It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
PGA Tour Agrees Anchored Putter Bans From 2016
The PGA Tour will bring forth a global ban on anchored strokes from January 1st, 2016 to “avoid confusion.”
The R&A and the US Golf Association unveiled plans last year which were then supported by the European Tour but not backed by the PGA Tour. Now, however, the PGA has decided that a singular set of rules on acceptable strokes is “desirable and would avoid confusion.”
So which putters are affected by this ban? The ban will apply to any golf club which is rested against a part of the body, such as belly putters or broom-handle putters.
In the past seven Major events, four of those winners have used anchor putters, the most recent one being Adam Scott at this year’s Masters back in April.
In May, the PGA Tour said it would discuss the matter with its Player Advisory Council and Policy Board members, and in doing so now allows the ban. A PGA Tour statement read: "The PGA Tour Policy Board acknowledged that the USGA's ban on anchored strokes, known as Rule 14-1b, will apply to PGA Tour competitions beginning on January 1, 2016.”
The Policy Board also passed a resolution strongly recommending – along with the PGA of America – that the USGA consider extending the time period in which amateurs would be permitted to utilise anchored strokes beyond the cut-off of January 1, 2016.
What is Rule 14-1b?
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.