The USGA and R&A officially announced the ban of the anchored stroke on Tuesday morning, sending plenty of golf's elite players, coaches and equipment manufacturers to Twitter to make a statement.
We'll be monitoring the world's reaction to this decision all day long, as well as gathering reaction on the ground at the Senior PGA, Crowne Plaza Invitational and overseas at Wentworth.
Here is a collection of early reaction:
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Bernhard Langer, two-time Masters winner and current Champions Tour player who has used a long putter since the mid-1990s
It's disappointing . . . very disappointing. It's the same thing I've said for months: I don't know why they couldn't come to the same conclusion 40 years ago that they did today. Why does it take 40 years? Just because we have major winners, that's what it comes down to.
What does this do to you from a competition standpoint?
I don't know . . . it's two years from now . . . I don't know. We'll have to wait to see what the PGA Tour says, and right now, we're all guessing. We'll see what the PGA Tour does. If they make ...
FORT WORTH, Texas – Disappointed as he was by the news earlier in the day that the USGA and R&A would go forward with efforts to ban anchoring as of 2016, Tim Clark wasn’t all that surprised.
“If there really was a ‘comment period,’ we all know it was all smoke and mirrors," said Clark, standing on the putting green at Colonial Country Club, site of this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational. "Their minds were made up.”
Clark confirmed news that probably won’t come as a surprise to officials at the PGA Tour, U.S. Golf Association and R&A.
“We do have legal counsel,” he said. “We’re going to explore our options. We’re not going to just roll over and accept this.”
Given that the PGA Tour just two weeks ago was hit with a lawsuit by Vijay Singh over the deer-antler spray investigation, this hardly could be considered happy news by Tour officials or golf’s governing bodies. Yet Clark, who has used the anchored putting technique since college and for his 12 years on Tour, is passionate to his cause. While he wouldn’t disclose which players are “on board” with the legal ...
The U.S. Golf Association news conference Tuesday that announced an ill-advised ban on putter anchoring was striking for myriad reasons, not the least of which was the large, logoed signage behind the dais. Repeated numerous times on the backdrop, the message read thusly: “For the good of the game.”
Those six words prompt questions and dissent. We can start simply with “Whose game?” Certainly not the multitudes who use a long putter while playing for fun. Certainly not those who switched to anchoring to enhance enjoyment or because of physical ailments. Certainly not people who changed in order to make more putts and better embrace their time-consuming, expensive and difficult hobby.
No, not John Q. Public’s game.
Let’s not kid ourselves. The ban, to start in 2016, would seem to focus on “sport” rather than “game.” On competition rather than recreation. On game-face golf rather than social golf. And therein lies the shame.
While many professionals’ livelihoods will be negatively impacted, the great unwashed and the game’s growth are most affected. Gratification and participation not only sound alike, they are entwined in any activity.
Little wonder that PGA of America president Ted Bishop reacted Tuesday by ...
The AJGA sent out a statement regarding the USGA and R&A’s adoption of Rule 14-1B. It is as follows:
“The American Junior Golf Association, its Board of Directors, full- and part-time staff and membership of nearly 6,000 of golf’s next generation recognize the Rules-making authority of the USGA to govern the game of golf in America. By recognizing this authority, the AJGA has always, and will continue to, strictly follow any Rule change deemed necessary by the USGA.”
In 2012, the AJGA collected data from June 18 to October 30 from juniors on the anchored putting stroke. The data showed that 98.1% (5,650 players) of players did not use an anchoring stroke, while only 1.9% (111 players) of them did. These numbers were based 5,761 juniors that played during that time, although some players may have been counted twice.
Joel Stalter of the California Golden Bears is a junior from Amneville, France. He is No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
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I am not very surprised about the rule on anchoring even with the negative backlash the ban received. I used a short putter for my most of my career and then switched to a belly putter for eight months last year. While the belly putter definitely helped my putting, I do not necessarily believe that the anchoring method is an advantage over conventional putting. It is simply not for everyone. Using a belly putter is actually a different skill that players have to spend many hours practicing, just like short putters.
