It’s Official…. Putter Anchoring Banned for 2016

The USGA and the R&A have officially banned the anchoring of a putter in 2016.

There has been much debate and opinions over this situation and the PGA Tour and the PGA of America have stated they won’t follow the banning of the putter. At this point there seems to be a standoff. Many PGA Tour players said they won’t take this lying down and they will file a lawsuit to get this overturned.

I am not in favor of a lawsuit, but I am interested to see what the PGA Tour and the PGA of America will do with this situation. Tim Finchem has softened his position on the putter anchoring debate by saying he does not want two sets of rules, one for amateurs and one for pro’s, but the players may over rule him on this one.

Needless to say the gauntlet has been thrown down and decisions need to be made. The PGA of America’s mission has always been to grow the game.

Will banning anchoring hurt the game? Absolutely. Should anchoring be allowed? Maybe.

I understand the opinions of both sides, but anchoring has been around for nearly a hundred years so it is part of the tradition of the game.

From my readers I have learned that this debate is not that big of an issue across the pond. While here in the states, we are very much bothered by the situation.

Do you agree?

How do you think this will all shake out?

Should the PGA of America and the PGA Tour stand together and allow anchoring to continue?

Is this the time that the PGA steals power from the USGA and creates it’s own set of rules whereas tournaments will be governed by PGA Rules vs USGA rules? Only time will tell, but the gauntlet has been thrown down and more than likely this one will be headed to court.

Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below.

Posted in Tournament Play
201 comments on “It’s Official…. Putter Anchoring Banned for 2016
  1. William B. Gray says:

    I am not in favour of anchoring. As far as I’m concerned the PGA Tour players played without anchoring until the long putter was introduced, so they should return to the un-achored putter. They can still use the long putter, but it must not be anchored to their body.

    • Kim Stammers says:

      Anchoring has been around for over a century, (do your research on the web), and the comments I read here all relate to anchoring the long putter.You can still anchor the short putter as they used to before the long putter was invented. So again poeple, the issue is anchoring and NOT the long putter.

    • Kim Stammers says:

      Now we need to understand “What is anchoring” I have a short putter and fix my elbows against my hips to putt, Is this considered anchoring??

  2. Brian O says:

    Personally, I favor the ban. What I don’t like are the arguments trying to rationalize the for or against positions. For me it is simply my opinion. I am 70, enjoy the game, and use a regular putter.

    As far as the pros suing I sure hope not. Combine the VJ suit and now talk of one involving this rule change and I think this is exactly the wrong track to be on. It is one I expect will turn a lot of people off. I know the average pro doesn’t make the big bucks we see every weekend when tournaments brag about their purse but many of us still see these guys as entering the big bucks pampered athlete world where we love to see them show their skill but have a tough time relating to their lives. For me a suit is just more whining by high paid pros.

    Finally, if the rules guys want some rules to change how about addressing the issue of growing and growing course length. I agree with Nicklaus that it is past time to limit the ball.

  3. Joseph Lopez says:

    Banning anchoring will hurt the game for amateurs/the public. Isn’t this meant to be a game for all to enjoy? Anchoring can be done by all. If you don’t want to anchor, then don’t.

    The purity of the game isn’t ruined by anchoring, it’s by the egotistical arrogance.

  4. Sur says:

    All should follow USGA and R&A. Anything else creates a chaos.

  5. Neil McKendrick says:

    I don’t agree with the anchoring ban. I think it has become too much of a common practice for too long to bring in a ban now. I’ve been using mine for more than 10 years. On the game side, if it was such an advantage why don’t the long putters dominate? From what I can see, there are just as many good and bad putts made with long putters as short ones.

    My inner thought is that the rules makers just don’t like the look of it and they want to get rid of this concept.

    I agree with Jack Nicklaus and others who feel that the greatest afront to the game is the golf ball and the extreme distances that are now being achieved that are affecting the quality of some golf courses. That and drivers the size of dinner plates.

  6. Raymon Singh says:

    06/01/13: I am with the players all the way, personally I think both
    governing bodies should work together and grow the game of golf, not
    fight each other.

  7. Alec says:

    A tough one,but my own opinion is that you just have to go with the laws of the game-whatever they may be.I know it is not part of the present debate ,but I also think that it is unfair to take relief with a long putter as it puts the user to an unfair advantage over short putter users.Not all pros take advantage of this ,but Langer certainly does.Also,when the rules changed regarding the length of driver shafts,I never heard anyone whinge about it-as they now are regarding the anchoring issue.

  8. Dick Bruce says:

    What a bunch of anchored cry babies—Whaa whaa whaa !!!

  9. Yes anchoring should be allowed. If other golfers think it is a
    advantage then they have a right to do it also.

  10. Robert says:

    The PGA players are a bunch of wimps. Play the game the way that it was supposed to be played. No anchoring. Wouldn’t anchoring help with chip shots, and iron shots? But their are no legal. Besides they have until 2016 to change.

  11. Yes, Golf is a silly and wonderful game. After 50+ years of it I can’t stop doing it and believe we should all follow the same rules and do the best we can. Leave the anchor on the ships and let’s all use a putter.

  12. R. K. Walls says:

    PGA and USGA should play by same rules for everybody.Keep anchoring,it is part of the game and has been for years.How would you inforce the rule,it would be difficult for the TV arm chairs to report violations.

  13. DAVE ALEXANDER says:


    • Dave, how come some people like yourselve have sooooo much
      common sense and then others have none. You put it out there
      so simple and yet others can not see the forest due to the
      trees. If all thought as you do, golf would be much more fun.
      Keep it simple and enjoy onesself, is that so darn hard to
      figure out. There are too many purists in the recreational part
      of golf in which probably less than 10% don’t know the rules,
      could care less, only want to have a good time, relax and get
      away from the old lady. If george, Henry, Mike and Al are all
      together in their own weekly group, have their own rules between
      them, which all follow, what business is it of anyone else.
      Recreational golf is totally different from that played on the tour!!!
      Too many purists will drive others from the game, and it is just
      that, a game and not rocket science. Keep it simple and have
      a good time, that is what it should be about. If people are going
      to get so tied up in it, maybe they should go into brain surgery
      instead. Thanks for your input Dave, it was refreshing to read.


  14. What the hell is “anchoring “?

  15. sol strijdom says:

    the way I see it….
    if using the anchoring method or putter or what ever ,was the winning lotto numbers, we all would be very rich.
    if it is the greatest and have been around for so long, why does it only work for the ones that use them?
    putting in my opinion is a very personal thing, it is like choosing your life partner, your wife or other better half, it is very personal,
    how must these guys feel now after been married so long with their dearly beloved better halfs, that it is now o longer acceptable under the rules, they must now divorce and find somebody else…..
    what was good then , is now bad, all to their own, some like them tall thin and under the chin, others like them short stocky and below the buckle..
    come pga, let it go, don’t scratch where it doesn’t itch…..worry about how to get more people playing the game, don’t chase people away that can help you to get more people to play the game.

    HOW HARD CAN IT BE!!!!!!!

  16. lock j piatt says:

    Here is how the R&A and the USGA can be forced to back up – – all people with back DISABILITIES which limit the ability to bend over long enough to practice putting are A PROTECTED CLASS UNDER THE DISABILITY ACT . . .

    The game is having problems growing and in fact is shrinking die to the attitude of the rules makers . . why make the game more difficult? They have no problem with course length some now are all most 8,000 yards – so they change rules to put a premium on the long game – why pick on the short game where short hitters can gain back some of the scoring the rules makers took from them with the length issue.

  17. Bill says:

    What is the basis for your statement: “anchoring has been around for nearly a hundred years so it is part of the tradition of the game. “?
    I personally do believe that anchoring should not be allowed.

  18. Jim says:

    Oh for crying out loud. Leave it the way it was before the rule change. The long putter has been around forever. It only became an issue when a couple guys won on the using it.
    There wasn’t this much hoop la when the balls changed from rubber to solid cores.

  19. Rozyzara says:

    I feel anchoring should be banned. If you can standardise golf equipments n balls, there’s no reason not to standardise putters.

  20. David Qualey says:

    Anchoring the putter makes putting a “steadier” execution. If only the hands are holding the putter, then the hands can influence the line of the putter swing. If it is anchored then the ability to hold the putter on the putting line is much easier. And for those professionals who have the “yips” or those nervous twitches that come at that moment of decision in getting the ball into the hole, then anchoring is a benefit for those using it. Professional golf requires extreme concentration and body control to play it well and I believe that when a professional starts having “cracks in his game”, then it is time for him or her to move on and make way for younger players. Hard, but necessary. You shouldn’t change the game because of human weakness. For a young amateur it who begins with anchoring then he will obviously have the putting nerve advantage from the very beginning. He should learn the game in its original form from the very beginning. And most amateurs who have started with the anchoring can drop it fairly easily because the nerves and twitches usually have not started in the younger years. The twitches begin when the pressure begins to build and then only the best should win. Ask any professional why he actually changed and I would reckon almost 100% would answer, “because I couldn’t get the ball in the hole anymore!” And there we have it. It shouldn’t have been allowed to begin with.

