Apr 14, 2013; Augusta, GA, USA; Adam Scott celebrates after making a birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 2013 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Golf: USGA and R&A To Rule on Anchored Putting Tuesday Morning

The the major ruling bodies in golf are set to make a ruling announcement Tuesday morning regarding the use of anchored putting strokes. The word on the street is that they will rule in favor of the ban on anchoring. The PGA and PGA of America have noted they are not in favor of changing the current rules because they feel it will impede the growth of the game.

Although the PGA, will not agree with the ruling, it is not known at this time if they will continue to allow anchoring, thus doing something that has never been done, and that is having different rules for different events. The PGA runs the Ryder Cup, and PGA Championship while the USGA runs the US Open while the R&A manages the British Open. If the decision to ban the stroke, it will take effect on January 1st, 2016.

The new ruling would impose a loss of hole in match play competition, and a two-stroke penalty in metal play. The European Tour, and LPGA are in favor of the change as well as other un-named golf organizations. Masters chairman, Billy Payne has not taken sides at this point, only stated he hoped the organizations could find some common ground.

The Masters is controls their own rules, and stand to date as the only major who has had a champion with a long putter that is anchored. 2011 PGA Champion, Keegan Bradley, 2012 US OPen Champ, Webb Simpson, and 2012 British Open Champ, Ernie Els all use Belly putters that are longer than a normal putter, and are anchored in the belly.

“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,” said Mike Davis, the executive director of the United States Golf Association, at the time the proposal was announced. “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.

“The player’s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club.”

I personally do not care either way on the ruling, and have the same concern expressed by Billy Payne. I don’t want to see more than one set of rules that governs the game. The game has very few rules, and all parties should be able to find a way to keep harmony in a game that has been governed by one set of rules for over 500 years.

Source: ESPN Golf

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Tags: Ernie Els European Tour Golf LPGA PGA

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