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Anchored putter debate still smolders on the PGA Tour Champions

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Scott McCarron, who called out Phil Mickelson for “cheating” when he put a Ping Eye 2 wedge in play in 2012, is himself still embroiled in a debate over the legality of his putting stroke.

Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch talked to McCarron as he prepares to take the biggest bite he can out of Bernhard Langer’s pie on the PGA Tour Champions this season.

Not surprisingly, the topic of the anchored putting stroke came up. McCarron, also not surprisingly, doesn’t think much of Brandel Chamblee’s July take that players have a get out of jail free card thanks to the “intent” wording in the USGA’s anchoring ruling.

“Brandel and I have been friends for a long time. I’ve worked in the TV business. I know you say things sometimes you aren’t really sure about. And he usually does his homework. He’s very diligent. This time he missed the boat.”

Lynch also quoted fellow Champions player Tom Pernice, Jr., who doesn’t think the debate over Langer and McCarron’s putting has been put to bed.

“It’s a huge issue…A lot of players aren’t going to say anything about it to the press. It’s not fair. If you’re playing for a living, there’s a skill level in putting and that is being able to control the fulcrum point.”

“It’s close enough that he has a reference for his fulcrum point, OK? That’s close enough. That hand, it cannot be touching when he starts, but at some point in the stroke it can rub up against his shirt and that’s within the rule. In my opinion that’s enough of a reference to be able to control the fulcrum point.”

In other words, Pernice agrees with Chamblee, and he suggests other pros do as well. While McCarron and Langer aren’t technically cheating, they aren’t operating with integrity, he seems to say.

In the judicial sphere, laws are the floor of moral conduct: the bare minimum we’re expected to do. Ethical standards, however, set a higher bar. Pernice suggests the non-anchored-anchoring folks fail to clear this second hurdle.

What do you think, GolfWRX members?

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. jc

    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    how about…long putters could not have ONE grip longer than 12 inches

  2. jc

    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    we have a few who still use the broomstick and I notice that they pullback gimmes tend to be longer since they can reach out further to get the ball….and of course, the two club drop is a LONG drop

  3. Mat

    Jan 9, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Putters should be no longer than 3″ longer than the shortest club. This makes a 38″ counterbalance ok with a 35″ wedge. The rule would only need to be that the club cannot be in contact with anything other than the arms/hands. If you want to lock your wrists into your belly, fine. You don’t have fulcrum control. If that putter handle makes contact with your belly during the stroke, haha on you.

    To the broom sweepers that putt facing forward, sorry. It should be eliminated from the amateur game like the square wedges – in 12ish years.

  4. Scott

    Jan 8, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    I agree, McCaaron is hypocritical, I remember when he called Phil out for not following the “INTENT” of the groove rule, but excuses himself. Live what you preach my friend.

  5. Bill Mullen

    Jan 8, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Observing both Langer and McCarron since the rule has been in place, both, especially Langer, are essentially anchoring. I don’t know about McCarron but Langer is openly a committed Christian who claims to believe the Bible and he Bible is clear that even the appearance of cheating (the same as lying) is a sin. As a Christian, he should hold himself to a higher standard.

    • kourt

      Jan 9, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      Haha come on dont bring the dudes religion into a freaking game of golf. If it was truly cheating then it wouldnt be allowed, and the people interpreting the rules say its not. If people think its such an advantage why dont they start putting the same way?

  6. Chip Royce

    Jan 8, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a few notable champions tour players and they have echoed Pernice’s comments, but won’t discuss on the record due to possible negative publicity.

  7. Kevin

    Jan 8, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I think Chamblee and Pernice are being very generous. McCarron and Langer are doing more than “rubbing their shirt” at some point in the stroke. They are anchoring the club to their chest and controlling the fulcrum point in a way that is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the rule. The rule needs to be re-written to remove this ambiguity!

    Given the open defiance of the intent of the rule by prominent players like Langer and McCarron I would rewrite it to require the putter to the be shortest club in a player’s bag and to ban any anchoring to the player’s body (including the forearm).

    • steve

      Jan 8, 2018 at 6:11 pm

      Do you agree with the “simple solution” offered below?

  8. allan

    Jan 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Simple solution: — Ban the split hand and handle grip. Keep both hands together when putting and that would eliminate the problem…. unless somebody wants to keep their 48″ putter and hold both hands together at their chest level to prop up the stroke!

    • mlecuni

      Jan 9, 2018 at 5:56 am

      Simple solution #2:
      Limit the length of the putter.

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19th Hole

The 7 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (10.11.18)

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If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Michael Martinez with a phenomenal custom Nike concept sketch in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

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Hispanic Heritage Month #golf #nikeshoes #leetrevino

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Worse than the blue screen of death…

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Sadness. #RadryGolf

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In the pantheon of golf tattoos, this one has to be featured prominently, no?

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Tattoo level: Tin Cup ???????? ???? via @pgamemes

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BB&F continues to reign as the ferrule king.

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Ferrule B

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Kraken’s latest ballmarker is hotter than a fire track.

With all due respect to aquatic creatures, these are the best kind of scallops.

A clean sole grind and stamping from Don White. Nothing like it.

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Made with a purpose.

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If you’re on Instagram, remember to hashtag your photos #GolfWRX. And if you’re not on Instagram, well, don’t.

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19th Hole

Report: No tickets will be sold for Tiger-Phil match

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Sorry, fans, you’re not going to be able to buy tickets to the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson $9 million megamatch at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, November 23.

Per a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, only a “small gathering of sponsors and VIPs” will be allowed on course. The report also indicates that, in contrast to Phil Mickelson’s promised primetime (ET) showdown, the match will be played under the Nevada sun. The official start time is yet to be announced, ditto the PPV price.

We corrected the promo graphic below to eliminate the crowd. But right-handed Tiger Woods swinging a left-handed club still needs fixing.

Woods is the -220 favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Mickelson is a +180 underdog.

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WATCH: Is this the craziest hole-in-one you’ve ever seen?

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Golfers often say that getting a hole-in-one is all luck. (Keep in mind that Tiger Woods, arguably one of the most skilled iron players ever, says he has 19 holes-in-one… so maybe not all luck.) But certainly there are some holes-in-one that are “luckier” than others.

And then there’s this shot by Eddie Pepperell at the 2018 British Masters…

Definitely a great shot, and he absolutely took dead aim, but how this golf ball found the bottom of the cup is mind-blowing. It seemed to bounce off the ground, go up the flagstick, hit the ground, then side hop itself right into the basket. Wow.

But is it crazier than the bank shot?

That one is hard to top.

Or how about the all-time classic Bugs-Bunny-assisted hole-in-one by Michael Jordan in Space Jam?

Looney Tunes aside, here’s what Pepperell had to say about his hole-in-one.

He may not have seen what happened at the time, but he’ll see it on highlight reels for years to come.

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