  21. Allah Ali says:

    Hi CJ: It really does not matter what I think…Noboby listens to me any way in the past…However since you asked me…Golf has been around for a long while and the R & A Golf Course, the USGA have ran it quite well for a long time…Money and the PGA has change the game to a point,But still I think that what ever the Ruling Bodies of Golf decide, then that should be it…No split decision or term oil…not good for the Game….Golfers have been putting for years with the regular putter and the anchoring long putter has had it’s time but we need to get on with Preserving the Game to it’s Purest State like in the Past or loose it by the waste side….A famous Man said once, ” Money it’s gonna ruin the Sport” I think it only helped it…It’s nice to have a Love for something and it is even nicer to know that you can make a living at if too….If your Good enought to Play..It’s not Heaven But it’s close….

    Allah Ali

  22. George says:

    anchoring the putter is wrong! The PGA should stick to ban the practice,change your stance or whatever you want to do,but to anchor the putter is having your body assist in the stability of the putter. I don’t care if it’s been done for 100 yrs or from the inception of the game, in golf one should have no assist whatsoever! ( Stadler’s towel)

  23. I’m hoping that anchored means the butt of a long or a belly putter is anchored to the golfer’s chest or belly. I’d hate to see a long putter banned if the butt of the putter is not touching the body…other than the hands. Hands on the grips..strike the ball with the clubead.

  24. Fred Brindle says:

    I am 70 years old and did not really start playing golf until I retired at age 62. I went to a Pelz school early in my endeavors to learn how to play. Putting bothered my back … in fact stooping over for anything for a sustained period causes back pain. I have had two previous back surgeries. They introduced me to the long putter, and I have enjoyed its use ever since.

    For me this is an absurd ban. I think I would putt just as well with a shorter putter, and in fact, there are some things that can be done with a shorter putter that cannot be done with the longer ones. I actually have played carrying two putters, one standard and a long one. In my own situation I putt betters using a shorter putter for short putts up to about 3 1/2 ft., and longer lag putts greater than 25 ft. Unfortunately for me, I cannot practice putting any appreciable length of time with the shorter putter.

  25. Chris Clarke says:

    This is one of the most inane decisions that have been made in recent years. Where do these people get off making rules that tell us how to hold and swing a club, short of using a putter as a pool cue?

    The ruling bodies have allowed the deveolpment of modern clubs and balls that technically let us hit balls longer with greater accuracy than our normal talent would produce with the traditional balls and clubs that were used for decades. So if Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and their peers and predecessors were playing golf, then what game are we playing now? The abilities and performances of these players of excellence are being denigrated by technology.

    What would the early PGA players have thought about drivers with heads as big as cantelope, clubs that look like steel mallets (hybrids), golf balls that are designed for distance or spin control, and the driving of the ball over 350 yards because of a club and ball combination rather than the use of more standardized equipment?

    Yes, the game has evolved due to technology and if that’s what the rule makers have allowed, then they should bite their tongues. Otherwise they should rule out all technological changes, but that would be almost as stupid. They are the ones that first allowed the use of long handled putters, but when golfers develop a swing method that works well for them the rule makers should not now decide to legislate how to swing the club such that it prevents those persons from using their newly developed skills!!

    All of the players, professional and amateur alike, have the opportunity to purchase a massive headed driver, or a hybrid “rescue” club, or super golf balls; and to develop the ability to use them to their best advantage. The current playing field is level, leave it that way.

    The ruling is abosolute crap! They (the R&A and the USGA) are truely hypocrites.

  26. robert says:

    I have been playing golf for about 20 years, maybe 25 times a year. I am a pretty good putter as people’s comments would agree with that. I have played with many different people and what I have concluded is that either you can putt well or you can’t. I don’t see the belly putter making anyone a better putter. If that was so every tournament would be won by a player with a belly putter.

  27. Vernon says:

    I fail to see what reason the R & A have to ban anchoring the putter, as this method has been around for so long, why is it now so wrong or against the principles of the game. I have used this method for some time because of a low back pain. As an amateur of 78 years of age, why should I be outlawed from the game because of some committee members say it is against the principles of the game. A game I happen to love and have always played fairly, and to be almost accused of playing unfairly by anchoring in the passed I find very hurtful.

  28. Bill Bunger says:

    Keeping in mind no answer is going to please everyone but I would ask anyone with an opinion to “openly reflect”. In following my own advice, I have went from non-support of anchored putters to “why not”? I struggle with this style of putter being an unfair advantage. IF THIS IS TRUE, why aren’t ALL pro’s using it?? Yes, some tournaments have been won with the anchored putter – still how many tournaments held world wide WERE NOT WON with anchored putters?
    How many of us have struggled in our careers to hit 2 & 3 irons? What happened? They have been taken from our bags & replaced with hybrids! Talk about change!!
    Let’s move the game forward. When I go to my golf shop, I can practice with 50+ styles of putters – can a few more hurt? Besides, millions of us have found we still need to make the putt!

  29. Barry L. Loveday says:


  30. ralph strabley says:

    Every player has strengths and weakness’s in their game. To counter that weakness we build clubs that inhibit a draw or fade, rescue clubs, wedges that perform in different ways and numbers of different looking putters. I am not convinced that anchoring the putter really makes that much difference and if it does why hasn’t everybody moved in that direction. If the USGA/R&A wants to ban the anchoring fine. The pros will adapt but don’t take it away from the bulk of golfers that are just trying to have more fun and scoring is part of that fun.

  31. L foster says:

    The ban should be respected by the PGA Tour and PGA of America. The current players will adjust. Should the Tour not follow the Rules of Golf it will lose the support of the public as well as some sponsors. The Tour will find out quickly that it’s not bigger than the USGA and R&A.

  32. Jim Livingston says:

    About a year ago, when I thought the rumbling about anchoring seemed to start getting serious, I started holding my broom putter a half an inch or so from my chest. It took a few rounds but now I’m putting better than ever. I used to have maybe 2)3 putts per round. I’ve only had 1)3 putt in the last 3 rounds and I’m holing putts in the 6 – 12 foot range 3 times as often and leaving tap ins from 12 feet out more often than not. I’m 62 and I’ve been using a long putter for about 15 years and it did inprove my numbers but not anchoring it seems to have improved my putting even more. It may be that it’s made my stroke more loose and free to move from take away to follow through. The powers that be should have done something long time ago if they were going to. They created the problem by waiting so long to make the change, but it is what it is and I will continue to play the rules of the game each of the 20 or so rounds I get each year.

  33. Ron Boivin says:

    Yes I agree to the ban players have been golfing without the anchor putter for years and the ban should have been years ago so why is the ban in 2016 not next year.T he players that are using the anchor putter are using them because they can`t putt with normal putters.Ron Boivin

  34. Boyd Bonnett says:

    Why not let us putt with a pool cue? The only time I’d miss is if I misread the green. Doesn’t seem any more of an advantage than anchoring. Ban anchoring!

  35. Peter sheldon says:

    The PGA tour and the PGA of America claim to have the best interest of golf at heart. To split the game into two doesn’t, seem to me a good idea. They seem to be saying that the tour players are not good enough to adapt. I seem to remember a few years ago they changed the groove rules and we had the same cries but today you would never know we ever had box grooves.
    Keep the integrity of the game for the sake of the game.
    Peter Sheldon, England.

  36. tom says:

    CJ what is to stop them from taking 2 club lengths using the long putter, I have not seen anything in the rule book about this. Will this be an unfair advantage to the rest of the golfers who use the conventional putter? BAN THE ANCHORING.

  37. All golfers,
    to me – as Dutch master MIND FACTOR golf coach – it is the same discussion as with the wedges, the grooves and the spin. As all golfers can use all wedges and all grooves there is equality of treatment. Why do the have to stop this equipment innovation? What is the problem with spin and control your golf shots?
    So if all golfers can use (all kinds of ) anchoring there is equality of treatment. Maybe a golfer likes the broomstick or the belly puter and has some success with it. So what? What is the problem with anchoring? Is it scientifically proven that golfers with broomsticks and belly putters make more putts? Show me te evidence.
    Does Tiger and Aaron Baddeley (best putter on the PGA tour) use anchoring? No! And they don’t need it, because they us a much better system that we all have; a great brain. They use their HEART-MIND-BODY system better than other golfers and mae more putts. This is not the place to explain that.
    What will be the next step for the PGA of America?
    Forbid that golfers use breathing techniques, visualize and so on?
    I strongly advocate for freedom. Let the golfer use what he or she prefers.
    So I guess now you do know my answer. Anchoring should be allowed.

  38. Ron says:

    I think that the rules should be made the same for everyone and if the Anchored Putter gives an advantage it should be banned, same as the squared groves also the new grooving by Lazer.
    Every year the Golf Club makers come out with club that is better,more accurate and gets more distance the same for the golf balls.
    Not everyone can afford to keep changing to the better products.
    Its bad enough that Golf Memberships keep rising because of taxes and salaries and repairs caused by mother nature.
    The rules should be standard for everyone you don,t see the 14 year old from China using an Anchored Putter.

  39. Bruce Midgley says:

    This is a really difficult one to answer. Maximum length of all the other clubs is 48″ so why the exception for putters? And where does it stop. Why not design a putter that allows us to lay on the ground and putt like we are playing pool? I have seen golfers play from under trees whilst on their knees so what is to stop me from laying down? Am really torn on this one but I do lean slightly in favour of the ban.

