Anchored putting has been banned by the USGA and R&A, the two groups that make golf’s rules.
The ban goes into effect starting January 1, 2016.
An anchored stroke is one that affixes the end of the club to the golfers body. For instance there is the belly putter where the end of the club is tucked into the gut of the golfer. And there is the tall putter where the putter is affixed to a golfer’s chest.
Long putters are still allowed, but they can not be affixed to the body. Though, oddly, a golfer can use a long putter that reaches up their forearm.
In the press conference to announce the decision, USGA President Glen Nager said the decision was made simply because the ruling bodies felt that anchored putting was not how the game was meant to be played.
They believe that golfers should have free swings, not have swings that are fixed to the body.
Critics have said that the anchored stroke shouldn’t be banned because there is no statiscal proof that it helps golfers. To that, Nager says, “statistics don’t matter.” It’s all about what’s a swing and what’s not a swing. It’s about the free motion of a putter.
Other critics have said that banning the anchored putting will drive away golfers.
Nager says to those people there is “no meaningful data” that anchored putting leads to playing. He says people turn to it because they want to play better, not because they want to play at all.
Overall, Nager says only 2-4% of people use anchoring, so this rule shouldn’t effect many people.
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