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Arm Lock Putting Should Be Illegal


LICC

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Also,  in the article Horschel states:

"I think when you look at what guys are doing now with the arm lock and moving the grips to the side where it's parallel or matches the face and then when you do that up against your arm, I mean, it's—you know that face is dead square and that face doesn't rotate at all," Horschel continuted. "It's just sort of locked in. Guys are doing it too good."

To my knowledge there isn't anything in the rules that states you can't turn your normal putting grip to the side and use the flat part against your lead hand and accomplish the same thing.  You could go a little farther up and use the Superstroke wrist lock grip which basically does what I am describing but locks it in the wrist.  

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I thought this was odd and kind of came out of no where for Horschel to bring up .. how many guys are really using it ? And it might for some it might not work for others 

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To be honest, I can’t believe they’re still legal.
 

I wouldn’t frown if they banned them.

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Putters should be unregulated IMHO. Broomstick, belly or arm lock who cares? If any of these were the secret sauce everyone would be using them. Same goes for putting styles, let's let the croquet style putters do their thing. Between your legs? Go for it. If every type and style of putter were allowed, I'd wager scores wouldn't change a bit.
The only caveat would be that no club longer than the driver be used to measure drops to eliminate the broomstick cheaters.

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If you can't anchor to the chest, why should you be able to anchor to your arm? 

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There is a fundamental difference between anchoring to the chest and anchoring to the belly and the armlock method. Anchoring to the chest or belly creates a fixed pivot point on the body. Armlocking does not.

If you can't anchor to the chest, why should you be able to anchor to your arm? 


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7 hours ago, cnosil said:

Okay,  I'll bite.    Everyone has opinions on this and that is fine.   You may not like armlock,  but it isn't cheating and you may want to make it illegal.

The rules are about anchoring the end of the club to a pivot point (belly, chest).  In those strokes the putter rotated around that anchor point.   In armlock the pivot point is the shoulder.   The end of the clubs isn't anchored using the definition of the tour.    Since anchor means to secure firmly in position we should just make putting one handed.   By using two hands you are anchoring the putter. 

Two hands on the putter is gripping it. Locking it against your arm is anchoring the stroke. Not for the pivot point but for the face rotation.  It shouldn’t be allowed. 

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1 hour ago, LICC said:

Two hands on the putter is gripping it. Locking it against your arm is anchoring the stroke. Not for the pivot point but for the face rotation.  It shouldn’t be allowed. 

I could lock out my left arm and turn the grip sideways and do the same with left hand low and my fingers between the grip and forearm.   The armlock minimizes wrist breakdown which will limit rotation, but not prevent rotation;  unless you lock out your arm like Bryson does.  

But like many other methods over time it may be banned simply because people don't like it even though similar methods have been used since the 80s

 

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I don't mind Horschel, but I don't agree with him here. I'm cool with arm lock, putt however you want. I went to a left hand low grip for the same reason, to help square the club face. If there's an easy, or comfortable way to do it, then let them play.

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I don't have an issue with it, nor do I have a dog in the race, but I don't understand how they ban anchoring a long putter to the chest, but allow anchoring against the forearm.  But, whatever.  🙂 

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JT called it “cheating” a while back as well. In my opinion, the skill in putting is in green reading and speed control. All the talk of face rotation and arm locking is pretty suspect. I’d like to see data on how much actually changes when you arm lock. There’s nothing “locking” the grip to your arm. There’s nothing “locking” your arm from rotating. If it was such an advantage, everyone would be doing it. Are the best putters on tour all arm locking?

If they were to change the rules, where would you even draw a line? How far down can you grip? How far can your putter go up your arm? What about reverse grip? How long can a putter be? Should all tall players be required to look like Matt Kuchar when putting?


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One of the key things I took from Horschel's comments was that guys are using putter grips that are turned 90°, so the flat surface is against the forearm. This means that the face will always be square to your arm. I agree with him that I don't think that is fair. The rule change for that should be simple: make it so the flat portion of the grip has to be perpendicular to the face. Other than that, I don't have a problem with armlock putting.

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Had to look it up....

 

The Grip

The grip must be fixed to the shaft, must be straight and plain in form, must extend to the end of the shaft and must not be moulded for any part of the hands. If no material is added, that portion of the shaft designed to be held by the player must be considered the grip.

 

In my opinion, they are conforming to the rules with the grip....it's the anchoring on the arm that changes everything.  

