The Ban Of Belly Putters Is Here

Last month, THP published an article about the USGA entitled Long Putters Never Had A Chance and while the discussion after the fact centered on the putter, the entirety of what was written was centered around the USGA and their reaction type nature of decision making.

Today, the USGA and R&A announced a modification to the rules of golf confirming speculation from both media and golf fans alike. It will appear under Rule 14, Striking the Ball, the new ammendment would be listed under Rule 14-1b, Anchoring the Club, and read as follows:

“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.”

The rule change will take effect in January 2016.

Join us in the THP Forum as we discuss this issue right now.

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33 Comments

  • Completely unnecessary and a waste of everybody’s time.

  • lame, fix the ball instead

  • Nothing better to do. Just another rule we will have to follow.

  • I don’t like it. Long putters have had success the last few years, but its not like they haven’t been around for many years. I think this is an over reaction.

  • I never saw any issue with anchoring. This was something the PGA and other professional tours should have addressed, not the USGA and R&A.

  • I don’t know how I feel about this. I never could get past about three strokes with an anchored putter before I realized I didn’t like it, so I can’t speak to the fact that it is an advantage or not; it is not for me, anyway. But if they’re out there, and available to everyone, is it really an advantage?

  • I care so little about this issue, other than the economic impact it has on the innovative businesses that have marketed this product. Still, I think the decision to ban anchoring is dumb.

  • Such a pointless rule.

  • takes effect in 2016?? that’s like waiting for the mayan calendar to run out! Why not 2014? Seems crazy to me

  • I agree that this was unnecessary.
    Rules committees always do dumb stuff like this. They threw that exception for the forearm in there and make it even more confusing. They do that so when 2020 rolls around, they have something else to ban as well.

  • I don’t understand why they think it’s such a huge deal. But I’m glad they are doing it now rather than waiting longer and it becoming more popular and upsetting more golfers.

  • Oh well. I don’t use one and really don’t care about how much they affect play. If they really do have an advantage, maybe they should be banned. I just hope they don’t roll back the ball. I need all the help with distance I can get.

  • Wow. They got this one wrong.

  • Can’t wait to see what the players do that are affected by this rule.

  • Complete waste of time and the paper it was written on!

  • Pointless rule

  • I agree with other sentiments, to me, this is an utter waste of time IMO.

  • I may be in the minority, but I am in agreement with the new rule.

  • Really, all this and it will not take effect until 2016! Just silly to me and I just started playing the game.

  • Lets make the rules of the game up as we go .

  • I have to agree with the proposed ruling. I wish it would take effect in 2014 though.
    Pictures would make it easier to understand what is and what isn’t allowed.
    My main reason for supporting the rule is that anchoring somewhat, not completely, removes the “nerves control” issue for the high-stakes players.
    Also, this only applies to USGA sanctioned and/or USGA rules abiding events. The THP Invitationals “may” be excluded.

  • I listened to Tiger’s comments on the whole thing and what he said I found lacking. His argument is that we don’t anchor any other clubs so why should we be allowed to anchor the putter. I think the ban is dumb though. I use both a belly and a traditional putter and I find each has it’s benefit. With a long putter it is hard to control distance and especially hard to get a long putt to the hole. They let Kuchar keep his style of putting but they managed to ban so many other ways. In my mind everyone looks at golf a different way and tries to make it their own. Furyk has his own distinct swing, Phil presses his putter more than anyone I have ever seen, and Jon Daly wears crazy pants. Creativity is the most important aspect of golf and this ruling is unfortunate because it hinders that.

  • This rule is now a penalty for those that use a long putter. The USGA and R&A waited way too long for this to be fair. You now have guys playing golf that absolutely think they cannot putt without a long putter, unfair to them imo.

    Anyone who thinks an anchored putter is unfair has the option to try it, I know I did and really never got comfortable with one.

  • I agree with Ryan Hawk, it’s completely a waste of time.

  • I’m fine with the ruling, however the timing of the ruling after the train had long long ago left the station feels wrong. I’m waiting for the lawsuits to commence.

  • The Anchored putters were not a problem until guys started winning Majors with them.

    Apparently, because the old Greats never used them, we shouldn’t either.

    Granted, equipment is much improved, however, I doubt the Old Greats played 7,000 yard courses with greens as slick as glass either.

  • USGA and RA make the rules. That’s their reason for being.

    You can do whatever you want. Just don’t claim any prizes or money from sanctioned tournaments. Just like people always don’t do proper drops during casual play, but you better in tournament. You can bet your mortgage the US Open, Masters and Open Championship will have this rule. Qualify, compete, and play by the rules.

  • Anchored putters have been in play for 30 years. No Problem. However, when Majors get won with em. Major Problem.

  • I don’t have a problem with the rule changes, however I believe they are about 25 years too late.

    Are they now going to take away the major championship wins from the players who used the long putters in the last few years? I don’t think so.

    I’ll be very interested to what the likes of Adam Scott, Keegan Bradley and others do now after the announcement.

    Stay tuned

  • I believe they consulted with MLB and decided to put an “Asterisk” by their names******

  • I don’t agree with the ruling. They could have done this many years ago if they thought it was an advantage but they didn’t until someone some majors with this style. I don’t think it is good for the game.

  • If the USGA did not like the anchoring aspect of mid and long putters, why wait until players have incorporated them into their game? They should have applied the rule changes a lot sooner than now. To top it off, players can still use these putters until January 2016?? I don’t use a long putter but if it’s available to everyone and gives such an advantage then why isn’t everybody using one?

  • I am quickly loosing respect for the rule makers of golf. 🙁

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