Anchored Putting Update
Back in November we previously wrote a blog, A Dumb Move for the Game of Golf, that was one of our most read posts of the year. It was a post about the proposed anchored putter rule. We remain opposed to the potential rule being proposed by the USGA and R&A regarding the use of “anchored putting” as a stroke. Rather then recap our previous post, which you can read above, our position remains that anchored putting can not be proven to be an advantage therefor golfers should have the option to use that style of stroke if they feel it helps them enjoy the game more.
During the past 90 days the USGA and R&A asked for feedback and comments on the proposed ruling (slated to take effect January 1, 2016). One of the first comments was from the Canadian PGA and PGA of America who both spoke out against the proposed ruling. Most recently the National Golf Course Owners Association (US) offered their official position statment on anchored putters:
The National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) believes that a ban of anchoring a golf club could have a negative impact on participation in the game of golf now and in the future.
The NGCOA agrees with the PGA of America in recognizing the important role of the United States Golf Association has in preserving the game, and creating and implementing the Rules of Golf. The NGCOA also understands that part of that responsibility includes preserving those elements of the game that are part and parcel of the challenge and appeal of the game.
However, the NGCOA believes that in order to preserve the game as a vital part of the sporting landscape, its popularity needs to increase or at the very least maintain its current level. Any action that inhibits the ability of participants to enjoy the game could negatively impact current participation levels and threaten to undermine industry-wide efforts to grow the game.
The USGA’s proposed ban on anchoring would be more understandable if there had been some quantifiable research conducted to demonstrate that the anchored method confers some unfair competitive advantage. To date, the NGCOA has seen no evidence to that effect.
It is the position of the NGCOA that the entire industry should be doing what it can to increase the popularity of the game and thereby ensure its myriad benefits are enjoyed by as many people as possible, now and in the future. To that end, the NGCOA does not support, and asks the USGA to reconsider, the ban on anchoring.
Next of course was the PGA Tour who offered the following statement:
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem when he said “the tour opposed the ban because there was not enough evidence to suggest players had an advantage by using a long putter.”
“We hold the USGA in highest regard as a key part of the game of golf,” Finchem said. “We don’t attempt to denigrate that position in any way whatsoever. It’s just on this issue, we think if they were to move forward they would be making a mistake.”
Either way it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.
Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries.