Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
« Tiger: Make Anchoring Ban Universal | Main | Players Lukewarm About Q-School Change »

Second Anchoring Poll: How To Implement The (Inevitable) Belly Putter Ban

Okay, now we know anchoring a long putter against your stomach or chest is about to be banned.

A lot of very bright people make the case that this is only an issue in the professional game and that anchoring has kept many average golfers with the yips or back issue playing the game. I'm in the camp that would hate to see someone give up the game over this and would make it reason #2,093 why bifurcation is worth considering.

So with the results from our first poll resoundingly in favor of doing away with anchoring (70% to 30%), how would you go about implementing this ban?

I offer three options and the last two would obviously protect the everyday golfer who wants to continue bracing the putter against their presumably not-flat belly. I'm pretty sure the rules wonks will lambast me about the Local Rule, but I've never heard a convincing case why the Local Rule can be used to waive some rules or enforce others to protect a field or course. It would also seem to be an easy way for a professional tour to have a few of its own rules while remaining loyal to the "Rules of Golf."

Anyway, as always thanks for voting. These unscientific polls of late have been quite fun!

How should anchoring ban be dealt with? free polls 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (16)

As the issue surrounds method, It can only be the first option.
Back door bifurcation already exists and works quite well, think range finders.
All three eventually, but I voted for option #2...local rule is the fastest/easiest way to implement this perhaps on a "local" level without creating tension throughout the golf world all at once.

And it will perhaps lead to local rules for other size limits below say 275cc, max 3-piece balls, a "tournament" ball, max loft for any club must be <57deg, no bright mono-chrome outfits, no white belts, no more than 2 electric colors allowed attire rule, etc.... It's endless folks.

It would give a chance for the game to change at a smaller, more intimate level instead of silly global mandates. How many folks think about the groove rule they enacted? How many are planning on what V groove wedge they need or do they even care, for 99.5% of the world's golfing populating...they don't F'n care. I know I don't give it any thought and I work in the industry.

It's all subjective in the end. A few years ago, a friend of mine qualified for the now defunct Czech Open, his old Clev CG1s technically had box grooves and some players complained, he got em tested with that silly putty/scanner test and they let him use em anyways because they were really dimed (chewed) out on his short irons...he missed the cut like all the other locals...(sniff)
10.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
I voted for the first option.
However, for ordinary play, who cares what they use or how.
For competitions it is a different story as we must abide by the rules or we would have chaos.
10.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
I don't think that the Tour would outlaw by "local rule" without a vote from the players. It would be really interesting to see how such a secret ballot vote would go. I suspect the issue would be so contentious it would never be taken to a vote, and if it happened, it would be rejected. And as S&T points out, bifucation and local (Tour) rule are really the same thing. So likely, the last two choices are non-starters.
10.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ
Seriously, does anyone actually play with an am partner that regularly uses one of these monstrosities? I play a lot of competitions and no one uses these things. Its just the pros, for the most part. I just have a hard time getting worked up about this from a rules standpoint. If the PGA wants to ban them because the players look silly with them, fine. I still maintain that they have downsides as well and they aren't the panacea to perfect putting. Otherwise, everyone would use one.

As for the idea that the broomsticks are cheating and people having an asterisk next to their results, have you seen a move to have pre-groove change results lessened?
10.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe O
Banning anchoring is a complete waste of time and effort. Who cares? Does it really harm the game? No it does not. This is just an aesthetic issue for so called "purists". This is the Schenectady putter issue played out 100 years later. For the record I do not use a long or belly putter.
10.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn M
Since 70% of the people don't anchor, why is it surprising that 70% of the poll respondents voted to ban it?
10.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterchas
I've tried a belly putter for a month, I putted worse. Phil tried a belly putter. Guess what, he's back to a standard putter. It isn't an automatic advantage. If it helps you then you should be able to use it. Golf is hard enough. I feel bad for guys like Keegan and Webb.
10.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric D.
These guys are supposed to be professionals. If you're any good you should be able to compete by using a standard (non-anchor) length putter.
10.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterhaq
This whole subject is another witch hunt because people won majors with the long putters. More info is needed and more proof. USGA is going to be sued over this one as well. You allow this to go on for 20 years and say nothing until now??
10.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoTalentLefty
There have always been equipment issues, from the Haskell, to steel shafts, to the sand wedge, to spring effect, to the new balls, etc.

This is not that kind of issue. It is about what ought to count as a traditional stroke. If you want parallel cases, it's side-saddle putting. It was banned on the same rational that applies to anchoring. The other interesting parallel is that, like the side saddle stroke, the anchored stroke wasn't going to be banned until pros started using it.

I applaud Mike Davis. Anchoring ought to be banned.
10.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterotey
"If you want parallel cases, it's side-saddle putting. It was banned on the same rational that applies to anchoring. "


Sidesaddle putting is still legal. What was banned was straddling the line, and it was only allowed for short period before the rule was enacted.

The sad thing about this effort is that it's not going to get rid of broomstick putters, which have been offending "purists" for how it looks for decades. Now the belly putter, which looks like a real golf stroke is being decried because people have some narrow definition of a stroke.

What a waste of time.

10.18.2012 | Unregistered Commenterkenoneputt
Sorry. I meant to say putting straddling the line was outlawed.

The broomstick putter would not be outlawed if it is not achored against the chest with the top hand. Is that a problem for people?
10.19.2012 | Unregistered Commenterotey
Regarding the straddling ban, again it was "purists" with a personal grudge and a narrow view of what golf was supposed to be at work. Sam Snead was the one who began using this method. When Bobby Jones, not a big Snead fan, saw this method at the Masters he called upon Joe Dey, the head of the USGA and another non-Snead fan, to ban it which the USGA did. Sam then adapted to the side saddle method.
10.20.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn M
There is some real heated opinions out there on the use of belly putters. For the last 20 years I have been playing golf, not trying to set the world on fire but just to enjoy the game. However for the last 12 months I have had to switch to a belly putter due to the fact that medically I have very shakey hands as a side effect of the medication. For the last 4 years I have dreaded the putting green, as the shakes made me prone to extreme bouts of the yips. I started to not enjoy my 18 holes on any golf course, knowing that I would be 3+ putting no matter where I landed the ball. The belly putter gave me some stability, a new way to love the game I had enjoyed for years. This is not a poor me story, but fact. How many others out there are in the same boat and are being turned off and frustrated by the game they love. Golf on a good day can be frustrating, its part of its enjoyment, but to be burdened by a worldwide ban of a piece of equipment that returns that love for the game is crazy.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul45

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.