Anchoring

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

Schupak: Golf wasn't intended to be an easy game

Adam Schupak
David Fay
David Fay

Use a long putter? Never in a round. Fiddled with long and belly putters at the past two PGA Merchandise Show Demo Days.

• • •

What took so long? That’s what I want to know. Call me a traditionalist, but I never felt like anchoring a long or belly putter constituted a golf stroke.

Several years ago, I interviewed then-USGA executive director David Fay for a feature story. As an aside, we struck up a conversation on long and belly putters. Or, more accurately, he listened as I ticked off the usual reasons why they should be banned. The look on ...

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

Tait: Debacle has done game no favors

Alistair Tait

Use a long putter? No, but I was given one of the first ever made, tried it and gave up.

• • •

We must be the laughingstock of the entire sports world. The anchoring debacle does the game of golf no favors whatsoever.

Tell me, please, what other sport takes nearly 25 years to make a decision like this? None. Talk about falling asleep at the wheel, closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. It’s embarrassing.

Putting guru Harold Swash gave me a long putter back in 1989. I tried it for a few rounds before it was retired ...

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

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 ...

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November 24, 2012 | 10:22 a.m.

Long putter all LPGA rookie Mo Martin has known

Beth Ann Nichols
LPGA rookie Mo Martin started using the long putter at the age of 6.
LPGA rookie Mo Martin started using the long putter at the age of 6.

Mo Martin’s dad put a long putter in her hands at age 6 for two reasons: 1. It would be easier on her back. 2. Because there was a move to ban the long putter, Martin’s dad figured it must offer some kind of advantage.

Twenty-four years later, Martin, 30, is a rookie on the LPGA and still following dad’s advice.

Until two weeks ago, she used a three-piece Dynacraft that a friend epoxied together. In Malaysia, she put a Bobby Grace long putter in play because it had less loft and improved roll off the face ...

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James Achenbach
Chip Lutz during the U.S. Senior Amateur.
Chip Lutz during the U.S. Senior Amateur.

WEST CALDWELL, N.J. -- I fear for the future of golf.

The game’s rulesmakers, in the name of history and tradition, are stuck in the past instead of looking forward.

If we, the members of the golf community, are serious about growing the game – and if they, the governing golfers who make the rules, are serious about growing the game – then why are we even considering a rule that could eliminate belly putters and long putters that people actually enjoy using?

Growing the game means attracting more people. How do we do this? By making them feel comfortable, by ...

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Golfweek Staff
Ernie Els with his putter at the Barclays.
Ernie Els with his putter at the Barclays.

Will the ‘anchoring’ stroke be outlawed as a method of putting?

It’s virtually certain. The rules committees and governing boards of the U.S. Golf Association and R&A, golf’s rulesmaking bodies, are expected to decide that anchoring any golf club, particularly a putter, is contrary to the intent, spirit and history of the game. An announcement is expected as early as this week.

• • •

Are the USGA and RA still planning their strategy?

Talks are ongoing. Representatives of the USGA and R&A have met in Scotland and Turkey in the past month. They met again in Scotland ...

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Jim McCabe
Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.
Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.

As rumors swirl that his favored putting technique soon will be banned by the USGA and the R&A, Keegan Bradley isn’t so concerned with how he’ll perform in the future.

He’s equipped with talent and self-confidence.

He is, however, fearful that what he did in the past – victories in a major and a World Golf Championship – might be affixed with the mythical asterisk, indicating he won with a belly putter anchored to his body.

“They’re some of our greatest memories,” Bradley said, his voice tailing off. “I think that’s really sad.”

Sadness is only ...

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James Achenbach
Bob Duden showed Sam Snead (pictured) how to putt between his legs, and Snead used the method in competition until it was outlawed in 1968.
Bob Duden showed Sam Snead (pictured) how to putt between his legs, and Snead used the method in competition until it was outlawed in 1968.

LA QUINTA, Calif. -- What if?

