New rules change will ban anchored putters

Webb Simpson putts on the 18th hole during the third round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Golf’s governing bodies decided Wednesday to outlaw putters anchored to the body. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Wednesday, The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the U.S. Golf Association proposed a new rule that would ban clubs that are anchored to the body.

“Our objective is to preserve the skill and challenge,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said. “This rule is not performance related. This is about defining the game, defining what is a stroke.”

Two of the bigger points here to remember are that:

A.) The rule applies to professionals as well as amateurs.

B.) The long-putter itself isn’t outlawed, just the manner in which it is used.

To read more about the new rule, check out the story here.

What do you think about the new ban on anchoring clubs?

Vote in our poll, post your thoughts in the comments section below, or feel free to email them to You can also tweet them to @YDRGolf.

I’ll be putting together another post in the next day or two with local reactions to the new rule.

About Elijah Armold

Multiplatform sports journalist for the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Reach Elijah Armold at; 717-771-2056.
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4 Responses to New rules change will ban anchored putters

  1. Jerry says:

    Elijah, I am glad to see the new rule concerning the belly putter. Too bad they were allowed in the first place. It would be very interesting to see the present day pro’s use the same kind of clubs like Arnie and Jack used. Let them continue to use the newer balls, which is a big advantage in itself; however, I am sure their low scores would not be what they are today. Consider how remarkable it would be for one of the present day players to play an entire tournament with the identical kind of clubs like they used back in say the ’60′s and actually win the tournament. Even though he would have the edge with the newer balls (longer distance, with no cuts or smiles on the ball, and truer flight); it would be a REAL challenge. You would almost be comparing apples to apples with regard to comparing records of past and present. I can’t imagine the pride that would be felt for someone to win under those conditions. I think we could even overlook the differences of the fairways and greens of past and present. It would be exciting!

    Jerry Yohe

  2. Chris Rudisill says:

    I completely disagree with the ban on these types of putters.

    In the world of sports there should only ever be two reasons for “banning” something… either is poses a threat to safety (steroids, metal bats in the upper leagues), or gives someone an insurmountable advantage on the playing field (racing swimsuits in the summer Olympics.)

    The article even goes on to say that it isn’t the fact that people were WINNING with long putters, simply that more people were using them:

    “Davis and Dawson said the catalyst for the new rule was not who was winning tournaments, but the number of players switching to long putters.”

    Basically, they are saying, “They don’t putt like I do, so it shouldn’t be allowed.” As for the argument that it takes away from the “Rich Traditions of Golf”… The traditions in golf are that you have a caddie carry your bag as you walk 18 holes. I don’t see many people walking these days and is it even possible to find a caddy if you don’t play on a resort course? What about GPS and Rangefinders? Part of the Tradition of Golf was to be able to correctly estimate distances. That too is gone.

    The use of a long putter is not biased against anyone. Long putters do not cost any more than conventional putters, no one is excluded from using them, and no one is in danger. No one has an unfair advantage:

    “There was no empirical data to suggest a long putter made golf easier. Carl Pettersson (No. 21) and Bradley (No. 27) were the only players among the top 30 in putting this year on the PGA Tour who used long putters.”

    If we really want to ban something to bring golf back to its traditions, lets get rid of the super-hot drivers capable of hitting a ball 400 yards and cavity irons that can straighten out the worst slicers. Certainly neither of these were envisioned when the game was designed, yet THESE affect the way that the game is played FAR more than a putter that touches your body.
    Really, what it all still comes down to is pretty simple: Ban that style because it isn’t the way that I do it.

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