The Long and Short of It

As many of you may have heard, the USGA and R & A are proposing a ban on an anchored stroke with a golf club to be effective in 2016.  Some of you may be wondering what this all means and what the highlights of this rule change would entail.

First, it is important to note that this is a “proposed” rule change and it won’t officially be declared a change until sometime in the spring after further evaluation and discussion is considered.  There is a lot of controversy over this rule change as many players have been anchoring putters for years and even some younger players have only known to putt this way.  Also, this is not a ban on those long or belly putters but just as to the way they will be able to be used.

Here is the main reason for the change from USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.

“One of the most fundamental things about the game of golf is we believe the player should hold the club away from his body and swing it freely.”  He goes on to say, “We think this is integral to the traditions of the game. Golf is a game of skill and challenge, and we think that is an important part of it.”

Further support has been garnered from Tour Players such as Steve Stricker who states, “Any time you can take your arms and hands out of it, especially your hands, I think when you anchor it in your chest it is a huge advantage.  There’s going to be a lot of upset people, a lot of guys that have putted with a long putter for a long time, and I have a feeling they’re going to have something to say about the rule.”

This has been a hot topic over the last few years due to 3 Major Champion winners using this style; Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley, and Ernie Els.  Other notable players that have had success recently have been Adam Scott and Carl Pettersson.  Phil Mickelson has even dabbled with an anchored stroke during a cold spell he had in the past year.

There is no doubt this proposed rule will continue to be a huge talking point over the next several months and years before it becomes effective on January 1st, 2016 (pending that the rule is officially accepted next year)

The good news for all players if you still have 3 full seasons to continue using this style in any sanctioned event you play and can work a new style into your game going forward.

If you do have any questions on this or want to discuss your options and current putting style further please contact me.