Anchor Putting Ban: A Solution in Search of a Problem

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Lots of Booing & Hissing

Written By: Scott McCormick, GolfNow

The USGA’s announcement in late 2012 that they would be rolling out a ban on anchored putters was met with mixed reaction.  Some applauded the move, noting that the so-called “belly putting” style runs contrary to the traditional nature of the game.

Others booed and hissed at the proclamation, wondering why golf’s overlords waited until the anchored putter became entrenched in the professional game before yanking the cloth from underneath the table settings.

Count me firmly in the latter group.

I think the anchored putting ban is the perfect example of a solution in search of a problem.

The reason that the golf establishment felt that now was the time to implement a ban on belly putters is clear; though the anchored putting style has been utilized by a small subset of PGA tour participants for decades, only in recent years has the style exploded in popularity.  And it’s easy to see why: three of the past five major winners have hoisted their trophies after sinking high-pressure putts with the shaft anchored to their belly.

What Really Changed? - (Then, 1995 vs. Now 2013)

And while it is an entirely different argument as to whether the anchored putting stance is actually a benefit to one’s short game or a long-term detriment, there is no disputing the recent success of anchored putting practitioners in the last two years.

Clearly this success and the corresponding increase in anchored putter usage (as many as one in seven tour professionals were using them by 2012) sent the stodgy golf traditionalists into a frenzy.

“It’s unnatural,” they cry.  “It goes against the spirit of the game.”

These shrieks ring hollow to my ears.

If the anchored putter wasn’t the antithesis of pure golf in 1995, and it wasn’t contrary to the nature of the game in 2005, then what has made it so by 2012?  All of a sudden a young upstart like Keegan Bradley comes in and wins a big tournament and the old-fashioned golf purists go bananas?

Where are these same “spirit of the game” guardians when it comes to policing the rapid rise in golf technology? New clubs and balls that have burst onto the scene enabling even your average tour player to be able to hit 350 yard bombs with impunity, rendering most once-difficult par 5s as easy birdie-4s.

Improvements in golf ball technology keep occurring unchecked, with nary a peep from the so-called champions of the “pure game”.  No less a golf statesman as Jack Nicklaus has repeatedly lamented that golf courses are going to have to be rebuilt entirely in order to challenge golfers accustomed to the new advancements in clubs and ball technology.

Should Anchoring The Putter Be Banned?

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Should the PGA split from the USGA on this particular rule?

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The Elephant In The Room

Yet with this elephant sitting squarely in the center of the room, the golf establishment chooses to focus their ire on those that pin the head of their golf club into their belly button when shooting a ten-footer, ignoring the legions that use NASA-inspired innovations to bomb the ball 1000 feet.

Tell me how that makes any sense.

The battle over anchored putts may not yet be over, despite the USGA’s announcement that the ban will take effect on January 1, 2016.  Between now and then the debate will continue to rage and there has also been talk of impending litigation that will settle the matter, along with some speculation that the PGA could split from the USGA on this particular rule.  And like other golf rules that have been implemented in the past, there are likely to be loopholes enabling cagey players a way to skirt this ill-conceived ban.

In my opinion the golfing establishment has much more pressing matters to attend to than the belly putter, and it annoys me that this ongoing battle will only deflect attention from those matters more essential to the game’s future.

Sadly, I wonder if that wasn’t the whole point.

Scott McCormick doesn’t use an anchor putter when golfing, but he supports those that do.  He is a golf writer whose content appears courtesy of golf discount specialists


{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

RAT March 14, 2013 at 6:36 am

Lets change the subject to the cost of equipment!
The cost keeps going up while it’s being made for pennies on the hour in Asia.
Taylormade is releasing something new every 3 to 4 months.
It’s become more of a fashion statement than equipment improvement.


Scott McCormick March 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

I’m sorry my piece didn’t rise to the level of your editorial standards, Jan Van. As to whether it was poorly written, that’s an objective call — in the eye of the beholder, so to speak.

