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OEMs weigh in on the anchored putter ban



Keegan Bradley Belly Putter Ban

The USGA and R&A unveiled their proposal to ban anchored putting in a joint press conference Wednesday morning, setting off a fury of discussion in the golf world.

The proposed rule is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2016, and will likely play a huge rule in changing putting. It will hurt some amateur golfers, many of whom depend on anchoring to keep the game fun. It will also have financial implications for some tour players, whose livelihoods depend on their ability to hole putts under pressure.

But it’s not just golfers who will feel the effects of the belly putter backlash. Companies who design and sell putters and their components will also be forced to changed their strategies. Here are the statements we received from Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist and SuperStroke on the USGA and R&A’s proposal to ban the anchoring of putters.

Callaway: From Chris Koske, Global Director, Odyssey Golf

“Regarding the USGA and R&A proposal today, Odyssey has long held the belief that confidence with the putter is good for the game, particularly regarding player retention and growth potential. But one of the beauties of putting is that there are so many ways to do it

Notwithstanding the final ruling in 2013, it is Odyssey’s pledge to ensure golfers have the same level of confidence when they line up a putt with one of our products – regardless of the putting technique. We have anticipated this proposal for some time now and have been busy exploring several alternative options.

It should be noted that Odyssey will continue to offer belly and long putters in the short term for golfers who want to continue using them recreationally.

We’d like golfers everywhere to know that Odyssey has an optimistic approach to the proposal regardless of the outcome. As the #1 Putter in Golf, we have more tour players around the world playing and winning with Odyssey putters than any other company, and we will continue to work with those players to innovate new products and new, alternative methods to putt at the highest level.”

TaylorMade: From Mark King, TaylorMade CEO

“Because the proposed change to the Rules of Golf bans the act of anchoring the putter to the body, and not long and mid-length putters themselves, we’ll continue making them. Does it mean the demand for these kinds of putters would drop? Maybe. But at the end of the day I don’t think we would sell one more or one less putter if the change to the Rules is made.

It’s definitely possible to use a broomstick putter without anchoring it, and I speak from experience. I use one and I hold my left hand in a stationery position a couple of inches away from my sternum. So I think we would definitely see players who currently anchor the putter who will find ways to use a long putter without anchoring it, so they can keep playing by the Rules.

Yet I also think that there will be plenty of amateur golfers who won’t give up anchoring the putter. Anybody who’s played this game knows that good putting requires an extremely precise stroke, and anchoring the putter helps a lot of golfers do that. It will be hard to give up anchoring if your putting is a lot worse without it.

However, golfers who continue to anchor the putter would be breaking the Rules, which would exclude them from holding a legitimate, USGA-sanctioned handicap, which means they couldn’t compete in tournament or event where the Rules of Golf apply. Because of that I think we would see a lot of golf leagues and golf clubs making their own exception to the anchoring rule, which essentially means that they wouldn’t strictly be playing by the Rules of Golf.

But the truth is that most golfers don’t play strictly by the Rules of Golf when they play with their friends, anyway. I don’t mean they cheat, I mean that they often go ahead and flatten spike marks even though the Rules forbid it. And how many golfers are okay with hitting a mulligan off the first tee? And that’s fine, because the game is about having fun for 99 percent of the golfers who play it, not grinding out a score in tournament play.”

Titleist: From Joseph J. Nauman, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Legal, Acushnet Company

“We intend to review the announcement regarding anchoring issued today by the USGA and R&A and, as a matter of process, appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to them during the comment period.”

SuperStroke: From Jon Luna, SuperStroke Marketing

With regards to the USGA and R&A proposal, we at SuperStroke Golf have always believed that putting is a form of art and that there are several successful ways to make a consistent stroke.  While the new ruling will change the modern game, SuperStroke Golf feels that when one door closes another one opens.  Four new SuperStroke putter grips have been in development, each specifically designed to enhance alternate putting strokes and styles of holding the grip. We at SuperStroke will continue to listen to the world’s best players and create USGA/R&A conforming products that continue to be at the forefront of putter grip technology.

Click here for more discussion in the putter 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. Johnnym

    Dec 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    The long putter has been around for 3 decades but was not popular until recent wins (within the last 24 months) forced the likes of Tiger and others to complain. It was not an issue when no one was winning……be real….we amateurs should be allowed to anchor the putter if it helps us enjoy the game a little more.

