So what was all the fuss about? This past May, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Fichem appeared ready to challenge the U.S. Golf Association on its ban on anchored strokes. But today the PGA Tour Policy Board, over which the Commish exerts considerable influence, acknowledged that the USGA’s ban on anchored strokes – known as Rule 14-1b – will apply to PGA Tour competitions beginning on Jan. 1, 2016.
In making this acknowledgement, the Policy Board passed what the Tour called a “resolution strongly recommending,” along with the PGA of America, that the USGA consider extending the time period in which amateurs would be permitted to utilize anchored strokes beyond Jan. 1, 2016.
Anybody who believes that will happen also believes it’s balmy today in Death Valley.
The Tour also said the Policy Board reserves the right to make modifications for its competitions “if it deems it appropriate,” meaning it has left itself an out in case some players decide to sue.
“In making its decision, the Policy Board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership, but ultimately concluded that while it is an important issue, a ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour,” Finchem said. “The Board also was of the opinion that having a single set of rules on acceptable strokes applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion.”
Finchem added that although the Policy Board elected to follow the USGA, it “continues to be mindful of its responsibility to review future rule changes that might be adopted by the USGA” in order to determine whether they should apply to PGA Tour competitions.
“It is not inconceivable that there may come a time in the future when the Policy Board determines that a rule adopted by the USGA, including in the area of equipment, may not be in the best interests of the PGA Tour and that a local rule eliminating or modifying such a USGA rule may be appropriate.”