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Anchored Putters Rules Change (Effective January 1, 2016)

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I don't like anchoring at a professional level because I think that the anchored stroke is a less difficult skill to master than the conventional stroke. It doesn't mean the ceiling is higher but it does mean that more people can reach a higher level.

At an amateur level good arguments can be made either way. Watching someone struggle with their putting isn't much fun for anyone, and if it helps some of the 20 handicappers out there who dread getting to the green because their putting is so awful then I'd see that as a good thing.

But I do believe strongly that one set of rules for everyone is one part of what makes golf a great sport. Watching professional golf is great because they're playing exactly the same game we do each weekend down at our clubs. And it's not us playing their game either, it's them playing our game. There aren't many sports out there where any of us can enter local events and qualify to play in the competitions at the pinnacle of the sport like you can with The Open (US Open too I believe). In most sports I'd need to be drafted or signed etc.

The most worrying thing however is the attempt by the PGA Tour to wrest at least some of the control over the game of golf away from the two organisations who have overseen the development of the game into what it is today. The USGA and R&A; might be slow moving, even a little misguided at times but their motivations are looking after the game of golf. Like any similar organisation, the PGA Tour is beholden to the money that keeps it running. And the professionals are all tied to OEMs who pay them a lot of money to play their equipment. I don't fault either group for doing what's best for themselves, but I don't want them having a say in the overall direction of the game of golf. Neither the PGA Tour nor the pros are in a position to take a truely long term view on what is good for the game.

So I'm not too fussed about whether or not anchoring is deemed legal or illegal but if the PGA Tour's very public attempt to stare down the USGA and the R&A; is successful then I think it's a sad day for the future of golf.

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Originally Posted by Mordan

Huh? The power play is by the PGA Tour and the equipment manufacturers.

If you rank the reasons that people are either not taking up golf, or leaving the game then anchored putting strokes is going to be so far down the list that it's not worth worrying about.

In fairness to the PGA Tour, professional athletes in others sports have input (through the players union or competition committees) into most of the rules they are expected to follow.  Currently, the rules for the PGA Tour are set by the USGA and R&A; without much, if any, consultation with the Tour players.

Everyone seems to be against bifurcation so what other option do they have other than to take on the USGA when they oppose rule changes like the anchored putting stroke.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

In fairness to the PGA Tour, professional athletes in others sports have input (through the players union or competition committees) into most of the rules they are expected to follow.  Currently, the rules for the PGA Tour are set by the USGA and R&A; without much, if any, consultation with the Tour players.

Everyone seems to be against bifurcation so what other option do they have other than to take on the USGA when they oppose rule changes like the anchored putting stroke.

The PGA Tour has a representative on the USGA Rules of golf Committee.  This representative is part of all the discussions at the meetings and I'm sure the input is appreciated by the whole Committee.

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Originally Posted by NM Golf

No, there is no statistical data what-so-ever that provides proof it gives any advantage over the traditional stroke. Saying it does provide an advantage is again nothing more than an opinion.

That's true only because you can't conduct that experiment. You can't somehow prove it. To this point, it's turned mediocre putters into average ones.

Of course it provides a mechanical advantage. If it wasn't, you wouldn't putt that way. Ernie Els wouldn't have called it cheating. Etc. And that's not even necessarily what I said - I said it provided a mechanical advantage. It does. The word "mechanical" matters in that phrase. You're removing degrees of freedom. You're turning it into a hinge or a pendulum instead of having it freely swinging.


Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

I guess at the end of the day this feels like a power play by the USGA and the R&A; and i just don't like it. We (the golf industry) need members and numbers to grow and this doesn't help. If the ruling body wants to help the game lets get more people involved in the growth of it and leave this silly arguement to a time when golf courses are full, being built, prcies are going up and people are running to a part of the game...then if you lose 2 or 3 percent of your potential golfers it won't matter.

Straw man to the extreme. They shouldn't have delayed in doing something they thought was right (though again, those were different people ), and they shouldn't not do something they think is right because they'll lose 12 golfers. Or two. Or 27.

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Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas

Here's the deal: they don't feel it's a stroke, and they feel the game of golf will be better off if the practice is prohibited. They're doing it because they think it's the right thing to do.

They've been very clear about that. There was a time when we'd admire a group that stood up for what they thought was right. Now I guess we just say "there seems to me no logical reason to have this fight." They're doing what they think is best for the integrity of the game. Both the USGA and the R&A.;

I am going to have to disagree with you. I know that is the official position..it just doesn't add up to me. As i mentioned this stroke has been referenced in writing back into the 1920's according to one of the magazines i read on a flight, it has been used for the last 5 to 8 years on every tour...and now all of the sudden after 2 majors won by guys using them it is now what they think is best for the integrity of the game...sorry it doesn't smell right.

Why would it now be so important to the integrity of the game? In my dealings with employees, my children, kids on teams i have coached i have heard hundreds of semi-reasonable explainations of things that just don't add up. Often times they include parts of the truth but virtually never the full truth...there is something missing to the explaination. I do admire a group that stands up for what is right - I think they are misguided in this case.

on a lighter note I had a meeting today at Merion with the USGA - I asked the guy we were with if we could have conversation on anchored putters. I said it with a smile, he just laughed and said we would keep this conversation to the topic on the agenda!! LOL!!

