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USGA, R&A propose anchor ban



The USGA and R&A have proposed a change to the Rules of Golf that will prohibit the anchoring of a club in during all strokes, including during putting.

The proposed rule will fall under Rule 14-1b, and state:

In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point.”

Note 1:  The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.

Note 2:  An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club.

The new rule will not alter equipment rules, meaning all conforming equipment including belly and long putters will remain legal. But belly and long putters will not be allowed to be anchored to the body, with the exception of putting styles like Matt Kuchar’s, who won The Players Championship while anchoring his putter grip alongside his left forearm.

“We believe we have considered this issue from every angle but given the wide ranging interest in this subject we would like to give stakeholders in the game the opportunity to put forward any new matters for consideration,” said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A.

Three of the last five major champions: Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els have won using anchored putting styles that would be prohibited under the new rule. The rule is expected to be finalized in the spring and go into effect Jan. 1, 2016, after a 90-day comment period that will allow industry members to address concerns about the anchor rule.

“Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “The player’s challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club.”

Below is a graphic from the USGA that illustrates the new rule. Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.



  1. Pingback: Why the R&A and USGA Need a Major Reform after the Long Putter Ban | How to break 100 in golf | Best golf swing tips for beginners

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  3. sdgfhjkhgjkdfsfg

    May 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Why does golf need the R&A and USGA? what other sport gives ruling power to some third party vendor?
    Stupid game. Ban the USGA.

    (No, I don’t use an anchored putter)

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  5. Al.J

    Feb 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    So now that the PGA tour has come out against the ban what are the chances the USGA and R&A will rethink the ban?

  6. John

    Feb 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I don’t agree but will adapt with sidesaddle. I will vote for this rule with my wallet. No longer a member of USGA . Wahoo!

  7. Marcus Dyer

    Feb 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I don’t see a problem with using a belly putter. Of course you ask Tiger what he thinks and jack they’re gonna be against it. Tiger is only chasing records and could care less about growing the game of golf. Spolier Alert: Tiger doesn’t go to Abu Dhabi or China to grow the game, he goes for a free payday even if he misses the cut.

    If you put two Professional golfers on the same putting surface with a belly putter or a traditional putter there won’t be a hole lot of difference. One thing i believe that effects putting stats more than anything is the green condition. Most scores seem to be better early in the morning. This is not due to the better players being out first every day. A putt that holds its line and rolls true has a lot better chance than one that bounces.

    I could care less about how the ball flies these days or how big the clubs are. When you reach a certain point in your game its not going to help you much. Scores are produced with the short game and if i want to use a belly putter or traditional putter to try to shoot lower then i’ll do it.

  8. Troy Vayanos

    Jan 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I have never had a problem with the longer putter at any level in golf and I have never used one.

    My question to the R & A is, if these putters give the players an advantage then why isn’t every professional using them? Secondly, why aren’t the golfers that use these putters ranked number one in putting on every tour?

    The R & A need to focus on the real problem in golf and that is technology. Golf courses are being forced to alter their set ups to accommodate the ever increasing distances players are hitting.

    The R & A should be looking at putting some sort of limit on the amount of technology in drivers and golf balls. This is where the real issue in golf is.

  9. Dave

    Dec 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    I cannot say I agree with the proposed rule change for two reason. The first is that it appears to me to be an irrational narrowing or constriction of the original rule 14-1 which simply stated that;

    “14-1. Ball to be Fairly Struck At
    The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned”

    In keeping with the spirit of 14-1 there is no reasonable basis to disallow anchoring the elbows or hands to any part of the body as long as the ball is “fairly struck at”. Keep in mind that all the interpretation I have ever seen surrounding this rule has to do with if a stroke is incurred when the ball is struck and not how the stroke is implemented.

    If they were going to make an addition similar or the same as what is proposed under 14-1b it would have been more logical to me to do so under 14-3 and more specifically in part where it indicates that ;

    …..Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:
    a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; …

    The problem they would have faced in trying to enlarge this to include anchoring the hands or elbows I believe would have been that they would have created a contradiction to another part of that same rule under the exceptions where it provides;

    “2. A player is not in breach of this Rule if he uses equipment in a traditionally accepted manner.”

    Long putters have been in use since the 1980’s and belly putters since as early as the 1960’s when it was used by Phil Rogers. I don’t think its an unreasonable statement to say that as both of these having been used with or without anchoring for the past 30 years or so that has been a clearly established traditional accepted manner of use for them.

    I think the USGA recognized the anomaly they would be creating if they tried to regulate the use of the these putters in 14-3 where it really belonged and instead opted to add a very indefensible addition under 14-1 where it clearly does not belong.

    To me the addition of 14-1b, particularly in the manner and where it has been added, evades the entire spirit and tradition of the rules as written and intended and for that reason I cannot agree with USGA’s arbitrary and indefensible addition of it.

    The entire rule 14-3 is as below for your reading;

    “14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment
    The United States Golf Association (USGA) reserves the right, at any time, to change the Rules relating to artificial devices, unusual equipment and the unusual use of equipment, and make or change the interpretations relating to these Rules.
    A player in doubt as to whether use of an item would constitute a breach of Rule 14-3 should consult the USGA.
    A manufacturer should submit to the USGA a sample of an item to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether its use during a stipulated round would cause a player to be in breach of Rule 14-3. The sample becomes the property of the USGA for reference purposes. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample or, having submitted a sample, fails to await a ruling before manufacturing and/or marketing the item, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that use of the item would be contrary to the Rules.
    Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:
    a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or
    b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or
    c. That might assist him in gripping the club, except that:
    (i) plain gloves may be worn;
    (ii) resin, powder and drying or moisturizing agents may be used; and
    (iii) a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip.
    1. A player is not in breach of this Rule if (a) the equipment or device is designed for or has the effect of alleviating a medical condition, (b) the player has a legitimate medical reason to use the equipment or device, and (c) the Committee is satisfied that its use does not give the player any undue advantage over other players.
    2. A player is not in breach of this Rule if he uses equipment in a traditionally accepted manner.”

  10. David Cameron

    Dec 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    The only reason they are going after the long putter is that it is becoming too popular. People have used the long putter for the 50 years I have played and no one cared a lick about the “purity of the game”.

    The ruling bodies of golf are totally out of touch…….maybe that is a requirement to be on their board of directors? Gives one pause. Infinitely rich with nothing worthwhile to do. So go mess with a perfectly fine game.

    Going after the grooves…..just means that the 1965 Haig Ultras I occasionally like to use will be non-compliant. Too bad. I love the game of golf and the spirit of a match between the player and the course as he/she finds it.

    Everything else is just artificial

    We need seperate rules for amateur and professional golf……just like college and professional football, baseball, hockey, basketball… get the idea.

  11. Michael Pare

    Dec 17, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I am more than a little disappointed with this rule change, which reflects solely an aesthetic reaction by a majority of golf’s ruling bodies. That the rule is is a policy reaction to that which some have found to be a stroke that jars their sensibilities is self-evident. It is akin to an appreciation of art. Da Vinci is in. Picasso is out. This subjectivity comes to the fore when one examines the way in which Kuchar’s stroke is okay, but others are not. Anchoring is out, but the claw (which I favour) and Kuchar’s method are in. The rule itself cannot be used to justify the distinction, since it was crafted ad hoc to eliminate putting strokes that were displeasing to some eyes. It is not the reason for the ban. It is simpy the manner in which the policy objective is being achieved. Would that golf authorities had the courage to address issues of real concern to the game. It’s easier to deal with idiosyncratic putting strokes, than it is to address the equipment issues that actually threaten the game of golf. The likelihood of the USGA and the R&A being sued over the latter is much less than the former.

    • Michael Pare

      Dec 17, 2012 at 11:05 am

      The last sentence should have read: “The likelihood of the USGA and the R&A being sued over the former is much less than the latter.”