As to its factual accuracy, or lack thereof, I’m eager to read a well-reasoned critique of the facts of this case. But I’m afraid your response falls short of that goal. Your semantic argument regarding what precisely is being banned is less than convincing. The history of the long putter — anchored directly to a portion of the body — goes back a lot further than a couple decades, my friend. Leo Diegel was doing it all the way back in the 1920s, for instance.

If by questioning the USGA’s ruling on this matter — the authority of which you feel should not be questioned — makes me a poor writer in your estimation, then please feel free to categorize me as such and make sure you do so with as much disgust and addled feelings as you can muster.


RP Jacobs II March 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm


Thank You

Fairways & Greens 4ever


Scott McCormick March 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

And of course by “objective” I meant “subjective”. 😉


RP Jacobs II March 14, 2013 at 6:30 am

I figured :-)

Fairways & Greens 4ever


Jan Van March 18, 2013 at 7:16 am

Scott – My discussion of the historic comparisons over the past 20 years was based on what you originally wrote. You, not I, chose this historic period when you used the title “What Really Changed? – (Then, 1995 vs. Now 2013)”. My comments were in response to that. So it seems a bit odd to me that to counter my points you decided to throw out the name of a golfer who was at his peak of his game in the 1920s and who died 62 years ago. If that is your best argument why didn’t you use the comparison to the 1920s in your original article? I suspect it because it isn’t a strong argument at all. I looked at photos of Leo Diegel and it does not look like he anchored the putt (rather that he was more bent over a standard length putter). Do you have something that suggests otherwise?


RAT March 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

Jan Van is right on. It’s not the putter but the way in which you use it.
Get over it.


justin March 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

Boo! My favorite club to watch pros putt with is the belly-putter. It’s so retro!


Troy Vayanos March 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Well said Scott,

For starters I am yet to read or see proof or evidence of these putters being an advantage to the players. If it was the so called advantage then every player would be using them but they’re not.

The R & A and USGA should be focusing on more important issues in golf like the out of control technology that is forcing golf courses to be re-designed in length.

p.s. I don’t use a long putter and never will but have no problem with others using them.



Jan Van March 11, 2013 at 12:58 am

Scott, it isn’t a question of whether the “putters [give] an advantage”. The rule isn’t targeting the putter it is targeting the method in which the putter is being used – the stroke. As to your point about evidence, you seem to be suggesting that because there is no evidence of an advantage there is not an advantage. If there is no advantage, then why do some people say the proposed rule is unfair. After all, by your logic the USGA/R&A are acting to no one’s detriment because if the use of the anchored stroke does not give an advantage then the ban of the same would not give or take one away either.


RAT February 27, 2013 at 8:02 am

Most golfers don’t follow the rules anyway.The anchoring is the issue not the long putter. To grow the game I think is lower the cost of equipment,400 bucks for a driver ! Lets start a conversation about the cost of golf that might help all of us….


Damo February 26, 2013 at 4:28 am

I am a high handicap player, who only gets to play 1 or 2 times a month. I struggled to break 100. This was mainly to struggles with the putting. At times I would nearly be in tears because of a four or five putt. I was quite ready to give up on golf because I wasn’t enjoying the stress of having missed out on an birdie and then ending up with a double.

I recently bought a belly putter and immediately my scores have dropped into the 90s. I am enjoying golf again.

Please don’t ban the anchored putters. I believe the game of golf should be enjoyed.

What’s next a ban on the alignment lines on golf balls or putters.


David Brennan February 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I am a passionate and crazy golf fanatic in his mid 40’s with a bad back and a case of the yips. I am an 8 handicap and the worst club in my bag is the putter. By using the long putter, it allowed my to practice a bit more without being crippled the next day. It has also stopped me from missing a lot of three footers that use to demoralize me and almost stopped me from playing. My take on this is screw the USGA. I will continue to use the long putter as long as it enhances my enjoyment of the game I love. After 2014 I will simply stop playing in any competitive tournaments or if I like the course, play the event and asses the appropriate penalties on myself each hole and not worry about scoring. I can keep 2 scores. One for me and one for the tournament director. Either way I will play the game I love on my terms and let others call me what they like.


