Far Hills, NJ (Sports Network) - The United States Golf Association released a
statement on Friday regarding the close of the 90-day comment period on
proposed rule 14-1b.
Rule 14-1b was announced in late November and it regards prohibition of
anchoring any club when making a golf stroke. The USGA statement read:
"The 90-day comment period on proposed Rule 14-1b has been very constructive
and we appreciate the thoughtfulness of everyone who offered feedback. We
received comments, questions and suggestions from recreational golfers, golf
professionals and organizations representing many segments of the golf
community. The discussion has been informative and serves as a strong reminder
of just how passionate golfers are about the game -- no matter their position
on this specific issue.
"For well over a year, the golf community has engaged in a healthy and
spirited discussion about anchoring, as well as other important issues
confronting the game. Throughout this period, we have worked to explain the
intent of Rule 14-1b, which aims to clarify and preserve the traditional and
essential nature of the golf stroke that has helped to make golf a unique and
enjoyable game of skill and challenge for centuries.
"As the comment period comes to a close, we will continue to review and
evaluate the feedback that we have received. As we have throughout this
process, we will continue to confer with the Royal & Ancient in our work to
reach a final resolution on this matter."
At the core of the rule change are long putters and belly putters, which have
been used by three of the last five major champions. Under the proposal, long
putters and belly putters would not be banned, just the act of anchoring any
club against a player's body during a shot.
The PGA Tour was the lone tour to come out against the ban.
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said last Sunday, "Where the PGA Tour came
down was that they did not think banning anchoring was in the best of
interests of golf or the PGA Tour. I would note that the PGA of America came
to the same conclusion after consultation with their membership. Golf Course
Owners Association came to the same conclusion as well."
Finchem later added, "The essential thread that went through the thinking of
the players and our board directors and others that looked at this, was that
in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive
advantage to be gained by using anchoring and given the amount of time
anchoring has been in the game, that there was no overriding reason to go down
The European Tour never made an official statement regarding the rule, but
multiple reports indicated that the tour would not oppose the rule.
The LPGA Tour commented in November, "The LPGA has consistently conducted our
official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as defined by the USGA
and the R&A. We certainly respect golf's governing bodies and their long
standing desire to protect and promote the best interests of the game."
The Sports Network