  12. Al.J

    Dec 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I’m a little disappointed with the crowd that are so for the anchor ban. Seems to me they are afraid they might be beat with one. The way they keep comparing it to swinging the rest of the clubs in the bag i think is an unfair comparison. Making a stroke with a putter is no where close to swinging an iron or wood. I’ve putted well with both styles of putters and can attest the nerves can affect the stroke with either putter, short or long. I am interested on what stand the local tournaments will take on this ruling and whether or not their will be an Exception to the USGA rules made for those using long putters. The numbers for individual stroke play tournaments keep going down and if you take out those using long putters that will make it even harder to run a tournament. I don’t plan on supporting the USGA anymore until they start doing something that actually grows the game rather than hurts it.

  13. rudolffourie

    Dec 7, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Personal I feel that this game is had enough. If a putting style helps you play this game for longer and enjoy it more, i think we should do all we can to encourage it. The ruling in my opinion discredits guys like Ernie, Keegan and Web’s majors…

    If all 10 of the top players in the world used long putters, than maybe look at it, but as far as i know, only 6 out of the top 50 players in the world use them. Hardly dominating the charts…

    To me, that is a shocking call from the USGA & R&A.

  14. Blanco

    Dec 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I can’t help but think that a lot of the whining about this new rule is due to the Golf Channel’s ridiculously over-the-top, nonstop coverage of the proposed ban. Guys hear Brandel and Charlie “hee-haw” Rymer and are given another reason to moan and complain about the game and the world. I also don’t understand these people who say “why don’t we tackle the driver and ball first!?” Seriously, haven’t they placed limits on balls and drivers ala COR, compression, size, etc.? In 2000 everyone extended the size of courses, courses I find are usually TOO long for 75% of amateurs. I want to know what the argument is, seriously, because I don’t get this one.

    And despite all of this, guys with back issues can still use their long stick, standing up nice and tall, they just can’t anchor in competition, in four years. What’s the fuss about?

    I feel like many of these “new quitters” are just squawk boxes with no intention to quit or a love of the curmudgeon lifestyle. Who they work for/where they come from, I don’t know.

    It’s as if these naysayers are all touring pros or competitive semi-pros whose livelihoods are being threatened due to, oh my, PUTTERS. I don’t belong to a private club, but at every course I play there are mulligans taken, balls played from OB, DOZENS of rules that are bent/broken for ENJOYMENT/FUN of a game that is hard and complicated enough. Unlike Charlie Rymer’s club, I can’t think of one course where someone will be called “CHEAT” and start a royal-rumble in the parking lot if they keep on anchoring– give us some credit as a semi-civilized, evolved species. If you want to keep anchoring, DO IT! NOBODY is going to stop you except you.

    • Rob

      Dec 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Great points. My original reaction to this rule was that it would cause problems for me so just walk away from the game. After chewing on it for a week I realized I play for 2 reasons. 1) because I like the challenge of improving 2) to play golf with my golf buddies. Both of these objectives can be met regardless of what USGA does. The worst that will happen is I can’t play in tournaments which is a bigger lose to the tournament winners and the supported charities than it is to me.

  15. Rob

    Dec 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    It took Long putter opponents 30 year to invent a marketable excuse for some form of ban. How ironic they are using “for the good of the game” logic to do harm to the game. I use a belly putter. It’s not anchored but it’s close enough that the long putter haters will say it is. ( If they don’t need facts to ban anchoring they won’t need facts to call it anchoring) I wonder if players will still police themselves and determine if they have anchored. I doubt it and that is why banning anchoring will fundamentally change the game from voluntary compliance & self penalty to rules targeting specific players which will likely drive polarization of players and golf organizations. I will continue using the belly putter as I have for the past 10 years regardless of what USGA does. The worst that will happen is not being able to play in club events. USGA should focus on formation of a comprehensive technology & methodology plan to manage the future of golf. They can go forward or go under but they can’t go back.

  16. Davide

    Dec 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I’m using a broomstick since this summer and it helped me a lot to improve my putting. Now i’ve heard the news about ban the anchoring. if the rule will start from 2016 i don’t understand all the stupid people heckling who use belly or long.
    all my friends know i’m good with the long but are nearly happy to see me being banned using this. they should worry about taking more GIR than thinking to solve their problems only with the put. enjoy golf always! ’cause every monday we all need to go back to work…:)

  17. Falcon

    Dec 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Scottie win one quick 🙂

  18. Falcon

    Dec 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Boy I would love to see the world golf rankings shuffle come 2016

  19. Pingback: Fail of the Week 9 « The Power Fade Golf Blog

  20. rtylerg

    Dec 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    The USGA needs to man up and implement this rule starting Jan 1st, 2013. They’re just asking for a bunch of half-drunk idiot spectators to heckle the pros that are still using them from now until 2016. Hell I’m even seriously considering switching my belly putter out ASAP to avoid being heckled by that two-beers-in-and-it’s-only-8am guy with the Coors tour bag. Wedges were easy to disguise if they weren’t conforming, but a belly putter isn’t. I think the USGA needs to get out of their ultra-polite country club mindset and realize that the tour as well as average Joe municipal golfers will have to deal with frustrating explanations to their playing partners as to why they are still using a belly putter if they carry out this 4 year grace period. Rip the band aid off quickly!

  21. Rimrock

    Dec 1, 2012 at 9:18 am

    The rule should be for the professionals only. Levels the playing field a little. If the pros tweak their clubs to fit them (example: 5 iron has a different loft and lie than someone else) what is the norm? If the shafts on competing pros clubs were different one pro to the next what is the norm? Do I care as a casual golfer? NO!

    What needs to happen is that the average golfer learn to play for the enjoyment of the game and not be influenced by “what the pros do” and the rules of the game be adjusted accordingly.

    Can’t play in the club championship? Talk to your club and see if the rules can be modified. You are not playing for the FedX cup and obviously you are not on tour.

  22. Claude Whitlock

    Nov 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    I started anchoring my 35” putter back in 1989. NOW they decide its illegal !!! They should have decided back then. Its a shame golf is run by a bunch of Dinosaures… Let’s ban women again! Why not? Its so stupid. Its like all the champions where anchoring their putters. Its not a advantage, its a style and all can use it.

  23. Loopy

    Nov 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I think you’ll see a small amout of golfers who do play competitive leave the game because of this. Not a huge number but some for sure. The long putter has been around a lot longer than metal woods and the new hot balls and now they decide to make a rule change. I think the first long putter was in the 30’s or 40’s and not just within the last 20 years. I about died when I heard St. Andrews is being reworked because of the ball and club technology advances. Maybe those are things that should be addressed before the putter.

    • Johnnym

      Dec 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      I agree…..maybe I should jack up my lofts to match the pros, get every grind on every club perfect and then to top it off have each shaft precision spined and cut to match each swing of each iron……

      I can’t drive the ball 280, carry a 4 handicap and putt with both types of putters depending on how I’ve been putting over the last several rounds… different than switching out a 5 wood for a hybrid or 2 iron depending on condiitions….

  24. Ted

    Nov 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    The only problem with the rule change is that it was too long in coming. Anchoring a long putter to one’s body is a ridiculous usurption of the intent and challenge of the putting stroke. We amateurs can continue to anchor as long as our playing competitors don’t object when there’s a little betting on the outcome.

  25. mpluis

    Nov 30, 2012 at 2:41 am

    the swing is the fun and grace of the game game

  26. adamja123

    Nov 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    In my opinion this is the stupidest rule change ever! I say that they should up-lift it!!!!

    • Johnnym

      Dec 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Since when I play pool, I am allowed to place my lead finger on the table edge or my palm on the table itself, aren’t I in fact anchoring the cue?

  27. Mike Henderson

    Nov 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    All you boys need to quit anyway because anchoring is not golf. Why not get a pool cue and try that.

  28. MLevert

    Nov 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    This ruling is not forward looking as the ruling bodies claim. 99.9% of golfers are recreational. The rule should apply to pros only. I have golfed for over 20 years and considered quiting the game because of my problems with putting, but last year bought a Ping belly putter. It has relieved back pain and made my putting better. I enjoy the game more now. When the rule comes into effect I’m not sure whether i will continue playing since I won’t be able to compete in club tournaments with my long putter method. Definitely a mistake to impose this rule.

