Should Arm-Lock Putting Be Banned?

Our forum members have their say on arm-lock putting, with a huge 77% thinking it should be banned...

Should Arm-Lock Putting Be Banned
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Our forum members have their say on arm-lock putting, with a huge 77% thinking it should be banned...

Should Arm-Lock Putting Be Banned?

Xander Schauffele on making the arm-lock switch last week - “I am for banning the arm-lock putters. But if everyone else is going to use it and I feel like they have a bigger advantage, I may as well do the same. It’s just better, it’s easier, it’s more consistent. The fact that it’s anchored to your arm, there isn’t a whole lot of — you can flinch in your hands but you can’t flinch your entire left arm..”

We asked our forum members if they would like to see the back of them?

They voted a resounding yes….

Yes - 77%

If he thinks it will help him then fine. But it is anchored so really can’t see why it wasn’t banned with the belly putter? It’s just another form of technology that has infiltrated golf; perimeter weighting, movable weights, MOI etc. If they are going to ban it then do it. I have never seen an amateur with one so won’t make much difference.


I voted ban, Old Tom Morris didn't use one.


Although it's not anchoring in the same way that the use of belly and broom handle putters were, to my mind it's still a form of anchoring which doesn't appeal to me. How you would enforce a ban on it I'm not sure.?

Maximum length of X inches discriminates against the taller player up to a point - if you allow 38" putters for the 6'8" player it becomes an armlock for the 5 footer..

Must be held by the grip that can only be X inches long...?

I think the arm-lock technique is ugly..not trying to have a go at Bryson but his style is the ugliest of them all. Not necessarily a reason to ban something but....


I say ban. You can use any length of putter but can have a maximum of two points of contact. Adam Scott uses a really long putter without anchoring so it’s perfectly possible.


I’d ban having more than two points of contact with the club. They should only allow the two hands to touch the club.


I've heard various complicated suggestions but the two points of contact seems eminently sensible and would work. Every other swing in golf is a free movement, the putter should be the same.

Lord Tyrion

I get that technology has changed the equipment and made golf easier for everyone, but there should only be a maximum of two points of contact on the club.

srixon 1

I still like the suggestion made at the time that belly putters were outlawed ... that the rules should stipulate that the putter must be the shortest club in the bag.

Canary Kid

I say if a belly putter is anchoring then the arm lock is no different save the part of the body you’re anchored to.


Definitely. As I am led to believe the putter must be anchored to two points. Normally both hands. This is where it gets complicated. The rules allow the putter to be held against the forearm (unless his forearm is in contact with his body).

Now correct me if I am wrong but two hands and a forearm is three different parts of a body. What is to stop any player trying a driver that is held in both hands and continues up his forearm another 12 inches? Because, as XS says, ‘it gives an advantage’.


No - 23%

When you consider the tech that's in putters these days I wouldn't consider a certain style of putting to be any more advantageous than another. They have big grips, soft and hard inserts, stability shafts, counter balanced grips, weights you name it they are all assisting putting in one way or another. The name of the game in putting is to read the green and roll the ball along the floor. I really don't care how someone achieves that. In fact I enjoy the variety and different methods that people come up with in terms of stance, grip and putting device lets call it. None seem to be answer as the whole tour would adopt it overnight if it was ‘that good’.


I wouldn’t have banned anchoring belly or broom handle putter so I wouldn’t bam arm locks. As with the belly putter if it was that much of an advantage they would all be doing it.


No, the media/ruling bodies seem to be constantly trying to restrict and limit the game in so many areas imo.


I have a standard length putter with a fat grip - I am right handed but putt with my left hand below my right (so unconventional) - I press the top inch of the grip in to my watch strap which I wear on my left hand - this stabilises the club - in essence a "short" arm-lock method. Works for me.

I'd try the arm-lock method but worry such a club would be too restrictive in that really long putts where you might want to introduce a bit of wrist would be tricky.


I have one that I got during one of the lockdowns, I can confirm it’s not a saviour to your problems. Your right hand still has a massive impact on face angle and, despite what Xander says, you absolutely can flinch your left arm enough to miss a putt.

I’ve never even used it on the course as even after six months of using it as a training aid, to help maintain left wrist angles, it’s proven no better. In fact, for the first three months at least, it was demonstrably worse.

I was firmly in the ban camp but, after using it, it’s no real advantage, the closest equivalent I can think of is it would be like banning hi-toe wedges.

sweaty sock

Does this technique put the ball in every time or does it still require reading the green and pace control? No I wouldn’t ban it.


No. But then I wouldn't have banned the other long putters either. If it's that great then everyone would have been using them, but they weren't. Bryson putts well with it - and as usual people want to put a stop to whatever Bryson is doing. Kuchar does it but he's hardly ripping up the greens with it. Zalatoris putts that way because apparently he was terrible at conventional putting, but again he's not quite ripping it up yet I don't think.

I don't think the ‘two points of contact’ thing works - I leave an inch at the top of my grip which sits against my left wrist. So am I anchoring? Where's the cut off?

I would love to try one, but you don't see too many about, and I don't really want to shell out money for one on eBay on the off chance it works really.


Seriously, is the arm-lock putter really affecting the game? What percentage of tour players actually use it? If it was that amazing they would all be doing it. Tour players will do anything if it saves them a shot a round.

It's a difficult one to ban. Belly putters weere easy, they just said you can't anchor the butt of the club into your body. Not sure how you would stop the arm-lock putter without having a grey area in there. Like some have already said, you can't restrict the length of a putter because of people of different sizes. I suppose the only way is to restrict the length of the grip.


I really fancy trying one but not seen one in a shop and way too pricey for an experiment. So instead it's lot of carpet practice with a regular putter. So not sure how to vote! Keep them until I've tried one!!


I voted no because I have started doing it!  My putting is definitely a little bit better than before.


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Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.