RP Jacobs II March 12, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Kudos for your thoughts and beliefs.

Regardless of the ruling, individuals like you are the back bone of this game. Your passion & love for the game is admirable.

I truly hope that the final ruling is such that you may play where you like, when you like, and your putter is a non issue

Hat’s Off Bro

The very Best this season

Fairways & Greens 4ever


mygolfspy February 25, 2013 at 8:40 am

For those interested:



nvgolfdude March 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

Tim Finchem, the PGA Tour, and the PGA are wrong on this one. For them it is about earnings and competitive advantage. The European Tour and European PGA came out in support of the ban.


golfer4life February 25, 2013 at 7:16 am

There seems like so much crap that keeps being thrown in with this subject. People are asking for testing to be done to support the ban. First, the ban is not saying it is an advantage, its saying its no longer a golf stroke, of which its not. If its a question if its an advantage to those using one ,just take it out of there hands. If it wasn’t an advantage to those using it, they wouldn’t have ever gone to it.
I personally do not think its a golf stoke, but I also see a need and don’t believe at this point they should put the ban through. They waited way to long on this one (as they do with most) I would also hate to tell someone they can know longer play the game if they have some sort of disability that doesn’t allow them to putt conventionally.
I do believe they are trending the wrong way, with the PGA talking about not supporting the ban. So the game needs to be harder for an amateur than a professional? (I thought ” these guys are good”?)
They probably need to allow this one to not be put through, and maybe learn next time to get on top of things sooner before it gets this out of control.


golfer4life February 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

Meant to say, “to allow this one to be put through”


Dhuck Whooker February 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm

All of this purist talk, “an anchored putt isn’t a stroke”, (but it does count as a stroke), “the game was meant for a “swing” to use just two hands and two arms with two feet on the ground”, blah blah.

I hear this crap from guys who fluff their lies, give themselves four-footers, hit shots from the wrong side of the out of bounds markers, and drop “somewhere in the fairway” after losing a ball in a hazard.

Well if anchoring wasn’t supposed to be part of the game, why wasn’t it banned by the rules.

If anchoring is just an advantage why doesn’t everybody do it? Do the non-anchorers refuse to anchor to protect the honor the game? Or is it because anchoring doesn’t work for them.

I’d bet it is the latter.

Nobody even called it “anchoring”, it was called using a long putter. And it was a sign of weakness, any golfer who used one had the yips so that’s why they used a long putter.

Nobody gave a damn about anchored putting until somebody won a major doing it.


nvgolfdude February 24, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I agree with the side of the debate that the USGA and the R&A should have addressed this issue prior to the millenium; however, the fact that they did not does not mean that it was not and is not a real issue. I work for a top-end putter maker who makes putters for all tastes and needs, and the loss of the long and belly putters is not good for business. Still, we support the USGA and R&A’s decision, even if it is 15-years too late. It is still a wrong that should be righted. Anchoring any golf club in the course of making a shot violates the rules of the game, period.

I think the bigger joke are the playing professionals who are whining like 1st graders who just had their favorite toy taken away, and the idea that the commissioner is considering capitulating and allowing them to continue to use anchored putters only serves to discredit the Tour IMO.

I agree with Scott’s point that the real issue is the golf ball. The distance that the golf ball is able to travel now with the tremendous athleticism of todays top level golfers in combination with the ever improving technology that is going into the clubs and balls is a problem. The distance has to be dialed back. We are rapidly making golf courses obsolete, not mention driving ranges. However, there is a lot more money at stake when it comes to golf ball technology and performance than there is for anchored putting. I suspect that this has more to do with why golf’s governing bodies are focused on the anchored putters and not on golf ball distance (at least publicly).

