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Anchored Putters Rules Change (Effective January 1, 2016)

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Originally Posted by meenman

Again today, paired up with some prospective members and it didnt take 3 holes for one of them to ask me what I am going to do when the club is banned.

LOL

I wasn't one of them meenman, honest I wasn't .....

Good piece in today's Wall St Jnl on the subject - "Why the anchor-putt debate is back".  A very objective article IMO.  The notion that an anchoring ban would deter many golfers from taking up the game and would cause many to abandon it, promulgated by Taylor et al., is laughable.  These companies have ZERO credibility in the matter - we all know what their single motivation is. Mike Davis @ USGA is spot on with his comments.  The game of golf is in good hands with people like that.

According to the article, in a survey of PGA club and teaching pros 63% were against the ban.  Am I being too cynical in supposing that they see a loss of significant instructional income if the ban goes into effect?

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Originally Posted by turtleback

I'm having a hard time imagining that ANYONE, not even one, will quit the game over this unless it is some of the hardliners who would do it out of pique, not the actual loss of anchoring.  THIS is what I mean when I say there are some anti-ban people out there that are just delusional.  "People will quit".  "The USGA will fold up".  "Golf will die".

Delusional.

It is an argument born of desperation.

Now that meenman has kindly declared his own putting style things are a bit clearer.  Perhaps all posters in this thread should be forced to state their putting method at the end of their posts (NA = not anchored, A = anchored).

NA

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NA and no problem with anchoring. In exactly the same way I'm NG but have no problem with two guys getting married. World would be a much better place if everybody just minded their own ****ing business.

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I agree golf participation will not shrivel up and die if the anchored stroke ban remains in place but...  From a marketing perspective this rule change has been a major lose for the USGA and golf in general.   The rules of the game should never be in the forefront of a sport, nothing good ever comes from it.

I also agree the number of golfers that use an anchored stroke represent a small minority of golfers but an even smaller minority (at least in the US) are the number of golfers that would quit the sport if the USGA continued to allow golfers to use an anchored stroke.

This is a rule change that targeted a specific group of fellow golfers that have been doing something that's been allowed for over 40 years and telling them they can't do it any longer basically because too many people were joining them in doing it.   I've never heard  (except on this site) anyone complain or question the anchored stroke or relate it to cheating prior to the USGA proposed ban.  Most people think the anchored stroke looks stupid and lose interest quickly after they give it a try and realize they don't sink any more putts using one.  The majority of people I speak to and even on here don't really care, maybe we agree that it's not a traditional stroke, maybe we support the ban, but no one has threatened to quit golf or organize a protest if they don't ban anchoring.

This is completely different from the wedge rule because 1) the rule applied to everyone, 2) the effect on the pro's was almost zero, 3) amateurs don't have to worry about it for years by which time we will have likely replaced all our wedges 2 or 3 times anyway.

What the USGA and this rule change have done is create a group of martyrs (anchored stroke golfers, club manufacturers) that have focused the spotlight completely on the USGA and asked the question, "Who are these guys and why do they have the ultimate power to decide how we and the pro's play the game?"  From the outside it doesn't appear there's any vote, minimal input from the pro's who's careers are affected most, or the amateurs that pay to keep the game alive.  It's never good for an organization like the USGA to have these questions asked.

The trends seem to indicate the support is with the PGA Tour, PGA and based on recent interviews even the pro's like Tiger and Stricker are backing off their hard line positions against it.  People I speak to are more concerned with the USGA "abusing" their power to make the game more difficult, the slippery slope argument - first anchoring then equipment and golf ball rollbacks than they are watching Keegan Bradley win a Major anchoring his putter.

Put your seatbelts on, it's going to be a rough ride.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

And that stagnation has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with how one holds a putter.  Growth of golf slowed long before anyone even mentioned the possibility of a ban, and putting such a ban in place will not change that trend positively or negatively.  It is simply a non issue in that regard.  People can babble all they want to about growing the game and bringing in young people, but trying to find a causation between those things and anchored putting is like searching for a needle in a haystack when you have no reason to believe that there even is a needle in that haystack.

