In its statement, the PGA Tour said its administrators “will now begin our process to ascertain whether the various provisions of Rule 14-1b will be implemented in our competitions.” The rule, proposed in November and finalized Tuesday by the USGA and the R&A, prohibits the use of anchored putting strokes in golf by Jan. 1, 2016.
The PGA Tour can make its own rule in regard to the matter and the statement indicated that discussions will take place over the next month with members of the player advisory council and the PGA Tour policy board.
The PGA Tour’s statement also said: “We will announce our position regarding the application of Rule 14-1b to our competitors upon conclusion of our process and we will have no further comment on the matter until that time.”
Multiple touring pros have weighed in on the issue since the USGA and the R&A went together in November to propose the ban and requested feedback from golfers. After sifting through six months of feedback, the rules-making organizations announced Friday that the ban would be effective on Jan. 1, 2016, as originally proposed.
Among the PGA Tour golfers who object to the ban is Zach Johnson, reigning champion at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Johnson does not use an anchored stroke or a long-shafted putter and indicated he never would be tempted to do so. But he considers the rule unfair to those who have built their games around the stroke.
Included are several recent major champions, including 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott and 2011 PGA champ Keegan Bradley.
“I’m not a proponent of it (the ban). The rationale that I’ve heard and read does not warrant a change,” Johnson said in a recent interview. “I think we’re way too into it right now. It’s part of golf. It’s in the fabric of the game … If it does have an advantage (for golfers), we could all be using it. And I’m not at all tempted to do it. For some guys, it does help. I’m not denying that. Well, I switched my grip to a different grip because it helped me. There are options there. Or I changed wedges or driver loft. That’s not illegal. We’re too far into it and it’s not necessary. It’s going to hurt the game. The game is struggling also in the grass-roots area. If anything, this is going to make that even worse (for beginning golfers). That’s just my opinion. I think it’s unfortunate.”
_ Jimmy Burch