A few years ago it was the grooves in irons and wedges; this year it is anchored putting. Once the anchored putting issue is in the rear view mirror they need to address the issue of the golf ball.

Back on topic, I scoff at the idea that anchored putting doesn’t produce better results. That’s statistical manipulation being used by those who don’t want anchored putting banned. I know a few of the tour guys who putt with anchored putters, including one of the originators, and here’s the truth… They use an anchored putters because they get better results. Many of them would be off the tour without the anchored putters, and the others would not be top level contenders. They don’t trust themselves with conventional length putters. To accurately measure the benefit of anchored putting to a given player you would have to gather comprehensive statistical analysis specific to the player competing with and without an anchored putter over time. I guarantee that if there were no benefit, guys like Keegan Bradley would not be fighting the ban so hard. In the words of Shakespeare, “Me thinks he doth protest too much.”


Bill February 24, 2013 at 5:33 am

It’s irrelevant whether or not one likes or dislikes the long putters. Anchoring isn’t true putting. Even if it’s proven not to reduce overall putts, putters should be based off the same requirements in tournament play.
Let the weekend golfer use whatever he/she wants.


Steven Meyers February 24, 2013 at 9:54 am

Bill, what is relevant is that the long putter has been in vogue since the early 90s, so why didn’t the USGA pipe up back then and nip it in the bud when they had the chance? I am a custom clubmaker/clubfitter, and this will take away part of my revenue stream, as long putters had continued to grow in popularity over the years. The USGA is going about this in a childish manner by taking away something based on recent successes. Where were they all these years? Oh, now that the new crop of players like Scott, Bradley, Simpson, and others are winning tournaments, the rest of the long putter devotees have to suffer as a result. The long putter should either a) should never have been allowed in the first place, or b) be legal for all golfers at all skill levels. Now the USGA wants to put the poop back in the horse after the fact. It is just not a right decision, IMO.


Scott McCormick February 27, 2013 at 7:08 am


If the powers that be felt that an anchored stroke was not “true putting” they should have instituted a rule saying so a long, long time ago. By failing to do so, they granted the belly putter with “true putting” status. There isn’t any gray area here. The belly putter was (and still is) a legal stroke — granted this may change, though it may not. The PGA doesn’t seem like they intend to play ball with the USGA on this one. We’ve certainly not heard the final word yet.


Will Par February 23, 2013 at 8:18 am

One other comment. I would be thrilled to see Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Tim Clark, and others win using a standard length putter. These guys are all golf professionals. They should be able to set up and meet the challenge.


Will Par February 23, 2013 at 8:13 am

Anchored putting helps some players putt better. If it didn’t they wouldn’t be so passionate in defending it. There has always been the possibility the USGA would ban anchoring, and that is common knowledge for every informed golfer. No one should be surprised that a ban has been proposed. Is it too late coming? Probably so. But it is only in the last few years that the perception of anchoring changed from being a crutch to being an acceptable way to win championships. It’s a little late coming, but it is never too late to do what should have been done previously. For those that say there is no proven benefit, I say prove it’s not a benefit for those that use it. I’m in favor of getting all golfers back on a level playing field.


MattW February 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Scott aptly pointed out that in my earlier post I didn’t make a compelling argument. I didn’t think of if as an argument, but rather an impassioned plea….or as it appears in this case….a voice crying in the wilderness. I was addressing the argument of many on this thread, and elsewhere, that we somehow have an imperative to make the game more fun by making it easier, and to grow that sport. That’s not an compelling argument either, and one to which I simply ask, why? If it cannot be acknowledged that that making the game easier and more popular will at some point ruin the game then we cannot have a conversation.
I will acknowledge that I probably lack empathy for those who require a long putter to overcome nerves or whatever thier issue. I have always putted fearlessly and fairly well from the first day I took up the game. So I have a blind spot. I will also acknowledge that if they suddenly ruled that all drivers would have a 1 degree open face angle, both in manufacture and at address, or irons could have no offset, I’d be in big trouble and would be singing a different tune.