    My view is that maybe Tiger and the others who complain should practice a little more OR join the club

  2. Dolph Lundgrenade

    Dec 1, 2012 at 4:10 am

    One shouldn’t be allowed to anchor any club for any reason whatsoever. I commend the R&A and USGA for doing the right thing.

    AGAIN… golf is for fun for most of us so do as you please. If you have back, knee, hip or whining problems you may still use a long or belly putter. Stop. Nope. Stop.

    What makes golf different from almost all other sports is an adherence and reverence to traditions and history and this rule confirms this. Tournament players should have to MAKE A PUTTING STROKE when the game is on the line. Its what separates nerves, talent and practice. It is what we all enjoy watching.

  3. AndyE3

    Nov 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    It is fine to say “recreational golfers are free to keep anchoring…” but it won’t work out that way. I play in a group of guys that meet mid morning every day for a 2 dollar skins game. There are those in the group that are already bitter about long putters. Although most in the group stop counting when they reach “a double”, continuing to use a belly putter is not going to fly. As Mr. King from TaylorMade said, adherence to rules is somewhat selective in recreational golf, but if the rule to be ignored appears to only benefit one or two “anchorers” in the group, you can bet the group is going to strictly adhere to the rule book on that one.

    I can’t believe the ruling was left this long if there was some question. Bad and discouraging move in a sport that is not exactly growing by leaps and bounds.

  4. JR|Ray

    Nov 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Putting Average stats when belly putter users won their majors: Els (30th), Simpson (16th), Bradley (3rd). Els was 1st in GIR at 2012 Open. I’m just saying…

  5. harrold

    Nov 29, 2012 at 6:25 am


    i dont think you understand the proposals? There not banning long putters there only banning having an anchor point so the putter, like every other club in the bag, only has two points of contact.

  6. collingsom1asb

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I think the Ruling by the USGA and R&A on the Anchored Putter Ban is a step backwards for the amateur golfer. I think there should have been a separate rule for PGA players and a separate rule for the amateur player. I use a long putter because I have lower back problems that prevent me from bending over to putt, as is common place with normal putting methods. If this rule is enforced I will be forced to consider quitting the game I love. I don’t compete on the PGA Tour….I am just an older golfer playing golf with my buddies in out Saturday morning foursome. This new rule needs to be revised to allow exceptions for the amateur golfer. Lets be practical.

  7. Ethan

    Nov 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    “At Titleist, our nose is so high in the air, its hard for us to understand your putter problems.” Or thats at least what it read to me.

    • Gangnam

      Nov 29, 2012 at 1:31 am

      Naw, it’s more like “we don’t really care how you get the ball into the hole, as long you keep buying Titleist golf balls, the #1 ball in golf”

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LA Golf Partners buys Matrix Shafts’ assets, launches “LA Golf Shafts”



Reed Dickens, Founder and Chairman of the newly formed LA Golf Partners, is bringing a concept he once used in a baseball bat company into the world of golf shafts.

Marucci Sports, of which Dickens was the co-founder and former CEO, was once the No. 1 bat in Major League Baseball, and it was different because the company partnered with professional players who not only helped with product development, but who actually invested in the company.

Now, Dickens is bringing the same strategy into golf after winning a bid and purchasing assets (inventory, equipment and patents/IP) from Matrix Shafts on March 9th. LA Golf Shafts will partner with professional golfers; the company will build shafts for these pros “from a blank sheet of paper,” meaning they will be fully custom, according to Dickens. Also, those players will become partners with the company. As of now, LA Golf Shafts has not announced exactly which players will become partners.

LA Golf Shafts will also sell aftermarket shafts, with emphasis on the word aftermarket. According to Chief Operating Officer Chris Nolan — who’s the former General Manager of North America for Matrix Golf Shafts — LA Golf Shafts will be made with extreme attention to detail and with a different scaling approach. Therefore, the new shafts will be aftermarket-only, meaning they will not be the “stock” shafts in the golf clubs of OEMs. LA Golf Shafts will also offer the signature shafts of pros to the public, according to Nolan.

