Anchoring Ban

anchored putter ban

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we live in an age of emotion where facts are of little importance. Everyone wants what they want and that’s enough for them to pick a side in any fray. Should I think of the greater good? No, better to take care of myself and let the chips fall where they may.

So Congress can’t figure out a financial plan and the PGA can’t decide if they’ll go along with the USGA and R&A on the recently announced ban on ‘anchoring the club’. In other words, long putters are out – at least if they are anchored against your body in some way.

The real question – underneath all the posturing – is whether they make the game easier or not. Part of the ruling bodies explanation behind the ban is that the data they have show that long putters don’t make better putters. If it’s true, then a ban would seem to protect the original intent of the game and nobody gets hurt. But wait! The PGA isn’t on board yet. Montana Pritchard, their newly elected president, says if it doesn’t make it easier then why ban them. And then contradicts himself by saying his PGA professionals believe they will help grow the game because it makes it more fun. Huh?

In my experience and what I’ve seen in my fellow players is that fun on the golf course almost always means a lower score. Let’s say the USGA demanded that only drivers be used in the bunkers. Would taking 12 strokes to get out be a lot of fun? ‘Hey, I just shot the worse score of my life but boy did I have fun.’ I don’t think so.

So which is it – longer putters are no better than two ball putters or they’re the best way to take 4 strokes off you score? The USGA and the R&A say they give you no advantage. The PGA teachers say they do help. Johnny Miller says they are a god send if you have the YIPS.

The only thing that makes much sense was when the respective heads of the USGA and the R&A said that anchoring was against the original intent of the game and, by the way, golf attracts people because it’s not easy. If only they had made that decision decades ago when the first long, or should I say anchored, putter made it’s debut. But alas, we’ll have to slug it out to get to the bottom of this thing. Can anyone out there prove that anchored putters do or don’t help scoring, and here’s the operative words, ‘across the board’?

  • I don’t have a problem with the rule changes, however I believe they are about 25 years too late.

    Are they now going to take away the major championship wins from the players who used the long putters in the last few years? I don’t think so.

    I’ll be very interested to what the likes of Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and others do now after the announcement.

    Stay tuned

  • Andy Lesenski

    I think the ban is good. It only effects players posting scores and tournament players anyways. Lets face it, most people play golf to see how good they can be at the game, playing by the rules is part of the game, if you choose not to play by the rules that’s fine, but if you play by the rules you will hit shots that you didn’t think you could, and it will make you a better player.

  • Gary Lewis

    The idea of banning the anchoring in putting is probably a good decision but the USGA and R&A really messed up by not doing this many years ago. They let this thing go on so long that many many people are using and anchoring long and belly putters for different reasons (and within the current rules) and will now have to either give them up or figure out how to use them without anchoring. If golfers are doing something that is not the way the game was intended, then why in the hell wait until a few majors are won before doing anything about it and one of the reasons why these long and belly putters are being won with, is simply that more pros are using them. The USGA and R&A flat blew it on this one and will probably be fortunate if the game isn’t hurt by it.

  • John

    All tournaments won with the anchored putters are fair and legal and will not be taken away. Yes, they definitely waited way to long on making the ruling, but as a purist I believe it’s the right thing to do. They still have 90 days to see if there will be any modifications.

  • John

    I think you’re right on Andy.

  • John

    I think most golfers will play the game because they love it, regardless of what putter they have to use. Where I could see a legal problem is with the putter manufacturers. It would seem very unfair to have made a lot of long putters only to find out that a rule change makes them worthless.