    • PC

      Nov 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      So why don’t you just continue to play with the anchored method, all you have to do is find like-minded people and play with them, since nobody is imposing the rule on you when you play recreationally, correct?

  29. Norm Gilbert

    Nov 29, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    It makes you wonder who is pulling the strings in golf? What harm is there in using the anchored stroke? It has helped me, now it’s back to the yips and I still can’t drive 300 yards!
    Fix the things that really matter – like really slow play!
    What’s next? The use of rangefinders and GPS?
    Maybe the pros won’t like us using a cart?

    • PC

      Nov 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Actually even the Pros use the cart in some situations –
      they even have luxury courtesy vehicles transporting them on some holes during specially sponsored events where they allow this, of going up or down the steep slopes at some of the crazier golf courses.
      The LPGA also does it, uses regular golf carts a lot on very hilly courses with silly slopes from tee to green.
      The Senior tour allows the use of carts during normal tournament play.

  30. Wayne Mlie

    Nov 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    If his becomes a new rule, I will be selling my clubs ! What a joke!

  31. Pete

    Nov 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    If putting with an anchored putter is such an advantage why doesn’t everybody have one?

    • PC

      Nov 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      We were headed that way, shown by the sudden surge over the last 18 months of anchor users.
      That’s why this decision was made.

  32. GNM

    Nov 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    While they’re at this whole putter debate, can they also get rid of inserts from the face of the putters and make it one material on the face only? I just think that that those weird soft insert things is making people putt so much better than they really are, as well, especially when the insert of the face is supported by a metal frame structure.
    I don’t think it’s in the spirit of the game to be able to put things on the face of putters when there’s a limit on the COR of irons and woods. Why shouldn’t there be a limit on the one-piece flat face of putters?

    • PC

      Nov 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Besides the manufacturers wanting to kill you for even mentioning it, I think some of the world’s supposedly great putters who uses such inserts will probably want to kill you too, probably lol

  33. reggiej

    Nov 29, 2012 at 11:29 am

    sorry, my first comment should have read “even though I like to play the ball down no one else does”.

  34. reggiej

    Nov 29, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I don’t see what all the fuss is among amateur golfers. Hell every one I know doesn’t play by strict rules of golf anyway. Even though I like the play the ball down no one else which makes no sense to me but I still play with them. My cousin also insist on using mulligans when he and I play, that’s fine, we aren’t playing for money. I think where the USGA needs to put it focus is on the size of driver heads and the distance the ball flies. I’ve argued this for years, or since they started coming out with huge heads. I think players need to learn to work the ball and play the game the way it was originally intended but hell these days just grab a huge headed driver and swing away more then likely it’s going to find the fairway.

  35. Mike Allen

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    This is what golf need’s. Make to game that is losing golfers in droves, and golf courses all over the US are hurting. And lose another 10 to 15% of golfers. JUST BRILLIANT.

    • PC

      Nov 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      The rules are not what’s driving people away from the game.
      The game is difficult, it takes a long time, and is very expensive for most. The economy collapses and people don’t have as much as they did 10 years ago.

  36. Pebo

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I am putting my short putter back in play and a balata ball! My earlier post was an over reaction! Thanks for all the good advice.

  37. Gary Herron

    Nov 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Lets leave the anchored putting alone , its been allowed for so long its become part of the fabric of the game. The USGA is several years late in declaring a ban on anchored putting. There are several more things that need to be adressed before the anchored putter is banned. FYI , I do not use the anchored putter.

  38. Tom

    Nov 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I’m just curious. One of the prohibited grips shows a broomstick being held away from the body, but the upper arm being held against the body. How does this differ from a traditional putter being held with the upper arms being held against the body? I have seen this position on numerous occasions. And how can they possibly allow the ‘Kuchar’ grip?

    On a different note, why don’t they grandfather the rule for amateurs like they did with the grooves? I just bought a broomstick this past summer because of back and knee problems and I’m really pissed about throwing a couple of bills down the crapper. Maybe I’ll just send it to the USGA with an invoice. They might be dumb enough to pay it. 🙂

  39. Ryan

    Nov 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I think it’s funny how many people here are experts on back and what it does during a golf swing. You must all be chiropractors. I think what most are referring to is the pain in the low back caused by leaning over a putter for several minutes, aka practice. When hitting balls, either on the range or the course, your body is in fluid motion. When standing over the putter, it can cause a good deal of stiffness and pain caused by the tension and pressure required to maintain a perfectly still posture needed for a consistent putting stroke.
    Oh, and, yes, I am a chiropractor.

  40. Roger

    Nov 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Have you ever had the ‘Yips’. I could not stop double hitting. (turning the Club after impact) Thank godness for the ‘long putter’ it prevents this action by having your hands apart.

  41. 3 Cap

    Nov 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Maybe put Ibuprophen or advil on the list too. Without it I know I would have a heck of a time playing a descent round.

    The USGA won’t take on the big retailers. They have to reinvent their products every 6 months to give them something to advertise. Why would the USGA take them on? They would loose most of their ad revenue.

    You can’t have one rule for Pros and one for ameteurs. Pro’s were all ameteurs at one time in there life. It just wouldn’t work. There is no deffinite proof that ANCHORING improves putting unless it was anchored 360*.

    There are other equiptment changes that improve scores way more than anchoring the putter for a greater % of Golfers.

    • Gangnam

      Nov 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      Why can’t we have one rule for Pros and one for Amateurs? I am sure, as an amateur such as yourself, you play with your own set of rules with your buddies on the weekend – such as rolling it a couple inches for a better lie, gimmes within the leather, mulligan, etc etc…..
      Those are rules you set for yourself for your own game, is it not? So you just bifurcated it yourself!
      In every other sport, there are different rules for different leagues, different levels, different qualifications.
      Why can’t golf have it? You have no reason nor argument. If a player wants to use an anchored putter, then there should be a league or Tour that allows for that and that person is welcome to play that Tour. And vice versa. I don’t see a 500cc motorcycle competing against 1000cc motorcycles, do you? Different equipment, different competition! So why can’t golf have it?
      It’s STUPID to NOT consider bifurcation.
      There’s even miniature golf! There’s even a Tour just for putting!
      If all of those little things can have a set of rules, then why are you making such a fuss? If you want to compete in any USGA or R&A competitions with their rules, then you should have to abide the rules these two entities set, otherwise – don’t compete. You don’t have to. As simple as that.

  42. jeff

    Nov 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    This is absolutely stupid from the point of where it comes from. If, and a big IF the R&A and the USGA were really concerned with protecting the game they would have stuck to there guns of NO reflex being allowed in a club. The technology and the allowances given to the driver in this day and age has changed the game statistically more so than the long putter ever did. 100% of tour players use Ti drivers. If there was true concern for the game, that is where you would hit it. I hope this costs the USGA and the R&A 10x what the square grooves thing cost them. by the way I use a short putter

    • Andrew

      Apr 24, 2013 at 5:19 am

      I’ve never used a long putter because i knew it would get banned … As is the train of thought in many PRO players. Why waste time practicing something that may/will get taken away. That’s time wasted working with a short putter. Everyone tries to claim that more pro’s would be using it if it was such an advantage, but the truth is only the desperate pro’s do because they will benefit short term from it. It’s obvious that the long putter reduces putter head deviation, any child could see that.

  43. 3 Cap

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Everyone here understands by now that it is the anchoring not the legth of the shaft that is the issue. So stop chastising those that happen to describe it differently.

    What are the PRO stats for those that use the long putter. I should say ANCHOR a long putter. I have used both but prefer the short putter.

    If it is that much more effective and makes that much of a differece more would be using it. period. When anchored you still have to use your body no different than a short putter. How about comments from those that actuall have experience with both putters.

    It is easy to say BAN IT! but if you haven’t used one then how do you know.

  44. rod

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    i don’t understand why they just don’t say the putter length cannot go past ones waist. if you manipulate the putter after that then good for you

  45. footwedge

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Hooray – the belly putter just looks wrong for golf. Now they need to outlaw the Kevin Na whiffies.

