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More From Clark & Scott...

Jim McCabe goes into more depth on the media sitdown with anchorers Adam Scott and Tim Clark, and as McCabe lays out it there is a little more desperation in their voices. And I do sympathize with some of their points. Still, there is one major question not addressed: what exactly is being taken from you besides anchoring the putter against your chest?

The piece is well worth reading from beginning to end, but a few comments worth noting...

“Statements are thrown out like, ‘They’re good players, they’ll be all right.’ Well, hang on a second. Tim has spent thousands of hours practicing a method that is allowed. Keegan Bradley has spent thousands of hours practicing, rehearsing this method that’s been allowed. How do you just cut the legs out from us over your view that you don’t like seeing a junior putt (by anchoring)?”

Thousands of hours practicing? Might want go with hundreds there Tim!

He decided to try the long putter and practiced with various grips and stances for months until he settled on a method that suited him. He concedes that it felt a bit awkward, that because very few people used the technique he was “self-conscious” about it, but there were two over-riding aspects. One, it felt better on his arms, and two, it was clearly within the rules and no one raised an issue with it.

And again, the same grip and putter can still be used, so what's the big deal?

“We have a great game,” Scott said. “As professionals, we have great tours, and we should be working together on this. I’m shocked that they went ahead and proposed the ban before getting Tim Finchem’s point of view. Why would they want to rock the boat like this? I just don’t think golf is at a point where it needs a shake-up.”

Interesting that Scott is under the impression that Tim Finchem's and the tour's perspective was not known to the governing bodies when they made this decision.

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Reader Comments (30)

if your driving wasn't good enough you'll find a better way or change employment.Now just do the same with your putting stroke.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
Geoff, come on. I know you're a logical and reasonable fella. I don't necessarily sympathize with Scott and Clark, but this statement is not really valid:

"And again, the same grip and putter can still be used, so what's the big deal?" - That's not really true, now, is it? That statement is a bit of a cop out. Yes, while it would still be within the (proposed) rules to use that same putter, that's not practically the case. To wield a broomstick without anchoring is essentially impossible. If the rule goes through, Scott and Tim would most certainly be forced to change their equipment, even if not explicitly spelled out in the rule. Many other points they are making are certainly very debatable, but I absolutely do believe them when they say that they would have to switch equipment.

One other note though - the idea that all the time practicing with the long putter would be for drought, if they had to switch, doesn't really ring true. I actually think it's a great practice aid. After using one for a while, I felt that I had a much better feel for release point, squaring the face, etc. It's definitely made me better with the short putter.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H.
Geoff, I think you may be underestimating just how much these guys practice.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew
Is it true that Clark putted conventionally in college and was a star?
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
Sorry, I should have read the article closer.

Clark was an All-American in college using a short putter.

And he claims an abnormality prevents him from putting that way.

Wow, what brass.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg

I liked TIm Clark and Adam Scott but everytime they open their mouth I lose respect for them more and more.

03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim
10 hours a week x 52 weeks a year. Sounds like in the thousands to me.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad S
World needs ditch diggers too.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commentersmails
I have observed 121 players on the practice putting greens the past 8 days at various golf facilities...I have seen only one person anchoring...but she had what I consider a valid medical reason to seems Finchem's "twenty percent" number is hogwash and pulled out of a hat to suit his argument on behalf of his Tour players...I believe in the ROG and follow them...I have been a supporter of the ban...but now I am on the fence.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
I'm not questioning the thousand of hours being put in by these pros, but don't other pros put in the same kind of dedication, creativity, trial & error, and taking the same risk in failing to stay on the tour with their type of swing/putting style?

As to the issue of anchoring has been available for years, I thought people were saying that because the tours didn't take action on balls and clubs soon enough, we are having problems now. Well the tour is taking action now on this matter before it becomes troublesome later.

As to the issue of isn't there more important things to take car of like balls and slow pace of play - true, but we all deal with multiple things all the time, be it in the home or at work. It's not like they're not doing anything on the balls but maybe they're just building their case with the balls. That doesn't preclude them from dealing with anchoring now does it?

On the matter of banning anchoring will not grow the game, I don't see anchoring much in the 80s and 90s and the game still grew. The game has been flat for 5-8 years now, well before the anchoring and is perhaps due to the economy. True, it MAY help grow the game but something like cheaper equipments, cheaper course fee, quicker pace, more welcoming to women and children, are likely to help the game grow more. Growing the game involve people new to golf, and anchoring is not a natural movement whereas traditional putting style is. Now if you're saying anchorers will stop playing the game and the game will shrink, well, I know enough about the addictive nature of golf and the people that quit because they can't anchor isn't significant.

