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iacas

Re-Write the Anchored Putter Rule

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I listened to Brandel Chamblee's interview and around the 25:00 mark he talks about anchoring, and how if he were the commissioner, he'd ask the USGA/R&A to re-write the rule to be clearer, and to avoid the ambiguity that a Scott McCarron or a Bernhard Langer create.

So, @Vinsk, here's your chance to re-write the rule. Or anyone's chance.

Some things that must be maintained:

  • You don't get to legislate putter length. That's not the purpose of the rule, and some guys need a 37" putter because they're tall. Ostensibly, too, a longer putter is tougher to control, so if someone wants to truly swing a longer putter without anchoring, good luck to them…
  • You don't get to abolish other currently legal types of putting. In other words, you don't get to say "both hands must be touching each other" because the arm-lock style would be illegal.
  • Your rule must work in roughly the same manner as the current rule. You must keep in mind that the goal was to eliminate the idea of a part of the club behaving like a fulcrum or pivot point, and that the butt of the club should be allowed to freely swing. The definition changed related to the definition of a stroke.

Brandel's point was that maybe the shirt even acts as a "soft anchor." That by feeling whether your thumb moves against your shirt, you can keep your thumb and thus effectively the butt of the club in the same place. Maybe you even rest your thumb against a button.

He thinks you should not be allowed to touch your shirt. Though, then, immediately he said that if you're wearing a jacket and a sweater, where do you truly draw that line, and that even a regular club will occasionally catch a part of your jacket or whatever during a stroke, or when it's windy, or whatever.

I think that's a good counter-point to his own argument, but the rules could simply say "when using a putter." The putter is a defined different club, with different rules already (though they're equipment-related rules). So maybe guys will just need to wear tighter jackets, and then they can't touch them from their elbows down when putting.

What do you think? How would you re-write the rule? Share it here…

… then the rest of us will pick it apart to see if it withstands.

 

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Maybe something as simple as "The hands and forearms must be clearly free from contact with the torso or other possible anchor point."  I feel that adding the term "clearly" should force those players who are gaming the rule to modify their strokes to comply with the spirit and intent of the rule.  If it isn't clear that they are creating separation, then they are in breach.

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3 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

Maybe something as simple as "The hands and forearms must be clearly free from contact with the torso or other possible anchor point."  I feel that adding the term "clearly" should force those players who are gaming the rule to modify their strokes to comply with the spirit and intent of the rule.  If it isn't clear that they are creating separation, then they are in breach.

"Clearly" is pretty vague, as is "anchor point." As Brandel pointed out, the shirt or a button can act as a "soft anchor." But the hand is still free to move, it's not being pressed against anything, so it's not really an "anchor" either.

This is not going to be easy.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

"Clearly" is pretty vague, as is "anchor point." As Brandel pointed out, the shirt or a button can act as a "soft anchor." But the hand is still free to move, it's not being pressed against anything, so it's not really an "anchor" either.

This is not going to be easy.

I don't think that there is any way to make it decisive without either addressing the design issue, or specifying that there must be a visible space between the hand/forearm and torso.  That's what I meant when I said "clearly".  Regardless of the clothing worn, there must be a visible space which clearly shows that there is no point of contact.

Edited by Fourputt

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2 minutes ago, Fourputt said:

I don't think that there is any way to make it decisive without either addressing the design issue, or specifying that there must be a visible space between the hand/forearm and torso.  That's what I meant when I said "clearly".  Regardless of the clothing worn, there must be a visible space which clearly shows that there is no point of contact.

My point was only that you're now going to have to define "clearly" as well as what angles are necessary to see the "visible space."

What if we just changed the current definition to say that no part of the arm below the elbow (same as current) can touch any part of the body or clothing?

That would at least mean Bernhard would wear tighter shirts, and we could more easily see how far he has the upper hand from his chest, no?

Please pick that apart with rational arguments. Maybe it will hold up; I suspect it won't.

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On 1/29/2018 at 2:10 PM, iacas said:

What if we just changed the current definition to say that no part of the arm below the elbow (same as current) can touch any part of the body or clothing?

I’m liking this being that as Erik stated it’s a pretty difficult task. IMO the latest pic I posted clearly beyond doubt shows BL is contacting his chest all during his stroke. The crease in his shirt proves that. Yeah, a windbreaker/jacket flapping in the wind? Too bad. You better damn well make sure your below the elbow anatomy isn’t touching your body or clothes. At least this would make them have to be much more careful as BL clearly wasn’t in that stroke.

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FWIW I might not even have to define "clothing." Just say it can't touch any other part of your body or equipment, because equipment is already ""Equipment" is anything used, worn, held or carried by the player or the player's caddie, except:"

The exceptions don't exclude clothing.

