Anchoring

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Alex Miceli

The USGA has decided not to postpone implementation of Rule 14-1b, or the rule that covers anchoring a club.

At last month’s USGA Annual Meeting at Pinehurst, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and PGA of America President Ted Bishop outlined a proposal for a “grandfather” period, in hopes of allowing the amateur golfer more time to adapt to the new rule that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

Bishop in an e-mail to his membership on Tuesday evening said that the USGA rejected the joint request.

“While we are disappointed with the USGA’s decision not to ...

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James Achenbach
To replace his anchored putting stroke, Bernhard Langer told a Callaway executive he was looking closely at two putting methods -- and has made putts both ways.
To replace his anchored putting stroke, Bernhard Langer told a Callaway executive he was looking closely at two putting methods -- and has made putts both ways.

— The countdown is less than two years. On Jan. 1, 2016, the anchored putting stroke will be abolished under the Rules of Golf. Neither pros nor amateurs can do it.

Golfers who anchor their putters will be forced to adopt alternative methods. The big question: What are the options?

Kelley Moser, a Titleist tour rep for Scotty Cameron putters, can be found on the putting green at 38 to 40 PGA Tour events during the year. He and Larry Silveira, Titleist’s other putting specialist, are an important resource for many touring pros, offering putters and advice ...

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Jeff Rude
PGA president Ted Bishop, an outspoken Indiana course owner, plies wit and wisdom in seeking to reverse golf’s fortunes.
PGA president Ted Bishop, an outspoken Indiana course owner, plies wit and wisdom in seeking to reverse golf’s fortunes.

It looks as though the anchoring ban might still have some details to be ironed out.

In a statement released to Golfweek, PGA of America president Ted Bishop indicated that his organization would be given the opportunity to make a case for a "grandfather period" for recreational amateurs at the USGA's annual meeting Feb. 8 in Pinehurst, N.C. Bishop likened the proposal to what was agreed upon for the groove regulations in 2008.

Here is the rest of Bishop's statement:

"We have worked with Mike Davis and the USGA to set up a time when we could ...

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Categories: Teeing Off, Anchoring
Jeff Rude
After using a long putter since 1998, Carl Pettersson has decided to go to a short putter after testing it on Sunday at the John Deere Classic.
After using a long putter since 1998, Carl Pettersson has decided to go to a short putter after testing it on Sunday at the John Deere Classic.

GULLANE, Scotland – Carl Pettersson has used a long putter since 1998. It follows that he lobbied against the upcoming ban on anchored putting strokes. And that he is one of nine players who retained a lawyer. And that he ultimately tired of the whole controversy.

But now, instead of fighting, he is switching.

That’s right: Pettersson used the short, conventional putter on a trial basis Sunday in the final round of the John Deere Classic. He liked the results enough that he is using it again this week at the Open Championship at Muirfield.

So it’s time to ...

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Jeff Rude
Paul Goydos
Paul Goydos

Jeff Rude’s “Hate To Be Rude” column appears on Golfweek.com on Wednesday.

The PGA Tour and PGA of America made a sensible compromise proposal, not to mention a savvy public relations move, on Monday when asking that the U.S. Golf Association delay the ban on anchored putting several years for recreational players.

The two organizations pointed out that there is precedent, that the USGA in 2008 followed a similar course regarding new groove configurations on golf clubs – 2010 for elite play but 2024 for recreational golfers.

The USGA has yet to comment but is expected to respond ...

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Jeff Rude
Tim Clark
Tim Clark

A day after the PGA Tour decided to abide by the upcoming U.S. Golf Association ban on anchored putting strokes, the Boston lawyer representing nine players who anchor said none of his clients has expressed an intent to sue the Tour.

“That could change,” Harry L. Manion III told Golfweek on Tuesday. “I don’t know what they are going to ask me to do.”

The nine players, including Masters champion Adam Scott and Tour winners Carl Pettersson and Tim Clark, have retained Manion since January. The players are now “deciding what action, if any, to take next,” Manion ...

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Jeff Rude
Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.
Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.

The PGA Tour and PGA of America boards have formally decided to abide by the U.S. Golf Association’s ban on anchored strokes, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

While the Tour’s nine-man policy board’s decision July 1 to follow Rule 14-1b was expected, there had been speculation the Tour might disallow anchored putting earlier, such as at the start of the 2015-16 season, in an effort to limit distraction. But instead it chose to follow the new USGA rule to the letter, apparently in part for legal reasons.

“If we stop playing by USGA rules, that really opens ...

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Alex Miceli
Adam Scott putts during the 2013 Memorial at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio
Adam Scott putts during the 2013 Memorial at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio

Golf’s “Gang of Nine” might not be so united against the recently approved ban on the anchoring stroke.

After the U.S. Golf Association and R&A endorsed Rule 14-1b last month, three prominent touring pros who use the anchoring stroke with long or belly putters – Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott – were disclosed to have retained Boston’s Harry Manion as legal counsel.

