The USGA and R&A ruling on anchoring the putter is official. Rule 14-1b will ban the technique of anchoring a putting stroke and will go into effect January 1, 2016. Fundamental changes to the rules in any sport are not uncommon. As with most major rule changes, there have been a variety of positions taken on the rule change.
While with any change there are misconceptions.It should be pointed out the Rules of Golf governing bodies are not considering the ban of any otherwise conforming equipment. The rule’s intent is to govern the way conforming equipment is used in that any anchoring of the equipment to the golfer’s body will not be allowed. Whether it is a a hand on the butt of the putter on the golfer’s chest or chin, the butt of the putter resting on the golfer’s stomach, or the forearm against the golfer’s body to “anchor” the putting stroke, the proposed rule 14.1b would eliminate those (or any other) intentional techniques to anchor the stroke.
The USGA and R&A make their point that the golf stroke in general is intended to be a free-handed attempt. Part of the golfer’s challenge is to master free-handed techniques through skill. Any mechanized addition (such as anchoring) the the putting stroke affects the free-handed motion and will therefore (now officially) be considered outside the rules of golf effective January 2016.
It is yet uncertain as to the official position the PGA Tour will eventually take on the ruling. The PGA Tour acknowledged it’s position earlier this year stating, they were in essence apposed to the proposed rule change. They could adopt their own ruling on the use of anchoring techniques. Several Tour players have spoken out on the proposed ruling. While, Tiger woods is for the ruling. Others have referred to this day as “dooms day”.
The ruling was fully expected to be made official. There are no real surprises here, though it will be very interesting as to how this ruling effects the game at all levels throughout the world. We look forward to the upcoming discussions and news regarding all angles of the new rule.
A complete explanation of the USGA Rule 14-1b and the decision can be found by CLICKING HERE.
More information on USGA Rule 14-1b can be found on the USGA website by CLICKING HERE.
The enclosed video from the USGA better explains the rulings intent. More information is available on their website.