I'm not saying that the stagnation has anything to do with your method of putting. I was just saying that it exists. The number of players that may leave the game will not be big, but courses will have to find a way to replace them. I don't know how many courses have a buisness model of breaking even,but if there is no growth, that is the best that can happen. I am a good ball striker, and a bad putter. If I got to the point where it becme too frustrating, I would find something else to do. I currently use a 34'' putter, but if I could use an anchored putter in order to keep playing,  that would be great.

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Agree that this decision ....  err, proposal ..... should have been made long ago.  Big mistake.

Stretch:  golf is all of our "business".  We may disagree on this matter but I hope we're all considering the best interests of the sport.  But you "A" players out there have my sympathy.  If I'd been anchoring a long putter for a while and found it helpful I'd probably be annoyed myself - annoyed at the tardiness of USGA that is.

I have yet to be aware of a single player anchoring his or her putter here in the San Diego area, and I usually play as a walk-on single.  Of course I might not have noticed or be remembering one or two but there can't be many.  Still, this is beside the point.

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Originally Posted by Chas

According to the article, in a survey of PGA club and teaching pros 63% were against the ban.  Am I being too cynical in supposing that they see a loss of significant instructional income if the ban goes into effect?

I'm gonna say that's a bit too cynical (coming from a fellow cynic), as I don't think it would have much effect one way or another.  Unless they are strictly putting Gurus...like the Dave Stockton of anchored putting or something.  Having said that, I'm a bit surprised the number is that high.  I'm borderline shocked by it.

Originally Posted by Stretch

NA and no problem with anchoring. In exactly the same way I'm NG but have no problem with two guys getting married. World would be a much better place if everybody just minded their own ****ing business.

That's a false equivalency, though.  Rules enforcement of a competition affects all participating members in the competition.  I--like you--could care less if two guys want to marry or if my unreliable, philandering, unemployed but heterosexual uncle wants to marry.

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Originally Posted by canadianpro

The anchoring ban would be impossible to enforce,,,,

No more so than many rules of the game that rely on integrity and honor.

Originally Posted by newtogolf

I agree golf participation will not shrivel up and die if the anchored stroke ban remains in place but...  From a marketing perspective this rule change has been a major lose for the USGA and golf in general.   The rules of the game should never be in the forefront of a sport, nothing good ever comes from it.

Nah. It's a tempest in a teapot. Of the 25 million golfers in the U.S. probably 2 million have any clue what's really going on.


Originally Posted by newtogolf

I also agree the number of golfers that use an anchored stroke represent a small minority of golfers but an even smaller minority (at least in the US) are the number of golfers that would quit the sport if the USGA continued to allow golfers to use an anchored stroke.

Straw man.

Originally Posted by newtogolf

I've never heard  (except on this site) anyone complain or question the anchored stroke or relate it to cheating prior to the USGA proposed ban.

It's been talked about for a long, long time. So either you didn't pay attention or something. It's not a topic that's only a year old.


Originally Posted by newtogolf

The majority of people I speak to and even on here don't really care, maybe we agree that it's not a traditional stroke, maybe we support the ban, but no one has threatened to quit golf or organize a protest if they don't ban anchoring.

And basically 0 people are threatening to quit if it's instituted.

Originally Posted by newtogolf

This is completely different from the wedge rule because 1) the rule applied to everyone, 2) the effect on the pro's was almost zero, 3) amateurs don't have to worry about it for years by which time we will have likely replaced all our wedges 2 or 3 times anyway.

1) This rule applies to everyone.

2) The effect on pros will be almost zero (you don't have to do much - just cut an inch off your putter and stop sticking it in your belly)

3) Amateurs by and large will NEVER have to worry about it because very very very few of them putt anchored

The groove rule targeted those individuals who bombed it and wedged it onto greens. You don't really know if it had any effect. Golf is too multi-faceted. Guys did change balls, clubs, etc. That alone could have changed things. Some people might not have won majors. You never know what it changed. And it certainly caused some discussion when Phil put some PING wedges in his bag, for example. It was a bigger story than you're remembering.

newtogolf, you're acting like the USGA is alone in this. THE ENTIRE WORLD is affected by this because the R&A; is involved as well. They control two and again likely three of the four majors. The USGA/R&A; have a HELL of a lot more power than you're giving them credit for having.