  40. Derrick North says:

    Naturally players who do not put very well want to use anchoring to which they have switched. I do not think allowing players to employ unusual strokes etc to make life easier for them is in the interest of the game. Next thing you know they will be asking for the holes to be bigger or special heads on the clubs for the shorter hitters. Where will it end?

    If amateurs are banned from anchoring and PGA not how will this effect mixed competitions?

    I did not understand your comment that anchoring has been used for hundreds of years – theoretically it is already against the rules. Anyway the rules of golf have been fine tuned over the years and nobody has claimed that they should not be changed because we have always used the original rules!!!

  41. I personally think every golfer should use the same type of clubs whether it be the putter or a three iron. While Adam Scott won the Masters this year with a long putter I don’t really see the advantage to the anchored putter. We have more golfers winning using the standard putter than those using the long putter. I have tried the long putter and do not care for it at all. The idea of two sets of rules is dumb and if it goes in that direction it will DEFINITELY hurt the game of golf. This is a gentlemen’s game and pro golfers respect and care for the game and each other. What are we doing getting like baseball, football, and all the other sports to bring as much controversy into the game as possible?? Just my most humble opinion.

  42. jack ciampia says:

    i hope the players win the law suit. leave the putters alone and go back to reading youe comic books.

  43. Bill Thompson says:

    I have never heard a really reasonable explanation of how anchoring a putter HURTS THE GAME OF GOLF!! It gives no advantage to anyone uniquely because we can all simply acquire a long shafted putter and use it if we so choose. It obviously helps some golfers putt better (or at least they think it does between their ears, therefore, it does) and enjoy the game more. Using an anchored putter is done so out in the open (ergo, not like the use of a “kicking wedge” in the woods when no one can see you). I simply can’t come up with a negative effect to the game of golf from use of such a putter.

    Given the above notes, what are the not so obvious problems with the USGA and the R&A and anchored putters that really causes the ban in 2016? If there is really such a serious concern, they should be baned immediately rather than three years from now. Inquiring minds (or at least one inquiring mind) wants to know.

  44. John Lozano says:

    I don’t understand why they allowed anchoring in the first place. They have such stupid rules as it is.
    1. If you disturb a leaf or branch in the backswing, penalty.
    2. If you put a towel on the ground to keep your pants from getting muddy, penalty.
    I think anchoring is unfair but they want to keep it so that players who have the yipes can keep playing and making money.

  45. wilson moore says:

    I do not want to see it in court either as the only winners are the attorneys. PGA Tour and PGA America should just move on without USGA. USGA has just shown a complete disconnect with the public therefore are marginalizing themselves. The amateur golfer is not watching the USGA every week on TV they are watching PGA Tour. Likewise they are not being taught at their home course by the USGA but by a PGA America Pro. The forgoing begs the question, Of what relevance is a separate rule making body, the USGA? Both organizations should cut the extraneous baggage loose and govern themselves.

  46. Al Hahn says:

    It’s nothing but jealousy on the part of a few, just like the world is today about different rights.
    Will this bleed over into the amateur sector as well? I am very interested in only that, as I am a one handed golfer due to a stroke & need to use at least a belly putter.

  47. Alex says:

    Banning equiptment has always been about equalizing the playing field. Putters come in every size and shape all designed to make an advantage!! There proof that anchoring putters does not give any more advantage than a new Ping putter — the proof is that very few pros or regular golfers use it!! If there were real advantages, very golfer would use this method. Banning is an expression of arrogance by the RA and USGA.

  48. jack ciampia says:

    everyone is talking about banning the anchored putters..i say leave it alone. of the players are winning with the anchored putter. so what!!! i think the two entity.s trying to ban the style of putters should leave things alone.

  49. Richard Cooke says:

    Support the USGA. Ban anchoring, as it represents an unfair advantage.

  50. Raymond Brousseau says:

    I would not expect a Pro player to seek an improper advantage over his opponent.They both must

    Use the same type of equipment to make it an even match,especially when $$$$ is involve.

  51. James . Booksh says:

    I see no reason to void anchoring the putter in golf events, regardless if it is amature or professional golf tournaments.The ball is hard enough to get into the hole now. Why not reguire all greens to have gress mowed to be the same speed???

  52. Colin Marshall says:

    I have to disagree with your comments re anchoring of a putter. If you look Almost all the guys who turned to this method it was because they could no longer compete with a standard putter. Even Ernie Els said he thought it was cheating but as long as it was legal he would keep cheating!! The rule makers on both sides of the pond have ran this magnificent game for a long time and overall have made a splendid job of moving this old game into the 21st century by allowing equipment changes and improvements to the point where professionals can hit almost all par 5’s in two shots. Bunkers are so good they are often preferred than green side rough as the sand is usually perfect!
    The days of bunkers being a “hazard” are almost lost in the never ending chase for birdies and target golf. Now we have professionals who know without there long and fixed method of putting will not earn as well as before, to me that’s just tough. The rule makers should make putters have a maximum length maybe 38″ which would make it almost impossible to anchor, but clearly state both hands/ arms to be moving in the stroke. The professionals play this magnificent game, but they do not and should not make the rules.
    Golf is the most honest game I know and the thought that the Pro’s might take legal action would almost be a sacrilidge of everything this game stands for. I hope for common sense to prevail and putting returns to what people commonly refer to as the “short” stick. It was called that for a reason!!

  53. Charlie says:

    Anchoring is not good. Lawsuit is ridiculous.

  54. Jerry Stroffolino says:

    I still believe that you should stick to your business and stay out of the Anchoring issue. You are certainly allowed to have your personal opinions about any matters but I predict your business will suffer when you inject your opinions into emails that people paid you for in their hopes of improving their golf skills. As I said in my last response….please refund my subscription money in accordance with your guarantee.

    I suggest that you need not choose sides except possibly to bolster your ego.

  55. Neal Pond says:

    30 years ago 75/% of majors were won by players using ping ansers. Were they banned? No. Trends come and go. If you have to use one of these you have to be desperate. Myself and most of my friends find them much more difficult to use.

  56. Fred Mayes says:

    Who makes the rules? If the rules are changed, don’t we ALL have to abide by them? To do anything else would put the whole game in jeopardy. Question the rule before the change, not after.

  57. John Cy Perry says:

    Mr.C.J. Goecks,

    Much of what you seem to know and share concerning the techniques and, to a lesser degree, strategies of playing the great game [science, art, sport] of golf is good; your opinions about the social and political side are not so good, and probably do you no good as well.

    While this subject is too complex and intricate [laws of physics, 500 year old rules and traditions, etc…] to adequately cover in a mere comment, I’ll try to summarize in a nutshell of a nutshell:

    (1) I do not believe that a three point body anchoring of any golf club has been around, at least legally, for 100 years. Probably 20 years, not legally, but uncontested, is more accurate.

    (2) All clubs, except the [now contested] the long putter are anchored to the golfer’s body at only two points – the hands – period.

    (3) To allow a 3 point anchoring gives an obvious advantage according to the laws of physics and our understanding of bio-mechanics.Instead of trying to stabilize the club on plane in 3 dimensions with only a 2 dimensional method, one can more easily stabilize in 3 dimensions with a 3 dimensional method. [The triangle is the unit of strength and stability in all architecture,as the geodesic dome – comprised of triangles to make a 3 dimensional globe – proves beyond doubt.]

    (4)I have experimented with myself and 100 others. All other things being equal, we simply sink far more putts with a 3 point anchored long putter. The top 10 men 2 putted, for example, from 45 feet, 70% of the time with the long putter anchored at 3 points, but only 2 putted from 45 feet 50% of the time with the short putter anchored at 2 points!
    (5) The USGA and R&A are remiss in not having ruled against the 3 point anchoring 20 years ago. However, that does not make them wrong, only very late. Amateurs, by definition, play the game for love, not money, and are prone to be more objective and fair. The PGA followed the rules in their history to date, until now, when those who very well may not have won without the unfair advantage of the 3 point anchoring, are crying the pocketbook blues.I am proud to be an Amateur,and I am proud of those Pro’s who still follow the rules, especially past and current greats like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.


    • Wow, I never knew that it took a math major to
      explain the use of a putter. Since I even had
      trouble with Algebra in school I can now under-
      stand my many inadequacies to my approach
      to putting. All along I thought it was my inability
      to make proper use of the darn equipment ! I
      feel much better now, it has nothing to do with
      my ability, only that I am stupid in math.

  58. rich mosney says:


    • Owls give pretty good “hoots”‘ but they are
      probably wise enough to stay away from
      this question ! Maybe we should all be so
      wise as our opinions won’t matter a “hoot”

      • CJ Goecks says:

        richard Johnston,
        Very clever Richard and you are probably right. Keep in touch.
        Keep em Long and Straight,

  59. Ron Anderson says:

    With the popularity of golf going down (less golfers each year) messing with things like this that make the game harder makes no sense. Telling the average weekend golfer how to hold the putter when he has been doing it his way for years makes no sense any only hurts the golf industry at a time when they could use a boost.

