It’s no shock that the U.S. Golf Association has rejected a request by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and PGA President Ted Bishop that it grandfather the anchoring ban for average players. The USGA’s ban on anchoring putters against a player’s body, which begins in 2016, could virtually eliminate long putters and belly putters.
The joint request likely was more a public relations move – particularly on the Tour’s part – rather than a serious attempt to get the ban grandfathered.
Decide for yourself. Here’s a letter Bishop sent to PGA members regarding the rejection:
Dear PGA Professional,
I am writing to inform you that the United States Golf Association (USGA) has decided not to extend the implementation date of Rule 14-1b (anchoring) for amateur golfers beyond Jan. 1, 2016. Last month at the USGA Annual Meeting in Pinehurst, N.C., PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and I outlined our proposal for a “grandfather” period to provide amateurs with more time to adapt to playing without an anchored stroke.
Both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR have consistently shared strong feelings about this matter with the USGA and we appreciated the opportunity to formally present our views before the USGA’s full Executive Committee.
While we are disappointed with the USGA’s decision not to extend the implementation date beyond Jan. 1, 2016, I know that all PGA Professionals are committed to helping amateur players choose a permissible putting stroke that will help them continue to enjoy the game well into the future.
Indeed, PGA Professionals go to work every day knowing that we are the most respected instructors in the game. This is a new challenge and opportunity that we will embrace, and along with helping PGA TOUR players, we will assist golfers of all abilities in advance of the implementation date of Rule 14-1b.
Finally, we believe that one of the profound outcomes that emerged from the discussion of “anchoring,” is that both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR have a more meaningful seat at the Rules table for future decisions affecting the game. We strongly believe that such enhanced communication among our respected organizations is essential to the long-term viability of golf.
Ted Bishop, PGA
PGA of America President