Equipment manufacturers divided on anchored putting ban
Here is reaction from the game's leading equipment companies on the USGA and R&A's decision to ban anchored putting, effective Jan. 1, 2016:
Acushnet Company, maker of Titleist equipment: "The rule change regarding anchoring, as explained by the USGA and R&A, concerns only the definition of a stroke, and does not alter any current equipment regulations or impact any equipment that we manufacture and sell. We believe in one set of rules in golf and support the USGA and R&A as the ruling bodies and will continue to manufacture golf equipment that abides by the rules they establish."
Bob Philion, President of Cobra Puma Golf: “Golf lost today. This is not the direction we should be going, it will only continue to alienate people from golf… game enjoyment is how we are going to bring people back to golf. This decision is a giant leap back on that front. With this decision, bifurcation needs to be front and center in golf's conversations and we should be focusing on adapting the rules and the game to be inclusive and fun."
Nike Golf: “In cases like this, the USGA and R&A’s decision to redefine the rules on a product that has already legitimately been in play for many years has an impact on both manufacturers and golfers. Despite this, Nike always manages to adapt to the changes and deliver innovative products within the redefined rules. The USGA and the R&A have the right to make these changes for competitive play. Beyond this decision, we believe that the best interests of the sport of golf are better served by focusing on providing experiences that inspire golfers to play more; developing products that help them to perform better; and better connecting to the golfer in a world where alternative recreational choices are increasing.”
Chris Koske, Global Director of Odyssey Golf: "Odyssey strives to make putting easier for golfers while respecting and operating within the rules established by the USGA. We've anticipated the anchoring technique ban and have already introduced products -- including the Odyssey Tank #7, which has won on Tour -- that promote stability in the putting stroke in accordance with the USGA rules. ... we plan to continue leading the industry in alternative methods of putting with future product launches."
John Solheim, Chairman and CEO of Ping: “I appreciate this was an open process. I also recognize the importance of a single rule book. However, I believe the rulemaking bodies need to better address how we need to make the game more welcoming. I will continue to focus my efforts on that goal.”
TaylorMade Golf: "We appreciate the process the USGA used in its decision to ban the anchoring of putters, but we don’t agree the decision is in the best interest of the game."