Anchors Away: USGA & R&A Propose Ban On Anchored Strokes

by Jeff Skinner

Well the stuff has finally hit the fan.  With the joint announcement by The USGA and the R&A that they are preparing to ban “anchoring” the opinions and criticism is coming from all quarters.

While Mike Davis (USGA) and Peter Dawson (R&A) were announcing the proposed rule change to ban the anchoring, the PGA of America, which prides itself on growing the game, comes out with a statement asking for them to reconsider the impact among all those that play the game.

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman all support the change.  But there are plenty of players like Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson , Carl Pettersson and Fred Couples that will have to contemplate what stoke they’ll use when the change takes place.  Click here for some varied opinions.

Even though the vast majority of professional players don’t use an anchored stroke, three of the last five major winners have used them.  The USGA and the R&A see a growing trend and have taken this action to ensure that the putting stroke remains a “stroke”.  Dawson said, “Our conclusion is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional strokes, which with all their frailties are integral to the longstanding character of our sport.”

It is a complicated issue and the USGA and R&A felt the need for some visual aids to illustrate the legal and illegal strokes.  Click here for your look at the strokes you’ll be allowed to use and the ones that cost you a penalty.

And now there’s talk about the PGA Tour looking at not going by the proposed rule change.  Can things get any stranger?

One thing is certain, this is just the beginning, maybe the beginning of the end but still just the beginning.



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