  46. M

    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    What rules say that the inside of the cup on the green has to be painted WHITE? It’s so bright it’s very distracting. I think it needs to be painted BLACK instead!

    But seriously – where’s the rule that says it has to be painted white? I bet we would see different results if they were painted different colors.

  47. Buz

    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Anchoring has been a issue for many years. Think about this… Anchoring gives a sort of “third hand” to stroke the putter. Keep it stabilized, keep it online, keep it smooth. I’m glad to hear that it is being banned. Medians the playing field at pro levels. At recreational level, it doesn’t really matter. I love golf, we love golf. It won’t stop me from playing golf. Hell I game Ping ISI nickel irons which are non-conforming, but at my level, play how we want to play. Even my buddies and I make our own rules and take one mulligan per 9 holes if we need to. If I ever did a tournament of some kind with USGA rules, I would simply game a conforming set. The rules are set to make golf a even playing field. Where skill wins the match. Golf is this, fun, challenging and a gentleman’s sport. To the people that want to quit golf…. go ahead and quit, leaves more space for us on the course. By the way, my son is 2 years old and loves to golf with his daddy. There will be more golfers on the course for years to come. That’s a guarantee.

  48. Dale Verdugo

    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    The rules are the rules.

    • Ruddy

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for the insight. And the valuable contribution to the discussion.

      MODERATOR: How’d this one get past you?

  49. Ruddy

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    People, this is NOT A BAN ON EQUIPMENT.
    It IS a BAN ON FORM OF STROKE-MAKING. Except for the side-saddle ban, this is a precedent. The USGA’s reason: “not the way the game was meant to be played.” What stroke will be banished next? Maybe the “Furyk-Swing”? Will only “true classic swings” be allowed. Will all forms of nonconventional swings be reviewed on instant replay? “Did he anchor it or not?” “Was that a conforming stroke or not?” Check out the stroke replay on the greenside JUMBO-TRON. Yeah, that’d keep the spirit of golf.

    • Tom

      Nov 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Ruddy, you are correct. But by it’s implementation, it effectively makes the long putters unuseable, hence, a ban on the putter.

  50. Doc

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Why would a weekend player, a hacker, quit the game because of a PGA rule? I’d bet for 99 percent and more of golfers the PGA rules aren’t followed anyway to the letter. So go and enjoy your game. You can’t be kept from using it on a public or private course! Only in a PGA event. Give yourself a break or as one said, you were leaving the game anyway and this is just your excuse for it.

    • Ruddy

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Why leave golf? Because unlike many golfers, I don’t cheat. Or kid myself.
      Golf is a game of self integrity.

  51. Gman

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    The PGA Tour and separate Tours should allow the anchored putter, if there are no laws that say that the same rules must encompass all golf “games” everywhere.
    To use some far-reaching examples:
    In auto racing, there are different competitions for different cars.
    In baseball, the Pros use wood bats, the kids use aluminum. In the MLB, the American League uses a Designated Hitter.
    In the NFL, if you go down but are not touched, you can on running, but in college you can’t.
    Etc etc etc……

    And if the analysts adopt such silly arguments as how it has nothing to do with nerves, then why do we ban Performance-Enhancing drugs, but not ban any sports-drinks other than plain old water?

  52. indoor golf

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Bert B you are misinformed Ping could have bankrupt the PGA when it won the lawsuit against the tour but they refused to take the money awarded in judgement to keep the PGA retirement fund solvent.But i wouldnt be suprised if the manufacturers ban together and ignore the USGA in the future,Think if the manufacturers refused to pay performance contracts to players unless they played the tour sponsored by the manufacturers. USGA would only have influence on US OPEN ,US AM etc and not the tour or regular golf. The USGA keeps costing the manufacturers money and i know for a fact they are not happy.

    • jeff

      Nov 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      it took quite a bit and paid it to the players that stayed faithful to PING

  53. indoor golf

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    golf needs to grow the game not drive people away by making it less enjoyable for a lot of golfers now playing the game. As for Tiger Woods being against it , I will listen to his opinion after he submits himself to a public test for steroids and HGH.

    • Ruddy

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Yeah, I let Tiger Woods make all the BIG decisions in my life.
      BTW, How DID he vote?

  54. mike laurin

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Whats next maybe they can make me play right handed

    • Ruddy

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      At least you figured out that the USGA is trying to tell us HOW TO PLAY, not WITH WHAT EQUIPMENT.

  55. 3 Cap

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Golf Balls: Now fly higher, farther, straighter, spin less, spin more.. noticiably.
    Drivers: Hook it, Slice it, fade it or draw it. Hit it lower or higher all with the turn of a wrench.
    and they pick on the putter.
    What about the person that naturally fades or draws the ball like me. The fade is difficult, my body just doesn’t want to go there. Now I can get out my wrench and it’s done. The Pro’s can now fine tune that driver so precisely for every course they play. One swing fits all. How is that OK but anchoring the putter isn’t?
    Summer..Harder ball still spins
    Winter… Softer ball, cold, but still spins.
    It takes more than putting to win a championship. Club or Pro. What are the actual in depth putting stats of the guys anchoring a putter? Does anyone know. Are they that much better than anyone else on tour.
    If you want to keep a handicap then the long putter will have to leave the bag. Period. Don’t be under any illusion that it is ok with your buddies because if it illegal and there is even 5 bucks on the line it will cause issues.
    Irons are still fine. It doesn’t seem like there is much they can do to them other than the groves.
    If they want all the skill brought back into the game dial back the ball, get rid of the adjustable drivers, then we will have to put more emphasis on trying to control that little white thing. They should be visiting all aspects of equipment, not just the putter. And i tell you if I was Adam Scott, Web, Tim, Fred, Bernhard or the likes of I would have already called my Lawyer.

    • Bart

      Nov 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Spoke before reading the actual rules, eh, dummy?

      It’s NOT an equipment rule. It’s a rule on what defines a putting stroke. You can keep your 50 inch putter, if you want.

  56. mcshooter

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    there goes the 7 iron i just put a longer shaft in so i could chip with it anchored like a belly putter, but i think there rule only said putters. also i dont if there is a rule against the putter iam building, you dont have to move the head and your grip .. the technogy is the same as a tourque wrench, just dial in the push on the putter face and you can determine the force on the practice green.

  57. Ruddy

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    USGA and R&A should get a clue. Number of golfers is in decline. More restrictions will limit the fun and the lifetime of playing. If I break the rules, I care. I carry conforming groove wedges and clubs. Not because anyone will check. But because it’s the rule. Golf is ultimately a game of self integrity. Did you forget that?

    • Pebo

      Nov 28, 2012 at 10:52 pm


    • Colin Gillbanks

      Feb 28, 2013 at 8:17 am

      I’m pretty sure no-one will be attracted to the game solely because of a long putter, or put off it by the non-legality of them in competition play.

  58. matt

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    isn’t the brace really a lateral anchor?

  59. Robert

    Nov 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I’m wondering what whiny clout having pro or group of pros even raised this issue to begin with. That’s the part of the story I’d like to hear. Otherwise it doesn’t negatively effect my or most everyone elses game that doesn’t golf for a living.

  60. Bert B

    Nov 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    The R&A and USGA are gutless. This change is no change and the “Kuchar” exception is BS. If these rulemakers had any spine they would ban the long putters altogether along with all the other high tech clubs and the hot balls. They haven’t because they are afraid of the manufacturers. That was proved years ago when Ping slapped them down in court; which was to Ping’s everlasting, money-grubbing shame.

  61. slafa

    Nov 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    So long Adam Scott, adios Bernhard Langer, seeya Tim Clark. just a bunch of Ranger Ricks without that long putter, lots o guys pure it tee to green but only a few have the nerves that stand up on the 17th and 18th greens on Sunday.

  62. Sickspin

    Nov 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    This on the heels of the announcement that they are renovating St. Andrews to account for modern equipment. Protecting the game but not its most sacred ground? Ban the modern ball, ban 460cc drivers…there are statistics to back up the effects of those advantages. The driving distance leaders are 40 yards longer than they were 20 years ago. Are the guys using anchored putters leading the putting stats? No, but guys who would have struggled to average 260 in 1990 are now hitting it 300 yards. If they want to protect the game, then actually do it. Banning anchoring is a cop out. They refuse to address the real problems for fear of directly taking on the equipment companies and being sued.

