As I’m sure many of you are aware, the USGA has imposed a ban on anchoring the golf stroke, which the PGA Tour has adopted, effective January 1, 2016. Just like with any other rule or ban that comes out, a lot of argument and debate closely followed suit. I believe that this ban, and all the arguments surrounding it, actually brings attention to some of the fundamental aspects of the golf world as whole.
One of the reasons this ban was put in place is because those opposed to the long putter felt that this new anchored putting stroke looked unconventional and unnatural when compared to the traditional putting stroke. This reasoning shows how deeply steeped in tradition golf really is. By proposing a ban primarily because the anchored putting stroke is not traditional shows how much golf values the many traditions surrounding it. The traditional putting stroke can be thought of as similar to the traditions of the Green Jacket or the fact that the US Open always concluding on Father’s Day.
The other aspect of the game that is revealed because of this ban is that everything in golf is meant to be as fair as possible so that competition stems completely from the skill of the player, rather than the equipment they’re using. It’s been argued that the belly putter provides users with an advantage while putting. Golf doesn’t want people to be more skillful purely because of a piece of equipment; rather, players should be skilled because of how they use the same equipment as others.
In the end, this ban manages to show the true colors of the golf world. One, that it is deeply steeped in tradition and two, that competition should stem completely from the skill of a player and not the equipment being used. I believe both aspects can be seen as a result of this ban and surrounding arguments. My question to you is if you agree with me, or have any further analysis?