Frank, you have been very vocal about the proposed anchoring rule and now that the USGA has adopted the rule, banning anchoring what do you think will happen if the PGA Tour don’t want to adopt it? Is this going to lead to two sets of rules and will it hurt the game? Thanks for your weekly and honest opinions.
Thank you for your question and I am pleased you are enjoying the weekly communications with our Frankly Friends and other visitors to the site.
My major concern about anchoring is that the rule is difficult to interpret and monitor and will rely on the integrity and intentions of the golfer, not what the referee sees and interprets to be the case.
I do applaud the USGA and R&A for emphasizing the reliance on the integrity of the golfer to self-enforce this rule. Calling ourselves on rules infractions is the foundation and very essence of our game and it is only this that will make the rule truly enforceable.
I only wish we would apply the same thinking to performance enhancing substances –i.e. adopt a rule which states that, “Performance enhancing substances are not permitted” — and then rely on the golfer to enforce it as he does with other rules infractions. We seemingly distrust golfers and take the personal responsibility and obligation away from him, handing this over to a testing agent who has no idea of the golfer’s intentions. As long as he passes the test – which may not catch everything – then the golfer is good to go, irrespective of what his intentions are regarding abiding by the rule. In so doing we have irrevocably fractured the foundation of our game.
With regard to the PGA Tour they have made a statement which states in part;
“We will now begin our process to ascertain whether the various provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions and, if so, examine the process for implementation,” the PGA TOUR said in a statement. “In this regard, over the next month we will engage in discussions with our Player Advisory Council and Policy Board members. We will announce our position regarding the application of Rule 14-1b to our competitions upon conclusion of our process and we will have no further comment on the matter until that time. “
David, I think and hope, that the PGA Tour will do what is in the best interests of the game which is not to bifurcate the rules.
Anchoring is not really a performance issue – the statistics show this to be the case – but trying to dictate how to hold a putter or any club is cumbersome and fraught with enforcement, monitoring and implementation, problems.
We can putt better without anchoring as has been demonstrated by the best putters on tour and reinforced by our research on how to teach putting (see “The Fundamentals of Putting” and/or visit our Putting Academy (PAD) at Reunion Resort in Orlando). It does however require a little work but it is well worth it.
For most of us we look for an easy solution to our problems and seek out a crutch to patch the problem rather find and correct the root cause and cure it.
Hope this helps. Tell us what you think by sharing your views on this decision below.