  63. Coach Jack

    Nov 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    As a high school golf coach, I am totally in favor of this new rule. When I see a 14 year old with a long putter all I can think of is “if this doesn’t work where does the player go from here?” Usually when you ask why the kid is using the long putter you find out that it was the idea of his pro who just probably wanted to move some product. Play the game the way it was meant to be played and yes I am old.

  64. hoffthehammer

    Nov 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    How ridiculous that these guys wink at ProV1’s, 460 cc titanium heads, 35 gm high tech shafts, zip grooves and now they ban a putting style that makes golf fun for guys my age. I will never renew my USGA membership if this thing flies. I thought this old boys club was supposed to represent amateur golf rather than giving Web Simpson a hand slap for winning a major with a belly putter.

  65. Anchor44

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

    It’s about time!!
    All of the whiners go ahead and leave the game. It will survive without you.

    • joro3743

      Nov 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      To those that call people who want to leave the Putter alone Whiners, actually those that want it gone are the whiners, wake up, you have the problem, not us.

  66. Tim Murphy

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I believe the USGA and R & A need a reality check. Our great game has clearly been on the decline with fewer rounds played each year. Instead of creating more overreaching rules (e.g. square grooves), we should be focusing on attracting more people to our sport by making the game more playable/fun/faster for all. If the governing bodies want to make the game more difficult for professionals, how about growing a little rough, narrowing the fairways, speeding up the greens? Stop intruding on equipment improvements that make the game better for the average golfer.

  67. Claude Whitlock

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I find this new rule extremely stupid. This way of putting has been used for years (20++) and if it was so unfair? Why are not ALL the winners using it?
    The USGA is run by a bunch of old backward dinosaurs… Maybe we should ban women again. That is what it was in the old days…

  68. Raven

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Let’s keep the anchored putter. After swinging the other 13 clubs in my bag fast and freely, I need a break at the greens. In fact, let’s legalise using a brace when swinging those other 13 clubs. NOT. Realistically, people complain at every rule change, but the game is still increasing in popularity. People adapt and enjoy it whatever happens.

  69. joro3743

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This is another stupid move by the USGA just like the groove issue, it will do nothing. They are just appeasing the usual gripers like Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson, and of course big mouth Gary Player. As a matter of fact they are all hypocrites with Palmer endorsing the Illegal Callawy Driver, Nicklaus winning the 86 Masters with a large headed Putter he said was like cheating, Watsons Ram clubs having illegal grooves, and oh course Player the cheating thing.

    The fact is if they really want to get the game back to “as it was meant to be played”, do away with the hot Driver, the hot balls, the GPS, and all the other game improvement equipment. This is a witch hunt and they are a bunch of dopes, along with anyone who agrees with them.

  70. Tom

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:45 am

    These bozos are 20 years behind the curve. If they had done their jobs years ago, this would have been a non-issue. I would have had no problem if the decision was made then. To force golfers to either change their grips or replace their putters after all this time is ludicrous. How much money will be lost by golfers who cannot adapt to the grip and by the industry? I think it’s time for the manufacturers to impose their influence on USGA and RA. And if the USGA/RA is really serious about the anchoring issue, they should prohibit the anchor to the forearm grip (Kuchar’s).

    • Ewan S Fallon

      Mar 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      The manufacturers and TV advertisers have too much say already. The governing bodies are indeed bozos for giving in to them. I am sorry but all the objectors have money behind them.

  71. Mike Henderson

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Fantastic but didn’t go far enough in that it still allows grabbing your forearm. Next the 460cc “toaster on a stick” drivers and then the “guided missiles” that they call golfballs banned. Back to talent and skill. Great day for golf but only the beginning. Like Nicklaus said, “fix the ball and 99% will correct itself”.

    • Zooch

      Nov 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Oh, so it’s anchoring that was going to make golf irrelevant? Well thank goodness the USGA is on top of things otherwise they might have had to make the greens at Augusta National Carl Pettersson proof…

  72. Gary Hansberger

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

    There must be rules to govern legit competition. Go ahead and use the belly putter or anchor it anyway you want and just play recreational golf …. Just can’t turn in your scores for a real USGA handicap. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun playing golf anymore. Just puts more cleavage between the R&A/USGA and us “everyday recreational players”.

  73. Junior

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

    This is the least of golf’s problems. What are both the governing bodies, the golf industry as a whole, and we golfers doing to bring new golfers into the game? If we continue at the current pace of participation, in 15 to 20 years there will be no one playing golf in the U.S., the golf industry will collapse in the U.S., and USGA will be irrelevant.

    If you love the game, save the game, introduce new people to the game.

    • Ty

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Golf was better off in the pre-Tiger era when nobody played. The equipment manufacturers didn’t try and stuff a new driver down your throat every 6 months and you could actually find a tee time.

    • Doc

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Might teach them a lesson to lose 50% of the golfers out there for a decade or two. Plus I’d have more space to play.

    • Ewan S Fallon

      Mar 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Easy — make it cheaper. Every village used to build a community golf course. Just do it again and save the game.

  74. Danny

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

    But, I hope you do quit golf. Because if your back hurts from putting, you must putt alot and slow the pace of play down and make me and others want to kill ourselves.

    • Steve

      Nov 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Then kill yourself so those of us with back pain can play through.

  75. Danny

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

    people who claim they are quitting golf because of this are nuts.

  76. Tigger Woods

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

    OK, we also need to change the stupid rules that penalize a golfer for touching a blade of grass. If the ball lands in a divot on the fairway, free drop should be allowed.

  77. vermontmike

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I agree with this rule. What I don’t agree with is the whining about the back hurting. If your back hurts that bad you probably shouldn’t be swinging a piece of metal at 80 mph and then hitting the ground with it. Probably why your back hurts.

  78. champeen

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

    This rule should apply to sanctioned competitive golf exclusively. the majority of golfers have no intentions regarding sanctioned competition. This puts a stigma on club and league events, to name a few. Also, this is a knee-jerk reaction to a relatively recent phenomena. Why not collectively revisit all equipment related issues and provide a sweeping, comprehensive summation with revised protocols for potential future catastrophes? Obviously the USGA & the R&A have been out-gunned and out-funded by the industry…whose focus is profit at the cost of integrity.

    • Jack Fitzgerald

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:39 am

      You contradict yourself between your beginning and last statements.

    • Doc

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      It only applies to USGA, PGA, RA golf tournaments. Anyone can still use any club they want as a golfer. Who can prevent it? The courses aren’t going to ban them, they sell/sold them, they need the players for the revenue. Relax, life will be good again.

  79. trevor

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Yes!! so glad for this rule change. I find it funny that some of the above rec golfers are going to quit because of it….really?? Um you can still use long putters just can’t anchor them and who cares if you do anchor them, your a rec golfer!! I am sure you never use your foot wedge…
    FYI: Phil is not gonna pop out of the woods and give you a penalty stroke.

    • Mike

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Perfectly stated!

      • Ruddy

        Nov 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        ….as he foot-wedged out.
        (Later)…”Put me down for a par!!”

    • Jack Fitzgerald

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Hooray for poster Trevor and Vermontmike the whiners and cheaters have no place on the golf course. Go to a sports bar and play Monday morning quarterback while you rest your aching back on a comfy bar stool.

      • Doc

        Nov 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        According to the rules, they apply to tournaments ran by the PGA, not public or private golf courses so what’s the big ruckus about? Is there some putter gremlin coming to take your putter away? Kick him in the balls and continue playing if he bothers you.

        • Ruddy

          Nov 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

          Most public and private courses have scorecards whish state: “USGA Rules apply.”. Of course, if you foot-wedge it, use V grooves and a shotgun shell-propelled driver like Trevor and Doc, those rules don’t apply.
          Just don’t call it Golf.