During last week’s Memorial Tournament, Scott, the recent Masters champion, made it clear that he had sought legal advice merely to gather information and be sure that his views are expressed to the ...

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Alex Miceli
Davis Love III
Davis Love III

DUBLIN, Ohio – In the first official meeting since the USGA and R&A announced their final decision on Rule 14-1b (the ban on the anchored stroke), the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council gathered at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Tuesday.

During the 90-minute meeting in a conference room in the basement of the Muirfield Pavilion, players participated in person and by phone. Tour commissioner Tim Finchem apprised the players on what had occurred on the anchoring issue since the last meeting and then allowed players to weigh in with their concerns, opinions and thoughts.

The opinions were "very mixed," according ...

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James Achenbach
Boccieri's new EL Series putters, each with a 175-gram counterweight along with a 17-inch grip, are designed to mimic the steadiness and repeatability of belly putters – without anchoring.
Boccieri's new EL Series putters, each with a 175-gram counterweight along with a 17-inch grip, are designed to mimic the steadiness and repeatability of belly putters – without anchoring.

Since 2003, Steve Boccieri has hung his hat on counterbalanced putters that were heavier than normal. His original products were sold under the name Heavy Putter – the heads were heavier, and the putters contained a heavy counterweight inside the butt end of the shaft.

His designs were all about feel and balance.

Later, when Boccieri introduced a line of belly putters, he was able to offer more than a dozen different models because he already had the heavier heads that were necessary for belly putters.

Now, on June 1, Boccieri will begin showcasing 16 models with different heads that comprise ...

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Golfweek Staff
Sergio Garcia talks to the media at a press conference for the BMW PGA Championships at Wentworth in Virginia Water, England.
Sergio Garcia talks to the media at a press conference for the BMW PGA Championships at Wentworth in Virginia Water, England.

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:

• • •

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 their own rule, then nothing changes. If they don't make another rule, we'll have to adjust. It's been talked about and talked about and it's just disappointing. I just don't understand why it took them 40 years to come to their conclusion. Did they say why it took them 40 years?

• • •

Tim Mickelson, coach, Arizona State University

Sad day for the growth of golf. No matter where you stand on the ban, this doesn't help grow the game.

• • •

Greg Norman, PGA Tour legend

In response to a post by Gary Player on the social-media site Twitter, Norman said from his account, @sharkgregnorman: "@garyplayer the right decision on the anchored putter. It will be interesting to see what the @PGATOUR decides or implements."

• • •

Beth Daniel, LPGA veteran

Anchoring is not the problem with the game. How about the art of ball striking, slow play, the ball, driving distance, lining players up?

• • •

Sara Brown, LPGA player

I use a 33inch putter so the anchor ban doesn't concern me BUT I have tried a long putter and it in no way was easier for me... So if it's such an advantage per say why isn't every tour pro playing with one? Thoughts?

• • •

Parker McLachlin, PGA Tour player

I'm in support of the ban on anchoring for tournament golf. It should have been done a long time ago though.

• • •

Arron Oberholser, PGA Tour player

The USGA just cut down a mole hill. Can they now get to the mountain? Which mountain? Driver, ball, slow play, access. You choose.

• • •

Sergio Garcia, PGA Tour and European Tour player

Fortunately it doesn’t affect me. I did use it for a little bit but I never really felt that comfortable with it.

It’s going to be a bit of a bother for some of the other guys, but I think they will figure out a way to get their game around it.

I stand behind the decision of the R&A and USGA and I think we should all do the same thing.

• • •

John Daly, PGA Tour player

NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL....all professional organizations create their rules, PGA should also create rules as professionals in our organization

• • •

LPGA tour statement

The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as established by the USGA and the R&A. We recognize the need for an independent governing body to maintain the rules of the game. We trust in the ability and expertise of both the USGA and R&A to make the decisions that are in the best interests of the game.

The USGA provided ample time and opportunity for us to not only educate our players, but also to solicit input, concerns and feedback surrounding Rule 14-1b. While we know that not every one of our members is in favor of the rule change, the LPGA will continue to respect and follow the Rules of Golf which includes the implementation of Rule 14-1b in January of 2016.

• • •

David Feherty, broadcaster and former player

Horrible decision. Professional golfers need to make the rules for professional golf. Not rocket science.

• • •

Brendan Steele, PGA Tour player

Steele, who has anchored much of his Tour career, recently went conventional at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. "But not because of all of this anchoring ban," he said. "I did it because I wasn't putting well.

"Does it make it easier? It's a matter of preference. Some people think using a blade putter makes putting easier, some people don't.

"But it shows you how bogus the comment period was."

Referencing Sunday's final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship – where on the swing hole, the par-5 16th, Sang-Moon Bae made a birdie putt to break a tie and take a lead that he would not relinquish and then Keegan Bradley, an anchored, missed – Steele laughed.

"Let's see, Moon has a 4 1/2-footer (closer to 6) and makes it, then Keegan on the same line and closer (about 4 feet) misses. How easy is it?"