  60. G. Wielenga says:

    The PGA’s position smacks of elitism to me. In other words, it seems like a bunch of whiney spoiled rich men who can’t putt for whatever reason trying to gain an advantage. In all my 50 years of golfing I have never once seen an amateur anchor his/her putter. It’s time for the PGA players to act like real men and play by the rules, and unfortunately this includes you CJ.

  61. dave says:

    The R&A are not banning the anchor completely, and you must inform the public the whole truth. If both of your hands are in contact with one another then any portion of ones forearm from elbow to hand can be anchored to your body. Plus the other anchor is where the shaft can contact any part of the forearm below the elbow, with or without the hands contacting one another. By the way, I doubt that the long putter existed 100 years ago? When you say anchoring has been around for 100 years, it must have been used in the way that will still be considered not cheating under the new rules?

  62. Mike Henderson says:

    It is not a stroke and should be banned. Never too late to do the right thing. Those who do it fom this point on will be viewed as cheaters. If they sue and are associated with a lawsuit I am betting their fan base will drop. Frankly I will not watch any of them! Now, limit the ball and down size the driver head, please.

  63. ron henderson says:

    i agree with r&a and usga .

  64. Tushar Dutt ,Commander (Retd) says:

    First instance, the anchored putter should never have been allowed.
    Why ? because it gave an unfair advantage to the player,namely the reference angle of the putter to the ground , body, already prefixed.
    Notwithstanding the above advantage,it has been counter productive– working against the natural talent and potential of the player, relying too much on it and duffing the putts out of anxiety, stress etc, using too much hands/wrists.

  65. Walter Jones says:

    I purchased a Tailormade spider anchoring putter last year and I liked using it. As I’m an amateur I can’t see as how it improved my putting in a noticeable way. The “feel” was much more enjoyable with it. My last two games I went back to my standard putter and I may be making more putts than I was anchoring. As far as the PGA decision, mox nix.

  66. Adam Jones says:

    Well I’ve been following the discussions on the use of the long belly putters and anchoring for a while. It would appear that both the USGA and the R&A have locked the stable door after the horse has bolted.Irrespective of the arguments for either side something should have been done long before now.”Anchoring” has become a regular sight on all the tours and in my opinion its too late to ban it, by previously letting it go a PRECEDENCE has been set and as Lawyers and Union officials will tell you, that has a large bearing on the outcome of any Court action.I dont believe it would be in the best interests of the USGA, R&A or Golf in general for this to go to Court.Lets put the argument aside and get on with playing golf at whatever standard you can.

  67. Let it be…..New Wedges, Drivers are allowed. Swings can be revolutionary ..why not putters..
    All the body talk…Makes the grass grow

  68. Ridiculous. News flash to the pro’s. Shorten your putter or don’t anchor your long one. Every golfer with the talent to play in the PGA tour can most certainly learn to play with a traditional putter. The field will be totally leveled. The successful players will quickly get over this and get on with their game.

    And CJ……stick to teaching. There are a lot of bloggers to blabber with if you want to. You don’t need to be one of them.

  69. billy tedreck says:

    The USGA says its for “the good of the game”. The PGA says they want to “grow the game”. I support the PGA’s position. Anchoring has been part of golf for a long time and more & more golfers are taking to it. There are many ways to swing and many ways to putt. Let the golfers decide as long as they follow the rules…but don’t change the rules. I have dropped my membership and support of the USGA because of this.

  70. david levinson says:

    rules are rules, the anchored putter is to be banned, end of., david

  71. Bob hill says:

    Tiger and Rory both say all 14 clubs should be swung and agree with the ban. Anchoring is not

  72. Bob hill says:

    Tiger and Rory both say all 14 clubs should be swung and Anchoring should be banned. I entirely agree as do nearly all of my colleagues. Seeing A Major being won by Adam Scott holding a broomstick makes the game look ridiculous

  73. Hobart Robinson says:

    I have used a belly putter for three years, but two weeks went back to the conventional short putter about three days before the USGA/R&A ruling. I agree with the ruling.

  74. William Abare says:

    The USGA and the R&A could have and, perhaps, should have ruled on this matter when it first came up 40 years ago. It is my understanding from PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem that they looked at it not once but twice and chose not to ban the belly putters or the long putters, both of which were anchored then as they are now. It’s important to note that both ruling bodies had two bites at the apple and chose not to rule against the putters. I think it is reasonable to ask, “Why now?” I have not heard a good response to that question. I am quite confident that if there was a clear advantage in terms of performance, then most, if not all, the players on the professional tours would try switching to the anchored putters. I would speculate that most, if not all, of the tour players have tried to use the belly putter or the long putter, just as they have tried using the claw grip. The fact that Phil Mickelson and Mark O’Meara have recently adopted the claw style of putting has not caused the rest of the tour players to switch. I believe that a ruling to ban the belly/long putters would have an adverse effect on amateurs and would possibly result in some amateurs deciding to give up the game. I know that you are aware of the PGA’s push to get more people playing golf rather than making decisions to drive people away from the game. I supported Tim Finchem’s original position and hope that the PGA will decide to support the players who want to continue using the anchored putters.

  75. Dugald Skinner says:

    It is a done deal with amateurs worldwide having to comply with the R&A/USGA rules, in 10 years or so, even if the PGA do not accept the new rules, the only guys playing with belly putters will be a few old guys in the PGA tour. What a lot of people do not understand is that the so called “blazers” of the R&A and USGA have no axe to grind but take decisions which they consider to be in the best interests of the game and are untainted by any lobbying from equipment manufacturers

  76. Thom cooke says:

    The decision has been made, end of story. The R&A is the governing body so accept the ruling and get on with playing Golf.
    The PGA Tour and the PGA America are only hurting themselves in the eyes of the 60 Million weekend Golfers who WILL follow the new ruling.

  77. Ken says:

    First of all the courts shouldn’t be the ones to decide on the rules of golf. Golf is a game, play by the rules. Anchoring any club to your body has always been against the rules. They should have stopped this a long time ago. It just goes to show you that if you ignore the rules and don’t enforce them, you will pay for it later on. Kind of like the slow play issue. How do you handle the slow play problem now that you’ve ignored it for so long? Do you honestly believe that the latest long belly putters who have won majors would have won if they had to actually swing the putter? Not a chance! Putting is a skill, the long putter makes that skill unnecessary. I can’t stand watching golf any more. These guys are supposed to be pros. It’s embarrassing.

  78. max duncan says:

    It is my firm belief that anyone selecting a “belly or chest” putter must have a reason. My reason is very factual and I believe it is a qualified reason to select an anchord putter in order to resolve the problem. Golfing pros call it “the yips” I call it “tremors”. A drunk may call it “shakes”. Whatever its called the belly or long putter will cure the problem. Sooo, why would the pga want to outlaw the cure?

  79. David says:

    I live in England and I agree with the rule change to ban anchoring. I have had the yips with my putting for several years, but could not bring myself to use a long putter as I believe it is as good as cheating. Most people over here seem to think that using a long putter is like cheating, even if they use one themselves!

  80. Bob Schulze says:

    this is stupid rule some of these guys have never used anthing but the long putter .If it is that much better they all would be using it!

  81. Ray Clute says:

    I have used the long putter or anchored putter for 3 or 4 years but that does not bother me as much as the fact this rule if they wanted the long putter or anchored putter banned should have been done years ago when it was first used like the side saddle or straddle putter used by Snead and a few others they jumped on that pretty quick and banned it, why the long or anchored putter now. There have been way to many tournaments both Pro and amateur to say now we think it”s wrong lets change the rule. So now do we take all those tournament wins away because they used anchored putters. The game is losing enough golfers as it is and lets face it the majority of Sunday golfers are not going to give it up.

  82. Bob Chipps says:

    Personally I couldn’t care less. But if the anchor is banned you might try this: Grip the putter with the right hand only, sliding it down the grip until the arm is fairly straight. Then place the ball of your left thumb on the end of the grip, aligning the thumb with the target line. Now swing the putter with a rocking motion of the shoulders, maintaining the relative position of your hands and rms. You will be surprised how easy it is to do.

  83. Vic Ferreira says:

    I am writing from The Netherlands and it is not such a seemingly game-changing decision from our perspective. Going to court is more of an American response to problems, which doesn’t guarantee fairness necessarily. I believe it is a question of confidence and of course skill in using a traditional putter. Having said that, I don’t really understand why banning is even happening. I think some of the changes in ball and club construction has been far more radical than how we hold the club be it a putter or not. If tradition matters so much, why aren’t we all using blade putters only?

  84. Drake R says:

    I believe anchoring a putter, regardless of length, should not be allowed and the decision of the USGA and the R&A is the right one. I do believe the decision should have been addressed years ago. It has almost become a “past practice” issue and many younger players have only used along putter (anchoring). I also believe it is in the best interest of golf for the PGA to abide by the ruling; otherwise, the PGA will become a bifurcated or separate entity in golf. Either way, it will hurt the game.

  85. Colin Crockett says:

    If this has been around for 100 years why change it now?

