Category: anchoring

July 01, 2013

PGA Tour decides to adopt anchored putting ban in 2016

Posted at 3:59 PM by Coleman McDowell

166643451In 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.

PHOTOS: Tour players affected by anchoring ban

GARRITY: Tim Clark affected more than any other by anchoring ban

(Photo: Getty)

May 29, 2013

Poll: Nearly 60 percent of Tour players support anchoring ban

Posted at 12:28 PM by Mike Walker

Scott_walbergNearly 60 percent of PGA Tour pros support the USGA’s ban on anchored putting as practiced by players like Adam Scott [right], according to a Sports Illustrated poll of 70 PGA Tour players.

In response to the question “Should anchored putting be banned on the PGA Tour,” 59 percent of players polled agreed.

The USGA and R&A announced last week that anchored putting strokes -- where the club is “anchored” against the player’s body -- will be illegal, effective Jan. 1, 2016. The ban would affect popular PGA Tour players like Adam Scott [right], Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els. The PGA Tour, which follows the USGA’s rules, has not indicated if it will abide by the new rule or allow anchored putting in PGA Tour events. A majority of players in the SI poll -- 57 percent -- said the PGA Tour should set its own rules of competition.

In addition to anchored putting, the SI poll asked players to name the best swing on Tour, the worst swing on Tour and whether they thought Tiger Woods would beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories. You can see the full poll results here.

Photo: David Walberg/Sports Illustrated
May 21, 2013

Tour pros have mixed responses to anchored putting ban

Posted at 5:55 PM by Coleman McDowell

166643451Tour pros were vocal when the anchored putting ban was proposed in December. When the ban became official Tuesday morning, players didn't have quite as much to say, but some golfers still voiced their support, displeasure and confusion over the ruling.

Tiger Woods made his feelings on the proposed anchoring ban known in a press conference previewing the AT&T National on Monday. 

Well, I hope they go with the ban.  That's something that I've said, that anchoring should not be a part of the game.  It should be mandatory to have to swing all 14 clubs.  There are different ways of making the butt end of the club move.  You've seen it with Bernhard Langer when he won the Masters putting against his forearm, what Kuch does putting against his forearm, as well.  But it's not a fixed point; the butt end does travel.  So I think that's where guys are going to try and ‑‑ will figure it out if that's the ban and that's where they go, I think it's great.

And as far as the PGA TOUR, I hope they do it as soon as possible to be honest with you.  I've always said that.  I've always felt that golf you should have to swing the club, control your nerves and swing all 14 clubs, not just 13.

Immediately following the ruling, the Golf Channel said that Adam Scott, Webb Simpson and Carl Pettersson, all high-profile anchorers, politely declined to comment.

Brenden Steele, who has anchored his putter since 2006, did comment, saying, "I’m going to putt however I can best get the ball into the hole this week and then deal with it moving forward. I’m using the [Matt] Kuchar-style because I feel like it’s the best chance for me to hole putts this week."

Corey Pavin said he didn't know if anchoring was a pressing matter for the USGA, but was glad the ban won't take place until 2016.

“I'm glad it wasn't made across the board where they just banned them,” said Pavin, who is competing this week in the Crowne Plaza Invitational for the 30th time. “They have been around too long, well, forever, I guess – the last 30 years or 20 years. It's a long time to have something legal and then make it illegal. So I think keeping the putter in play is a good thing. I'm not so sure that stopping anchoring is really that big of a deal as far as a change of a rule. I'm not sure if it was necessary. But that's the way they went and that's what the rules are now. Well, they are in 2016," Pavin said.

Other pros took to Twitter to give their opinion.

John Daly offered: "It's time that the Club Pros & PGAPros stop being pushed around by amateur companies when it only matters to 2 tourn British/USOpen why should we change our rules--again that's IMO. NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL....all professional organizations create their rules, PGA should also create rules as professionals in our organization."

(Photo: Getty)

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