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Golf Australia Express : December 2012
COVER the COVER the Being a golf problem means it’s no easy fix and inconsistencies can already be found in the anchoring proposal. For example, resting the shaft of a putter on the inside of your forearm—as Matt Kuchar does—is not considered ‘anchoring’ under the propsal. Confusing indeed. And when the rule change takes effect in January 2016—if ratified next year—who’s going to monitor it (other than the overzealous TV viewing Rules Police)? It seems impractical. Notwithstanding the initial confusion as to what’s being proposed, Mr Dawson believes the planned changes will preserve 600-year-old traditions of the game. “Anchored strokes have become the preferred option for a growing number of players and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game,” Mr Dawson said. “Our concern is that anchored strokes threaten to supplant traditional putting strokes which are integral to the longstanding character of the sport.” So there you have it. Despite any evidence of an advantage in anchoring a long putter remaining inconclusive; despite such a small percentage of Tour players actually using them; and despite the fact it has been OK to putt with a broomstick for nearly three decades, the ruling bodies will ban anchoring because, well, they don’t like the look of it. Oh, and they've become popular. What's next? Will they ban yellow coloured balls if more than 15 per cent of players on Tour switch to them for better visibilty (surely an advantage, also)? With so many more pressing issues threatening this game, it seems odd— dare we suggest backward—that banning anchoring appears the most fundamental in the minds of the heads of the ruling bodies. Of course, purists would differ. And so continues golf’s constant battle between tradition and evolution; history and advancement; old ways versus new ways; difficulty versus retaining involvement. (Though it's hard to argue more people will be taking up golf as a result of the ruling.) No matter what you think of the anchoring decision, like most things belly-related this time of the year it appears it is going to get worse before anything gets better. And for the true lover of golf, that is a gut- wrenching thought. OTG THE DRAFT RULE 14-1b Anchoring the Club In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either “directly” or by use of an “anchor point.” Note 1: The club is anchored “directly” when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm. Note 2: An “anchor point” exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club. ESPN.COM's Michael Collins has yet again hit the nail on the head. Hear his thoughts on the Anchor Ban above.