Blue Coats
Today the Blue Coats (a term I will use to describe the powers that be at the USGA and R&A) decided that “anchoring” a club would no longer be permitted in golf. I really have no use for the blue coats who in attempting to protect the history of the game and the advantage that “anchoring” supposedly creates (although they have no proof of this). The Blue Coats have lost touch with the game and seem to have no clue that it is suffering from the lack of new players entering the sport.

This ruling effectively removes the typical use of the belly putter from conforming to the rules of golf. Here is the official rule coming into effect on January 1, 2016:

Proposed Changes to Rule 14-1
The proposed change would relabel current Rule 14-1 as Rule 14-1a, and establish Rule 14-1b as described below:
14-1b Anchoring the Club
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. 

Grow the Game
I work in the golf business and have a vested interest in seeing more players come into the game and become lifetime golfers. It is good for the business of golf and the sport as a whole. All today’s ruling does, in my opinion, is take away a method of putting, that cannot be proven to be an advantage, but does make the game more enjoyable for some people. The other thing that this new rule does is create more rules in a sport that already has too many. Let’s make the game fun and maybe it will grow!

Canadian Blue Coats
As expected Golf Canada our governing body over the sport has followed suit and will go along with the new rule. This after hearing (at last week’s Golf Business Canada Conference) how Golf Canada was going to support new, fun and outside the box thinking to allow possible alternations to golf handicapping to attract new players. I was however extremely proud of the Canadian PGA (of which I am a Member) for issuing the following statement after rule was announced:

“The PGA of Canada has long supported the governing bodies of golf—the R&A, the USGA and Golf Canada—in their role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment. Our organization’s commitment to the golf industry both domestically and globally is to grow the game. On behalf of the PGA of Canada, we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people’s enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game.” – Gregg Schubert, President, PGA of Canada

I currently use the anchored belly putter and have for the past 10 years, I use it because it made the putting part of golf more fun for me. I will continue to use it after January 1, 2016… good-bye dreams of qualifying for the Champions Tour in 2023. 

Best Tweet About This…