usga rulling

Started by : John L |

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John L


So by now if you haven't herd the USGA has proposed the rule change. Clearing up what is considered anchoring the club. I for one agree with the decision. they did not ban long or belly putters. just you will not be alowed to anchor them to your belly or chest. and something else you can not anchor your for arm to your chest with a long butter or anchor your fore arm to your waist line. i think the did a good job explaining and covering it. check it out all the major golf sites are covering it and go to usga and watch the video and slides.

looking forward to hearing opinions

cheers greens and fairways

simba

Christian J


Learn something new everyday don't you Josh?  I had never heard of that, but find it quite interesting.  Around my area you don't see anyone using the long putters, but I'm glad they did this.  It levels the playing field, and now everyone has an equal shot.  They will find ways around this rule, but think its a good start. 

Josh G


  I don't think there's an advantage to anchoring the putter.  There's a long list of top players and major winners who don't anchor the putter.  I play a Napa and putt very well with it.  I was just relieved to see they made a ruling one way or another.  Controversy gets old quickly.

Chris T


It seems like everyone that uses a short putter agrees with the ruling and everyone that uses a long putter disagrees with the ruling.  Anyway, since I don't use one, Im fine with them banning them and do agree with the rulings.

Quintin H


Chris T

It seems like everyone that uses a short putter agrees with the ruling and everyone that uses a long putter disagrees with the ruling.  Anyway, since I don't use one, Im fine with them banning them and do agree with the rulings.

Nope, I use a regular length putter and I don't agree with the ruling. If I play against someone I want them playing their best, if that means anchoring the putter, then I want them anchoring the putter.

I've tried both long and belly putters, they aren't easier.

The field was level, everyone used what they played best with, now, when the rule takes effect, some people will be disadvantaged.

John L


I like the ruling my self. I didn't like the act of anchoring a putter. for me what i see in golf is no other swing has a player stabilizing a club directly to a part of the body while swinging. i think the ruling is fair and defines that a putter swing should be no different.

Deno


Took way too long in my opinion.   Need to finalize the ruling sooner than later.

 

John L


i see your point but i do have some disagreements. I agree i like seeing people playing at there best. and in a casual game (non tournament) i am fine with anchoring a putter and the average golfer who just plays on the weekend with no desire to compete for championships. these are all fine and dandy. i understand that the putting stroke is in some aspects harder to control. but i think that this also supports the idea of banning it in competition. people that have nervous hands should practice putting more. that's part of the pressure of the moment. when you anchor the putter it dose help stabilize the club. while it may not perfectly stabilize the club it dose provide more stabilization than a non anchored club. and besides a put is a stroke like any other stroke and you don't see people anchoring drivers or irons. And just to finish on. there are a lot of clubs on the market that are non-conforming that people buy all the time. the old r7 560's became band at one time. a lot of Japanese market clubs are non conforming. people can still use them. they just can use them in competition. and i think this gets lost on some average golfers. they don't realize that the club can still be used on a golf course. I have never meet a starter that inspected your bag to make sure you didn't have 15 clubs or non conforming drivers on a non tournament day. no one says you cant ever play with this club. it just means you cant use it in competition governed by usga rules. that's all. 

that's my opinion and i appreciate all of yours

cheers greens and fairways.

simba

guy s


I agree with the ruling, you should not anchor any club to your body.

I think it should take affect in 2014 on the Tour, why wait 3 years to implement the rule.

That will only create more controversy.

I think it affects the senior tour much more then the PGA tour. Wonder what will happen there? 

Quintin H


" i understand that the putting stroke is in some aspects harder to control. but i think that this also supports the idea of banning it in competition. people that have nervous hands should practice putting more. that's part of the pressure of the moment. when you anchor the putter it dose help stabilize the club. while it may not perfectly stabilize the club it dose provide more stabilization than a non anchored club. and besides a put is a stroke like any other stroke and you don't see people anchoring drivers or irons"

A flaw with your logic, how many people do you see using a driver or irons with both arms anchored to their sides thrughout the stroke?

You do realize that in the modern putting stroke the hands and arms are completely taken out of the stroke.......which is not the case with drivers and irons.

Did you know that with the use of both belly and long putters it requires the use of the arms(belly),  1 arm(long).......thats more than the modern putting stroke.

