The Royal and Ancient and the USGA made an official announcement on Tuesday morning, May 21, on their respective websites and at a press conference that they will add rule 14-1b to the official rules of golf effective Jan. 1, 2016, which will ban anchoring.
USGA President Glen D. Nager had this to say;
” Having considered all of the input that we received, both before and after the proposed Rule was announced, our best judgment is that Rule 14-1b is necessary to preserve one of the important traditions and challenges of the game, that the player freely swing the entire club. The new Rule upholds the essential nature of the traditional method of stroke and eliminates the possible advantage that anchoring provides, ensuring that players of all skill levels face the same challenge inherent in the game of golf.”
Peter Dawson, who is the Chief Executive of The R&A announced;
” We took a great deal of time to consider this issue and received a variety of contributions from individuals and organisations at all levels of the game. The report published today gives a comprehensive account of the reasons for taking the decision to adopt the new Rule and addresses the concerns that have been raised. We recognise this has been a divisive issue but after thorough consideration we remain convinced that this is the right decision for golf.”
The new rule as it will appear in the rule book;
14-1b Anchoring the Club
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.
So it has finally arrived and I gather from all the posts on the Internet that most golfers around the World are in favor of this new rule. The professional players will have plenty of time to adjust to conventional putting, or win as much money as they can between now and January 1st 2016, and then retire from the game.
Executive Director of Rules and Equipment Standards at The R&A, David Rickman, had this to say;
” This Rule change addresses the future and not the past. Everyone who has used an anchored stroke in the past, or who does so between now and January 1, 2016, will have played entirely within the Rules and their achievements will in no way be diminished.”
USGA Executive Director Mike Davis admitted that not everyone agreed, but he felt it was in the best interests of the game;
” The discussion around the Rule has been very helpful, and we appreciate that so many different perspectives were offered. We know that not everyone will agree with the new Rule, but it is our hope that all golfers will accept that this decision is reasoned and motivated by our best judgment in defining the sport and serving the best interests of the game.”