After months of discussion and debate, the governing bodies of golf have finally announced the decision to ban the anchored putting stroke. The USGA and R&A, golf’s governing bodies, announced Tuesday morning the addition of Rule 14-1b to the official rules of golf.
The new rule will take effect on January 1, 2016 when the next edition of the Rules of Golf is published. The new rule states that players competing under the USGA or R&A rules will no longer be allowed to “anchor” the putter to their bodies in any way. The longer putters will not be banned but once the new rule takes effect, they will not allowed to anchored on any part of the golfer’s body.
Over the next two and a half years, golfers off all skill levels will have the opportunity to adapt their putting stroke accordingly, including many PGA Tour pros. The new rule will affect approximately 18% of all players on the PGA Tour including four of the last six major winners. Those golfers include 2013 Masters Champion Adam Scott, 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson, 2011 PGA Championship winner and Tequesta resident Keegan Bradley, and 4 time major winner and Jupiter resident Ernie Els.
However, while the USGA and R&A approved the rules change, it does not necessarily mean that the PGA Tour will follow suit. While several golfers on Tour have supported the ban, including Jupiter Island resident Tiger Woods, PGA commissioner Tim Finchem isn’t sold yet. Finchem has been very public about the Tour’s opposition to the new rule, going so far as to say that the ban was not in “the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour.” If the PGA Tour chose not to follow the new rule it could cause problems throughout the PGA Tour season. In any event that is either run or sponsored by the USGA or R&A, which include all four major championships on tour, golfers would not be allowed to anchor their putters against their body. During the rest of the PGA Tour season, it would be allowed under the rules of the PGA Tour.
For more information on the new rule to ban anchored putting as well as pictures and graphics to show what will and won’t be allowed anymore click here.