  80. Jack Fitzgerald

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:12 am

    To the poster PEBO: I am an 82 year old golfer, I play 9 holes almost everyday, and walk every bit of it. Sure my back hurts, and so does every other part of this old duffers body. I wholeheartedly wish you would leave the game today instead of 2016. Stop whining, and get off your pity pot. No wonder you cant find a game at your 4 country clubs.
    Maybe you can use your money as bait and catch a new attitude.

    • Pebo

      Nov 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Jack, You you are right! This is a great decision. I too walk. Oh, walking is a USGA rule…..

    • Louis9692

      Dec 7, 2012 at 2:25 am

      Well said. FYI, I dont agree with the proposed change. I play off a 0 index and started using a 49 inch long putter in March 2013. Interestingly, the change was most benificial in the 20 to 30 foot range. Post proposed rule change, I immediately changed to a 38 inch model, left hand on top and right hand via claw. Shot 70 first time out. Reason for change: I will never leave this game and, secondly, I am not willing to use a wand that the majority of gofers deem an unfair advantage…. If you love this game enough, you will adapt…..!!

  81. Matt

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:08 am

    If you can rotate and use torque to hit a driver/iron 70+ times in a round, you can slightly angle forward to putt.

  82. Trevor

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I agree with this rule. Please give it a rest with the “poor me, my back” whining. If you’re making it to the putting surfaces then you are making drives, iron shots, and short game shots, the putting would be the least amount of your strain. Besides, if you look at the diagram, you can still use the long putters and stand up-right, you just can’t anchor it against your body, which makes total sense, why would you give an advantage by anchoring, it’s cheating those who use the traditional way to get that ball into the hole.

    • Logan

      Nov 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      None of the top 20 on the money list use a anchored putter. No player in the top 20 strokes gained used an anchored putter. In no instance can the USGA prove that this type of putting creates an unfair advantage. They are taking action because 3 of the 4 majors were won with players using an anchored putter. To me that like saying, “Well, the west coast offense is scoring more than teams not using it. Let’s limit how many times a team can pass the ball to protect the running game.” That sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it?
      The USGA and R&A should focus on growing the game and getting more people playing; not creating rules because they are trying to “protect” the game. How about let the game grow and evolve?

    • Doc

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      I don’t care about the rule but every golfer I have ever seen has anchored his or her arms against the body. They chose forearms because that gave them wiggle room. As long as it’s anchored against the arm (I’d assume it stills is the part of the body from the shoulder joint to the end of the fingertips) then it’s legal.

  83. H

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:01 am

    I saw Tim Clark’s legall action comment. What Legal action? What the heck Clark is talking about? Is he going to use the American with Disabilites Act? If he does, he is a scumbag!

    Get with the program golfers, time to actually play some real golf!

    My congratulations to the USGA and R&A for sticking to what is right and not what it is popular!

    • Doc

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      But those 460 drivers are indeed outside of the spirit of golf as you should well know. My first set, a persimmon set of woods were quite small. I think the 460’s are cheating and adjustable weighted golf clubs are cheating as well. We all have our opinions.

    • Dennis Nord

      Nov 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      There have been many,many,many changes made to the equipment we use all in the name of many the game more fun for the player. Promotionally this is a step back for the Gurus of golf. Years ago the long putter was for the desperate only and laughed at in many circles. After a few wins by good players and its snatched away. What changed? 2 thumbs down for tall foreheads stuck in the past.

    • George

      Jan 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      H…. Tim Clark can’t supinate either one of his hands from a birth defect and as such can’t grip a putter in a “traditional” way. He would easly win an ADA lawsuit because of this, however I doubt one would be pursued through this route as he along with others have many many other legal arguments…

  84. jgpl

    Nov 28, 2012 at 11:00 am

    It’s terrible that our game is ruled by such narrow minded individuals, old farts with their noses stuck up in the air

    Are they going to do something about the ball, adjustable drivers, iron shafts which promote tight dispersion, oversize irons, hybrids, etc.??

    Not a chance

  85. Nick

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Shocking !!!!

    They had their chance and made their decisions allmost 30 years ago
    To change their mind at this late stage after players , amateur and pro have built their game around it is just not acceptable
    They need to stand by their earlier decisions
    I hope the relevent legal people make them think differently

    • Broken Tee

      Jan 15, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      A agree with you Nick! What angers me is not that they made the decision, because I tend to agree with the fact that anchoring is an unfair advantage and not in the original spirit of the game, but the fact that they waited so damn long to do it! It’s utterly rediculous that thay waited until majors were won before making this decision. Makes them look like fools IMO.

    • Rick

      Feb 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      I’m not sure about my facts, so please correct me. Wasn’t the driving force behind the ban of long putters, all started by Tiger and Arnold Palmer? Why would it be such an issue after 30 years? These two have certainly made their mark on the game and they played AGAINST folders that used long putters! The whole excuse of “Preserving the Game” is just that…an excuse!
      I don’t use a long putter but I don’t see any BIG advantage if someone does!

    • Ewan S Fallon

      Mar 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      R@A and USGA can’t be sued, but PGA might. Anyway 30(?) years ago only a few golfers used the anchors, and since the other players did not object, governing bodies let go, as not affecting the game. Now however they have started teaching it in golf schools with an explosion of the practice due to top players winning with it, the game is now definitely being affected and requires the subject correction. If tour players say it is no advantage then they shouldn’t object to giving it up. None of them will leave the tour because of it, nor will any other keen golfer. New players won’t know the difference.

  86. Pebo

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I am in my mid 50s have a back that hurts use a tall putter to keep my back bearable. Jan, 1 2016 will leave the game.
    4 country club memberships all will be sold between now and then.
    The game is dying with the Baby Boomers anyway harder and harder to find a game.
    This is a bad call for recreational golfers.

    • Mike

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Nobody is forcing you to get rid of your long putter. Don’t try to use that as an excuse.

    • Cubby Woods

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

      WHOA, slow down Pebo!

      Do you play on the profession or amatuer circuit or do you play as a recreational golfer?

      If you play for the fun of it and no money is involved, then stick to your method of play and enjoy the game.

      You probably play with people who are close to you and if they don’t mind trhen neither should you.

      If you happen to be place in a group on a crowded course or someone ask to join your group for the sake of getting out then NONE will care how you play as long as you don’t slow them up becuase your style of play will not hinder their game.

      Don’t you dare allow this bogus ruling dampen your spirit or game.

    • mcshooter

      Nov 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      if your back is that bad , how can you swing a club..

    • Greg

      Nov 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      If this drives you from the game, you were going to leave anyway. Besides they are not eliminating the “Long” Putter, you can stand as tall as you want! Heck, Ray Floyd won one or more majors standing as tall to his putter as he did in conversation AND he used a conventional style putter!! Get over yourself

    • Doc

      Nov 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Does this ruling affect you? You a touring pro? You can play any club you want to at your 4 country clubs and tell the other to kiss your a**. This ruling does not affect anyone on this post/blog unless they are touring pros, and none of them are, no matter what they may tell you. The rule doesn’t even go into affect for 4 more years, give it a break! It’s a game!

    • Matt

      Nov 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Also if the reason you went to a long putter is back issues you can use one of the other styles of holding the broomstick/long putter and still use it. Just don’t anchor the putter. They are just taking the (I’ll admit so called) advantage of being able anchor it away.

    • Doc

      Mar 10, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Who said recreational golfers would ever have to adhere to USGA and R&A rules? We play for fun. Besides the PGA has already said no to the ban on TV.

    • BigG

      Mar 14, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Good quit. You Baby boomers have ruined everything else.

  87. JesseV

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Now lets reign in the distance the balls fly.

    No more 460CC Frying pan drivers.

    No more oversize irons.

    C’mon – If you are going to try and save the game of golf and its traditions why only go half way.

    • Tom

      May 23, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Yah–bring back hickory shafts and featheries!

  88. paul

    Nov 28, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Good thing they started talking about this or i would have bought a new long putter. now i might just quit instead. to much back pain.

    • Mike

      Nov 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Nothing in the proposed new rules preventing you from using a long putter. Don’t use this as an excuse to quit.

