What you're saying about anchoring ban . . .

Keegan Bradley, after making the cut on the number, fired an 8-under 63 to vault into contention.

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World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational

Akron, OH - Firestone CC (South)

2:37:21 AM ET. 08/02/2014




PosNameTodayThruScore
1Sergio Garcia-9F-11
2Justin Rose-3F-8
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Reader poll

Should anchoring your club be banned?

  • Yes, I would favor a ban on anchoring a golf club 51%
  • No, I would not favor a ban on anchoring a golf club 45%
  • Doesn't matter, I will use an anchored club anyway 3%

2586 total votes.

As the decision on a potential ban of "anchoring," we have been hosting a poll (that can be found right here) that has actually created a split of opinions in our comments thread.

Here is a look at what you, the reader, the player and amateur golfer are saying about the potential ban:

• • •

eze (anonymous) says...

I believe it is a problem of the people trying to change the rules. They are too far removed from the game. The key is to get in ball into the hole in as few a shots as possible. The person hitting the ball with what ever he uses STILL has to hit the shot. Its time for the the real golf pros to govern the rules and not the people that THINK they know what golf is all about. Reminds me of congress.

• • •

geoffmangum (anonymous) says...

I have the opposite view. The object of golf is not to get the ball i to the hole in as few strokes as possible -- that is the problem with "par" not being coordinated with courses too long and difficult for amateurs to play with a decent score. The object of golf is to test a person's skills with a ball and clubs in relation to the environment of a decent course, so the person competes primarily against themselves first, against friends second, and against the course third. In that view of golf, tradition has been deranged by pros playing for money first, second, third, and fourth. pro golf is not really golf at all, which is why pros always chafe against rules that hamper the chase for the bucks: they aren't in the game to protect the traditions but to win money.

Belly putters and long putters should have been banned long ago, but the Rules people didn't act to protect the traditions of the game and the role of skill, and instead sort of had pity on old players and the objective of helping them get a "happy" score even though not able to score as usual without the help. The priority should not be scoring but any golfer testing his skill and developing skill, not score. In that view, the belly and long putters should be banned as non-traditional. Banning "anchoring" only sounds good, but it is a half-measure. Will it change scores? No, since it won't alter but a tiny aspect of stroke skill, while leaving unchanged the more significant skills in putting of reading the putt, aiming the putter, and performing the stroke with the touch or pace that matches the read. So, the ban is ineffectual and leaves the tradition blurred with the presence of these non-traditional "training wheel" clubs designed only to help golfers get a better score than they can get with skill. If that is okay, then just allow golfers to decide under the Rules where they will tee off, or allow the "foot wedge." That'll lower score for lots of fat, old golfers who otherwise would quit because they can't shoot low enough scores to want to play the game.

• • •

PuttingDoctor (anonymous) says...

Perhaps we should speak to the heart of the ban as originally put forth by the USGA, "demonstrated advantage."

The long / anchored putter has been a part of the game for generations and now that it is currently finding more use at the higher levels it is perhaps going to find it's way out.

Quite a number of PGA Tour players have answered the question of demonstrated advantage by missing putts from 3-4 feet when it counted.

The USGA / R&A have plenty of cash reserves to fight the legal battles but if they ban the long putter they will also have to contend with the OEM's who as of yet have been silent on any rules changes.

The damage to be done to the game in terms of driving folks away should be examined as well. We're about to see the USGA / R&A shoot themselves and the game in the foot if they choose to go ahead with this long debated rules change.

• • •

Clay5477 (anonymous) says...

Sorry, Mr. Achenbach, both you and Keegan Bradley are way off the mark on this.

First, although you're certainly allowed your opinion, the USGA and the R&A decide the Rules. That's what they do. They changed the specifications for drivers and iron grooves, and the world didn't end. When they decree that a golf club must be held in the hands and swung, the world won't end then either, lawsuits or not.

Second, Mr. Bradley is ignoring the single most important aspect of the impact of this rule change on his profession, and that is that the pga tour has no obligation whatsoever to follow the Rules of Golf. The TOUR is a sports, marketing, entertainment venture, and they can set whatever guidelines they choose. If anchoring is banned as I assume it will be, the TOUR has total freedom to decide to allow its members to use long putters in all TOUR events. And, if they choose not to do that, to Mr. Bradley's dismay, then Mr. Bradley would be within his rights to sue the TOUR.

Finally, you are not the first golf writer to assert that the Rules make the game "less fun". This assertion is based on two laughably incorrect assumptions, that average golfers know the Rules, and that average golfers are somehow being forced to follow the Rules. I know you know that deliberately moving your ball to improve the lie is somewhat at odds with everything the game stands for, and I also assume you are intimately familiar with the phrases "bumping it over", and "fluffing it up". Not that those things ever happen. Being against the Rules and all.

When anchoring is banned, there will be thousands of average golfers who will, in their regular groups, continue to bump it over and continue to use long putters as long as the other three guys don't care.

And the world won't end then, either.

• • •

Wally (anonymous) says...

Except for all the unnecessary sarcasm, I completely agree with Clay.

In addition, while I respect that any of you can have a different opinion, the ban makes perfect sense to me. And, we must ask ourselves.....why are the users of the anchoring system opposed to the ban?

Answer: Because anchoring gives them an (unfair) advantage.

• • •

mmielenz (anonymous) says...

I believe that the problem is the R&A is determined to ban putter anchoring and in order to keep all of the rules universal worldwide Mike Davis and the USGA have been forced to go along. I think that it is grossly unfair to act at this late date, and for what? Because some R&A bluenoses think it looks funny to see someone anchoring their putters? I have been a long-time member of the USGA and if they act to ban anchoring I plan to withdraw all my support completely. And to clear the air, I do not anchor my putter nor do I ever intend to. It doesn't work at all for me.

• • •

OldTom (anonymous) says...

Golf is a game of skill. Accomplished golfers are those that have mastered the art of holding a golf club in ones hands and hitting a ball to a target. If you want to invent another game where practiced skills don't matter - have at it, but don't call it golf.

How about we don't keep score, everybody wins and gets a trophy. Eliminate water, sand traps, out of bounds and make the hole three feet wide. Then everyone can have fun and success - just don't call it golf!

• • •

m30kle (anonymous) says...

It's wrong. Hand and eye co-ordination is the basis of the game. If pro's can't putt conventionally then take up a different sport or get your amateur status back. They have no divine right to keep earning $ to pay for their lifestyle, so deal with the yips conventionally by practice and stop whinging.

• • •

HowardBrazee (anonymous) says...

All the arguments against anchored putters apply moreso against metal woods. Except long putters don't do anything to make existing courses obsolete.

Reader poll

Should anchoring your club be banned?

  • Yes, I would favor a ban on anchoring a golf club 51%
  • No, I would not favor a ban on anchoring a golf club 45%
  • Doesn't matter, I will use an anchored club anyway 3%

2586 total votes.

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