a fairly smooth stroke no real "powering". But I generally try to rock my front shoulder back and forth. No hands or arms at all. 

I'm very much a feel putter, so I just go with wherever my shoulders are, I don't try to get "technically correct". It's usually a little bit open and not square. I'd say it's totally fine to have open shoulders, but I'd love to hear @downlowkey's thoughts on this matter.

On the individual level, I’m a firm believer in embracing what works. If things start to breakdown (push/pull) in high pressure situations as @joen alluded, square shoulders might be something to look at. But if the potato is consistently tumbling down the line, keep on doing your thing.

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6 hours ago, downlowkey said:

Both my elbows are tucked tight into my ribs and I would characterize the feel (for me) to be driven by the obliques. Anchored against your lead forearm, the Armlock neutralizes the hands/wrists but it’s still possible to get your arms moving out of sync with your shoulders. Which is why I’m more focused on balanced (right/left side) trunk rotation.

On the “open” shoulder subject - I think a lot of people technically “extend” their right shoulder because the exaggerated forward shaft lean requires a longer reach. But if your lead shoulder moves in a perpendicular rotation around your spine, I don’t think an open shoulder setup is necessarily a dealbreaker.

Because you are left side oriented, if you want to square your shoulders without a major setup change, a right-hand claw grip requires less reach and should allow your right shoulder to settle into a more neutral joint position.  

On the individual level, I’m a firm believer in embracing what works. If things start to breakdown (push/pull) in high pressure situations as @joen alluded, square shoulders might be something to look at. But if the potato is consistently tumbling down the line, keep on doing your thing.

Thank you for your thoughtful answer.  I am going to stop worrying about my shoulders being open and just go with the stroke as it is putting it on line. Square shoulders were always very important for me with traditional putting that I always worked with a putting mirror to make sure I was square.

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Just a quick update - 98 holes into the Bettinardi SS38 Armlock experiment
The important points: no 3-putts - only (2) putts missed inside 10 feet - 1.633 pph (trending downward)
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes... turn and face the strange... Ch-ch-changes


As@downlowkey mentioned, I was able to role 20 or so putts on two occasions with his Armlock. I have to mention that my favorite head shape is a Newport and I am obnoxiously obsessed with look, sound and feel of any club. If those three items aren’t right for me it doesn’t matter if it’s the best club in the world. That said this putter did not initially fit my eye, setup, head position, etc. However, after just those few rolls I was intrigued enough to buy one on the used market.

It’s a new concept. I think I’ve been luck so far with my configuration but it would be well worth the time to do a proper fitting and get a feel for the right ball position, the right left arm position and length. Mine is 40” and it feels good. I wouldn’t want to go shorter. 4 degrees of loft after an adjustment. It was too far forward in my stance initially. I don’t normally like alignment aids but feel it is very helpful on this setup due to the forward press and difference where my head is at.

Without all of the details that the reviewers have already done a tremendous job of sharing this putter has reintroduced me to some fundamentals I think will help me become a better putter regardless of model. My grip pressure is more even between hands, I don’t have to worry about flipping at the ball and tempo is just better throughout the stroke.

I’m three tournament rounds into use. I’m finding distance control very quickly. No 3 putts and no missed putts inside of 6 feet. I don’t mind running one by the hole two or three feet anymore because I feel like the short putts are almost automatic. No pushes, no pulls, straight back and straight through is what this setup promotes. It isn’t a cure all or magic wand but I sure think it produces a much more consistent stroke and would be a benefit to anyone that struggles, especially with short putts. It isn’t coming out of my bag anytime soon.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
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I don't have this putter, but I see the benefits it and the reviewers claim it has...so, my 7 year old has some clubs that are slightly too long for him and I just told him this past Saturday to try to putt it like you would this Armlock putter, and he started draining a lot more putts.  Who knows, I might have to try this out for myself now.

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Great job guys and this armlock thing is intriguing to say the least.  No doubt a proper fitting is the ticket to success.  I'm guilty of the ole grip it and flip it fault.   Maybe one day I will give this or one similar a go..........

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***Update***

So I went and got properly fit for the Armlock and got a different grip put on the putter and it is much more comfortable and natural feeling. Right now I am using it like a training aid until after all my tournaments are over and then I will give it a shot. It’s great for feeling the rocking of the shoulders.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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1 hour ago, KCLeo12 said:

***Update***

So I went and got properly fit for the Armlock and got a different grip put on the putter and it is much more comfortable and natural feeling. Right now I am using it like a training aid until after all my tournaments are over and then I will give it a shot. It’s great for feeling the rocking of the shoulders.

Did you learn anything interesting during your fitting? Besides the new grip, were any additional spec (length/lie) changes made to your SS38?

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I added 1” in length and went changed the lie angle from 70 to 71*.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I may have missed it however how long are these arm lock putters?

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I may have missed it however how long are these arm lock putters?

Ideally they are however long you need them to be. 40-43” seems to be average.

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I'm planning to hit the short game complex today.

It will be the first time I've touched a club in ~6 weeks, so it should be... interesting.

Very curious to find out how a long layoff affects my feel for the Armlock.

If you guys have any specific questions _or_ things you'd like me to address during today's practice session, please post them in the official review thread.

I'll report back over the weekend.

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