Anchoring

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Cassie Stein
California standouts Max Homa (left) and Joel Stalter disagree on the anchoring ban proposal.
California standouts Max Homa (left) and Joel Stalter disagree on the anchoring ban proposal.

When the new proposed anchoring ban was announced by the USGA and R&A on Nov. 28 a lot of pros took to social media to express their opinions.

Well, so did college players.

Even though only a few players use the longer putter, it doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions.

California teammates Joel Stalter and Max Homa took to Facebook for their tiff.

Homa had posted that he was excited about the anchoring ban, but upset that it will take four years for the ban to start (2016 is the proposed year). He compared anchored putting to ...

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James Achenbach
Bernhard Langer
Bernhard Langer

Argue if you must.

Take one side or the other: Will the U.S. Golf Association and R&A stick firmly with their decision to ban anchoring? Or will the ruling bodies change their minds in the face of criticism from professionals and amateurs who feel the rule is badly conceived?

Although this great debate probably will continue relentlessly during the next three months, it is reasonable to assume the outcome already has been decided. Rule 14-1b, prohibiting the anchoring of any golf club against the body, likely will be approved as written in the spring of 2013. It would ...

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Alex Miceli
PGA President Ted Bishop addresses attendees of the 96th PGA Annual Meeting.
PGA President Ted Bishop addresses attendees of the 96th PGA Annual Meeting.

In a unique twist to today’s proposal by the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A to ban anchoring, the PGA of America issued a statement that underscores how its members are not in lockstep with a move that they say will hurt the game.

Ted Bishop, the PGA's newly elected president, requested that the governing bodies reconsider the proposed ban on the anchored stroke that has become so popular with the proliferation of long putters.

"The PGA has long supported the USGA in its role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment,” Bishop ...

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Jim McCabe
Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – There was a grin on his face. OK, so that’s not exactly news when you’re talking about Matt Kuchar, but on this brilliant California morning, he had good reason to be smiling.

Not that he had gotten up to watch the televisted press conference at 5:30 a.m. West Coast time, but news travels fast so Kuchar already had heard that he was OK. Correction, his putting technique was OK, as specified by the USGA and the R&A in their decision to ban anchoring.

Was he surprised? Did he feel as if he ...

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James Achenbach
USGA executive director Mike Davis (left) and R&A chief Peter Dawson.
USGA executive director Mike Davis (left) and R&A chief Peter Dawson.

Anchoring of the golf club – not only putters, but any golf club – will be banned on Jan. 1, 2016.

In a news conference Wednesday morning, the U.S. Golf Association and R&A called the decision a “proposed rules change,” but it was clear that the ruling bodies already have decided to implement the new rule.

The rule has been approved by the USGA and R&A's respective rules committees. Next it will be approved in the spring of 2013 by the governing boards of both organizations. In the meantime, for the next three months or so, the ruling ...

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Cassie Stein
Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson

Ah, you gotta love social media.

On Wednesday morning, the USGA and R&A had a news conference to announce the decision for a ‘proposed rules change,’ but it seemed clear that the governing bodies have decided to implement the new rule.

Since it has already been approved by the USGA and R&A’s rules committees, the next step will be to get it approved by the governing boards of both organizations. Over the next few months, the USGA and R&A will take questions and comments for and against the ban. If approved, the rule will not take ...

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Categories: Anchoring, Top Stories
November 28, 2012 | 10:55 a.m.

Anchoring ban: What they're saying . . .

With the USGA and R&A proposing a ban on the anchored stroke - set to begin on Jan. 1, 2016 - there have been plenty of reactions from the golf community, but none more important than the individual tours and tournament hosts.

Here are a selection of those reactions:

• • •

PGA TOUR

While the USGA and The R&A have kept us updated on this proposed rule change, we only recently have been able to review the final language and have not until now had the opportunity to share it with our Policy Board and membership. As with any rule change, we ...

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Categories: Anchoring, Top Stories
Golfweek Staff
Jim McCabe
Matt Kuchar reacts after a putt on the tenth green during Round Two of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on August 10, 2012 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Matt Kuchar reacts after a putt on the tenth green during Round Two of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course on August 10, 2012 in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – As tournaments melted away and days turned into weeks and weeks into months, the rhetoric piled up and the debate intensified, until one thing became abundantly clear about this anchoring business.

It sure was difficult to figure out what was going on, even to those who are somewhat involved.