• • •

Ben Crane, PGA Tour player

"I think they're giving guys ample time (to adjust)," said Crane, who always has used a conventional putting stroke. "But there's just no good answer. Guys have been doing it forever, so it's tough for them."

• • •

Paul Lawrie, 1999 Open Champion

They’ve made the right decision personally, because I don’t use it. If I used it then I’d probably be a little bit more upset. I’ve used it in the past, but only one day in competition, at the Wales Open and I had 40 putts. The guys that do use it are going to be a little bit upset. So I agree with it. I think when the club touches your body it’s got to be easier, so I think they’ve made the right decision.

• • •

Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the European Tour’s tournament committee

I don’t agree with the decision. I don’t think the ban is right. They obviously are doing it for reasons they think are protecting the game, and I can see that argument. But they should have thought of that 25 years ago.

You have so many players today who don’t know anything different. I don’t think it’s right that you tell people something is okay for so long and you can make a living with it, and then all of sudden tell them it’s wrong and they have to learn something new to keep their living going. I don’t agree with that. It can’t be right.

They (the governing bodies) have themselves to blame for taking so long. I think they’ve acted because a few guys won a few majors. So is Keegan Bradley’s major, Webb Simpson’s major, are they now belittled because they used a long putter? To ban it now is wrong. I accept the ban is there and when it’s in place no one will think about it, but I feel sorry for the guys who have to learn a new skill to maintain their living.

I also think the game is suffering right now with participation, and we are putting a ban in amateur golf that is going to hurt the game, hurt participation.

• • •

Nicolas Colsaerts, PGA Tour and European Tour player

I agree with the ban. When I was a little kid watching golf on TV everyone used a short putter. It’s a difficult decision to take because it’s been around for so long, but my idea of golf is that everyone should use a short putter. You should have to control your nerves over a four-foot putt. I haven’t tried either putter. I don’t understand the concept.

• • •

Graeme McDowell, PGA Tour and European Tour player

I agree with the decision. I think anchoring goes against the ethos of the game, the physical demands of the game. You shouldn’t be anchoring a club to your body. I know it’s been around for many years but let’s keep the game pure. I would have gone for bifurcation because if it keeps elderly players or those with back issues or whatever in the game than that has to be good. Bifurcation would have been a good middle ground.

• • •

Francesco Molinari, European Tour player

I think they’re doing the right thing. If you anchor then it’s a different type of shot to any other shot in golf. I used a belly putter for a year and a half. I definitely got some of the advantages in the beginning but it didn’t last. I don’t think there is any permanent advantage, at least for me there wasn’t. After a while I lost the benefit of it and went back to the short putter.

They should have banned it when it first came out. I don’t agree with bifurcation. I want to see the same set of rules for everybody, amateurs and professionals. If you start doing different things then it might lead to other differences. I think it’s nice for amateurs and kids growing up and weekend players to play the same rules as us.

• • •

Martin Kaymer, PGA Tour and European Tour player

I’m very glad that it’s over, that we don’t need to talk about it anymore. I’m just glad that it’s off the table now, that a decision has been made. I really don’t care about the topic anymore. At the end of the day it’s not cheating. Because you still have to practice with a putter in order to become good. It’s not like all of a sudden you pick it up and you make more putts. But I really don’t care anymore. I’m just tired of the question.

• • •

Butch Harmon, Teaching Professional

Pro golf is the only sport in the U.S. that has an amateur body making its rules. Time to change

• • •

David Eger, Champions Tour player and formerly the senior director, rules and competitions, for the U.S. Golf Association

I’ve never thought anchoring should be allowed.

I don’t know how the tour cannot go along with the USGA. How can they play forty-some events with one rule and then go to the U.S. Open and the British Open and perhaps the Masters and the PGA Championship, and anything else, and have a different rule? I don’t know how you do that. It would be chaos. Ultimately, I think the tour will see the light that it has to conform with the rules. If they’re going to play USGA rules, they have to play all USGA rules. This isn’t an equipment thing; this is a rules thing — a playing rule.

It’s unfortunate for those players who’ve gotten to the point of dependency on it, but I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to survive and play well and putt well with a conventional-length putter.

• • •

Laetitia Beck, Duke junior

Why did you switch?

Beck: "I don’t have the greatest putting and I tended to push it a little so for a long time I wanted to try a belly because I felt like it was going to be easier for me to stay down ...

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Jim McCabe
Tim Clark
Tim Clark

FORT WORTH, Texas – Disappointed as he was by Tuesday's news 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 ...

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Jeff Rude
Adam Scott is using a Scotty Cameron Futura X Prototype, 52 inches in length so it can be used as a long putter.
Adam Scott is using a Scotty Cameron Futura X Prototype, 52 inches in length so it can be used as a long putter.

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 ...

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May 21, 2013 | 3:40 p.m.

AJGA supports USGA, Rule 14-1B

Golfweek Staff

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 ...

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California's Joel Stalter
California's Joel Stalter

Joel Stalter of the California Golden Bears is a junior from Amneville, France. He is No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

• • •

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 ...

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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.