PGA Tour decides to adopt anchored putting ban in 2016
In accordance with the decision levied by the USGA and R&A in May, the PGA Tour Policy Board voted to adopt Rule 14-1b -- which bans anchored putting strokes beginning January 1, 2016 -- in a Monday morning meeting before the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.
“In making its decision, the Policy Board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership, but ultimately concluded that while it is an important issue, a ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem in a press release. “The Board also was of the opinion that having a single set of rules on acceptable strokes applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion.”
The PGA Tour did request that the USGA extend the time period for amateurs to be allowed to anchor their putters, similar to the lengthened time period for amateurs to continue using groove configurations that were declared illegal on Tour.
“The Policy Board continues to believe that extending the time period the ban would go into effect for amateurs would be beneficial for golf participation and the overall health of the game," Finchem said.
The PGA of America adopting the ban appears to now be the last hurdle in place for the new rule. The USGA and R&A proposed the anchoring ban in November of 2012. Finchem publicly announced his tour's opposition of the ban in February of 2013.
Two months later, Adam Scott became the fourth player to win a major using a belly putter. Six months after the ban was proposed, the USGA and R&A officially enacted Rule 14-1b to go into affect on January 1, 2016.