John L


Ok Quintin i think i might see where your going with this but i'll counter your point.  

your term of "modern" I'm going to assume only accounts for the last 30-40 years of putting like the old Nickolas days were they were very wristie. prior to those days like the Old tom Morris days. the putting stroke was still more upright and long swinging like modern putting. So that being said Modern is a little grey to use as a term with out predefining the time line. i would say that Nickolas putting was modern in terms of the life span of the golf swing

originally when i wrote the comment of anchoring drivers and irons i was referring to a physical bond of the club to any other part of the body than the hand. But i think your referring to the practice of holding your bi-cept to your chest. and i see how one might argue this is a form of anchoring but i offer the fact that in a "proper" or "proper ish" swing this arm to chest bond breaks apart threw impact. thus it is not an anchor it is simply natural body movements that happen to contact each other for a portion of the swing. not start bonded and end bonded threw out the stroke. 

I'm not sure where you were going with the last point about use of belly and long as more. but i will blindly try to counter it. so to start i'll go long putter. majority of  long putter people mate the butt of the club or their hand area or for arm to reduce movement in the butt end of the clubs swing. thus creating a kind of pendulum swing with the club only. this leads more often than not the use of only one arm to control the clubs speed and motion. the shakiness is reduced. Now on to the belly putter. while this one is a little harder to argue the point of anchoring to control one end of the club still remains. by stabilizing the butt end with your belly or hip you still achieve not having to control that end of the club. also you get a pendulum like motion. one that is far more stabilized than a non anchored swing.

I've meet guys what have horrible chipping yips and people like my dad that can hit a wood straight to save there life. but we outlawed the self correcting golf balls to help those people. but my personnel feeling is don't use the putters in competition because it is an advantage. it decreases the players need to have steady hands and calm nerves. no if you noticed i use competition in my opinions. if I'm out playing a pick up game for just random fun i don't care if the guy is using a long putter or non conforming driver or even carries 16 clubs in a bag. they are out there to have fun and not compete. competition should be standardized and strict. but that's my opinion and i welcome yours and look forward to your counter points.

cheers greens and fairways 

simba

Carl T


I have been playing golf over 50 years and putting was always the best part of my game until a couple of years ago. I started getting "yippy" the closer I got to the hole. This is a brain disorder that crops up from out of the blue and is completely mental. I tried all kinds of techniques to over come the situation. Visualizing all putts as 6 inches, closing my eyes, long hours of putting drills (no problem on the practice putting green, only when actually playing did my hands get jerky). Playing golf was no longer fun and I was on the verge of giving up the game. Who wants to play when you start missing 3 feet putts because you can't keep your hands from opening or closing the putter face ? Then I tried the belly putter. Like magic the yips were gone. Golf became fun again. I then tried the long putter. It was even better as it even took out the back strain of bending over. I could stand almost straight and keep my eye on or slightly inside the ball target line. The mental thing is that using the belly or long putter with a completely different grip then what I had been using for 50 years was like erasing a hard drive and starting over with a clean slate. I still am learning on how much force to use for long lag putting but like everything else, it is coming together the more I play and practice. I cannot say that using the long putter is cheating because it still takes skill to make a correct putt but it definitely has cured the yips I had. Will I continue to use the long putter 3 years from now ? Yes as I don't plan on playing in sanctioned golf tournaments. If other players think I will be cheating then they don't have to play with me. I don't gamble and play for my own pleasure that golf brings.

Fred C


It seems to me the USGA and R&A believe that all clubs should be swung in a traditional manner and, anchoring the club or your hands violates that beleif. I agree. In college, we used to play a silly game of "Putters Only" to change things up a bit. We put mid-iron length shafts in some old, heel shafted putters, teed up from the forward tees and swung away. It's impressive to see how far you can hit it with a putter. The point is we used the putter with a traditional swing through the green AND on the green. Anchoring serves to remove an unstable hand in a dynamic state and replace it with a "rock steady" pivot point. Old Tom Morris, Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, et cetera would agree with what the ruling bodies have proposed. Furthermore, it seems that every person that uses an anchored putting method knows "it ain't golf, but it's legal". Some sage advice, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it

Fred C


Carl, you keep on playing in a manner that helps you enjoy the game. The proposed ruling is ONLY meant for competition and the purposes of establishing a handicap. It is not meant to interfere with casual golf.

