Lipping Out on Bellies & Broomsticks

A month ago this column pointed out the fallacy of the arguments from those who are against the United States Golf Association’s ban on the use of an anchored putting stroke.

Those bewailing the loss of bellies and broomsticks and displaying their righteous indignation are making a case based on emotion not facts and their arguments are simply like a bad putt – lipping out. However we all know a lack of facts, reliance on emotion and a deficit of logic seldom stops us humans from charging ahead.

At the time the column was written there were no facts to support the contention the ban wasn’t a big deal and more importantly that most golfers – certainly the 80% plus who do not maintain a USGA handicap – would simply ignore the USGA. We contended, for the four out of five participants who don’t play by the Rules of Golf one more rule would not have any impact. These golfers are on the links for fun and companionship not tournament competition meaning for them in many ways the United States Golf Association and its rules are irrelevant.

Brutal you say? Perhaps but isn’t it time we spent our energies seeing things as they are rather than as we would like them to be?

Here is a link to that first column if you are dieing to read more…Anchored Putting is Not the Problem « Ed Travis.

All of this is preamble to discuss a study released by Golf Datatech entitled Club Anchor Ruling* reporting on a survey of “serious golfers” who average 68 rounds per year. The significance of the data is immense. Here some of the key points:

*  62% of respondents do not believe the ban on anchoring will cause some amateur golfers to enjoy the game less

*  86% believe long putter users will not play any less and 10% only slightly less often with no anchoring

*  68% of serious golfers believe there should be one set of rules for everyone

*  Even among this sampling of serious golfers only 20% said they follow all the rules of golf as written – When asked what rules they sometimes “bend” not putting out is the biggest offense (75%), followed by a mulligan on the first tee (33%) and just dropping another ball when the original is lost (32%). 

However, the bottom line is five years from how 85% of those taking part in the survey believe the ban on an anchored putting stroke will not be important which puts this tempest in a teapot into proper perspective regardless of the wails and breast beating of those in opposition. 

* Golf Datatech Releases First-Ever “Golfer Reaction” Study on Anchor Ruling for Putters | Golf Datatech.

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