Should the USGA ban anchored putting strokes? Since announcing their plan to ban anchored putting strokes, the USGA has come under intense scrutiny from every type of golfer. The proposed Rule 14-1b, which follows an extensive review by The R&A and the USGA, would prohibit strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club held directly against the player’s body, or with a forearm held against the body to establish an anchor point that indirectly anchors the club.
The CSGA recently conducted an online survey of its members to determine the overall sentiment of the proposed anchoring ban and its effect on amateur golfers in the state of Connecticut. A total of 226 golfers responded, with handicaps ranging from +5 to over 30. The total responding sample plays an average of 62 rounds per year, with an average handicap of 14. The sample consisted of 94.6% male and 5.4% female.
What type of putting stroke do you currently use?
Belly Putter- Anchored
Belly Putter- Non-Anchored
Long Putter- Anchored
Long Putter- Non-Anchored
Of the 4% who listed “other” as their current putting stroke, “Side Saddle Anchored” and “Belly Putter Against Arm” were the two most popular options.
In your opinion, does anchoring the putter make putting easier?
Of the total responding sample, 59% believe anchoring the putter makes it easier to putt, while 41% believe it does not make it easier to putt
Yes, it makes it easier to putt
"It allows me to continue to play. With a case of the yips I would need to quit the game. I have played competitive amateur golf since 1968 and could not continue as a senior without a long putter."
"Being nervous is part of golf and anchoring minimizes the part nerves play in putting."
"At a competitive level it is well recognized that the mental side can be 90% of the key to success. Therefore, any artificial method that clearly reduces that element (with its resulting physical benefit) obviously undermines the integrity of the game."
No, does not make it easier to putt
"If it made it easier, everybody would use it."
"It certainly doesn't for me. If it did more players of all levels would use it."
"No, but it does allow people an alternative for a while when the conventional style goes sour, while keeping some golfers interested in playing."
"You still have to get the right line and speed to make putts no matter what type putter you use."
In your opinion, should the governing bodies ban the anchoring of clubs to the body?
Of the total responding sample, 45.8% believe the governing bodies should ban the anchoring of clubs to the body, while 54.2% believe they should not.
72% of respondents who commented on the issue believe the USGA should have banned the anchored putting stroke earlier.
"If they were going to ban it they should have banned it 40 years ago. I also think that it is seriously unfair to do this to those who have used this their whole lives. Players like Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson's major victories will then be thought of as if they cheated and won, which is seriously unfair."
"Anchoring has been allowed for years now. The horse is already out of the barn. Right now we need to keep golfers in the game. While it might be advantageous for a pro I don't think it affects amateurs that much. Better to enjoy the game."
"It will discourage play. With 5 hour rounds and the high cost to play, if you can't enjoy the game, why bother? Address the real issues: SLOW PLAY AND THE HIGH COST."
"Yes, but I think, like the grooves rule change, amateurs should be able to use them."
In your opinion, do you think the ban on anchoring will cause some amateur golfers to enjoy the game less?
Of the total responding sample, 53.7% believe the ban on anchoring will cause some amateur golfers to enjoy the game less, while 46.2% believe that the ban will not affect enjoyment of the game.
"When I had a case of the yips for over two years I was going to quit the game. I used a long putter for over a year and it kept me in the game."
"I do. Bottom line is all amateurs want to play, enjoy, and try to do and be the best they can be. What is the difference between holding a long putter against your belly or buy a club that will hit a ball an extra 10 - 15 yards?"
"Golfer's who anchor the putter do it for a reason ... it simplifies a challenging stroke especially on short putts ... fewer putts made leads to higher scores that may discourage amateurs."
"The long putter has allowed me to compete in CSGA events and has made the game of golf fun again!"
"I observed much better than average putting down the stretch with those using the long putter and especially the ones using the anchor method and it disgusted me. I was pleased when the USGA agreed with me. I sympathize with those that have never putted any other way but the USGA has to protect the integrity of the greatest (and hardest) game ever."