In my mind I was picturing someone wearing a necklace with a pendant and resting their thumb on that to help them maintain an anchoring point, but in this case that jewelry/necklace is "equipment."

And… the 2019 rules simply define equipment as "Anything used, worn, held or carried by the player or the player’s caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by the player or caddie."

So, still good there.

So, you can't touch anything below the elbows to anything above the elbows, body or equipment. Might work? What are the holes?

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On ‎1‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 1:10 PM, iacas said:

My point was only that you're now going to have to define "clearly" as well as what angles are necessary to see the "visible space."

What if we just changed the current definition to say that no part of the arm below the elbow (same as current) can touch any part of the body or clothing?

That would at least mean Bernhard would wear tighter shirts, and we could more easily see how far he has the upper hand from his chest, no?

Please pick that apart with rational arguments. Maybe it will hold up; I suspect it won't.

The current USGA/R&A pictorial document allows the "forearms held against the body without anchoring".  Is your intent to eliminate being able to do this?

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1 minute ago, SG11118 said:

The current USGA/R&A pictorial document allows the "forearms held against the body without anchoring".  Is your intent to eliminate being able to do this?

That's one image of the several, and may be a hole that renders this iteration a non-starter. Unless we very loosely interpret "forearm" or "elbow" then I can see even traditional putting strokes where the forearm contacts a windbreaker or something.

What's your suggestion, @SG11118?

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Golf relies on the integrity of the golfer to follow the rules.  In this case, the problem is that only the golfer knows if they are following the rules, and people don't like that it isn't transparent.  It seems wrong to try and create or modify rules because you can't trust the integrity of golfers. 

It seems like Bernhard needs to be continuously goaded by everyone around him on tour until he changes his putting swing enough to assure everyone that he is following the rules - same for McCarron or whoever else.

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25 minutes ago, SG11118 said:

Golf relies on the integrity of the golfer to follow the rules.  In this case, the problem is that only the golfer knows if they are following the rules, and people don't like that it isn't transparent.  It seems wrong to try and create or modify rules because you can't trust the integrity of golfers.

You've made an assumption about why I started this topic or think the rule should be re-written/strengthened/clarified.

Your assumption here is incorrect.

I believe Langer (@Vinsk does not), but I agree with BC that he's creating and using a "soft anchor point" and I'd like to see that abolished as well.

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I would amend the rule (14-1b) so as to not include the elbow and forearm.  Who has not played a chip, or short pitch, with their trailing elbow tucked to their side?  Strictly speaking; that would be "anchoring".  If the rule pertained only to the hands, and the butt end of the club, it would be easier to implement.  

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8 minutes ago, Piz said:

I would amend the rule (14-1b) so as to not include the elbow and forearm.  Who has not played a chip, or short pitch, with their trailing elbow tucked to their side?  Strictly speaking; that would be "anchoring".  If the rule pertained only to the hands, and the butt end of the club, it would be easier to implement.  

So Bernhard could put his whole forearm against his chest but curl his wrist off, and that'd be fine.

No thank you.

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

So Bernhard could put his whole forearm against his chest but curl his wrist off, and that'd be fine.

No thank you.

That's actually what I believe he is doing. I think his forearm is firmly planted against his chest.

My rule - The putter must be shorter than the longest iron in the bag.

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On 2/1/2018 at 4:33 PM, iacas said:

I believe Langer (@Vinsk does not), but I agree with BC that he's creating and using a "soft anchor point" and I'd like to see that abolished as well.

I may not have clarified my opinion with BL. IMO It’s similar to the ‘feel ain’t real concept.’ I don’t think he intentionally is anchoring. Just as if you told me it’s a penalty if I take my club to parallel, I finish my swing and you tell me I’m penalized, and I argue that I didn’t which you then show me on video. I doubt when BL is making a putt he’s concentrating on his arm. He anchored for years and sometimes he simply does it subconsciously.

BOT: Maybe add something about an extended arm may be in contact with the grip as an extension of the putter but the arm may not be bent and continuously in contact with the body/apparel of the player.

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@iacas, you said no rule that the hands have to be touching because that would eliminte other currently legal forms of putting.

But what about just saying any part of the hands or forearms must be in contact with each other?  That would still allow the arm lock styles but prohibit the broomstick.  Would that work?

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14 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

@iacas, you said no rule that the hands have to be touching because that would eliminte other currently legal forms of putting.

But what about just saying any part of the hands or forearms must be in contact with each other?  That would still allow the arm lock styles but prohibit the broomstick.  Would that work?

You can claw grip without the hands touching each other, so no, I don't think that works.

And then there are one armed/handed golfers and people who putt with only one hand on the club.

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Note: This thread is 763 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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