The PGA of America and PGA Tour, which had presented their case to the USGA at the recent annual meeting, were rejected today in their attempts to have the anchoring ban grandfathered in for average Joes.
The letter PGA President Ted Bishop sent out to PGA of America members this evening:
Dear PGA Professional,
I am writing to inform you that the United States Golf Association (USGA) has decided not to extend the implementation date of Rule 14-1b (anchoring) for amateur golfers beyond Jan. 1, 2016. Last month at the USGA Annual Meeting in Pinehurst, N.C., PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and I outlined our proposal for a “grandfather” period to provide amateurs with more time to adapt to playing without an anchored stroke.
Both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR have consistently shared strong feelings about this matter with the USGA and we appreciated the opportunity to formally present our views before the USGA’s full Executive Committee.
While we are disappointed with the USGA’s decision not to extend the implementation date beyond Jan. 1, 2016, I know that all PGA Professionals are committed to helping amateur players choose a permissible putting stroke that will help them continue to enjoy the game well into the future.
Indeed, PGA Professionals go to work every day knowing that we are the most respected instructors in the game. This is a new challenge and opportunity that we will embrace, and along with helping PGA TOUR players, we will assist golfers of all abilities in advance of the implementation date of Rule 14-1b.
Finally, we believe that one of the profound outcomes that emerged from the discussion of “anchoring,” is that both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR have a more meaningful seat at the Rules table for future decisions affecting the game. We strongly believe that such enhanced communication among our respected organizations is essential to the long-term viability of golf.
Ted Bishop, PGA
PGA of America President
I've obtained copies of emails between R&A Chief Inspector Peter Dawson and USGA Executive Director Mike Davis after the request was made at Pinehurst.
They went something like this:
P-Daws@R&A.org: Mike, how long do we have to thought to be considering this grandfather request from Tim and the other one? Cheers, PD
michael.davis@U$GA.org: PD, that's a great question. I have no idea. Thoughts? Yours in anchoring, Mike.
P-Daws@R&A.org: I say we give it a few weeks of rigorous non-consideration, then spring our decision around the week of the Honda Classic when everyone is enthralled by the wonder that is PGA National? Cheers, PD
michael.davis@U$GA.org: Peter, that's a great call except that there is a WGC event the following week, and what united the world more than our anchoring ban? Let's go for Doral week. Yours in Blue Monsters, Mike
P-Daws@R&A.org: Lovely dear old chap, splendid idea. I believe you won the coin flip last time on whether to buy the bottles of Screaming Eagle at Pine Valley, so I'll let you pen the response and we'll slap a similar version on our stationary, with of course the proper English spellings of apologise, recognise and analyse. Cheerio, PD