Oldplayer February 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I’m with you on this one Matt. You are not alone in the wilderness. I think your contributions are well thought out and balanced. Good on you for enhancing the debate.


Scott McCormick February 27, 2013 at 7:01 am


I appreciate you taking the time to clearly share your thoughts on this matter.

I will say that nobody (at least not me) is arguing that we ought to be searching for ways to make the game easier or more accessible by altering the rules. By and large, the rules of the game are fine just as they are. What we don’t need, however, is to be instituting NEW rules that might stifle the growth of the game. Anchored putting has always been legal, and has been used by a small segment in the sport for decades.

While I’m not suggesting that an anchor putter ban is going to turn off a whole new generation of golfers or anything like that, at the same time I don’t see the benefits of the ban outweighing the potential negative consequences. At best, it’s a wash.


Bill March 4, 2013 at 4:15 am

Your take resonates with me as the most accurate and good for the game. Those using the measuring stick of long putters attracting new golfers doesn’t convince me. Someone joked about bowling and I think that’s an accurate comparison. Bowling and golf share some commonality as far as attracting new and younger people to the game. Bowling chose to make the game easier with urethane lanes and ball technology and its decline has continued to be steady from a marketing perspective. It’s still fun, but making it easier only invalidated the record book, it isn’t attracting new bowlers. Alleys are still struggling to stay open.
Golf is in a similar position. Courses are struggling to maintain and many of the improvements in course management and equipment have aimed to make the game more accessible to more people. Some have been successful, some haven’t. The long putter is one of many enhancements to equipment. Others brought up the longer ball. The governing bodies of golf have a tough quandry facing them. Some of the new tech is progress but some threaten to make it a different game altogether. Playing devils advocate, I’d suggest that all the additional length technology has made it even more daunting for new golfers and slow swing speed folks who top out at 175-200 yard hits. I think it may discourage as many new golfers as it attracts, so it’s a wash. But far from a purist, I think the tech that allows us to hit more fairways and predictably club distances HAS made the game more fun for the average golfer. The anchoring ban fits into the argument somewhere along that line. The 48″ shaft length maximum sounds reasonable to me. A putt is meant to be a free swing detached from the body. When I see the long putter on the tour I see Rodney Dangerfield with his radar guided putter from Caddyshack. To me it’s hokey looking. But that’s only my opinion. I also think the trend towards footwear that resemble casual tennis shoes makes even Tiger look non athletic and Fred Couples look like an old man instead of the personification of cool but I don’t think they should be banned. So I respect both views. Neither is stupid. But for pro tournament play, I think anchored putting should be banned. The rest of us should be able to use them in scrambles and club championships and such. The pros game SHOULD be more demanding and SHOULD require more precision.


Dave Mac February 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm

The increase in the use of anchored putters has coincided with the increase in the speed of professional tournament greens (and the corresponding slight rise in the speed of public/private course greens). Perhaps if greens were restricted to a maximum of 10 on the stimp meter anchored putters would disappear naturally. It would probably shave twenty minutes of a round into the bargain.


Augustine February 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Not only is this a solution looking for a problem, it’s a witch-hunt disguised as protecting the game because a few “traditionalist” do not fancy the stroke based on ascetics and perceived advantage.

Has any study been actually done to prove that anchoring does improve putting? At lease with the groove ruling there was some test data to back it up….


Drew February 22, 2013 at 10:09 am

Were folks this upset when they changed the grooves a few years ago? Where was the outrage then?


Steven Meyers February 22, 2013 at 11:04 am

You are not making a fair analogy here. The grooves affect everybody equally. The anchor ban only singles out those who employ long putters and belly putters. The players who grew up not knowing any other method of putting are being unfairly forced to relearn a whole new game. I don’t use a long putter, but I support other players’ rights to do so. I remember when they forced Sam Snead to stop his croquet-style putting (I was a teen at the time), and I thought that it was unfair to make him change what worked for him. He was forced to adapt the side-saddle style to compensate, but it was a drastic change nonetheless. The object of the game is to use the least amount of strokes to hole the golf ball, so why penalize people for the method in which they accomplish that goal?