Lastly, I see amateurs not playing to the rule all the time (drop the ball next to the OB stakes and play to quicken play, pick up and gimmes, mulligans, etc.) so banning anchoring at the competition levels (amateur competition, second tier tours, pro tours, college, even private tournaments) does NOT mean regular golfers can't use anchoring. It's just that if you want to compete, you can't use it. You can anchor all you want on your weekend plays, and that, may mean not as many people will quite the game as people think.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
Correction on the last sentence "...not as many people will QUIT the game as people think". And sorry for the long post
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenternguyenvuminh
Bobby D,

Not following how you have arrived at being "on the fence" after supporting the ban. Could you explain? Based on the results of your personal observational experiment, that change in position doesn't follow logically to me, but maybe I'm missing something?

Or, maybe you're kidding.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
It sounds like the Tour players want to make the rules for themselves. I'm good with that. It's time to bifurcate; equipment for the Tpur, course set-up for the Tour, maybe larger holes too!
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHBL
@RES In the spirit of the game and the ROG...I support the ban...but I wonder is it even necessary? Should a person with a legitimate medical issue who anchors not be allowed to post scores for handicap or competition? I am torn.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Thousands of hours practicing? Might want go with hundreds there Tim!

Sounds like a comment by someone not good enough to do it
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCeloso
Golf, a game where we call our own penalties is strange.
Anchoring was banned long ago and we dropped the ball by not enforcing it. But I suspect several of the long putters knew that anchoring was not in the spirit of the rules and continued to pursue it regardless. The governing bodies bare alot of responsibility for this minor mess but the players also should have called their own "penalty" in this case as well. Just don't think the rules are unclear on this one. Sorry.
While I feel some sympathy towards them because the governing bodies didn't do the right thing years ago, we cannot change the rules of golf because of a few sad stories.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKG
Hundreds rather than thousands of hours? Get real. Do you even play golf or have an idea of what it takes to be a professional?
03.7.2013 | Unregistered Commenterebrumby
I do have an idea what it takes and I'm sorry, but thousands of hours or practice anchoring is a ridiculous assertion.

10 hours a week practicing his anchoring 52 weeks a year? Please.
03.7.2013 | Registered CommenterGeoff
How many hours does a developing player, then professional, then tour professional spend?

Again. those that can, play (and practice)
Those that can't, take shots from their pedestal

And those frustrated, take shots from behind their curtains
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCeloso
Bobby D,

That's an interesting and humanistic approach to thinking about it. But I am not aware of any game whose inherent rules take into consideration the physical limitations of those who play. Not sure it's golf's place to be the first.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
5 hrs per week x 40 weeks =200 hrs/yr. play golf for 10 yrs = 2000hrs practice. Ever read Malcolm gladwell? 10,000 hrs practicing to be truly top of field at anything.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJd
2000 = assumed hours Tim Clark has practiced his current putting stroke.

18 = years Tim Clark has used an anchored putter.

2000/18 = 111 hours per year of putting practice.

111/52 = 2.14 hours putting practice per week (128 minutes).

128/5 = 26 minutes of putting practice per day, 5 days per week.

"Thousands of hours" seems entirely plausible to me.

Bobby D, last 2 days at Los Verdes, 0 belly putters, 0 long putters, 1 Kuchar style putter.

As for the 1" of separation to eliminate the anchoring, how much of a difference do those in favor of the ban really think this will make? (really only 1/8th of an inch is required)
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Still waiting for anybody in the golf media to actually ask Clark why he says he can't putt with a normal grip but can swing his clubs with one. Are the media really that clueless on this issue with Clark or has nodody actually thought of it to ask?
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
I see the "thousands of hours" quote was about Keegan...

45 minutes per day, 5 days per week for 8 years would get him over 1500 hours.
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@ BobbyD ... the reason the governing bodies are now taking action is because they feel anchoring has crossed over into mainstream golf viz non-yippers and they don't want to see youngsters coming into the game electing to (or being advised to) go straight to say, the belly putter.
"Los Verdes"..I guess you mean around Palos Verdes, Ca...I spent (wasted) a lot of time up the road at Redondo...big fun.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
If Tim Clark wants statistical proof, he can track his own stats before the ban and then after the ban (I'm assuming his wrist will allow him to hold the club 3 inches from his body).

If his putting declines, there's his statistical proof that it provides an advantage. If it doesn't change, he has no reason to complain.

Or he can simply answer the question, "why can't you just hold the club a few inches away from your body?"
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterScrambler
Yes, an abnormality forces Tim Clark from putting conventionally. And Rory McIlroy had to withdraw because of toothache last week.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Scrambler, 1/8th of an inch would satisfy the regulation. What impact do you think this would have on results? In your mind does it solve the problem?
03.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Could anyone point me to an interview or a quote given by Tim Clark that states his wrist issue prohibits him from using a conventional putter. As far as my research goes this seems to be a point made by the press. He talks openly about his difficulties with it but certainly has never said he can't. Anyway there appears to plenty of experts out there, who is am sure will be able to correct me.
03.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJustathought

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