  86. jose says:

    This is a non- issue. Anchoring is by personal choice. Putting is a different “game”. Nobody cared when Billy Casper and others ( Mr. Palmer included ) used to anchor the hands and butt to their “crotch”. It is far fetched to say that anchoring helps to “calm” the pressure yips, as Tiger, Gary, and others are saying. It would be ludicrous to say that Mr. Hogan could not handle “the pressure’ in the latter part of his playing carrer, when he too suffered the “yips”. For the great majority that suffer the yips are a result of a neurological disfunction. My family has a trait of this condition that usually appear after age 35. Sometimes I even have a hard time taking my soup with a soup spoon. This condition is inherited; and, fortunately for me, it is not Parkinson’s. The USGA and RandA should not “legislate” on this personal preference.they have other more significant issues to deal with.

  87. Gary Adams says:

    I truly believe that banning anchoring will not be a good thing for the game. If the controversy results in one set of rules for the pros and another for amateurs, then so be it. The pros play a different game than us recreational golfers anyway. Each tournament can use local rules to govern the use of anchoring if they choose.
    Another thing, and I support the pros that want to keep anchoring, they do this for a living. Many have used anchoring from the start of their golf careers. Many have extended their careers using the long putters with anchoring. It was available for everyone.
    This change seems to be very arbitrary to me.

    • Paul Reitano says:

      Right on, Gary. Who’s kidding who on the issue of us “all playing the same game?” When’s the last time any of these people offering their opinion played a 7400 yard golf course? I, for one, can’t practice putting with a 35inch putter for more than a few minutes due to back problems. How then would I ever improve? As for the pros, let them get the ball in the hole anyway they can or else let them all go back to hickory shafts…

  88. Tom Burns says:

    The world governing body should determine the legality or otherwise of all aspects of the game. That is the Royal and Ancient, and none of the other bodies who lay claim to the control!!

    When FIFA decide to change a rule the whole of the footballing world adopt it. This is no different! I personally don’t care either way, but there should be one game with one set of rules for ALL……end of story!!!

    Professionals and PGA, take a grow-up pill, respect the governing body and use a legal club- it’s that simple!!!

  89. JOE says:

    The anchoring of putters should have been long ago. The R&A and USGA finally had the guts to do so, I thought that they would caved into big business.

    The pros have been cheating for years, you don’t have to look far,just watch who wins with these systems. Lets go back to the rules for everyone.

    Joe g

  90. peter jepson says:

    Hi CJ,
    I cannot agree with your views on the Proposed Putter ban. I feel that
    any player who tried to bring a lawsuit against the governing bodies,
    would not only show himself up, but also declare he could not function
    without the aid of the long putter. The European Tour have got no problems in backing the R&A and I think the USPGA will follow suit or
    hold themselves open to ridicule from the rest of the world. They must
    realise the rules are there for everybody and should not be changed to
    accommodate the minority who do not have the nerve to compete with the
    short putter.

  91. Tom says:

    I believe that every club should be held by the hands controlling the path of the club as an extension of your arms,period.

  92. jim thomasson says:

    I do not use it nor have I ever used it, however, I do not think it should be banned. It has been used for a long time and it did not become an issue until a major was won by someone using it.

  93. Paul says:

    Hello CJ, gyys,

    It’s an interesting one this because ask different people and you’ll get different view points and different reasons why.

    For me, I think it’s total nonsense banning longer putters. I’ll be up front and say that I don’t know the full issues/reasons for the ban so I’m making some assumptions, however on the basic issue of an unfair advantage, I’m not so sure this is the case.

    Adam Scott who won the Masters (and who was my pick, however like a clown I didn’t put any money on him) choked at the British open last year after being well ahead of the pack. Why didn’t the longer putter save him then it if gives such an advantage? Because wining is more than the length of the putter someone has in the bag.

    Maybe it makes for a smoother stroke, however the person needs to line the put up properly and get the speed right.

    Even on the professional tour we have guys who are excellent putters (with normal sized putters), and some who aren’t so good. What’s the difference there? Who has the advantage? Is it ability, skill, practice? Is someone like Adam Scott for instance who is a better putter than another player only so because of his particular putter and nothing to do with the amount of practice time he puts in? Where does confidence around the greens come into the equation?

    I’ve seen articles on various sports website with quotes from the likes of Tiger and Harrington giving their relative positions against longer putters – I’m not sure how proactive they were about their views (maybe they were approached and asked) and how strongly they feel about them (may be against them however not sufficiently motivated to ensure nobody can use them) however I don’t recall either of them complaining with they won their majors.

    I don’t use a long putter myself and I doubt I ever will, however baning it I think is the wrong thing to do. What will it be next?

    Your thoughts?


  94. gvgaarrett says:

    Don’t know why there is such a fuss…
    Anchoring the putter clearly helps to steady the club, where as a “no anchor” set up requires more skill to steady the upper torso and
    control the movement of the arm and hands.

    We don’t need two sets of rules….Ban the anchoring of the putter!

  95. Willie says:

    The USGA and R&A are the GOVERNING bodies. THEY should govern. As for the anchoring of putters having been around for 100 years, the USGA has been around for 118 years. Based on what I have been able to read, the PGA has not done MORE to grow and keep the game going than the USGA and R&A. Leave them alone and let them govern as they were established to do !!

  96. Troy Vayanos says:

    I personally don’t have a problem with anchoring and would have liked to see it kept. However, I do understand the R & A wanting to keep the traditions of the game.

    My problem is they’ve left this way too late and it shouldn’t been outlawed many years ago. I would hate to see this issue dragged through the courts as it will only put more media coverage on issues off the golf course instead of focusing on how the players are performing on the golf course.

  97. brin wood says:

    Anchored putting shouldn’t be allowed. One reason golf is what it is; is because the game has remained basically the same all these years.
    Leave well enough alone.
    No club should be longer than a driver.

  98. David Cox says:

    It doesn’t look like a golf club.
    Now the pros don’t care about golf they care about making money. Only the amateurs can be trusted to make a decision about the purity of golf.
    It grieves me to go against Goecks who is a great teacher but I say, ‘ be a rebel and stand out against the PGA and for the purity of golf.’

  99. Ken says:

    I have no problem with present rule allowing anchoring

  100. I find the ruling, not to permit anchoring the putter,ludicrous.
    The same as I abhor the ruling of disallowing the pendulum
    putting stroke, used successfully by Sam Snead.
    Everyone should be allowed to use whatever grip, stance and motion
    he wishes. Every option is open to each player at no charge anyway.

    If there is such an advantage to be derived from anchoring,
    how come millions and millions of players have not yet switched ?

    Don’t tell me, it is because they all are ” purists” who simply want to see only the ” proper” stroke permeated !

  101. Jay Meyer says:

    Control of emotion and nerves shows up the most in the putting stroke. In my opinion, anchoring gives an unfair advantage over those who don’t. Like shooting a rifle free standing vs. achoring it on stationary object.

  102. ian lant says:

    No part of a putter should be in contact with the body,it should be just a stroke,with only the hands gripping the club like every other shot.Any other method should never have been allowed,all governing bodies should agree on this and end this debate once and fore all.

  103. Richard Amberg says:

    Anchoring is nothing but another form of cheating.

    It is no wonder that these cheating lots of players do not want this made illegal because without the anchor, they couldn’t sick a putt with any consistency.

    Why don’t I just use a circle machine to ensure my swing is correct in the tee box? Because it is a swing aid just as anchoring is a putt aid. PERIOD. As far as I am concerned, half the game in on the green and the cheaters will always want to have a one up on the good metal and driver players. Does Tiger need and anchor, Nicholas, etc., no. Reason, they are the better golfers.

  104. George Newberry says:

    First, let’s get the timeline correct. Although Leo Diegel “anchored” the putter against his bellybutton in 1924, the “belly putter” patent wasn’t approved until 1965. The USGA banned “croquet-style” putting in 1968 in order to stop “unconventional style” putting. If truth be told, it was probably to slow down Sam Snead! If they had included a ban on the “belly putter,” as they should have at the same time, no one would have griped because it also is “unconventional,” but since they didn’t we now have this ridiculous argument.

    Now we see Tim Clark (who wouldn’t even BE on the tour if the putter had been banned when it first cropped up in play) arguing that he needs to anchor his putter because of his arm disability, and is threatening to sue, comparing his situation to Casey Martin, which is so laughable on the face of it that I can’t believe anyone could possibly take it seriously. Not allowing golf carts is a tradition, and allowing every tour pro to use them would change nothing about the outcome of an event. Anchoring the putter does. If you don’t believe the pros know that, take a look at the difference it made for Orville Moody on the Senior Tour, or Paul Azinger, who felt it changed him overnight! In addition, look at Steve Flesch’s comment after he won the “Zurich Classic” in 2003. In case you aren’t aware, he said, “This is like cheating.” Please look it up if you don’t believe me.

    For all these reasons, anchoring should be banned once and for all.

  105. If anchoring gives an unfair advantage, why doesn’t everyone use it. Maybe some feel they putt better the “old fashion” way. It seems that those who use the anchor will be given an unfair “disadvantage” if forced to give up the way they have putted for years. It seems to be much ado about nothing and fixing something that is not broke. This is my humble, but accurate opinion:).

