Kuchar’s putting stroke unusual but not ban-worthy

The world of sports is filled with irony. The latest example is Matt Kuchar winning the Accenture Match Play Championship on the same day PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced the Tour’s opposition to the U.S. Golf Association’s proposed rule to ban anchoring. Understand that Kuchar doesn’t use a belly putter or long putter that favors anchoring the club against a player’s body – he uses a unorthodox style whereby the grip is pressed into his forearm.

Matt Kuchar's unusual putting stroke is okay with the USGA

One might argue that is a form of anchoring, but the USGA, in its explanation of anchoring, doesn’t have a problem with Kuchar’s grip. In turn, Kuchar doesn’t have a problem with the USGA.

“I actually tried the belly putter last year,” Kuchar said after he beat Hunter Mahan at Dove Mountain. “I used it early on in the year through this tournament, and I think I had a terrible putting round versus Hunter in my quarterfinals match.  And with that I did away with the belly putter.

“I gave it nearly six or eight weeks of real work and played four tournaments probably – four or five tournaments with it.  I used it because I thought I’d be better with it.  I thought it would make me a more consistent and better putter.”

Kuchar said he’s always considered himself a good putter regardless of the putter or grip.

“I try to just continue to improve, and I thought belly putting might be a way to improve,” he said. “It didn’t help me improve, and so I look at this situation from the side of it’s definitely a learned skill.  The anchored putter is a learned skill.  You don’t just all of a sudden stick a putter in your belly or under your chin and all of a sudden start making putts.

“I don’t have a real great say on the ruling.  I’m going to play by the rules.  Whatever they tell me to do, wherever they tell me to show up for the tournament, I’m going to show up and I’m going to play by the rules they tell me to play by and try to get the ball in the hole in fewer strokes than the other guys.”

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