CEO says British PGA will not resist ban

The British Professional Golfers’ Association will not resist the proposed ban on the anchoring stroke, chief executive Sandy Jones told Golfweek.

“We did not survey our membership like the PGA of America, but we have discussed it at board level,” Jones said. “Our view was that (we) don’t think it makes much difference to the growth of the game in the United Kingdom if the stroke is banned.”

Long or belly putters are not as prevalent in the United Kingdom as they are in the United States. As a result, Jones does not think a ban on the anchoring stroke as used with long or belly putters will impact on British club professionals.

“I don’t think the anchoring ban will affect our members that much. I recently spoke with professionals from around our regions, and I think I spoke to just two of around 90 pros who had recently sold long putters,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s as big an issue here as it is in the United States. You don’t see a lot of club golfers over here using long or belly putters. Sales of these clubs are not a big revenue source for club pros here.”

Jones believes it is important for all bodies to follow the R&A and USGA’s lead on this issue. “I think it is incumbent on bodies like ours and the European Tour to abide by the rules the R&A lays down,” he said. “They are the rules makers, and we should respect their decisions. If we start down the road to bifurcation then it breaks down the very fabric of the game. We believe there should be one set of rules.

“We sometimes have our disagreements with the R&A, and would discuss such disagreements in private. On this issue we agree with the R&A. If the rule is changed, then we will abide by it.”

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