  106. Tom McClain says:

    It seems to me the only reason the ban the anchoring of the putter is that it gives an unfair advantage to the players who use it. Do the statistics favor these users in the win column? Otherwise this whole thing is stupid and possibly just a publicity stunt.

    One might expect this kind of thig would come out of the stodgy old St. Andrews folks, but it hasn’t come from them at all. Maybe the USGA needs some new blood on their rules committee.

  107. Clif says:

    ban anchoring of putter, and return to the traditional style of hands only on the club and not bracing or anchor to the body, etc.

  108. If it were so much better they all would use it. you cannot take away someones right to make a living. I hope it doesn’t end up in the supreme court.

  109. Tom Johnson says:

    Wait a minute….if it’s really a problem, why not ban it right now?? Why is there a time in the future? Now or never.

  110. barry phillips says:

    Hi I have been using a broomstick putter for the last three years & it has changed me back to putting right handed as prior I had to put left handed because of a back problem so as you can see this has helped me to still play golf other wise I would have had to stop playing as I have played golf right handed for fifty eight years so I hope the long handled putter stays for the sake of the game & keep people with back problem keep paying thank you.

  111. Linton says:

    I still don’t understand how a Local Rule, be it at a Club Rule or a Touranment Rule, can overrule a Rule of Golf as set out by the R&A and USGA.
    Please explain how PGA Tour and/or PGA of America can do this?

  112. carl says:

    the rules should be the same for pro and amateurs. But I could care less which way you do it but I doubt that they were anchoring it a 100 years ago like one comment stated. If it was wrong, it should have stopped when it first happened not 10 years later. But a lot of the rules of golf are stupid for the amateur golfer(going back to tee back to hit a ball) – the group on the tee box would kill you on the weekend. what would help would be the stop of the time the pros take to putt, waiting for group in front of you to putt like the pros is a joke it adds all most an hour in playing time for me when I play. They wait for each player to look at putt from all sides or views then putt like the pros do (why a pro can not bend down and look at his putt while waiting (not in line of putt) then move to another spot and look while the player out is looking(not in his line) is stupid.

  113. Claude Whitlock says:

    I think banning anchoring is stupid. There are so many stupid rules that could be changed you would think they would concentrate on them rather than invent new ones.
    I hope the PGA does NOT comply.

  114. Jim Larsen says:

    It’s hard to imagine with all of the technological advances in golf equipment that this would even come up. As long as every player has the same oppertunity to use the equipment in the same manner how could it be an advantage or be against the rules. Golf is the fairest sport out there today.

    • Alistair says:

      Well said. It is not cheating. Everyone has the same choice.
      How would those in favour of the ban like to go back to hitting the old small headed drivers and bladed irons?

      • CJ Goecks says:

        thanks Alistair for the blog post. Keep in touch.
        Keep em Long and Straight,

  115. Jim Vanover says:

    PGA pros make a tremendous amount of money. The USGA is the governing body. Let them make a living by the only sport that still has rules for all. If they don’t want to abide by the rules, then get a real job like the rest of us. The golf swing is a swing, not holding the end of the club to a pendulum point.

  116. Perry Harmon says:

    The PGA will look like a bunch of whiners. The LPGA has no problem with the ban. Amateurs will abide by the ruling, but the most gifted players in the world cannot. They have to have the crutch of anchoring the putter. No way! If they cannot put like the rest of us (I am 65 and a pretty good putter), go find another sport.

    • Perry, then others might say, why don’t you
      go back to playing hickory shafts or the feather
      ball, or persimmon woods. Their repacements
      are all being used by todays golfers, should
      they also find another sport ?

  117. Tiger Woods and the rest of his detractors want to get a life as they can choose also to use a long putter. To be quit honest they probably would not know how or they are too scared to try.The things some will go to is laughable and shows out the proper and true sportsmanship of these individuals. Golf is a great game without all these whingers. Life is too short to allow idiots to try and ruin this at times frustrating game .

  118. MikeD10299 says:

    It’s been said before but I stand by it. If it’s such an advantage why don’t more pro’s use it? Oh yea now I remember they don’t want to cheat.

  119. Jeff Reuter says:

    I am from Australia and within the golf groups that I play with the anchoring thing is a non-event. I play with guys that anchor and it’s not a problem. One of them would have given the game away long ago because of the putting yips with a ‘normal’ putter but he has been able to continue playing because of being to use a belly putter. He is a 24 handicapper, for goodness sake! By denying him and others like him the chance to continue playing this great game because of some sort of ‘return to the roots’ aspect of golf is a blight on the officials of the game. If this was such a problem why didn’t they do something 20 years ago when anchoring first really came to the fore. The USGA and the R&A should get over themselves and leave golf to be what it was designed to be, a game and nothing more using all of the available tools of the trade.

  120. Judie says:

    I use the long putter and have used it for 24 years. Sometimes I put well and sometimes I put badly. I really don’t think that it helps one way or the other. The only advantage that I see is in practicing because u don’t have to bend over as far which saves the back. I do not believe it should be banned.

  121. Hal McKinnon says:

    Well, I am relatively new to the game. (20 months). Am 72 years old & am in excellent health except for some lower back issues (related to my occupation as a dentist for 40 years). So I use a long putter to ease this problem. Driving or iron shots don’t bother my back but bending over a regular length putter hurts. So, I like the 48 ” putter. I am now playing @ about a 16 handicap. I do not anchor the putter, but would like to be to have that option.
    Thanks, HAL McKINNON

    • Hail! from one dentist to another with a bad back, the long putter came as a godsend for me, but I´m still putting terribly! But for me the real question is one of just plain stupidity or worse.., of malfeasance.
      Langer´s anchoring would be allowed!!
      I can see how lawyers as slick as Clinton who answered in his Lewinsky litigation,..” it´s a matter of how you define the word “is” would relish the opportunity to fight in court rooms over something that so obviously is only a matter of somebody wanting to ban something just because he wants to ban it!
      But that´s not educated monopoly, that´s stupid monopoly!
      Grow up, for God´s sake.

  122. Norm mankins says:

    At one time dunking was banned in basketball. Did that help promote the game. White was the only attire for tennis. Did allowing other colors of attire ruin the game. Baseball gloves were at one time nothing more than a piece of leather with no webbing. Did larger gloves with huge pockets make conditions unfair for some players? No, sorry players adjusted to the better equipment. If we face the real issue change evolves because there is a definitive advantage for one technique over another. Eventually the players will determine the best putting technique. If it is as advantageous as the ruling bodies deemed, then all players would have switched to the anchoring method. No one method of putting gives a greater advantage to any player just as no one swing technique provides a player a greater advantage over all other swing techniques.

  123. douglas muth says:

    Please note my email address is no longer It is now Please change your records accordingly. Thanks Doug

  124. dick mickelsen says:

    The PGA doesn’t follow all the USGA rules. For example, the USGA rule for an embedded ball says that the ball may be lifted cleaned and droped if its embedded in the closely mowed part of the fairway. The PGA rule is if the ball is embedded anywhere on the course, except in a hazzard it can be lifted and dropped, no penalty.

    • Jack Bennett says:

      Next the PGA will want gimmies from 4 ft in. They play on courses few golfers see other than on TV

      Are we to play the game as developed or change the name of the game? They are spoiled rotten.

  125. Sandy says:

    I have already given my arguments as to why banning anchoring is ridiculous and is not good for the game, so I won’t repeat. However, as to your question about bifucation of the rules, let me point out that the tour has already done so in other areas. As an example, the embedded ball rule. The rules of golf state that an embedded ball only gets relief if it’s in it’s own pitch mark in a closely mown area through the green. The PGA Tour allows relief from anywhere. So what’s the big deal if they bifurcate on the anchoring rule?

  126. Ed says:

    It’s only happening because Tiger cried foul.

  127. l cawthoprne says:


    DO the stats say that it is assisting players if yes ban it if not leave be.


  128. Joe bowers says:

    It doesn’t affect me either way because I use a standard putter, I.Grew up watching Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer and I don’t recall anyone using anything other than a standard putter although Snead tried usind a putter like a croquet mallet until is was ruled illegal. My only question is when PGA players play the British Open whose rules would be enforced

  129. Josephine Richardson says:

    Putting is an individual thing. Everyone has their own style. I have seen the putter held with the fist to the chest,fist to the stomach, wrist to the hip,hand to the forearm and the conventional way with the hands. The latter is what I favour but who’s to say what is the right way. Which ever gets the ball in the hole for you is what you need.

    The USGA and the R&A need to think about all golfers and not just the Pro’s. We don’t need to make the game harder to play when we are trying to encourage people to play this great game.
    Josie Richardson.

  130. Earl Faulkner Sr says:

    What a shame it has come to this. If the USGA and R&A wanted anchoring banned, they should have done so before it became so deeply established in the game. For heaven’s sake, golfers have grown up with anchoring, why change after all this time has passed. Anchoring should have been banned, but that should have been done immediately; just as the Sam Snead “croquet” style putting was immediately banned.

    If the PGA has one method and the USGA another, think of the mess when the US Open is played. Too Late to ban anchoring. USGA & R&A must relent.