As recently as Tuesday on the practice range at Sherwood Country Club in preparation for this week's Tiger Woods World Challenge, Nick Watney was hitting balls under the watchful eye of caddie Chad Reynolds when the anchoring topic came up. Reynolds expressed dismay, arguing that the stroke ...

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James Achenbach
Chris Maletis is a four-time Trans-Miss Senior Amateur champion.
Chris Maletis is a four-time Trans-Miss Senior Amateur champion.

Editor's note: Check out all of our in-depth stories on the anchoring issue here.

• • •

Chris Maletis is a four-time Trans-Miss Senior Amateur champion who has plenty to say about the U.S. Golf Association, the R&A and their decision to outlaw the anchored stroke.

Maletis, along with his brother, Tom, owns Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore. Langdon Farms, designed by John Fought, is a public course. Despite the ban on anchoring as a putting method – which is expected to discourage many golfers from buying and using belly putters and long putters – Maletis says he will go ...

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Ron Balicki

Editor's note: Check out all of our in-depth stories on the anchoring issue here.

• • •

Don’t expect to see any of the major amateur tournaments going against the U.S. Golf Association and its ban on the anchored stroke. These events have long played by USGA rules, and officials involved with the tournaments expect that to continue:

• Denny Glass, Northeast Amateur tournament director: “We wouldn’t oppose what the USGA mandates. As far as the Northeast Amateur, if the USGA says no (to anchoring), then we’re going to say no.

“On the other hand, my personal feeling is ...

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November 28, 2012 | 8:30 a.m.

Babineau: Confusing game gets more complicated

Jeff Babineau
Angel Cabrera celebrates after winning the 2009 Masters.
Angel Cabrera celebrates after winning the 2009 Masters.

Use a long putter? Experimented for a few months 11 years ago.

• • •

If we all could jump into Marty McFly’s time travel machine and go back, oh, 20 years, when anchoring was starting to gain momentum, then I’d be more receptive to the joint decision announced by the R&A and USGA to take anchoring out of the game. But the timing of this move disturbs me more than the decision itself. Apologies to the Better Late Than Never crowd, but this decision is too late and will adversely affect careers. I’ve yet to hear a compelling ...

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November 28, 2012 | 8:30 a.m.

Klein: A bit late? Yes. But effort is welcome.

Bradley S. Klein
A USGA flag
A USGA flag

Use a long putter? Never tried it.

• • •

The old adage in tree care is that there are two times when you should plant a good hardwood: now and 20 years ago.

The same could be said for major rulings in golf. The U.S. Golf Association and the R&A missed the boat on a lot of revolutionary equipment 20 years ago. Now they’re catching up. The odd thing is that, with the long putter and the decision to ban the anchoring stroke, golf’s rulesmakers are picking on a pretty obscure and insignificant target. The effort, while overdue ...

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Jason Lusk
Webb Simpson was one of three players to win a major in the past 15 months using a long putter.
Webb Simpson was one of three players to win a major in the past 15 months using a long putter.

Use a long putter? Since summer 2010

• • •

Right after I stroked what might have been my 32nd putt in a qualifier for the 2008 Florida State Mid-Amateur Championship, one of my playing competitors casually told me that I wasn’t a very good putter. “In fact, you’re really bad.”

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Problem was, I had six holes left in a round in which I would hit 16 greens and take 48 putts. A 1-footer never looked longer. I wasn’t angry; I was lost, two exits past the yips on the expressway out of golf and back ...

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November 28, 2012 | 8:30 a.m.

Miceli: Where's the statistical evidence?

Alex Miceli
Ernie Els with his putter at the Barclays.
Ernie Els with his putter at the Barclays.

Use a long putter? Never tried it.

• • •

The anchored putting stroke has been around longer than the Surlyn-covered golf ball, metal woods or hybrids.

It predates Whistling Straits, Erin Hills and Chambers Bay, all courses that have hosted or soon will be major-championship venues.

Yet, for some inconceivable reason, the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A plan to outlaw anchoring in the next rules cycle, starting in 2016.

Why?

It’s not that the governing bodies haven’t looked critically at the stroke before; they have, and opted to pass on a rules change. It’s not that ...

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Recent Anchoring Videos

Video: Alex Miceli weighs in on anchoring proposal

Golfweek senior writer Alex Miceli offers his thoughts after Wednesday's press conference by the USGA and R&A.

Video: USGA, R&A explain proposed change

USGA, R&A explain proposed Rules change to prohibit anchored strokes.

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