So, because they didn't address the issue of a limit on the number of clubs which can be carried for more than 200 years, they should have just ignored it when players started using 30 or more when they became cheap enough in the last half of the 1930's?  So they should have just blown it off rather than writing a new rule when the proliferation became a threat to the traditional skill set required to excel in the game?  You act like there is no precedent for delaying the implementation of such a decision, but you are way off base there.  Exactly like many other rules changes throughout the history of the game, t he change wasn't proposed until the situation became an issue. It wasn't on the radar until it threatened to undermine the traditional skills that the game is founded on.  When it was nothing more than a rare oddity, there was no reason to do so.

The heads of the USGA and the R&A; didn't see it as a threat until the last couple of years.  Why they didn't see that is irrelevant.  They see it as such now and they have taken this action.  It has nothing to do with advantage or disadvantage.  It has nothing to do with "how it looks".  The only concern is with undermining the traditional skills needed to play golf.  Removing a variable in the the stroke does directly attack those skills.   It's for that reason, and that reason alone that this proposed rule change has been put on the table.

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Originally Posted by allin

I want to add a bit. Those that argue that the rules shouldn't change because it has been this way for x years and those who argue that because it wasn't done that way in the past are employing an argument that in formal debate, are call appeals to tradition, a logical fallacy. I just find it amusing that both sides of this conversation employ a logically flawed argument, and neither side recognizes it.

And then they nearly equate the ban to a ban on gay marriage.  They say that the anchored putters have been around for xxx years and therefore the rule should not be changed.  And when you apply the exact same reasoning to gay marriage it turns into, marriage has been male-female for 2000 years therefore it should not be changed.  LOL.  Talk about unintended consequences.

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Originally Posted by allin

I want to add a bit. Those that argue that the rules shouldn't change because it has been this way for x years and those who argue that because it wasn't done that way in the past are employing an argument that in formal debate, are call appeals to tradition, a logical fallacy. I just find it amusing that both sides of this conversation employ a logically flawed argument, and neither side recognizes it.

Originally Posted by turtleback

And then they nearly equate the ban to a ban on gay marriage.  They say that the anchored putters have been around for xxx years and therefore the rule should not be changed.  And when you apply the exact same reasoning to gay marriage it turns into, marriage has been male-female for 2000 years therefore it should not be changed.  LOL.  Talk about unintended consequences.

Turtle, you're making too many assumptions here.  First off, it's already been explained that nobody is "equating" anything.  Pointing out the similarities between the two positions/arguments doesn't mean we think the issues are even remotely similar in weight.  Secondly, you're using the word "they" too freely.  You're assuming that because we have pointed out (or in my case, just agreed with somebody else who pointed out) the similarities in those arguments, that we automatically believe the exact opposite.  Also, very not true.  For one, I'm not even against the ban at all ... I'm quite ambivalent about the whole thing.  And if I were against it, I can assure you that my main argument would not be simply because they've been around for xxx years.

So you're "unintended consequences" conclusion is incorrect. :)

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/europeantour/9893361/European-Tour-likely-to-back-RandA-and-go-against-American-players-on-belly-putter-ban.html

Quote:
The European Tour is set to side with the Royal & Ancient and the United States Golf Association over the anchoring ban controversy and leave the PGA Tour to fight the proposed rules changes on its own.

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Originally Posted by Fourputt

So, because they didn't address the issue of a limit on the number of clubs which can be carried for more than 200 years, they should have just ignored it when players started using 30 or more when they became cheap enough in the last half of the 1930's?  So they should have just blown it off rather than writing a new rule when the proliferation became a threat to the traditional skill set required to excel in the game?  You act like there is no precedent for delaying the implementation of such a decision, but you are way off base there.  Exactly like many other rules changes throughout the history of the game, the change wasn't proposed until the situation became an issue.    It wasn't on the radar until it threatened to undermine the traditional skills that the game is founded on.  When it was nothing more than a rare oddity, there was no reason to do so.

The heads of the USGA and the R&A; didn't see it as a threat until the last couple of years.  Why they didn't see that is irrelevant.  They see it as such now and they have taken this action.  It has nothing to do with advantage or disadvantage.  It has nothing to do with "how it looks".  The only concern is with undermining the traditional skills needed to play golf.  Removing a variable in the the stroke does directly attack those skills.   It's for that reason, and that reason alone that this proposed rule change has been put on the table.

except the data provided by the USGA and the R&A; and the comments provided by them says there is no advantage in anchoring... so this whole conversation is about what? I am supposed to find that logical and what the leaders of the game are supposed to be concerned with? what is next we ban all odd ball swings, we don't let the spider man look at putts from ground level, no lefty golfers... i realize these things are over the top and not going to happen but that doesn't change anything about the anchoring conversation.

if there is no advantage what else is there? my original comment was that the story doesn't add up and they are not being honest - I have read nothing to make me think I am incorrect on that thought.

