Golf’s ruling bodies announce a ban on anchoring.
The USGA and R&A have announced that the rules of golf will be changed from January 1, 2016 to prohibit anchoring the golf club during a swing.
The announcement was made by USGA President Glen Nager which was broadcast on the Golf Channel and streamed live on the USGA website.
“Having considered all of the input that we received, both before and after the proposed Rule was announced, our best judgment is that Rule 14-1b is necessary to preserve one of the important traditions and challenges of the game – that the player freely swing the entire club,” said Nager.
“The new Rule upholds the essential nature of the traditional method of stroke and eliminates the possible advantage that anchoring provides, ensuring that players of all skill levels face the same challenge inherent in the game of golf.”
The rule will mean that the current putting method of Adam Scott, Tim Clark, Ernie Els, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and approximately 2-5% of golfers worldwide (according to Nager) will be deemed illegal.
The new rule 14-1b will state:
Anchoring the club
In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point”.
Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.
Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.
It was noted that the belly and broomstick putters are still legal to use, it is just the anchoring method that will become illegal.
The rule change was endorsed by R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson.
“We took a great deal of time to consider this issue and received a variety of contributions from individuals and organisations at all levels of the game. The report published today gives a comprehensive account of the reasons for taking the decision to adopt the new Rule and addresses the concerns that have been raised. We recognise this has been a divisive issue but after thorough consideration we remain convinced that this is the right decision for golf.”
So that’s that then. Or is it?
We await to see what the US PGA Tour will make of all this after Commissioner Tim Finchem previously stated they were against the ban. The pressure applied to the tour by anchoring golfer Tim Clark has lead some to believe he may attempt to sue the PGA Tour is they bring the ban into effect.
We also await comments from Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley… could be a controversial year and a half.
Love to hear everyone’s comments on this.