  131. Ian Mahoney says:

    I think these putters should be banned i.e. should look more like a golf club than a broomstick .
    Possibly infringes the strange and unusual equipment rule

  132. Richard Minogue says:

    why not ban none anchoring. makes as much sense. I am 78, have played for 70 years, and if they want to do something how about doing away with about half of the rules. who started this witch hunt, and don’t say the USGA, I would like to know who. I’d bet on Barack, sounds like something he would do as ruler of all.

  133. Michael Brady says:

    I didn’t know that anchoring had been around so long. I thought that Sam Torrence was the 1st approx. 30 years ago and in my opinion it should have been banned then. It is going to be very hard to ban now because so many both Professionals and Amatures use it. If it goes to Court as always the real winners will be the Lawyers. In fairness to all a compromise should be made but I can’t offer any explanation as to what that might be. Although, the rules should be the same for all.

    • dave says:

      They said Billy Casper anchored his right forearm to his right thigh. But that method will still be allowed as long as both hands touch each other. Therefore this is not anchoring at all. CJ is wrong about the 100 years of anchoring I think?

  134. Tallinnman says:

    Our biggest complaint should be that the USGA allowed the problem to exist. They are there to show leadership and run the game and allowed a ‘disease’ in my opinion to spread. Instead of moving much more swiftly to arrest the develop of long putters whether they are anchored, tethered or hovering in space, they did what they do best, nothing.

    Certain equipment manufacturers have shown themselves in contempt for our game with their comments on long putters – seems the ones that have the largest market share are all for the PGA going it alone.

    If they do it’ll be the end of my love affair of watching Tiger & Rory as they’ll be playing a different game I cannot relate to, even though they don’t currently ‘cheat’ on the putter front.

  135. Fred DeRossett says:

    I have always used a conventional length putter with a conventional two hand grip. I am comfortable with both. I don’t believe there is any advantage to the long putter or anchor grip and could care less if other golfers use them. To me, I feel I have a psychological advantage over golfers who feel they need the anchor grip. I’ve tried a couple and saw no advantage, so I stayed with what I had. I’ve used the same putter for nearly 20 years and I don’t care what everyone else uses. It’s a waste of time to even debate it. 1et it stay, no harm, no real advantage.

  136. Trevor says:

    Don’t you think this is a power for glory standoff between the PGA and the USGA governing bodies
    And has not much to do with the anchoring of the putter to the body. If they were serious the would have acted sooner

  137. Yves Rouche says:

    When the large drivers came to life all 100% of professional and amators took to it and boight one. It was an advantage
    When hibrid clubs came to life all 100% profesional and amators took to it and bought one. It was an advantage
    When lob wedges came to life all professional and amators bought at lest one. It was an advantage
    Only 15% of golfers are playing with a long pater, conclusion.
    It’s not an advantage, it just gives those guys with the dreaded “yeeps” a chance to still play golf.

    • dave says:

      Well you’re admitting that it eliminates the YIPS…See that Bud? If getting rid of the YIPS is not an advantage then you need a dictionary..!

    • Yves, that is excellent reasoning and many thanks !
      There have been a multitude of improvements in the
      game of golf, and all have been in the bettering of
      the equipment. The long putter is only one more
      example of this fact, so why should this factor now
      be considered to be any different. If those not using
      the long putter think that it is such a advantage, then
      why are they also not using it ? I personally do not
      use the long putter but I also do not use some other
      makes of golf clubs that other golfers use because they
      think and feel that those are better and that give them
      an advantage. Maybe we should all be required to use
      only one brand of equipment so that then no one would
      have a advantage, per se!

  138. Bud says:

    As a club maker/assembler I have tried all the different putting set ups and arrangements, and have never ever been able to gain any advantage from Belly or long putters over my preferred 35 inch standard putter. I cannot see any reason to ban the so called ‘achored’ putters. Bud.

    • dave says:

      The guy below your comment admits the anchor helps anyone with the YIPS…How is that not cheating?

  139. dave says:

    Why wait 2&1/2 years to start the ban? When Sam Snead started putting between his legs they banned that method overnight almost. Why did Sam try this method?..because he had the YIPS! The YIPS only happen on the short putts, maybe if you’re inside a 3 foot circle you automatically get a gimmie and pick up, then add 1/2 a stroke? Yesterday Tiger, one of the best putters ever, 3 putt from 3 feet! Waiting 3 years is like telling Lance Armstrong he can cheat for 3 more years. It don’t make sense.

  140. Darnell Bacon says:

    This is more posturing by the PGA than anything else. All USGA & R&A amateur & profesional events will be governed accordingly. Hence the US Open & The Open will be played by ther rules. The PGA should stop whining and grow up and accept the ruling like the LPGA and other professional PGA entities around the world. These organizations are not “belly” aching over the issue. As for those with back problems they will still be able to use the long putter just not anchored to their body.

  141. kevin says:

    I don’t care if someone wants to lay down on the green and use a pool cue to put the ball in the hole ! If anchoring is so unfair why doesn’t Tiger use it ? It is not as if the tall putter is not available to everyone to use if they want to ! The USGA needs to get over themselves!

    • Bruce from Perth WA says:

      I’m with you Kevin, it’s not what you use, but how you use it. The idea of cheating sounds a bit like sour grapes and I agree that the USPGA & R&A have had enough previous opportunity to ban it before it became the norm.

  142. Roberto Sempere says:

    ¿Porqué no hacen un torneo entre las autoridades de la PGA y la USGA de potear? con una bolsa que realmente los ponga nerviosos y estresados, jugandolo a uno o dos puts, rodeados de cámaras transmitiendo internacionalmente y con un gran público, de manera que así demuestren la “supuesta ventaja” que dan los puts largos, para tener fundamento real para su prohibición.

  143. Ed deZevallos says:

    Only one reason this was passed, and that is because some “anchorers” won majors. This ban will destroy the careers of a few pros who learned the game with these kind of putters, and put a number of amateurs into frustrating moments for no real purpose, as the game is supposed to be all about fun at our level. This ban shows the unbridled narcissism of the USG – they have turned their back on the “ball”, which has destroyed so many great courses for tournament play, and allowed ball manufacturers to make a ball that has compression levels only accessible to “over 110 MPH swing speeds”, and then they ban a technique that has been around for over 25 years and used by a number of seniors with back and nerve problems. Incredible.

  144. Patrick McBrearty says:

    We all have the same choice here ….. if you feel that the belly putter gives your opponent an advantage over your standard putter, then BUY A BELLY PUTTER
    I use a standard two handed putter … that’s my choice!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Patrick McBrearty,
      I couldn’t have said it better myself Patrick.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  145. Alex Graham says:

    Anchoring has only been allowed for about 20 or so years and not 100 years as stated. It never should have been allowed as no other club is in contact with any other part of the body than the hands and I think that’s the way it shoulds be in future. Here in Britain this subject does not appear to be much of a problem but most agree with the anchoring ban.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Alex Graham,
      Alex my friend you need to check your history on the game. Anchoring has been around for nearly 100 years. It was made popular on the senior tour in the 80’s so please check again on this and write in with an addendum. I did some fact checking for you Alex and I got this from the Golf Channel website. 1924: Leo Diegel develops a putting stance which involves a bent-over, elbows-out position with the butt of the putter at his belly button. Competitors called the move “Diegeling.”
      Not saying I’m correct here Alex, but if you want to write that addendum to your comment then I will take it LOL. I’m just kidding with you buddy, but this does prove that anchoring has been around for nearly 100 years. Thanks for your comments and thanks for your support of PCGS.

      Keep em Long and Straight,

  146. Charles Giardino says:

    I personally do not see the need for such putters. I have been using the same putter for 30 yrs and I still putt very well with it. People I play with have threatened to steal it from me. I am 70 yrs old and don’t believe I will ever putt any other way. However, I want others to enjoy the game and I do not feel there is anything wrong with anchor putters and the like. I feel that you use your body to create a golf result and however or whatever it takes to do so is fine with me. You should be able to swing with 3 arms if you had them. Let people play the game however they want. I am in favor of some equipment restrictions though. That is for another day and I will pass on that for now.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Charles Giardino,
      Thanks Charles for the blog post. I wonder if someone had three arms and were unbeatable what rules they would come up with? Hmmm.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  147. tim says:

    the only way to get my long putter is to pry it out OF MY COLD DEAD HANDS

  148. Darryl Thorne says:

    I am a disabled golfer who cannot bend forward very far without pain so a belly putter is essential for me to carry on playing. With this rule I wil have to give up my golf? no way – I will be taking them to court myself for infringing my human rights of choice.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Darryl Thorne,
      Thanks Darryl for your blog post. I say use the putter anyways and I hope that the PGA of America stands in your corner. Don’t give up the game my friend.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  149. All I have to say on this one is look at how it helped lengthen the careers of Fred Couples and Ernie Els. And I heard that Keegan Bradley was subjected to taunts from fans about being a cheater. That is so disrespectful and turns me off. I’ve felt that golf has much bigger fish to fry, and still believe that.

