FanDuel - WFBC

November 29, 2012

New Golf Rule Would Ban Anchor Putting: The United States Golf Association and the UK's Royal & Ancient have proposed a new rule to put the kibosh on anchoring putters. Under the rule players can no longer anchor a putter on their body. Fifteen percent of the players on the PGA Tour used an anchored putter this year, 11 percent last and 6 percent from 2006 to 2010, said USGA director Mike Davis. "We believe a player should hold the club away from his body and swing it freely, whether it's a putt, a chip, a pitch, a bunker shot, an iron shot, a recovery shot or a shot played from the teeing ground," Davis said. "We think this is integral to the traditions of the game."

posted by rcade to golf at 05:50 PM - 7 comments

the proposed rule, which would take effect in 2016

I hope this rule goes through. The belly putters have always bothered me. And 3 full seasons is plenty of time for belly putter users to get back into the swing of regular putters.

posted by DudeDykstra at 08:01 PM on November 29

Why is anchoring a problem?

posted by rcade at 08:49 PM on November 29

Question -- what does it mean to anchor in this context? That the butt of the putter handle is simply snug up against the golfer's body? Or is there some sort of anchoring object involved?

posted by holden at 11:26 AM on November 30

Question -- what does it mean to anchor in this context? That the butt of the putter handle is simply snug up against the golfer's body? Or is there some sort of anchoring object involved?

The former. Anchor putting requires nothing more than a longer putter. Belly putters are tucked in against the stomach, and long putters (a.k.a. "broomsticks") are snug in under the armpit or held against the upper arm with the off hand. In either case, the intent is to swing with the whole body and reduce the possibility of the wrists screwing up the putt.

Why is anchoring a problem?

Essentially, it's a problem because it's not how golf is done, and golf is a very tradition-bound sport (viz. "You can't ride a golf cart, because that's not how you play."). There are differences in club materials and training methods, but the mechanics of golf today would be immediately recognizable to James VI. Anchor putting changes the mechanics of it.

posted by Etrigan at 11:43 AM on November 30

(I should add to the above that I don't really give a flip about anchor putting, or in fact golf at all -- I just had to sit through an entire goddamn SportsCenter segment on it while running an errand on Wednesday, so the arguments are burned into my brain)

posted by Etrigan at 02:12 PM on November 30

Thanks. I guess I can see the point. I tried to think of purely physical differences in how golfers play their clubs today vs. the past, but couldn't.

This rule seems to eliminate my hope that lying down and hitting a putt with a club like a pool stick will ever be legal.

posted by rcade at 03:55 PM on November 30

That's OK, rcade, guess that takes care of my plan to hold a club like a hockey stick.

While I don't like the belly putters, I think this is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

posted by jjzucal at 06:36 PM on November 30

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