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Anchored Putters Rules Change (Effective January 1, 2016)

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Originally Posted by dsc123

So you can still put your left hand on top, away from your body, and hold it steady as you swing the head with the other hand.

Originally Posted by dave67az

That's the way I read it...so long as your forearm isn't anchored to your body either.

And that was what Meenman was saying too, I believe.  The hand on the end of the club, the club AND hand free and clear of the chest, therefore nothing is anchored, and it's a legal stroke.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

And that was what Meenman was saying too, I believe.  The hand on the end of the club, the club AND hand free and clear of the chest, therefore nothing is anchored, and it's a legal stroke.

Am I the only one that sees the USGA definition as incomplete?

It seems to me if, as they have said, they want to clarify what a legal stroke is, we're talking about the actual action that the club makes during the "swing".  In an "anchored stroke", the butt end of the club functions as an axis point around which the rest of the club pivots, similar to a pendulum.  Right?  I thought this was what they had a problem with..."pivoting" the club rather than "swinging" (with no stationary axis point) the club.

So how is that different than a broomstick stroke where the anchor point is simply away from the body but still stationary, allowing the rest of the club to pivot similar to a pendulum?

Seems to me either I'm missing something or they haven't thought this definition or rule wording through very carefully.  If I were a belly putterer, I'd be fighting based on the fact that they're saying a pivoting putter is legal in one instance but not the other.

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Am I the only one that sees the USGA definition as incomplete? It seems to me if, as they have said, they want to clarify what a legal stroke is, we're talking about the actual action that the club makes during the "swing".  In an "anchored stroke", the butt end of the club functions as an axis point around which the rest of the club pivots, similar to a pendulum.  Right?  I thought this was what they had a problem with..."pivoting" the club rather than "swinging" (with no stationary axis point) the club. So how is that different than a broomstick stroke where the anchor point is simply away from the body but still stationary, allowing the rest of the club to pivot similar to a pendulum? Seems to me either I'm missing something or they haven't thought this definition or rule wording through very carefully.  If I were a belly putterer, I'd be fighting based on the fact that they're saying a pivoting putter is legal in one instance but not the other.

The belly putter is what caused this (proposed) rule, the broomstick was just collateral damage

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Originally Posted by dave67az

Am I the only one that sees the USGA definition as incomplete?

It seems to me if, as they have said, they want to clarify what a legal stroke is, we're talking about the actual action that the club makes during the "swing".  In an "anchored stroke", the butt end of the club functions as an axis point around which the rest of the club pivots, similar to a pendulum.  Right?  I thought this was what they had a problem with..."pivoting" the club rather than "swinging" (with no stationary axis point) the club.

So how is that different than a broomstick stroke where the anchor point is simply away from the body but still stationary, allowing the rest of the club to pivot similar to a pendulum?

Seems to me either I'm missing something or they haven't thought this definition or rule wording through very carefully.  If I were a belly putterer, I'd be fighting based on the fact that they're saying a pivoting putter is legal in one instance but not the other.

I dont think they care about the stroke meenman is proposing

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Originally Posted by meenman

The belly putter is what caused this (proposed) rule, the broomstick was just collateral damage

Originally Posted by dsc123

I dont think they care about the stroke meenman is proposing

I do understand both of these points.  Both statements are in line with what the USGA is proposing, but neither explains the lack of logic behind it.

The USGA is defining a stroke as having more to do with where the hands are positioned than how they move.  This, to me, makes no sense.  So the hand can anchor the end of the club, holding it in a stationary position, as long as it's not doing the exact same thing while touching the chest?

Yeah...that makes sense.

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Originally Posted by dave67az

I do understand both of these points.  Both statements are in line with what the USGA is proposing, but neither explains the lack of logic behind it.

The USGA is defining a stroke as having more to do with where the hands are positioned than how they move.  This, to me, makes no sense.  So the hand can anchor the end of the club, holding it in a stationary position, as long as it's not doing the exact same thing while touching the chest?

Yeah...that makes sense.

I think it's pretty logical.

Iin the style Meenman is considering using, he's not anchoring his hand to anything.  Yes, he's trying to hold his hand steady and swing the club about it, but he's not providing himself any bracing to help do it.  It's an axis point, or a pendulum point, but it's not a "fixed" point.  He's still holding the club only with his hands and swinging it freely.

Furthermore, it will be perfectly within the rules to hold a belly putter or a standard length putter in the same fashion if one so desired.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

I think it's pretty logical.

Iin the style Meenman is considering using, he's not anchoring his hand to anything.  Yes, he's trying to hold his hand steady and swing the club about it, but he's not providing himself any bracing to help do it.  It's an axis point, or a pendulum point, but it's not a "fixed" point.  He's still holding the club only with his hands and swinging it freely.

Furthermore, it will be perfectly within the rules to hold a belly putter or a standard length putter in the same fashion if one so desired.

Logical, even if the elbow is "anchored' to the body rather than the forearm?

I guess I don't see how it can be deemed "swinging freely" if one hand is holding the end of the grip stationary.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

I think it's pretty logical.