Jim A


Great message Carl.  I do agree with your point of view regarding playing golf for your own enjoyment.  In your case, the long putter is fine and you choose not to play in any sanctioned events.  Your situation is not unique and in your case, you can and should use the putter that makes this great game of golf the game for a lifetime.  Good luck to you in the future.

Jim A


Wonderful post Fred.  I agree with your input completely.  Golf is a game for a lifetime and should be enjoyed by all.  If you choose to play with a putter that soon will not conform to the rules, then be aware of the limitations as to when you can play with, sanctioned events or club events if they adopted this rule change.

Don O


I'm a standard putter, but I do have some compassion for the anchored putters out there.  My interpretation was the use would be banned in 2016.  Not just from competition like my wedges I can't use now and also can't use at all after 2026.  In 2016, anchoring will be as legal as 15 clubs.  Your best friends may be ok, but many others with regard for the US rules will object.  Most clubs will tend to ban them for scrambles, etc.  I'm ok allowing an exemption to 2026 so those 65+ that have purchased in the last couple of years could use them for the remainder of their careers.

John L


Hi Carl i hope i didn't strike a nerve or come off the wrong way. my opinion is in agreement with the ruling and i have try'd to explain my agreement. as far as the casual use of the club i am all for it. i don't mind a person with a long putter so long as its casual. in the spirit of competition i agree it should not be used. but its true the game is meant for fun and enjoyment so continue to use it all you want in casual play. i would even play a money game with a person with a long putter so long as we established it was ok after the dead line. 

cheers greens and fairways and i hope you continue to enjoy the game.

David P


I cannot say I agree with the proposed rule change for two reason. The first is that it appears to me to be an irrational narrowing or constriction of the original rule 14-1 which simply stated that;

"14-1. Ball to be Fairly Struck At
The ball must be fairly struck at with the head of the club and must not be pushed, scraped or spooned"

In keeping with the spirit of 14-1 there is no reasonable basis to disallow anchoring the elbows or hands to any part of the body as long as the ball is "fairly struck at". Keep in mind that all the interpretation I have ever seen surrounding this rule has to do with if a stroke is incurred when the ball is struck and not how the stroke is implemented.

If they were going to make an addition similar or the same as what is proposed under 14-1b it would have been more logical to me to do so under 14-3 and more specifically in part where it indicates that ;

.....Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:
a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; ...

The problem they would have faced in trying to enlarge this to include anchoring the hands or elbows I believe would have been that they would have created a contradiction to another part of that same rule under the exceptions where it provides;

"2. A player is not in breach of this Rule if he uses equipment in a traditionally accepted manner."

Long putters have been in use since the 1980's and belly putters since as early as the 1960's when it was used by Phil Rogers. I don't think its an unreasonable statement to say that as both of these having been used with or without anchoring for the past 30 years or so that has been a clearly  established traditional accepted manner of use for them.

I think the USGA recognized the anomaly they would be creating if they tried to regulate the use of the these putters in 14-3 where it really belonged and instead opted to add a very indefensible addition  under 14-1 where it clearly does not belong.

To me the addition of 14-1b, particularly in the manner and where it has been added,  evades the entire spirit and tradition of the rules as written and intended and for that reason I cannot agree with USGA's arbitrary and indefensible addition of it.

The entire rule 14-3 is as below for your reading;

"14-3. Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Unusual Use of Equipment
The United States Golf Association (USGA) reserves the right, at any time, to change the Rules relating to artificial devices, unusual equipment and the unusual use of equipment, and make or change the interpretations relating to these Rules.
A player in doubt as to whether use of an item would constitute a breach of Rule 14-3 should consult the USGA.
A manufacturer should submit to the USGA a sample of an item to be manufactured for a ruling as to whether its use during a stipulated round would cause a player to be in breach of Rule 14-3. The sample becomes the property of the USGA for reference purposes. If a manufacturer fails to submit a sample or, having submitted a sample, fails to await a ruling before manufacturing and/or marketing the item, the manufacturer assumes the risk of a ruling that use of the item would be contrary to the Rules.
Except as provided in the Rules, during a stipulated round the player must not use any artificial device or unusual equipment, or use any equipment in an unusual manner:
a. That might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or
b. For the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play; or
c. That might assist him in gripping the club, except that:
(i) plain gloves may be worn;
(ii) resin, powder and drying or moisturizing agents may be used; and
(iii) a towel or handkerchief may be wrapped around the grip.
Exceptions:
1. A player is not in breach of this Rule if (a) the equipment or device is designed for or has the effect of alleviating a medical condition, (b) the player has a legitimate medical reason to use the equipment or device, and (c) the Committee is satisfied that its use does not give the player any undue advantage over other players.
2. A player is not in breach of this Rule if he uses equipment in a traditionally accepted manner."