      • sean_miller

        Nov 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

        Exactly. Quit for the reasons everyone else is. It takes too long to play a round, the courses are getting too long and too expensive, there are too many people who don’t want new players sullying up their courses (especially if the newbs don’t carry a rule book in their pocket) and to be honest it’s kind of boring. What other sports have you spending > 95% of your time either getting to your ball or waiting for other people to hit theirs? I’m not quitting personally, but if my kids follow my foot steps and get excited about the game I’ll be quite shocked).

    • Cubby Woods

      Nov 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      I agree Paul,

      Even though nothing prevents us from using long putter, the rule defeats the purpose of the putter.
      I bet initially they wanted to ban the long putters because a two length club using that club to measure with is quite an advantage.
      However, there is so much money and time invested in that putter throught the “Parties of Interest” (The big money corporations) that they wouldn’t dare take that source of income from them. How a golfer use his equpment should not matter. What about the golfer that sunk a putt using his putter as a cue stick; was there a two stroke penalty for that.

      Bogus Man! Golf is the only sport/game that refusing to evolve.

      I play for recreation and I will still take a “Mulligan” if it is agree to do so among my flight before we tee off.

      Don’t sweat the small stuff!

    • Greg

      Nov 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      If this drives you from the game, you were going to leave anyway. Besides they are not eliminating the “Long” Putter, you can stand as tall as you want! Heck, Ray Floyd won one or more majors standing as tall to his putter as he did in conversation AND he used a conventional style putter!! Get over yourself

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Mickelson’s mea culpa | Pros slay USGA | RIP to a pair of HOFers



Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (


June 21, 2018

Good Thurday morning, golf fans. Four days after the end of the U.S. Open, the items dominating the news wire all pertain to negative elements of the national championship. Injecting this for balance: Brooks Koepka played really well!
1. Mickelson’s mea culpa
Four days after his inglorious performance on Shinnecock’s 13th green, Phil Mickelson sent a text message to a group of reporters that included the words, “I’m sorry.”
  • “I know this should’ve come sooner, but it’s taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”
  • Critics will say the apology is too late in coming and doesn’t go far enough. Supporters, those amused by Mickelson’s antics, will see it as a PR gesture in the face of pressure to atone.
2. “Mike Davis is Dean Wormer”
PGA Tour players are slaying the USGA and its chief Mike Davis

Just look at these quotes from Brian Wacker’s bit for Golf Digest.

  • “It’s a private fraternity and you abide by their rules,” one multiple major winner said. “[USGA CEO] Mike Davis is Dean Wormer, except the ending is not as good as Animal House.”
  • James Hahn: “To me, that’s amateur hour...They don’t know how to run a professional event because they don’t run professional events.”
  • “Not only have we lost trust in the USGA as players, but I’ve lost trust in our national open to be in the hands of an organization like that. For how well other tournaments are run, the U.S. Open has fallen to the worst major that we have.”
  • “A lot of players are disenchanted with the organization, the tournament and the setup,” said a former winner of the event. “No, I don’t trust them.”
3. McIlroy laughed too                                                                   
The image of 48-year-old Phil Mickelson jogging after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, Saturday, was bizarrely comedic. Even if you condemn Mickelson in the strongest of terms, taken on its face, the scene is a silly one.
  • That said, it’s interesting that two of the biggest names in the game–Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth– had the same response: laughter. Speaking before the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy said
  • “I saw what happened…and honestly, I laughed. I felt there was a massive overreaction to it. Knowing Phil, he knew what he was doing, and as a player who has been in that head space before in a tournament, I can see it happening.”
4. RIP to a pair of greats of the game
News of the passings of Hubert Green and Peter Thomson hit the wires yesterday. Thomson, 88, had been battling Alzheimers, and throat cancer felled Green, 71. (No disrespect intended by not leading with this story; death is, I know, a helluva lot more significant than the USGA or the ramifications of its course setups.)
  • Hubert Green’s obituary, here.
5. Spieth’s blackout
No, nothing alcohol induced, but rather, Jordan Spieth reflected on his Travelers Championship-winning bunker hole-out and the jubilant celebration (and botched chest bump) that followed.
  • “Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”
  • “There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives…I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”
6. What is “feel” in putting, really?
PGA Master Professional Rod Lidenberg offers a thorough introduction to the stimpmeter and how determining green speeds is the basis for “feel.”
  • He writes: “The key to the entire process is allowing yourself to make a subconscious connection between what your eyes have observed and the associated outcome. You must then trust what you have learned at a sub-conscious level. A conscious attempt to produce a given outcome will short-circuit the system. When it comes to judging speed, you must be prepared to surrender your conscious mind to your sub-conscious mind, which is infinitely wiser and more capable of calculating speed.”
7. Cool! Coul plans passed
The Coore & Crenshaw project near Royal Dornoch, Coul Links, has gotten the go-ahead.
Here’s something of a pull-back-the-curtain portion on the road to approval from the press release (h/t Geoff Shackelford)
  • “First, a world class links course near Dornoch would prove economically transformational, perhaps creating the Highlands as the third major golf destination in Scotland.”
  • “Second, Coul Links is an extraordinary site ecologically and our plans will improve it. We will disturb 13.4 hectares of dune habitat, but we will improve 20 hectares and provide a site management plan in perpetuity.
  • “The people in the community of Embo have spoken confidently with their outstanding support. We are humbled and thankful to be their neighbours and partners.
  • “Third, after three exhaustive years, virtually everyone in the Highlands wants this project completed. Yes, there are objectors with legitimate concerns, and we respect them but make no doubt the voice of the people has been heard.
8. Phil’s robo froyo
Not an Onion story; real thing that is actually happening here. Phil Mickelson and his manager/business partner, Steve Loy have signed a deal with Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. and its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, to open 30 yogurt locations in San Diego.
  • We’ll just quote directly from the press release, because, who can paraphrase language like this?
  • “Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.”
9. Place your bets 
A quick look at the favorites for the Travelers Championship (via Bovada)
  • Justin Thomas +1200
  • Rory McIlroy +1200
  • Jordan Spieth +1400
  • Brooks Koepka +1600
  • Patrick Reed +1600
  • Jason Day +1600
  • Paul Casey +2000
  • Webb Simpson +2000
  • Marc Leishman +2500
  • Bryson DeChambeau +2500
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Phil Mickelson apologizes for U.S. Open display



Phil Mickelson has apologized for his actions at Shinnecock Hills, Saturday.

In a text sent to a select group of reporters, Mickelson said Wednesday

“I know this should’ve come sooner, but it’s taken me a few days to calm down. My anger and frustration got the best of me last weekend. I’m embarrassed and disappointed by my actions. It was clearly not my finest moment and I’m sorry.”

Mickelson spoke briefly with reporters after exiting the scoring tent, Saturday. To refresh, it was then that he said

“It’s certainly not meant (to show disrespect). It’s meant to take advantage of the rules as best you can. In that situation I was just, I was just going back and forth. I’ll gladly take the two shots over continuing that display,” and “I’ve had multiple times when I’ve wanted to do that, and I finally did.”

The left-hander didn’t speak with the media Sunday, and he hadn’t issued any statements prior to the text.

He was penalized two shots for hitting a ball in motion, but the USGA stopped short of disqualifying Mickelson, believing that his actions didn’t constitute a “serious breach” of the rules. Mickelson spoke with USGA chief Mike Davis at length about the incident, and the governing body remained steadfast in its conclusion.

Responses from the media and his peers ranged from amusement, to support, to outright condemnation. Additionally, just how calculated Mickelson’s actions were was a subject for debate, with some believing Mickelson merely lost his head and the calculated “taking advantage of the rules” explanation was merely a post hoc invention.

The apology, and the timing and method of the apology, will do little to satisfy Mickelson’s critics on the matter. For those, like Jordan Spieth, who believe Mickelson was merely using the rules in his favor, the mea culpa was likely unnecessary.

Surely, the text message will not put the incident to bed.

Mickelson is next expected in the field in two weeks at The Greenbrier.

