• Rules of Golf

R&A and USGA ban anchored putting

ESPN staff
May 21, 2013

Golf's controversial anchored putting debate was finally settled on Tuesday when the R&A and USGA announced they have agreed go ahead with the ban.

The new Rule 14-1b has now been approved by the governing bodies and will take effect from January 1, 2016, when changes to the Rules of Golf are set for their next four-year cycle.

Rule 14-1b was originally proposed on November 28, 2012, with a 90-day period in which all comments and suggestions from across the golf community were collected and considered.

Speaking at Wentworth ahead of this week's BMW PGA Championship, R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: "We took a great deal of time to consider this issue and received a variety of contributions from individuals and organisations at all levels of the game.

"The report published today gives a comprehensive account of the reasons for taking the decision to adopt the new Rule and addresses the concerns that have been raised.

"We recognise this has been a divisive issue but after thorough consideration we remain convinced that this is the right decision for golf."

USGA president Glen Nager added: "Having considered all of the input that we received, both before and after the proposed Rule was announced, our best judgment is that Rule 14-1b is necessary to preserve one of the important traditions and challenges of the game - that the player freely swing the entire club.

"The new Rule upholds the essential nature of the traditional method of stroke and eliminates the possible advantage that anchoring provides, ensuring that players of all skill levels face the same challenge inherent in the game of golf."

All four major championships have been won by a golfer wielding a long putter, including Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, last year's US Open and Open champions Webb Simpson and Ernie Els, and Adam Scott, who won the Masters last month.

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