There are so many nuggets in Dottie Pepper's year-end look at the Rules of Golf changes (or lack of change). The piece is accompanied by an autoplay interview of Bernhard Langer by Michael Collins talking the end of the anchoring era.
Pepper covers many areas but for now, let's just focus on her anchoring ban views as January 1, 2016 looms.
This is fun:
For decades, golf's ruling bodies approved of the anchored method with many of the thoughts being:
1. It will be pretty much confined to senior golf (quickly proven untrue on all professional tours and top-level amateur golf around the world).
2. No one will win a major championship with a long or anchored putter (see Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els and others).
3. No one will ever teach the anchored method to youngsters. (USGA President Tom O'Toole Jr.'s young son was encouraged to learn this method by his professional, thus sending Mr. O'Toole, by his own admission, to his breaking point to take the side of the anchoring ban.
She delves into some interesting points on the complexity of the ruling (7 pages!) and how there has yet to be a clear explanation as to why the Kuchar method is kosher. She also makes some key points regarding how this undermines the move to simpler rules.
Finally though, there is this regarding the image affect the ban has had on the governing bodies, a take I've heard from enough everyday golfers to believe this is the legacy of the anchoring ban in the eyes of most.
Furthermore, the reversal of the previous decision and the course of action with the "because we said so" air undermines the authority of the ruling bodies. I applaud the current USGA and R&A leadership and committees for being more active in protecting the integrity and future of the game, but not like this.