So, what’s the connection between baseball bats and golf shafts?

“There’s not just a few parallels, there’s dozens,” says Dickens.

Dickens, who aspired to be a pro baseball player but is a lifelong golfer and has a handicap in the “low teens,” says when the opportunity arose to buy the assets from Matrix he drew a number of connections between the baseball bat industry and the golf shaft industry. The similarities he noted included materials used, industry size, trade secrets and attention to detail of the products. He also recalls that player-after-player in the majors had issues with baseball bat specs that were off: “Some players kept a scale in their locker to make sure their bat actually weighed [the proper amount].” Now, Dickens says making golf shafts that are fully custom and “absolutely perfect” makes perfect sense given his background. He says that “custom” shafts doesn’t mean engravings or colors, however; he says they’re making prototypes for specific player needs.

Just four days after winning the bid, Dickens and Nolan said they already began making prototypes. While no player-partner for LA Golf Shafts has been announced, they say they’re shooting for Quarter 2 — “as early in Quarter 2 as possible” — to have a product at market.

In terms of pricing, Dickens says LA Golf Shafts will “position as a premium brand.” They will be “aggressive with margins,” and expect to sell “on the high end and above the high end” of what’s currently on the market, possibly “at a few different price points.” Dickens says philosophically that he places a premium on value, meaning he “won’t ask for more money than [the shaft is] worth” and that the company will “spend more money on making these shafts in order to give more to the consumer.”

As for LA Golf Partners, Dickens says the brand new company will continue “looking for good opportunities and looking for the right partners.” Dickens says the company will focus on not just traditional strategies in the golfing space, but will be looking for strategies that are different, possibly partnering with companies not in the golf space.

“I’m on a mission to grow and expand the game of golf,” Dickens says. “[LA Golf Partners will] invest in diverse golf businesses and grow the audience of who plays golf.”

The takeaway here? Dickens and LA Golf Partners have big plans for growing the game of golf, and they’re starting with a shaft company.

Certainly, GolfWRX will be the first to bring you in-hand photos of the new LA Golf Shafts when they release, along with all of the information on materials, tech and specs when we know them.

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Ben Hogan launches Equalizer wedges



The Ben Hogan Equalizer is back.

Forged from a soft, 1025 carbon steel, Equalizer wedges feature a Progressive Center of Mass Weighting System, which means more mass higher and around the edge of the club head in the lower-lofted wedges, and incrementally lowering in the higher-lofted wedges.

Equalizer wedges feature a milled face and 0.20″ U-Shaped grooves precisely cut into the face at increments of 0.40″. The CNC-milled wedge faces create a texturized surface between the grooves for increased spin.

The company carries over its V-Sole Technology from the TK wedge series, improving upon the sole geometry with a softened leading edge and addition of more bounce. The leading edge of the Equalizer wedges is straighter than the TK series, which aids alignment and tightens dispersion.

Equalizer wedges are available now in even-numbered lofts from 48-62 degrees via exclusively. Length, lie, shafts, and grip modifications are available at no extra charge. $100 per wedge.

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Dick’s relaunches Tommy Armour golf



Dick’s Sporting Goods is relaunching the Tommy Armour golf brand. That’s right, the proprietors of the 845s irons are returning to the marketplace. According to the company, new Tommy Armour products featured a “renewed focus on innovative golf club technology that promotes both forgiveness and distance.”

The in-house brand features men’s, women’s, and senior drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putters.

Dick’s enlisted the help of Designworks, a subsidiary of BMW Group, to develop a premium set of game improvement woods and irons for mid-to-high-handicap at a lower price point than competitors.

“We set out to honor the history of the Tommy Armour brand and build a product that golfers at any level would want to use,” said Scott Hudler, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, DICK’S Sporting Goods. “From the early feedback we’ve received, these clubs are ones that you’re just going to have to try to really experience the difference they deliver in both distance and feel. We think this brand will be a game-changer for any player looking to improve their game.”

The company points to the new TA1 Driver, which features a DAT 55G titanium face, is a highlight of the new product line/collaboration.

Further product details, on the TA1 driver, irons, and GXT wedges, per Tommy Armour, below.

The full Tommy Armour line is available in-store and online at Dick’s.





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19th Hole