Jan Van March 11, 2013 at 12:47 am

Steven – it is illogical for you to say the groove rule affects all golfers but the anchor ban does not. All golfers have to comply with both rules. If you are saying some will have to make a change to comply with the anchor rule whereas all golfers had to buy new wedges to comply with the groove rule that is not accurate either. Not all golfers used square grooves at the time of the ban (that includes anyone who had the Pings that were exempt due to the settlement of the lawsuit) and a good friend of mine who still uses wedges that pre-date the existence of square grooves.


RP Jacobs II March 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Dude, as my grandmother used to say, you’re “splitting hairs.”

Exactly what percentage of all golfers do you think play the exempted wedges?

I think that it’s safe to say that the groove ruling effeced oh, 99 point something percent of the golfing public and calling Steven’s thinking illogical is a tad strong, not to mention off base, would you not say?

I mean, it’s one thing to attack the message, but the messenger?

Fairways & Greens 4ever


Duncan Castles February 22, 2013 at 6:16 am

Two points of fact:
1) You state that “New clubs and balls that have burst onto the scene enabling even your average tour player to be able to hit 350 yard bombs with impunity.” Ryan Palmer currently leads the PGA Tour for driving distance with an average drive of 309.6 yards. Even he does not appear to be able to hit the ball 350 yards “with impunity”.
2) Jonas Blixt led the PGA Tour on putts per round last year with an average of 27.886 per round. Or to put it another way around 40% of all Blixt’s shots were putts on the green.
You may not agree with it, but there is a clear logic to an use-of-equipment rule that addresses around 40% of all shots played in a competitive round.


mygolfspy February 22, 2013 at 10:44 am

1) Article stated “able” to hit 350 yards…not average 350 yards. And yes there are plenty of those 350 yard bombs being hit on tour.

2) I would not disagree, but show me the FACTS that anchored putters lower that number. I have asked numerous times for those to be given to me by the parties that have those numbers and no one yet has supplied them.


Duncan Castles February 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thanks for the reply.
1) The article said “enabling even your average tour player to be able to hit 350 yard bombs with impunity.” Is the average tour player really able to drive the ball 350 yards with ‘freedom or safety from punishment and ill consequences’?
2) I would be interested in seeing statistics on the effect of anchored putters, though I doubt professional players would stick with them if they did not improve their performance. However, the R&A/USGA do not claim to have made the decision to ban anchoring on this basis.
“Our concern is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional putting strokes,” said R&A chief executive Peter Dawson. “If you anchor one end of the putter to your body, it is taking away one of those frailties.”
USGA executive director Mike Davis said: “Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball.”


mygolfspy February 22, 2013 at 11:43 am

1. Well it is enabling them much easier today compared to ever before in the history of golf.

2. Well putters are different, its not as easy to equate performance like a driver or iron. Yes you can see whether your stroke per round goes down, but that happens with almost every honeymoon period they have with new putters. And from what I know the performance numbers have not improved compared to non-anchored putters. But I need more info to really say that, they just are not providing that to me right now.

And yes they have come up with justifications and rationalizations regarding it not having to do with performance and having to do with taking away putting frailties and a 600-year essence, but it is just not the reality of the situation. If it was this would be far down on the list of things and rulings that were changing.


Brian February 22, 2013 at 1:45 am

Just because they are late coming to the table doesn’t mean the usga and randa are wrong to rule on this. There is a distinction between the stroke and equipment ( which is also regulated at least in outline). I think eventually ball technology will have to be addressed but in the meantime a ban on anchoring is appropriate. Occasional older golfers with the hips are one thing but When young kids are winning major championships the authorities take notice
The opposition to thus is almost entirely self serving ( Langer etc). They talk about thousands of amateurs being lost to the game I am lucky enough to be able to play hold at top courses in asia australia and Europe and have NEVER seen a king putter at any club at which I play furthermore I don’t know anyone that knows anyone that uses one
Langer , great golfer though he is , would do better to speed up the pace if play. That is turning far more away from golf.


