On January 1, 2016 golfers everywhere will be required to use a non-anchored putting stroke as a result of a ban imposed by the United States Golf Association (USGA). Due to a decision handed down by the USGA earlier this week, it appears that date is written in stone.
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The USGA has denied a request authored by PGA of America President Ted Bishop and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem to allow amateur golfers to be “grandfathered” in to the new putting stroke rule. The proposal would have allowed amateurs to continue using an anchored stroke for a period that extended past 2016.
You can read Bishop’s full statement on the PGA of America website, but this paragraph sums it up:
“The leadership at the PGA of America and the PGA Tour both believe that it would be reasonable to offer recreational golfers who anchor a longer period of time to convert to the approved method of making a stroke,”Bishop wrote to PGA members back in January. “For example, when the ‘Grooves Rule’ was instituted in 2009, the USGA allowed a 15-year ‘grandfather period’ for amateurs to switch to conforming golf clubs.
“We believe our request for a ‘grandfather period’ can further assist you, the PGA Professional, in transitioning recreational golfers who do anchor, to the approved method,” he added.
I’m not sure how steep the learning curve is for amateurs who need to switch back to a traditional putting stroke, so perhaps the need to buy a new putter is really the bigger issue at hand. Of course, there is a small percentage of golfers who rely on a long putter and anchored stroke due to health reasons, whom this denial will certainly impact greatly.
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