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Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

except the data provided by the USGA and the R&A; and the comments provided by them says there is no advantage in anchoring.

Please read what he's written.

He didn't say that the USGA/R&A; saw it as a threat because of an "advantage" or not - he said they saw it as a threat to the traditional manner in which golf is to be played - to the very definition of a "stroke" or "swing."

Besides, the USGA/R&A; have provided NO DATA one way or the other on whether it's an advantage or not, because as I said above you can't reasonably get such data as you can't conduct such a study and get anything close to valid "results."


Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

what is next we ban all odd ball swings, we don't let the spider man look at putts from ground level, no lefty golfers... i realize these things are over the top and not going to happen but that doesn't change anything about the anchoring conversation.

You really don't seem to understand the positions of the ruling bodies in the game on this, do you?

Originally Posted by Lefty-Golfer

if there is no advantage what else is there? my original comment was that the story doesn't add up and they are not being honest - I have read nothing to make me think I am incorrect on that thought.

There is "it's not a stroke or a swing." Geez.

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except the data provided by the USGA and the R&A; and the comments provided by them says there is no advantage in anchoring...

If there is no advantage to the anchored stroke, then the players using an anchored stroke will encounter no problems when they revert to a non-anchored stroke .

As iacas has stated, there are no existing statistics that can show whether or not it's an advantage to the players who use an anchored stroke, and advantage/disadvantage is not being used as justification for the rule change .

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Originally Posted by SCfanatic35

I must have clicked on the wrong thread. Thought this one was about anchoring putters.

I know what you mean.  This thread has drifted to conversation about whether or not two gay guys anchoring their putters should be allowed since some find it aesthetically unpleasant. Or someting like that.

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Originally Posted by Mordan

Huh? The power play is by the PGA Tour and the equipment manufacturers.

Exactly.

Originally Posted by Rulesman

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/europeantour/9893361/European-Tour-likely-to-back-RandA-and-go-against-American-players-on-belly-putter-ban.html

Good.  Now if Finchem wants to sell the game out, he'll have to do so on an island.  It's getting really sad and pathetic listening to these guys turn into politicians with their talking points that are illogical and based on straw men arguments.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

And then they nearly equate the ban to a ban on gay marriage.

Really, are you serious? Perhaps some reading glasses or instruction are in order?!

Originally Posted by bigwave916

I know what you mean.  This thread has drifted to conversation about whether or not two gay guys anchoring their putters should be allowed since some find it aesthetically unpleasant. Or someting like that.

Its ridiculous replies like these that make is very frustrating to have a debate about anything. Thanks for adding so much to the conversation, !

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Originally Posted by NM Golf

Really, are you serious? Perhaps some reading glasses or instruction are in order?!

Its ridiculous replies like these that make is very frustrating to have a debate about anything. Thanks for adding so much to the conversation, !

I've found that people who play "dumb" when it comes to debates--taking comments out of context, acting like they don't really understand logical points that were made, trying to make it sound like someone meant something that they didn't--these people are usually just attention seekers who don't want to take the time to express a logical opinion but instead would rather get attention by pushing people's buttons.

The sad thing is they aren't aware how they look to everyone else.  I can only guess they're the jerks that went around in school bullying the smart kids because they felt like they needed to bring them down a few notches to their mental level.

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To those of you who claim you don't understand how the anchored putt is "all of the sudden" a threat, think about this...

The fact that guys are doing something on the Tour isn't an issue unless the media makes it an issue.  The fact that a few guys over the years had a putting method in which instead of swinging the club they were anchoring it to their body wasn't an issue, because the media didn't focus on it.

When the media DOES focus on something, it becomes important.  Why?  Because the media (not just the news, but advertising as well) influences the public.  Nike sales soared after the Air Jordan ad campaigns.  Nike golf equipment did too after Tiger's endorsements.  Why?  Because WINNERS were using the stuff.

This is exactly why belly/long putter sales soared last year, and it's exactly what made the issue appear on the radar.

Were guys using it for decades?  Yeah, I'm sure they were.  But an "oddity" isn't a threat to the game until it becomes a "trend".

The USGA isn't in the habit of stepping in the first time they see something and saying "okay, nobody can ever do that on a golf course again".  It takes time to see how something might impact the overall game.

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With Finchem throwing down the gauntlet and essentially demanding the USGA and R&A; to back off the ban just because it would affect 20% of his players we now will see who is really in charge of setting the rules, the professional tour associations or the USGA and R&A.;

I for one would be very sad if the PGA Tour ends up winning.

The PGA game looks nothing like my game.

My best drive is at least 100 yards less than their average drive.

The pros can hit a 7 iron 200 plus yards. I would be happy to hit my 140 yards.

The fairways they play on will run faster than my greens.

Their sand traps are perfectly raked and are consistent from trap to trap.

If my fellow playing partners adopted their pre shot routines our rounds would regularly exceed 5 hours.

They have a caddie to talk them out of the miracle shot .... my playing partners will goat me into it.

For the good of the game, I really hope the USGA and the R&A; don't back down.

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Originally Posted by ay33660

For the good of the game, I really hope the USGA and the R&A; don't back down.

couldn't agree more.

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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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