RAT February 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm

while we are wanting to make it more enjoyable and please everyone —not going to happen!
The long putter is out of the box and can’t put it back in. I use the 35″ putter and struggle at times but would not change to the long type . Much to do about nothing.
keep the game as is except the putter. Move on!


MattW February 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

It is not a stroke. If anchored putting is allowed then next they’ll want to stand astride thier line and putt croquet style. It is a very slippery slope we’re standing on right now. What about offset iron shafts? What about biased golf balls. What about wrist straps to secure your hands to the club? Why not coat your driver face with Teflon? Why not get your driver face shaved? It would make the game easier and more fun wouldn’t it? It needs to be fun and easy so we can attract more people, right? Wrong. If golf was meant to be fun and easy it would be called “bowling.” As for attracting more players….that is just what we need…..not only is it going to take me 5 hours to get around but I’ll have to book my tee times 4 months out just to get in the course. Limits and standards must be honored our this game we all love has no integrity. Do I like how far my titanium driver and distance ball go, absolutely, but if the folks entrusted while the integrity and honor of the game said that I could only use wooden clubs and a ball made of tree sap….then either I honor the conditions of play or I find a different hobby where rules don’t matter…..scrapbooking is nice I hear, maybe some “golfers” should take it up.


Scott McCormick February 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm


Your slippery slope argument is not terribly compelling, MattW. Most of those things you mention are already addressed in the rules, and more to the point, they haven’t been allowed for decades. I don’t know any serious golfers that do any of those things. I know several who swear by their anchor putter.

Frankly, there probably is a cogent argument to made against the anchor putter.

Unfortunately, you failed to make it here.


RP Jacobs II February 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Dude, what the hell?

Fairways & Greens 4ever


RP Jacobs II February 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm

HaHa, my WTH was directed at Matt. I mean I’ve listened to some arguements on behalf of the ban, but Dude, I hardly think that the integrity of the game is at stake here, lol. I mean, I’ve gone back to the 35″ cuz of the events that I play in, so it’s really no biggie.

And the USGA is hardly the Gaurdian of the Gates of integrity for the game, at least not the USGA that I’ve been a member of for 36+ years before resigning this year, HaHa.

Regardless, have a great season!

Fairways & Greens 4ever


RP Jacobs II February 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I have used the belly(43″) length putter from June ’12 through the end of last season. Prior to that I have used a 35″ putter which allowed me to play competitively to a -2 hdcp(playing 6-8 USGA amateur events per season). I actually had a better ppr average with the 35″(27.88) versus the 42″(28.43), though my accuracy from 6-10′ improved with the 42′ belly(53.87%) versus the 35″ putter(51.24%).

I had almost one more 3 putt per round with the belly, though IMO, this resulted from the trade-off of more stable short putts versus the loss of feel with the belly on my longer/lag putts. I would expect to bring that down with repetition and practice.

Where I agree with Scott is that surely, with all of the issues out there that should be on the USGA’s plate, issues that really are at the heart of their supposed mission, that they would pass this change on a knee-jerk reaction, and make no mistake, that’s what this was.

As Bernhard Langer asked on GC on this past Monday, is a 460cc head “in the spirit of the game?” How about a golf ball that travels 400+ yards? Is that “natural?” What about a 60 gram shaft or a 48″ shaft? Is that “in the spirit of the game” or “natural?”

Of course not.

I really, really hope that the Tour grows a pair in this situation. Because, if they do, they can have this reversed & put the USGA in their rightful place. I don’t see the USGA backing off o this decision unless they’re “forced” to. The Tour drawing a line in the sand, and the potential ramifications of them splitting on this issue, can force the sheep at the USGA to do what they should’ve done already.

