Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Golf adopts rule to ban anchored putting stroke
Golf » Rule doesn’t ban long putters, only when anchored against body.
First Published May 21 2013 09:13 am • Last Updated May 21 2013 11:54 pm

Golf’s governing bodies approved a rule Tuesday that outlaws the putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, a move opposed by two major golf organizations that contend long putters are not hurting the game.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association said Rule 14-1b will take effect in 2016.

"We recognize this has been a divisive issue, but after thorough consideration, we remain convinced that this is the right decision for golf," R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said.

The new rule does not ban the long putters, only the way they commonly are used. Golfers no longer will be able to anchor the club against their bodies to create the effect of a hinge. Masters champion Adam Scott used a long putter he pressed against his chest. British Open champion Ernie Els and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson used a belly putter, as did Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship.

"We strongly believe that this rule is for the betterment of the game," USGA President Glen Nager said. "Rule 14-1b protects one of the important challenges in the game — the free swing of the entire club."


story continues below
story continues below

The announcement followed six months of contentious debate, and it might not be over.

The next step is for the PGA Tour to follow the new rule or decide to establish its own condition of competition that would allow players to anchor the long putters. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said in February the USGA and R&A would be "making a mistake" to adopt the rule, though he also has stressed the importance of golf playing under one set of rules.

"I think it’s really important that the PGA Tour — and all the professional tours — continue to follow one set of rules," USGA executive director Mike Davis said. "We have gotten very positive feedback from the tours around the world saying that they like one set of rules, they like the R&A and USGA governing those. So if there was some type of schism, we don’t think that would be good for golf.

"And we are doing what we think is right for the long-term benefit of the game for all golfers, and we just can’t write them for one group of elite players."

The tour said in a statement it would consult with its Player Advisory Council and policy board to determine "whether various provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions, and if so, examine the process for implementation."

PGA of America President Ted Bishop, who had some of the sharpest comments over the last few months, also said his group would discuss the new rule — and confer with the PGA Tour — before deciding how to proceed.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.