    This is just too silly a thing to be arguing about while the goose that laid the golden egg is on the verge of having its head cut off. I’ve tried in vain to let anyone know who’d listen that the biggest problem facing golf today is the actual cost of playing the game, from the equipment, to the range balls, to the greens fees, to everything else associated with the game. It’s like the powers that be in golf have forgotten that there is a major economic recession (in my home state – depression) still going on, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. There are people like me who’d like to continue playing, but are forced to sit on the sidelines due to scarce entertainment dollars. And yes, I do have a job – graphic artist, web designer and Internet marketer.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Larry Launstein Jr,
      Thanks Larry for the blog post and I couldn’t agree with you more. Maybe you could move to Texas and we could talk about a job my friend. Anyways the cost of playing this game is very expensive, but with the economy being down more courses have reduced their prices. I would also encourage you to find a course managed by Arnold Palmer or Club corp. They have great deals on range memberships and play later in the day.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  150. jim james says:

    In South Africa the rival trade unions fight to see who is top dog (losers are the workers), guess in america the golf powers do the same (losers are the golfers).

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Jim James,
      LOL Jim thanks for the blog post. you may be right, but the PGA and the PGA Tour are very strong organizations and they could challenge this ruling. If the PGA wanted, and you must remember that every course has a PGA professional at them, those courses could not allow tournaments to be run at the courses if they did not follow PGA Rules. therefore the USGA would not have the power and the golfers would then be the winners. Scorecards will sometimes say that USGA rules govern play and that could be changed. Every Amateur tournament could be run following the PGA Rules and therefore the ban would almost be useless.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  151. Jim says:


    I’m in the school that the anchored putter clearly provides an advantage for those players that cannot control their nerves and break down during the stroke. However, I think the ban is way too late in happening now. More importantly, if the PGA develops its own set of rules different from the R&A what happens when PGA players go to play in the OPEN or other overseas tournaments? Whose rules will prevail for the tournaments?


    • CJ Goecks says:

      Thanks Jim for the blog post and question. I agree with you on the timing of the ban is not good. In regards to the PGA and the Pga Tour not following the rules versus the USGA and the R&A the only major that would allow the anchoring would be the PGA Championship. The Masters said they will back the R&A and the USGA.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  152. Tarris Fronzoli says:

    I think putters should not be anchored from pros and amateurs.My opinion is it is cheating. This is like putting from between your legs like ( I think ) Sam Snead putted and they banned it saying you can’t stand on the putting line. To me,this is just as bad.IT’s all about equipment sales. Kind of like the Weapons manufacturers Backing the NRA.
    Forget about sales figures and rule the game!!!

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Tarris Fronzoll,
      thanks Tarris for your blog post and your opinion. I respect your opinion and know many golfers agree with you. The % of club sales for long putters is so minute that it won’t effect them either way. Be ready though for many club companies to introduce a putter like Matt Kuchar uses where the putter is anchored on the arm, which is legal.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  153. Ian Mahoney says:

    Hi CJ
    Maybe if it went’PING’ opinions might change

    Cherers I.M.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Ian Mahoney,
      LOL. If it went “Ping” the USGA would probably not want to get in a lawsuit with them lol.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  154. Richard says:

    Long putters constitute cheating – pure and simple, because it does give one an advantage – & players who use it know that – the usga & the R&A created this nightmare by not banning it a decade ago when the only player who used it was Jim Ferree – who by the way could not make a put of over 2 ft without it – all championships won using the long putter should have an astersik beside their name

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Thanks richard for the blog post. I appreciate you taking the time to write in and give your opinion and I respect it. thanks again for writing in and I know many golfers agree with you.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  155. I’m a mediocre putter no matter what I use to roll the ball. BUT folks should be able to putt however they wish. Are we playing with hickory sticks and feather filled golf balls? If the USGA and R&A want to live in the past, let em.. Life goes on.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      charles M Gross,
      Thanks Charles for the blog post. One of my biggest arguments is that anchoring has been around for about 100 years. That’s living in the past and they should have done something then versus now.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  156. Pops LeBlanc says:

    The rules of golf are stacked with many senseless regs – like not being able to repair a spike mark on the green – duh – it’s a non-club, non-swing, man made issue – isn’t it? You can sweep sand away (swing and club generated), but you can’t repair a spike mark?? Insanity! So the PGA who succumbs to this stupidity must follow an equally stupid rule about anchoring. Suck it up and join the suffering.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Pops LeBlanc,
      LOL Pops and great point. Remember that you can only sweep away sand when it is on the putting surface. If you did this from the fairway or fringe then it is a penalty. Hope this keeps you from getting a stupid penalty. lol
      Keep em Long and Straight,

      • Dave Thomas says:

        This is by far one of the biggest blunders that the usga and the r&a have made in the rules of golf. First off the numbers don’t lie. There doesn’t seem to be any advantage to using a long putter over a standard putter. If you look at the numbers the people using the short putters are still more effictive than those using the long putters. I also agree that if this was a issue it should have been dealt with when it first started 100 years ago. There has been what 4 major champions that have used a long putter all being in the last 4 or 5 years and now they are banning it’s use? What the hell are they thinking? At a time when this great sport is stuggling what’s next the banning of metal drivers and fairway metals? how about hybreds. Golf course are getting longer and longer and yet the average player still only hits the ball 220 yards. You now have records that can never be broke because the players aren’t really playing on the same golf courses that the records were made at. Someone really needs to look at everything thats going on in this sport and make some good changes for once.

        • CJ Goecks says:

          DAve Thomas,
          Thanks Dave for the post. Brandel Chamblee made some great points about bifurcation in regards to other sports, Amateur vs Professional. I think the USGA and the PGA Tour could work together on this. Amateurs should definitely be allowed to use them. Simply state that in major Amateur Jr. National Tournaments they are not allowed. This would allow every amateur that didn’t play on the national level to use the putter, while pro’s could still use the putter, however it would discourage every young good player to use the putter thus changing the number of good juniors and eventually pro’s that use the putter. Maybe I’m not making sense and this is nonsense, but I think the anchoring should be allowed,but I am trying to see it from the other view. To summarize the USGA could discourage the use of this putter for the better Jr. amateurs, while still allowing adults and those non competitive amateurs to use it. this would also give pro’s the ability to use it. Maybe this is silly, but it may be an idea not thought of. (sorry for the rambling)
          Keep em Long and Straight,

  157. Juls says:

    Golf is a game played on certain set of rules.And the rules has evolved over the years.

    So what is new?

  158. Monti says:

    There should be no USGA, but only R&A!!! In fact there should never have been a USGA!!! And we would not have this problem and this discussion.
    By the way. I had the Yips. Still have it. Now I put on the other side and use a putter for lefthanders. And it works. Before I use a broom stick or a belly button putter I give up golf and look for another sport. Because it looks ridiculous and has nothing to do with that great game that was invented in Scotland. PS. I am not Scottish. I am Swiss.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      LOL Monti. That is a pretty outrageous statement. The R&A and the USGA have worked well together. Are you saying that their should be dictators or do you enjoy living in a democracy. Ultimately it is a system of checks and balances and let’s be honest. The R&A has earned lots of money due to golf being played in the USA. The PGA Tour has grown this game to what it is and we need to thank Arnold Palmer, Jack, Ben and even Tiger. Yes Scotland invented this great sport and I recognize that and am forever thankful, but let’s not go crazy here kind sir.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

  159. Chris Martin says:

    I’ve been using the broomstick for 20 or so years and it has kept me in the game.
    If anchoring with the putter is such an advantage then why isn’t everyone using it.
    If the R & A and the USGA for fair di nkum why ndon’t they look at the advancements in club ands ball technology, which has caused changes many famous courses including the latest St. Andrews. co. using the old would love to see the likes of Woods and Co. using the old small headed clubs that were less forgiving and the smaller ball without the dimple configuration it has now. Now there’s something to talk about.
    I’m 57 and can still hit the ball as far as when I was 18, why because of the big headed drivers and the balls. No wonder the pros are tearing up the courses. Lets get real the anchoring is being banned because the hierarchy don’t like the look of it. Soon all the famous courses will be obsolete because they are to short, if it doesn’t rain or its not blowing a gale then there meat for the sideboard.

  160. Colin Gray says:

    At some stage in every game of golf nerves come into play. The most obvious time being when a shot over water is required. We have all seen what happens to both amateur and professional golfers. The same applies when putting. This is part of the game the one whose nerve holds usually wins. I believe that those golfer who us the long putter do so because they cannot hold their nerve. Anchoring the putter is a way of controlling the nerves and therefore a form of cheating. Another way of controlling the nerves would the use of drugs, I’m sure we all agree this cheating. So banning anchoring the putter is a means of ensuring a level playing field for all golfers.
    For the shot over water it is excedingly difficly to anchor the club and complete a swing, but if someone was able to do it that should also be banned.
    Regarding the fact anchoring the putter has been around for a hundred years does not make it right. However, it has only become an issue because a small percentage of professional golfers could not make a living on the tour. For proffesional golfers to say they have only ever used the anchoring method is rubbish, I am sure they started the same way as everyone else a non anchored method. The rules of golf are not about professional golfers but about the game and therefore all golfers.

    • CJ Goecks says:

      Collin Gray,
      Thanks Colin for the blog post and again my purpose is to help grow this game and enjoy this great game. I simply think they should ban the anchoring for amateur golfers competing in national tournaments. This would stop the future of tour players using it and will allow older golfers the benefits of a longer club for their back.
      Keep em Long and Straight,

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