Ears ringing, USGA and R&A consider anchoring
Monday, March 4, 2013
Well, they did ask for comments, didn’t they?
Now that the 90-day comment period regarding the proposed anchoring ban is over, the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A – which received an earful from many of golf’s leaders – have a few things to consider.
Foremost among them: With the PGA Tour and PGA of America opposed to proposed Rule 14-1b, which would ban the anchoring stroke used with belly and long putters, should the USGA and R&A go ahead anyway?
The game’s governing bodies released statements March 1, saying the comment period that ended Feb. 28 has been “very constructive.” Now, golfers worldwide – professional and amateur – are left to see what’s next.
“On this issue, we think if they were to move forward, they would be making a mistake,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a news conference.
Other leaders in the game don't concur. Recently, the commissioners of the European Tour, Sunshine Tour, LPGA and Ladies European Tour voiced their support for the USGA and R&A on the proposed ban, which would take effect when the Rules of Golf are updated, in 2016.
Because this is the first time the governing bodies have instituted a comment period for a nonequipment rule, the process remains unknown, but the USGA has confirmed it will make a decision in the spring.
In previous comment periods related to equipment, the USGA on at least five occasions in the past 12 years has acted on concerns, notably the springlike effect on drivers in 2002 and ’05.
Since announcing the proposed anchoring ban Nov. 28, the governing bodies have given no hints during the comment period regarding their intentions.