At this point, the switch into the Arm-Lock has been well documented. Since Xander’s switch at Memorial (read my tour truck report) there was one simple adjustment that made things even better. To be honest, he putted pretty damn well at Memorial but it’s Xander and he’s a stallion so let’s make good even better shall we?
See the original story in the write up below:
In prep for Torrey Pines Xander noticed some subtle aspects of the new putter that he wanted to investigate a bit further. Our Tour team of Tim Reed and Odysseys Joe Toulon along with Xanders longtime putting coach Derek Uyeda convened at ECPC to get the putter absolutely dialed.
After analyzing the data with the aid of Quintic (Putting Analysis System) the team noticed that Arm Lock not only improved his launch and face angle but there was one piece to the puzzle that wasn’t quite right, spin. You see Xander has always had a bit of forward press to his stroke which if timed out correctly can be a great way to putt. The keyword there is timing. I think we can all relate to a little forward press in the stroke, when I was a kid and saw Phil do it so amazingly, I naturally started doing it for no other reason than it looked awesome. The issue is forward pressing is a variable that needs to be managed. Too little you are adding loft, too much you are de-lofting too much, etc.
The Arm Lock method presets that move and since the shaft is locked against your forearm, there is no timing involved. To adjust for that “de-lofting” the Arm-Lock putters come in a higher loft than a standard putter would. Where your 35-inch “gamer” might have 3 degrees of loft, Arm-Locks come in around 5 to offset the fact that the shaft is already leaning forward.
In the case of Xander, this increase in the loft was launching the ball perfectly but the ball had too much backspin. The conundrum is if a putter is launching correctly you don’t want to mess with the loft to fix anything. The goal of the session was to not leave until the ball had topspin AND the same launch….its a puzzle that could have gone down a rabbit hole. But it didn’t. Sometimes the simple answer (although risky) is the best.
Taking the loft down .75 degrees was the answer and the benefit was the launch didn’t change but the ball now had topspin (IE starts its true roll quicker) and Xander was off to the races.
The lesson here? Loft is a HUGE factor when considering going into Arm-Lock. Keep in mind that although it might feel good when you are hitting putts at your local shop, there is a code to be cracked for each golfer. My Advice? If you are going to do it, get fit. The loft isn’t the only thing to consider, it’s important that the butt-end of the shaft sits in the right place for any golfer. Xander rests his about halfway up his forearm and with the aid of the Super-Stroke grip he uses, the putter locks in perfectly. Where that shaft locks in is KEY. Hence, get fit.
The benefits are huge but the flip side can be frustrating. Trust me. I tried it. It went south quick and then I tweaked it a bit with a fitter and I’m now starting to see some 10-footers go down. Who knew?
*quick sidebar the reason he now lies down to read the greens is during a practice session he tried it and liked what he saw. Simple as that. Xander is an artist and is willing to do whatever to help himself get the ball in the hole more efficiently.
Xanders new Set-Up:
- Model: Odyssey Wrist Lock #7
- Length: 38 inches
- Loft: 4.75 degrees
- Lie: 71.5 degrees
- Shaft: Black stepped shaft
- Grip: WristLock SuperStroke
- Insert: White Hot
- Alignment aids: Top and tracers in white
- Weighting: Lead tape added to the bottom, 10G Sole weights