Originally Posted by newtogolf

The trends seem to indicate the support is with the PGA Tour, PGA and based on recent interviews even the pro's like Tiger and Stricker are backing off their hard line positions against it.

No, the trends among the teeny percentage of golfers who care about this are leaning that way. Plus you don't know how vocal the people who say "good, ban them" are - the people who are more likely to be vocal are the ones who oppose the proposed changes.

Originally Posted by caniac6

The number of players that may leave the game will not be big, but courses will have to find a way to replace them.

As I said, a blip. I doubt it the average course will lose one entire person. Quick! They need to replace 0.63 golfers!

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

I'm gonna say that's a bit too cynical (coming from a fellow cynic), as I don't think it would have much effect one way or another.  Unless they are strictly putting Gurus...like the Dave Stockton of anchored putting or something.  Having said that, I'm a bit surprised the number is that high.  I'm borderline shocked by it.

I find it highly surprising myself.  That was the only theory I could come up with to explain the data.

Any instructors out there with other, perhaps less cynical theories?  Erik?

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It was an exceptionally poorly written article, IMO.

1) No details of the teaching pro survey were given yet the exact number of rec players in that survey was given.

2)  he calls it a method used by tens of thousands of player worldwide (the implication being that less than 100,000 use it), and

3) this is represented as 10% to 20% of all golfers - an absurdity.  I doubt if even 1-2% of rec players use anchoring.

4) if he is to be believed, the reason teaching pros oppose the ban is they are afraid it will cause rampant cheating (i.e., ignoring of the ban) - like many people don't cheat now?

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Your points 1 thru 3 are of little consequence in the debate. As to 4, cheating is plausible as an explanation bit I don't subscribe myself. Yesterday I spoke to two Taylor guys at a demo event at the club in my development (of which I'm not a member). The senior guy toed the part line, as per the CEO's recent statement. The other guy seemed to somewhat support the ban, or at least see the rationale for it. We agreed that USGA should have dealt with this long ago, one way or the other. Aside: really liked both their drivers and the TM staff seemed very knowledgable. They aren't sitting on their laurels, that's clear enough.

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On TV just now, Finchem said that "PGA is not at war with USGA." "We're not interested in getting into the rule making business". He clearly wants to dispel some of the excited talk about an open rift and separate rules for the tour. Another quote: "We agree that all the rules should be the same". But he said a majority of pro players are against the ban - he is representing this opinion and will continue to argue against the ban. If USGA doesn't budge by the end of the review period there will be further discussion in the PGA.

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Quote:

On TV just now, Finchem said that "PGA is not at war with USGA." "We're not interested in getting into the rule making business". He clearly wants to dispel some of the excited talk about an open rift and separate rules for the tour. Another quote: "We agree that all the rules should be the same". But he said a majority of pro players are against the ban - he is representing this opinion and will continue to argue against the ban. If USGA doesn't budge by the end of the review period there will be further discussion in the PGA.

They're not at war but Finchem also stated they are hoping the "USGA changes their mind" on the ban so they don't have to go to war.  He said the USGA was notified of the PGA Tour's position on the anchored stroke ban.  If the USGA moves forward with the ban he outlined the process the PGA Tour will follow which would start with a vote of the members on the Tour.

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Correct.

Did I just hear Finchem say that 20% of amatueurs are anchoring?  I agree with Turtleback that it's much, much less than this.  But again, I don't see this as a major point in the debate.   Everyone agrees that USGA has been dilatory but that is history.

Finchem is being careful to represent majority PGA opinion without getting into a debate about what they might do next if USGA sticks to its guns.

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Originally Posted by Chas

Correct.

Did I just hear Finchem say that 20% of amatueurs are anchoring?  I agree with Turtleback that it's much, much less than this.  But again, I don't see this as a major point in the debate.

Finchem is being careful to represent majority PGA opinion without getting into a debate about what they might do next if USGA sticks to its guns.

The study they did was a guy walked out to a local golf course and saw 1 guy playing in a 5-some with an anchored putter, and voila, 20%.

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Originally Posted by Chas

Correct.

Did I just hear Finchem say that 20% of amatueurs are anchoring?  I agree with Turtleback that it's much, much less than this.

I've never seen a long putter, anchored or not, being used other than in serious competition.

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Note: This thread is 866 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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