Iin the style Meenman is considering using, he's not anchoring his hand to anything.  Yes, he's trying to hold his hand steady and swing the club about it, but he's not providing himself any bracing to help do it.  It's an axis point, or a pendulum point, but it's not a "fixed" point.  He's still holding the club only with his hands and swinging it freely.

Furthermore, it will be perfectly within the rules to hold a belly putter or a standard length putter in the same fashion if one so desired.

Holding it in a hand that doesn't move isn't anchoring, that's just swinging a pendulum.

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Originally Posted by dave67az

Logical, even if the elbow is "anchored' to the body rather than the forearm?

I guess I don't see how it can be deemed "swinging freely" if one hand is holding the end of the grip stationary.

The elbow is not anchored to the body (it's tough to do without any of the forearm touching too), if you want to get technical, many putt with short putters that have their elbows anchored to their body

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Originally Posted by dsc123

This is it.  Its not about the pendulum motion, its about anchoring.  I think that's the beauty in the way the rule is written.

Holding it in a hand that doesn't move isn't anchoring, that's just swinging a pendulum.

I was mistaken then.  I thought the free motion of the club was what defined a "swing".  This is why I thought holding one end in a fixed point in space would have been covered under the ban.  So it's more about how the arms are positioned than the movement of the club.  I still don't like this logic, but I get what you're saying.

Originally Posted by meenman

The elbow is not anchored to the body (it's tough to do without any of the forearm touching too), if you want to get technical, many putt with short putters that have their elbows anchored to their body

Just so I get this picture, your method has no part of your left arm touching your chest, with your left hand holding the end of the club in a fixed (as much as possible, at least) position in front of your chest?

I thought about similar motions with short putters, and the only ones I can imagine where the grip end is stationary would be a wrist-only putter (are there any of those any more?).  If the body turns, it's not really a pivot by my definition because the entire club is moving through space.  I've seen guys anchor both their elbows and then swing by rotating their body (I even tried it for a while) but the entire club swings in these cases--the grip may be in the same position relative to the belly throughout the stroke but the grip is still moving through space.

I did write the USGA to clarify why one pivot point is illegal just because of a forearm touching the body but a pivot point anchored by an elbow is not, so I should hear back from them, oh, I don't know, when hell freezes over?  lol

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Originally Posted by WWBDD

You guys have this all sorted out yet?

Do you think the USGA takes this thread into consideration as part of the open commenting period?

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Originally Posted by dsc123

Do you think the USGA takes this thread into consideration as part of the open commenting period?


I did reference it in my email...complete with a link.

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They have a feedback link on their website just for this rule change.

Might as well provide that in case anyone besides me wants to get their emails ignored.

Just email feedback@usga.org and make sure you put "Rule 14-1 Change" in the subject line.

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Originally Posted by dave67az

Logical, even if the elbow is "anchored' to the body rather than the forearm?

I guess I don't see how it can be deemed "swinging freely" if one hand is holding the end of the grip stationary.

Well, the line has to be drawn somewhere, doesn't it?  Where would you propose it be drawn if not at the elbow?  Like Meenman said, many putt with short putters that have their elbows anchored to their body.  That got me wondering, and I happen to have a putter here in the office, so I got up and took a few strokes.  Thanks to my big belly, if "anchoring" your elbows (or anything above) was made against the rules, I would be screwed.  Or forced to lose some weight. :)

On a similar note, there is a post I made (it's way back there, I'm not looking it up) pondering whether or not the elbow braced against the front of the body (basically jabbed into your gut) with no forearm touching would be the "workaround" that a lot of people would try.  (I doubt it, it's really awkward)

But, again, I repeat, that one hand may be stationary, but you have to be steady to make it so.  It's just holding the club up in the air, and is not braced against anything.

EDIT:  LOL, you guys can disregard my whole post seeing as how my mollasses like speed got it in just in time for you all to have already sorted it all out. :)

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

I have the belly model which I lightly anchor. I experimented today with it not anchored. Not a huge difference and something that I could easily get used too.

But... if the belly putter isn't anchored, then it's really no different from a standard stroke.

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Originally Posted by dave67az

Just so I get this picture, your method has no part of your left arm touching your chest, with your left hand holding the end of the club in a fixed (as much as possible, at least) position in front of your chest?

I thought about similar motions with short putters, and the only ones I can imagine where the grip end is stationary would be a wrist-only putter (are there any of those any more?).  If the body turns, it's not really a pivot by my definition because the entire club is moving through space.  I've seen guys anchor both their elbows and then swing by rotating their body (I even tried it for a while) but the entire club swings in these cases--the grip may be in the same position relative to the belly throughout the stroke but the grip is still moving through space.

I did write the USGA to clarify why one pivot point is illegal just because of a forearm touching the body but a pivot point anchored by an elbow is not, so I should hear back from them, oh, I don't know, when hell freezes over?  lol

To get an idea look at this video (and dont hold your breath waiting for the USGA to respond unless you have a good life insurance policy)

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It seems likely that some belly or long putter users are going to adjust their action minimally, just enough not to anchor per the regs but allowing them to still benefit from use of their unconventional putters, at least in their own view.

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Note: This thread is 867 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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