The main reason I switched back to the short putter was that I realized the anchoring stroke was inhibiting my natural stroke and instincts on the course that I have practiced my whole life playing the game, though it certainly helped my mechanics become more consistent.
My main issue with the ban is that no scientific, concrete evidence has been used to show that the anchoring method is an advantage. I do however understand the concern of the R&A and the USGA that belly putters ...
FAR HILLS, N.J. – It felt like a wake, and in a way it was.
With the adoption of Rule 14-1b, the anchored stroke in golf officially is going the way of square grooves, the concave-faced wedge and croquet-style putting. In fact, the U.S. Golf Association can break ground on its retrospective exhibit at the museum next door on an era in golf when at least four majors were won with a method of stroke set to be banned on Jan. 1, 2016.
The mood was somber and the skies a gray foreboding mass as attendees at the USGA’s headquarters waited to hear anchoring’s fate after a 90-day comment period that had dragged too long. Some picked at muffins and a spread of fruit, but any hope that golf’s governing bodies might take a mulligan on the ban, first proposed Nov. 28, vanished when the R&A scooped their counterparts on this side of the pond and published its news release 25 minutes before the scheduled 8 a.m. EDT announcement. It confirmed that the text of the final rule is the same as previously proposed.
But as the saying goes, the show must go on ...
FAR HILLS, N.J. – This was not the blockbuster occasion that some had envisioned.
In a modest auditorium at the U.S. Golf Association’s Golf House, a small group of two dozen people gathered Tuesday to hear the announcement that Rule 14-1B had been adopted by the game’s two rulesmaking bodies: the USGA and R&A.
This ends all the speculation. The use of the anchored stroke – whether it be for putting, chipping or any other attempt to hit the ball – officially will be prohibited as of Jan. 1, 2016.
The atmosphere was strangely quiet. It felt like a library.
As it turned out, there were no changes to the rules proposal first presented on Nov. 28, 2012. Tuesday’s tranquil gathering got underway at 8 a.m. Eastern time and ended at 8:29 after a few predictable questions from journalists.
One influential person who operated largely behind the scenes was Mark Newell, chairman of the USGA’s Rules of Golf Committee. Newell is a retired litigation attorney who lives in northern Virginia and plays to an 11.6 handicap.
Newell’s personality fit nicely with the serenity that permeated the gathering. He is articulate and soft-spoken ...
A word of advice regarding Rule 14-1B, the new anti-anchoring rule: Be careful, be very careful.
This much is clear: Intent will be very important in interpreting the rule.
“It is all about the intent of the player,” Thomas Pagel, senior director of Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, told Golfweek. “If a player makes a stroke, and the butt end of the club happens to catch his stomach, or happens to catch his shirt, that’s not intentionally holding the club against the body.
“As far as situations where it is difficult to tell, it (any possible penalty) is based on the intent of the player, on the integrity of the player.”
An important point: Under Rule 14-1B, golfers are allowed to tuck their forearms or elbows against the body while putting. This will not be considered anchoring.
However, there is an exception: A player will be in violation of the new rule if he or she tucks a forearm against his body and, at the same time, uses a split-handed putting grip.
This method would have the effect of creating a pivot point (with the player’s forearm) for the purpose of using a fulcrum-type stroke. It would ...
ST. LOUIS – In a conference room on the second floor of the clubhouse at Bellerive Country Club, site of this week's 74th Senior PGA Championship, PGA of America president Ted Bishop followed the USGA press conference announcing the adoption of Rule 14-1b to ban the anchored stroke starting in 2016.
Bishop, an early dissenter regarding a ban of the anchored stroke, sat calmly, eating yogurt and answering the occasional text message before the announcement. But Bishop has known for weeks of the USGA/R&A decision, having been briefed by the USGA two weeks ago at The Players championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Yet as USGA president Glen Nager was announcing the ultimate ban, Bishop still was trying to wrap his arms around what he already knew and how his organization of 27,000 members would deal with the decision.
“It's hard for me to answer that question right now because I really haven't thought much about that,” Bishop said when asked what it would mean for the PGA of America not to follow the anchoring ban. “I held out hope really all the way up through the week of The Players Championship that there might ...
PGA TOUR acknowledges that the USGA has adopted Rule 14-1b which prohibits anchored putting as of January 1, 2016.