Golf’s two rules-making bodies, the U.S. Golf Association and R&A, are considering outlawing anchoring, effectively eliminating belly-putting and long-putting.

What if one state or regional golf association made a formal announcement that it would allow anchoring despite a ban by golf’s two international ruling bodies?

What if bifurcation of the rules became a reality -- at least in the little domain of one association -- with one set of rules for professionals and elite amateurs and another set of rules for everybody else.

Golfers are talking nonstop about anchoring. One of the most ...

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Keegan Bradley walks on the third playoff hole during the final round of the 93rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on August 14, 2011 in Johns Creek, Georgia.
Keegan Bradley walks on the third playoff hole during the final round of the 93rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on August 14, 2011 in Johns Creek, Georgia.

Editor's note (added since story publication): It's clear that the USGA and R&A are getting close to a decision on anchoring, at least the PGA of America believes so. Before the turkeys hit the Thanksgiving table, new PGA of America president Ted Bishop sent an e-mail to all of its members with a simple question?

With regards to anchoring a golf club:

a. Yes, I would favor a ban on anchoring a golf club

b. No, I would not favor a ban on anchoring a golf club

How do you feel about the same questions? Vote below ...

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Jeff Rude
Michael Allen
Michael Allen

Your correspondent’s research shows that all top 18 players in last week’s PGA Tour putting rankings regularly use a conventional putter. Not a belly nor a broomstick to be found on that top shelf. Yet golf’s powers that be are expected to ban the anchoring of such longer implements.

Perhaps then, the czars have it backward.

If there is a competitive advantage in stroking the standard flat stick, then outlaw its use and load up the trash bins and eBay lists.

There is another reason to endorse such a notion. If long and belly putters supposedly are ...

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Adam Schupak
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.

Editor's note (added since story publication): It's clear that the USGA and R&A are getting close to a decision on anchoring, at least the PGA of America believes so. Before the turkeys hit the Thanksgiving table, new PGA of America president Ted Bishop sent an e-mail to all of its members with a simple question?

With regards to anchoring a golf club:

a. Yes, I would favor a ban on anchoring a golf club

b. No, I would not favor a ban on anchoring a golf club

How do you feel about the same questions? Vote below ...

Click here to continue reading

Golfweek Staff
Rocco Mediate
Rocco Mediate

Early 1980s: Charlie Owens invents his “Slim Jim” putter at Rogers Park Golf Course in Tampa, Fla. He puts it in play on the Champions Tour.

1989: After winning three Champions events the previous year, Orville Moody wins the U.S. Senior Open. Also that year, Mark Lye is the first player to anchor a long putter on the PGA Tour.

1991: Rocco Mediate wins the Doral-Ryder Open, the first PGA Tour victory for an anchored long putter.

2000: Paul Azinger wins the 2000 Sony Open, the first Tour win for a belly putter.

2011: Keegan Bradley wins the PGA ...

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Alex Miceli
Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.
Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.

DONGGUAN, China – In this hamlet on the southern China coast, Keegan Bradley and Carl Pettersson drew a line in the sand with implications that could be felt all the way to Far Hills, N.J., and St. Andrews, Scotland.

Bradley and Pettersson said they intend to fight a proposed ban by the U.S. Golf Association and R&A, the game's rulesmakers, on the "anchoring" stroke associated with long putters. They said their opposition would include legal action, if necessary, to protect the game from those who, ironically, have that very responsibility.

In characterizing the likely ban on anchoring ...

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Alex Miceli
Mike Davis
Mike Davis

SEA ISLAND, Ga. – Mike Davis, the U.S. Golf Association's executive director, appeared before the PGA Tour Policy Board Oct. 17 with a sales pitch: an anticipated ban on the "anchored" stroke.

Davis was here to sell the idea of banning anchoring, an initiative that the R&A and the USGA, golf's governing bodies, are expected to announce soon. With Keegan Bradley (2011 PGA), Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (2012 Open Championship) having won major championships with long putters, the anchored stroke has become one of the hottest issues in golf.

Hence, Davis' appearance ...

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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.