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GolfWRX Morning 9: Mickelson still on pros’ minds | Scotty Cameron speaks



Good morning, GolfWRX members. As most of you are signed up for our newsletters, you likely already know that I’ve been sending this little Morning 9 roundup of nine items of note.

In case you’ve missed it, or you prefer to read on site rather than in your email, we’re including it here. Check out today’s Morning 9 below.

If you’re not signed up for our newsletters, you can subscribe here.

By Ben Alberstadt (


June 20 2018

Good Wednesday morning, golf fans. What a golf world we live in. I’ve been getting a few emails from readers saying someone from the USGA mispronounced low amateur Matt Parziale’s last name during the U.S. Open trophy ceremony. I didn’t see it; but if so, good grief.
1. Mickelson on their minds


Perhaps you’re tired of hearing about Phil Mickelson’s actions Saturday at Shinnecock, but players on the PGA Tour aren’t tired of talking about the subject. Additionally, several gentlemen’s early U.S. Open exits means this week at the Travelers is the media’s first chance to catch up with them (Spieth, McIlroy, Day).
  • …and of course, anonymous takes! (via Brian Wacker) “He should’ve been disqualified,” insisted one former major champion. “Why don’t these governing bodies just enforce the friggin’ rules? It was like Tiger [at the Masters] in 2013. That was a hard one, but this one Phil knew what he did and told everyone what he did, which was worse. It’s like robbing a place, walking out and saying to the cops ‘I did it,’ and the cops go, ‘It’s OK, it’s just you.'”
  • Brandt Snedeker: “He hit a moving ball and tried to use the rules to his advantage,” said Brandt Snedeker, who was among those who thought Mickelson should not have been DQed. “The USGA had a chance to disqualify him for being egregious and they didn’t, so no. The rules screw us over so many times, so more power to him for using them.”
  • Jordan Spieth: “I laughed, I thought it was really funny…”Phil knows the rules,” he said. “There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he’s got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what’s the harm in that?”
2. Jason Day pulls no punches


Taking one particularly hot take off the plate of responses, Jason Day (who won’t face awkwardness with Mickelson in any Ryder or Presidents Cup locker rooms) was pretty clear in stating Mickelson ought to have been disqualified.
  • “It’s just unfortunate that it happened at the USGA’s tournament, where they enforce the rules, like the R&A. And I think they may have, they probably should have enforced a different outcome for Phil….But it is what it is. It’s done. It’s just disappointing that that is overshadowing the winner of the whole week. I think if they had it back again, they may have chosen a different outcome.”
The Australian also had some choice words for golf’s governing body regarding course setup.
  • “…Saturday was a total, it was like two different golf courses, practically, on the greens Saturday versus Sunday,” Day said. “I just wish they would leave it alone and just let it go. Not saying to let the greens go and let them dry out and make it unfair, I’m just saying plan accordingly and hopefully whatever the score finishes, it finishes, whether it’s under par or over par.”
3. The Phil Rule


All of this brings us here:’s Dylan Dethier says it’s time for “the Phil Rule” in the wake of Lefty’s creative use of Rule 14-5.
  • “…giving Mickelson just the two-shot penalty essentially endorsed this hockey-style alley-oop as legitimate strategy. As a result, the USGA (which has not yet responded to’s request for comment) is left with one option: It’s time for the Phil Rule.”
  • “But the USGA ultimately cited rule 14-5, which covers strokes made at a moving ball and also calls for a two-stroke penalty, but has no clause covering additional punishment. Because of the precedent now set, a new rule should address the simple fact that hitting a moving ball just isn’t a part of golf. The so-called Phil Rule will be simple: anyone who intentionally strikes a moving ball will be disqualified.”


4. Johnson on Shinnecock


Andy Johnson at the Fried Egg is a Voice (capital V) in golf, and we’re lucky he’s emerged in recent years. His U.S. Open post-mortem is a must read.
  • A taste…”Many of today’s prototypical Tour pros appeared clueless at Shinnecock thanks to changing winds, uneven lies and vexing green complexes. The idea of flighting a 4-iron into a modest wind from 180 to control the spin as opposed to bashing a 7-iron is a foreign concept. Rather than use the ground around the greens, many immediately grabbed their 60 degree and watched helplessly as chip shots rolled back to their feet. Shinnecock Hills asked a slew of questions to the world’s best players that they had never seen.”
  • “The technology effect has been two-fold. It’s made it nearly impossible for the USGA to properly set up a golf course, and it has also robbed the game of skill. Combine the two together, and the line of a good setup and bad setup is razor thin. The vast majority of players lacked the ability to hit the shots that were needed at Shinnecock, and their first reaction was to complain.”
5. PGA’s double standard?


Mike Purkey of takes issue with the PGA of America’s decision not to take action against president Paul Levy following his June 7 DUI…especially in light of the organization’s eagerness to remove Ted Bishop
  • Purkey writes: “Here are the facts, based on the police report: Levy got behind the wheel impaired and put people and property in danger. The fact that he hit only a traffic sign is a stroke of pure luck. The question must be asked: If Levy had hit a car with people inside, would the PGA leadership look at this incident in a different light?”
  • “If the answer is “yes,” then the PGA has the obligation to remove Levy from office. Because it doesn’t matter what – or whom – Levy ran his car into if, in fact, he was impaired. He could have injured or killed innocent motorists while on the road in his condition. That’s the disqualifying factor.”


6. Ted Bishop


Speaking of Ted Bishop, the former PGA of America president spoke at length with our Michael Williams on his 19th Hole podcast.


Here’s a bit of what he had to say about the U.S. Open setup
  • “You know Michael, I thought the most telling interview that I saw the entire weekend on the course set up was the one that FOX did yesterday with Patrick Reed when his round was finished. And they asked him about the Saturday setup and he said, “You know, I really didn’t have a problem with it.” He said, “There were two pins on 13 and 15 that were maybe two yards out of place and it made a completely different situation on the putting greens.” But he said, “Other than that, I didn’t have any issues with it.” And that’s his personality. He’s the guy that rolls with the flow and doesn’t make any excuses.”
  • “Now obviously, there were a lot of players that were very critical. I was just reading an article before this phone call. Some quotes from Steve Stricker, for example. And Strick’s usually a guy that doesn’t say anything bad about anything and he was very critical of about the set up. But I think the biggest controversy would be the fact that the players in the morning on Saturday were probably a different golf course than the players in the afternoon were. And that’s just sometimes in golf, the way that it goes.”


7. A raw release


Raw iron sets, at the retail level, are rare, so it’s cool to see WIlson introducing the FG Tour V6 Raw irons.
  • The new FG Tour V6 Raw irons have an unplated finish, and they’re designed to “develop a unique patina based on age, exposure and use over time,” according to Wilson. This gives each iron a unique look, and one that’s far from the clean cut original FG Tour release that had a chrome finish.
8. Scotty speaks!


Famed putter maker Scotty Cameron spoke with longtime equipment scribe E. Michael Johnson.


A morsel…What’s the coolest item you have in the Gallery right now?
  • “I made a putter for myself. I think alligator is such a gentlemanly, cool material. So I made myself a Gatorback putter. It’s kind of like an 8802, but with a wide-bodied flange. I can do the wide-body flange because I have an aluminum sole plate. But the back has something that looks like the dashboard from a Bentley. But then that long, round flange in the back is kind of a plain area of blankness.”
  • “So I milled a little pocket back there that has a rim of stainless steel, then I created a stamp the shape of the mill pocket, cut out the alligator. I used a special glue to inlay the alligator into the back of the putter, so it has a Gatorback Bentley back and bottom. It’s spectacular. And then I matched it with an alligator grip. Then I took the alligator to make headcovers to match the grip and the back. It is expensive and it’s a pain to do, but when I was done with it I went, “Oh my goodness.”


9. Shark in the buff


As he said he’d consider doing when asked by Michael Williamson our 19th Hole podcast

, Greg Norman is set to appear in the ESPN “Body Issue.”
  • The 63-year-old will follows in the footsteps of Gary Player, as well as number of other golfers, including Camilo Villegas, Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Sandra Gal, Suzann Pettersen, and Christina Kim.
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19th Hole