• PGA Tour

PGA Tour opposes belly putter ban

ESPN staff
February 24, 2013

The PGA Tour has stated that it sees no reason to ban players from 'anchoring' a putter to the body, citing the lack of evidence that it creates a competitive advantage.

Three of the past five major champions used an anchored putter and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) and US Golf Association (USGA) are currently reviewing whether it should be permitted.

The proposed change to the rules was announced on November 28 and should it come into place, it would be effectual from 2016.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem joined the debate during the final day of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Finchem said: "The USGA and the R&A notified us several months ago about their intention to put forward a proposal to essentially change the rule as it relates to what a stroke is, by further defining it as something where you can't ground your club and anchor your club.

"We then undertook to go through a process to determine our position on that and we brought that to a conclusion last week. Essentially, where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think that banning anchoring was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour.

"I think there are a number of factors here, a number of details, a number of issues. But I think the essential thread that went through the thinking of the players and our board of directors and others was that, in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring, and given the amount of time that anchoring has been in the game, that there was no overriding reason to go down that road."

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