We would like to thank the USGA for providing the opportunity for input and suggestions relative to Rule 14-1b over the last several months. During that time, various questions were raised and issues discussed.
We will now begin our process to ascertain whether the various provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions and, if so, examine the process for implementation.
In this regard, over the next month we will engage in discussions with our Player Advisory Council and Policy Board members.
We will announce our position regarding the application of Rule 14-1b to our competitions upon conclusion of our process and we will have no further comment on the matter until that time.
Nearly six months after the USGA and R&A proposed a ban on anchoring, golf’s two governing bodies have made Rule 14-1b official during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
The Rule’s purpose is to ensure that all players face the same challenge of controlling the entire club in making a stroke and to eliminate anchoring’s potential advantages.
In advance of Tuesday's announcement, USGA executive director Mike Davis, USGA president Glen Nager and USGA’s Rules Committee Chairman Mark Newell fielded questions from Golfweek on an array of topics pertaining to the anchoring ban.
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Since nothing has changed to the proposed ruling, why do you think the golfers will feel like their voice has been heard?
Nager: We have done an extensive analysis of the comments received and shared with the public our assessment of the comments so those who have provided us with the comments, for which we're deeply appreciative, will know that (they have) been heard and will know what our thinking is.
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There's certainly a perception that the USGA is an elitist organization that's out of touch with everyday golfers. Is there any concern that a decision like this only ...
Over the past few months The PGA of America has taken a vocal and active position which reflected the strong viewpoint of our PGA Professionals in opposing the USGA and R&A's proposed Rule 14-1b that would ban the anchored stroke. Today, the governing bodies indicated that they will proceed with the formal adoption of the rule.
We are disappointed with this outcome. As we have said publicly and repeatedly during the comment period, we do not believe 14-1b is in the best interest of recreational golfers and we are concerned about the negative impact it may have on both the enjoyment and growth of the game. Growing the game is one of the fundamental purposes of The PGA of America.
Although we do not agree with the decision, we applaud the USGA for its willingness to listen to our concerns and engage in meaningful discussions. In our opinion and based on our experience, the USGA treated the comment period for what it was intended to be -- a time to exchange opinions, concerns and potential solutions.
We should also note that our difference of opinion regarding 14-1b should not in any way detract from the healthy relationship we have ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Padraig Harrington could be compared to a Prohibitionist enjoying a frosty brew. Harrington, a proponent on the proposed ban of the anchoring stroke, put a belly putter into play Thursday at the Wells Fargo Championship. It didn’t help, as Harrington shot 80 at Quail Hollow Club, needing 32 putts on the course’s bumpy putting surfaces.
Harrington started using the putter last week, saying boredom led him to experiment with one last week. “Mechanically, everything I do with my putting stroke is better with the belly putter than without it,” he said. “I was like, 'Oh, I wonder what that looks like,' and I was surprised to see everything was better. In terms of the mechanics, it was a far better stroke. Obviously, feel is an issue when you haven’t used it before.”
Thursday’s round was his first round in the 80s on the PGA Tour since a second-round 80 at the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont. Harrington's use of the anchored putter is ironic because he became an R&A “ambassador” in 2011. The R&A has been considered the driving force behind the proposed anchoring ban. Harrington supports the ban ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The biggest rivalry in golf at the moment could be the heads of two different organizations on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
PGA of America president Ted Bishop has been vocal about his opposition to the proposed rule that would ban the anchored stroke used for long putters. Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson last week referred to Bishop's public comments as a "campaign."
"The PGA of America knows my views about this and I'm disappointed at the way that campaign was conducted," Dawson said. "It put rule-making onto the negotiating table. The negotiating table is no place for rule-making to take place. Obviously, the feelings are strong. We shall have to see where it goes."
Bishop took it one step further in an interview and exchange of emails with Golf World magazine, in which he revealed details of his encounter with Dawson during the Masters and questioned the R&A's male-only membership.
"I find that to be very curious and perplexing given the fact that the R&A has not been inclusive, as evidenced by their unwillingness to accept women as members to the R&A," Bishop told the magazine. "This is ...
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