Boy, I hope that the Tour draws that line!

All the Best

Fairways & Greens 4ever


Scott Messner February 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I agree with the ban as I believe anchored putting goes against how the game is meant to be played. That said I also believe the ban came way too late.

As far as keeping golf ball technology in check, this is a problem for such a small segment of the golfing population, pros and very low handicaps. The average golfer will continued to be challenged by today’s courses for years to come.


Scott McCormick February 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

You have a point, Scott. Golf technology is more of a concern for the PGA (governing pros) than the USGA (governing all golfers), and it is the latter group that has hamfistedly instituted the anchor putting ban.


Justin February 21, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I really like the idea of the PGA breaking off and forming their own Rules. How many people play two-hand touch football, but don’t cry about it not being “true” football? That’s the part that always baffles me: we know we’re not going to be professional football or baseball players, so we modify rules and have fun. But how many think that modifying the Rules of golf are a sin?


Gee B February 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Put side saddle with any length putter.
It’s more accurate that belly putting as well.


Kris February 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I agree with the ban, though think they’re way too late to avoid all the whining. It’s not a traditional swing if it’s anchored. On the other hand, who cares? Most people don’t play competitively and ignore many rules anyway. What’s one more?


Aaron M February 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

There’s a guy at the course where I play who is pushing 90 years old, has to drive up to the edge of the green to get around the course, and uses a broomstick putter. Does it really benefit the game to tell him he has to use a regular putter and/or stroke?


Justin February 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm



dkasjdkl February 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

unless you are in a USGA event you can use whatever you want. People are making this a much larger deal than it actually is.


Steven Meyers February 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

Most asinine rule ever instituted by the overlords.


MIke February 22, 2013 at 1:41 pm

There is no rule. It hasn’t been instituted. There is no ban yet.


Robert February 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

A solution looking for a problem. You hit the nail square on the head.


Scott McCormick February 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Robert!


Sven Hallauer February 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

I think the entire problem could be avoided by instituting a rule that limits maximum shaft length for all clubs to 48 inches. That way people can hold them they way they want without having a club in their bag that gives them an unfair advantage when taking relieve.


Kit Lefroy February 21, 2013 at 10:03 am

The ban is plain idiotic. We are trying to encourage growth in the game. To do so we need to make it more pleasurable. If allowing putters to be anchored will contribute to that end, go for it. If we want to maintain the traditions of the game we should go back to wooden shafts, tweed plus fours, jackets and ties. That would go over like a basket of bricks in a hot air balloon. How about tackling a REAL issue, i.e., PACE OF PLAY.


Juno February 28, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I think the ban is more of a “nip it in the bud” type fix. If you can change the swing mechanics of a putt by allowing a longer club that is anchored to the stomach or chest, it opens the doors for someone to develop a new type of iron or wood that’s just as different as a long putter.
That’s my opinion. I think the long putter ban is actually a preemptive ban on future tech in other clubs.
There’s already a market out there for non-conforming clubs. Wouldn’t be difficult for companies to just stamp long putters with NC and let consumers decide whether or not to play them. Not like non-tournament golfers follow all the rules anyway.


Golfer Burnz February 21, 2013 at 9:39 am

Golf is a game, an ever changing game. I’ve just come around to considering anchoring after fiddling with it for a couple seasons. Now I see that a change in that direction is most likely futile. The governors of the game of golf need to take all aspects of the game into consideration, when pulling the rug out from underneath those that have been paying attention to what works.


Justin February 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm

You don’t have to do what the USGA tells you to do.


dkasjdkl February 25, 2013 at 11:15 am

agreed, unless you are a tournament golfer, this makes no difference what so ever to 98% of golfers. Plus if they do ban anchoring it will take a few years to actually take place, just like the groove rule. I honestly see no advantage to anchoring.


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