Fred C


@David P - your argument is well stated, but may be moot. The new rule simply defines how a stroke may not be made and, makes no comment of the tools used to make the stroke. For example, in the past, the USGA and R&A ruled the feet cannot straddle the line of play to eliminate the "straddle" putting method used by Sam Snead. However, it also prevents playing a stroke anywhere on the course in this manner, resulting in the USGA and R&A defining how the stroke cannot be made. Their point is that one would not anchor the hands or club to make a standard shot. As an example, would you anchor your driver to hit a tee shot? Their point is that an anchored stroke does not "look" like a golf swing and therefore, is not a golf swing.

David P


Fred- I'm sure you are correct and the argument is moot as they USGA will do what it will do regardless of being dead wrong. The point here is that where they placed the rule change is completely inappropriate as 14-1 has nothing to do with how the golf swing is defined. They knew this full well but did so to evade the issues they would have rightly faced if they had placed the definition change under 14-3 where it belonged.

Moreover, It is also a ridiculous extension of the rules in general which to my knowledge have not until now tried to limit the mechanics of the swing. A stroke has been fairly defined as "the forward movement of the club made with the intention
of striking at and moving the ball". There is nothing nor has their ever been to my knowledge any rubbish about the free movement of the hands.

I understand the USGA does this sort of thing from time to time, the point is whether it should in the best tradition of the game. I don't think that the founders of golf were not wise enough to limit (beyond what they did) the exact mechanics of a swing if they had wanted to, I think instead they were extremely wise in leaving it wide open so as to promote innovation in the way the swing occurs and the way the game is played.

Carl T


I am not going to to change from my long putter with an anchored swing back to a short putter as I have already stated I do not play in sanctioned events. I do play in a monthly MGA event but the local rules are very liberal e.g. the 14 club rule is waved, may roll the ball a club length, putts inside the leather are good, etc. My observation is that the majority of golfers do not play by the rules of the game anyway. Common rule violations that can be seen on a regular basis are changing to a different ball once the green is reached, ball hit out of bounds or lost when searching for a wayward shot is just dropped in bounds or in area thought to be lost (leaf rule ??)  with or without a stroke penalty. Hitting a provisonal without anouncing it, cleaning mud off a ball in the fairway, moving a ball out of a divot, without taking a penalty stroke. Looking for a lost ball more than 5 minutes, finding it and playing it without a penalty. Searching for a lost ball, not finding it, putting another ball in play and after striking it, finding the original ball and playing it disregarding the substitue ball which is really the ball in play without penalty. I could go on with these type of daily observations and so it would be the kettle calling the pot black for someone to say I am a cheater 3 years from now if I am still anchoring the putter to my body. Of course all of these observations are during "casual play" which 99 % of all golf is played even with all the members of this forum.

Fred C


Dave, I agree it would have made more sense to further define rule 14-3 and state that anchoring is using the club in an unconventional manner that is not traditional, and is therefore a violation. Just the same, it's their rule book and they can (and will) do as they please. Being a golfer, I will follow their rules.

Fred C


Today, the USGA and R&A laid it out and anchoring will be banned on 1/1/2014. Having had time to reflect on this issue, I asked a myself a question: "Why would a golfer anchor their putter?" Answer: It makes putting easier for them. Hence, anchoring offers an advantage to those players and no statistics need to be generated, or applied. Not to mention, the anchored stroke removes the "free-wheeling" aspect of what looks like a golf swing. In closing, the USGA and R&A are justified in their ruling. For what it's worth, I have always been against the use of anchored putting methods.

Allen P


 According to the USGA notice I received the rule goes into affect 1 Jan 2016 not 2014.