Fred Couples Questions Arm Lock Putting - 'Can't Believe It's Legal'

The 1992 Masters champion was speaking to GM's Sam Tremlett for the Golf Monthly Clubhouse Podcast

Fred Couples Questions Arm Lock Putting

The 1992 Masters champion was speaking to GM's Sam Tremlett for the Golf Monthly Clubhouse Podcast

Fred Couples Questions Arm Lock Putting - 'Can't Believe It's Legal'

Fred Couples says that armlock putting is anchoring and he cannot believe it is legal.

The 1992 Masters champion was a belly putter user himself before anchoring was outlawed by the R&A and USGA in 2016.

We asked him if there were any rules that he would change and he was firm in his disdain for the armlock method, saying that golf's governing bodies "really missed the boat".

"Well, so I was a belly putter and I honestly think they really missed the boat when they went from anchoring to letting people go a little bit like that [armlock] and just letting the putter swing," Couples told Golf Monthly.

"And if that’s not anchoring, I don’t know what is, how is that not anchoring?"

Couples also told us that he isn't keen on players using a line on their golf ball to aide alignment when putting.

"And if we get away from that, I think we need to outlaw these lines on the balls so for instance if I’m a good player I know its on the ball and everyone does it but if I can put a big line on the ball right here and I can put it right there [on the green] and I can do this [line up the putt].

"I mean I have been on Tour a long time in the 80s no one did this. They just put the logo down and stared at it.

"So why can't I on the next tee, I put my club down [to align feet], and then pick it up and hit?

"So that, but I also cannot believe this [armlock] is legal.

"That’s anchoring more than a belly putter.

"You know dropping the ball by the knee, I’m okay with all of those. But that [arm lock putting] is anchoring."

Listen to our Fred Couples interview in this week's Clubhouse Podcast (interview starts around 28 minutes) -

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV