Cal's Stalter: 'Not surprised' on anchoring decision
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 have started to be become a trend with players that don’t necessarily have medical problems, but rather are turning straight to anchoring putters as an alternative method. Furthermore, I agree with the concern that the next generation of young players won’t even try conventional methods at first and instead turn straight to anchoring. As a player from Europe, I fully trust that the R&A and the USGA have the best interest of the game as their foremost priority.
In the end, I don’t believe this is a right or wrong decision, but rather the golf world having to simply abide by the rules laid down by its governing body, just like any other sport.