 

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My wife who played college golf in the 80’s uses a 35” Ping Anser she got in 1978. Since the first day of ownership, she grips down toward the bottom which allows the top 6” of the shaft to “lock” in. Should we outlaw all 35” putters? As long as a player isn’t using technology (eg Rodney Dangerfields putter) or a mechanical device to aid in the stroke, all putters and methods should be legal. BTW, Billy has the right to switch methods!

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6 minutes ago, d.lama said:

To all the people that say "anchoring, and armlock doesn't matter or doesn't make putting easier" ... if it doesn't matter then why do it and then why care if it's banned? 

This type of argument is strictly based on what side of the fence your on. The same argument could be made that if YOU think it is an advantage, Why don’t you switch?  
 

There is no scientific or factual answer to either question that I can see as it is all player dependent. 

 

 

 

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I appreciate all and every opinion. I just bought an arm lock putter after 60 years of golfing. I 3 putted 4-5 times yesterday with it as it takes time to get used to it. My point is that it is legal so you are free to join the club. I am going to get better and miss fewer 4’ putts with it. 

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On 4/17/2021 at 11:11 AM, cnosil said:

To my knowledge there isn't anything in the rules that states you can't turn your normal putting grip to the side and use the flat part against your lead hand and accomplish the same thing.  You could go a little farther up and use the Superstroke wrist lock grip which basically does what I am describing but locks it in the wrist.  

I did precisely that in 2002. Pistol grip turned sideways and up the wrist several inches. Functioned pretty much the way my arm lock putter does today.

 

I didn't like it then, because I had trouble controlling distance -- even though it was uncanny in getting the line right. But in my early 70s I developed the yips. The arm lock putter controls it better than anything else I can do.

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I personally don't care, but can see the advantage it could provide by bracing and physically limiting the wrist movement in  the stoke. How do you control it? Allow the grip to contact the wrist no further than 2" above the top cuff of a normal golf glove. I agree that the flat of the grip should be perpendicular to the face. 

Edited by Another Steve
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Historically the best putters had great feel, and didn’t putt this way but I understand it really wasn’t a thing decades ago. If this was truly like a cheat code then more guys would do it. Maybe Horschel should start playing this way and if he starts winning all the time then he proves his point. Otherwise he can keep having a hissy fit at Augusta and let the rule makers change the rules if they agree

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I'm not sure why turning the grip any direction you want is cheating??? 

 

I'm not for banning any type of putter. If you want to hold it like a broom stick or burry it in your belly... have at it! If you are upset over that, do the same... or get better at your preferred method.

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I believe the argument is that it's an alignment aid, but if that's the point should Golf Pride's Align grips also be banned? Should SeeMore's visual alignment thing on their putters be banned? Should alignment marks on woods and other putters be banned? Should lines/arrows/triple track on balls be banned? Where do you draw the line on alignment aids on the actual club/ball?

I'm not sure why turning the grip any direction you want is cheating??? 
 
I'm not for banning any type of putter. If you want to hold it like a broom stick or burry it in your belly... have at it! If you are upset over that, do the same... or get better at your preferred method.


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Good points! I was surprised that golf pride align grip is conforming. I thought anything raised marks or indentation that aided a player in putting their hands in the same spot is illegal.

Penick wrote about alignment on the ball in 90s, can't remember which book. He thought it was vaguely illegal to align the logo (brand name) on the target line. As a player can't touch a point on the ground or place on object along the intended play line, why can they place the ball in a manner that aides alignment?

I believe the argument is that it's an alignment aid, but if that's the point should Golf Pride's Align grips also be banned? Should SeeMore's visual alignment thing on their putters be banned? Should alignment marks on woods and other putters be banned? Should lines/arrows/triple track on balls be banned? Where do you draw the line on alignment aids on the actual club/ball?


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Yeah, I don't know the rules on it that specifically but it's just more if you think a putting grip oriented so that a flat part is flush with the forearm for alignment is cheating, where's the cheating claims for all of these other alignment aids that golfers use?

Good points! I was surprised that golf pride align grip is conforming. I thought anything raised marks or indentation that aided a player in putting their hands in the same spot is illegal.

Penick wrote about alignment on the ball in 90s, can't remember which book. He thought it was vaguely illegal to align the logo (brand name) on the target line. As a player can't touch a point on the ground or place on object along the intended play line, why can they place the ball in a manner that aides alignment?


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