TaylorMade-adidas Golf President Mark King says that while the demand for belly putters and long putters might decrease in the wake of the USGA/R&A proposal to ban players from “anchoring” putters to their bodies, his company will continue making them.
“Does it mean the demand for these kinds of putters would drop? Maybe,” King said. “But at the end of the day I don’t think we would sell one more or one less putter if the change to the Rules is made.
“It’s definitely possible to use a broomstick putter without anchoring it, and I speak from experience. I use one and I hold my left hand in a stationery position a couple of inches away from my sternum. So I think we would definitely see players who currently anchor the putter who will find ways to use a long putter without anchoring it, so they can keep playing by the Rules.”
King said he also thinks “there will be plenty” of amateur golfers who won’t give up anchoring the putter.
“Anybody who’s played this game knows that good putting requires an extremely precise stroke, and anchoring the putter helps a lot of golfers do that. It will be hard to give up anchoring if your putting is a lot worse without it,” King said. “However, golfers who continue to anchor the putter would be breaking the Rules, which would exclude them from holding a legitimate, USGA-sanctioned handicap, which means they couldn’t compete in tournament or event where the Rules of Golf apply. Because of that I think we would see a lot of golf leagues and golf clubs making their own exception to the anchoring rule, which essentially means that they wouldn’t strictly be playing by the Rules of Golf.”
The truth is, King said, is that most golfers don’t play strictly by the Rules of Golf when they play with their friends, anyway.
“I don’t mean they cheat, I mean that they often go ahead and flatten spike marks even though the Rules forbid it. And how many golfers are okay with hitting a mulligan off the first tee? And that’s fine, because the game is about having fun for 99 percent of the golfers who play it, not grinding out a score in tournament play.”