Anchoring and the Old Course? Golf’s rulers need to focus on

Why do I suspect Mr Bamberger has been visiting the ABS site?

What bothered me most of the long putter ruling was the word tradition all the players against it kept saying in keeping up with tradition no one shoud brace it against there bodies… Golf has been far away from tradition when was the last time Tiger had to use a mashie or a spoon? The word Tradition was over used like my post is going to be… we have changed the game more than any other sport in regards to tradition starting with rules,equipment and course design… Tradition when was the last time a pro teed up wiith a tweed coat and tie on? Tradition lets see Bubba hit a gutha percha ball? Tradition lets get the stip on greens down to a 2?Tradition hybrids really? Even Tiger and Jack commented on tradition of the game there both far off?

Tradition… the handing down of statements,beliefs,legends, etc.etc from generation to generation

With that definition how can the pros of today, the Golf Channels of today use the word in keeping up with the TRADITION of golf we will ban the anchoring putter without banning the ball,the equipment, the golf course.A good lawyer should be able to sue the PGA on the word tradition? Not even close!

Tradition … like golfers not be able to use golf carts what a concept. Tradition… no tees just push up a mound of sand or dirt to tee it up.Tradition… no sky caddies,range finders,gps. Tradition… no 5 wedges. Tradition… learning to high soft 2 iron that lands like a butterfly.

If todays golf society uses the word Tradition we then must change the dictionaries meaning the belief and legend must be substituted?

Davis Love III … we must make the game easier for the younger generation… is that keeping up with the tradition of learning… ok make every hole 30yds so we can score lower? The word Tradition and Golf should not be mentioned together not today not tomorrow sorry!

Definition of TRADITION: Webster Dictionary
a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
: cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
: characteristic manner, method, or style
— tra·di·tion·al -ˈdish-nəl, -ˈdi-shə-nəl\ adjective
— tra·di·tion·al·ly adverb
— tra·di·tion·less -ˈdi-shən-ləs\ adjective
See tradition defined for English-language learners »
See tradition defined for kids »
Examples of TRADITION

  1. One of our town’s time-honored traditions is to have an Easter egg hunt the week before Easter.
  2. It is their tradition to give thanks before they start eating.
  3. There’s an office tradition of wearing casual clothes on Fridays.
  4. They no longer follow the traditions of their ancestors.
  5. We broke with tradition and had goose for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.
  6. By tradition, the celebration begins at midnight.
  7. They no longer follow tradition.
  8. According to tradition, the goddess lies sleeping beneath the mountain.

Middle English tradicioun, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tradicion, from Latin tradition-, traditio action of handing over, tradition — more at treason
First Known Use: 14th century

The USGA has simply been a disaster of an organization for the game of golf over the last 20 years or so.

I am a big believer is setting an example or living by example… and any sport the role models are going to be the professional ranks. The PGA Tour or tours of the world are separate organizations that should not be following the USGA like the blind leading the blind. If the USGA legalizes long putters like they did 30 years ago… the PGA Tour can say… ok… fine… but not on our tour.

I feel amateurs should be concerned about the rules of the local course or club that they play, and battle those issues with board of directors, city ordinances etc…

If I am invited to play a nice country club that bans steel spikes… I don’t wear them out of respect, regardless of my staunch opposition to the concept of plastic golf spikes.

The example should be set by the pros. People pay money to watch them, and the professional community of PGA pros should have a responsibility to the game as they used to in the past… not just as players and teachers but as figureheads of the game.

When I was growing up… every PGA pro I knew was a scratch player or better. Now we have 80 shooters calling themselves golf pros. It’s absurd. There are a lot of PGA Pros here on ABS learning to swing the club because they themselves know it is ridiculous to be wearing such a badge of honor… which it should be… and not having a proper level of playing proficiency.

You don’t have to be able to shoot 66 to run a retail golf shop.

I was talking last week to my former head pro who is now 65 years old and still in the PGA and still teaching, and still playing competitively and winning a lot of money against new kids with PGA membership in section events that can’t break 80. Paul shot 64 in a section event two years ago. He is appauled at the situation. A long standing tradition that has gone down the tubes.

Personally, I couldn’t care less what the USGA or PGA Tour does. It’s not golf to me. They have failed the game over and over, and disgraced the game for well over 20 years. At this point, they can’t win either way. If they roll the game back… they look like idiots for not taking care of business years and years ago. Allowing long putters so kids grown up using them, and then banning them is silly. It’s wrong. It was wrong both ways… to allow them in the first place, and to ban them now is wrong.

As I have said over and over… this game needs a NEW ORGANIZATION… that can start fresh… go back to playing the ball down at all times… eliminate all free drops other than maybe cart paths (which should not be on a proper golf course in the first place) and maybe sprinkler heads if your ball is resting on it in the fairway. Simple rules… play it down… go back to the original drop protocol (or something similar) set forth under the rules of Leith Scotland, and embrace the origins of woods and irons. Get the ball to go the proper distance whatever that is… so that the par 4’s create 3 different trajectory situations to match the design of the greens …as it should be so the player has to use all the clubs in their bag. No need to build new tour courses… plenty of great ones are still here.

I do believe this will happen… and I hope I can be a part of it happening. It will happen at some point… because the history of persimmon based golf is very rich in history… it has a great past and it still has all the great players and ball strikers in it’s camp. Even Tiger and Phil grew up with persimmon. It makes sense for the classic courses, the relative history of the game, and both the beauty and dynamics of a proper golf swing.

John, you really do speak the truth…

its been my desire and life’s ambition to turn professional at golf, not at a competition level but one where I can make a living helping others improve. I dont crave money, only hoping for satisfaction and a sense of acomplishment in what I do. I believe if you deliver and speak the truth… money will find you. Reminds me of a quote the manager of manchester utd (Sir Alex Ferguson) once said… ‘at a club like Manchester United, money finds you’. It was regards to youth team players that were tempted by larger contracts elsewhere on offer…

I play solid enough golf to turn teaching professional yet I resist. Why? Because I truely believe I dont yet possess the knowledge or proof to help others improve. I’d be a charlatan. Alot of folks don’t realise you can turn pro (teaching wise) when your handicap is 4 or lower… so your local PGA club pro most likely doesnt know the true golf swing!!! He reads the books and teaches the positions, not cause & effect…then shoots 75 if he’s lucky.

Technology is not helping issues. ‘Guru’s’ are teaching the ‘positions’ or fads of those that hit it the furthest, not the most consistant, because the bottom line is distance, and thats what brings the $$$$ not presicion…all thanks to laptops and youtube…

Bring back the art? Couldn’t wish for more, but it’ll never happen since for 99% of the golfing population wants to outdrive their friends & then be the one in the clubhouse boasting they took one less club into the long 14th…Why is distance so cool?

Sorry for the rant, I’m really passionate and believe golf needs to find its balls again. Literally. Too late now…

One of the many silly parts of the ruling is that if it was truly an advantage, everybody would be using it and putting better. I agree with Alex Miceli’s sentiments, if players with standard putters have such a problem with it…outlaw the standard stroke and force everybody to go with an anchored stroke. It levels out the playing field, everybody will putt better (according to their beliefs) and pace of play will move faster.

From my experience of doing numerous polls on the subject, the reason why golf play is in the decline is due to pace of play. Economic issues are peripheral when it comes to golf. People have a hard time going somewhere for 4.5 hours, which is considered the ‘standard’ pace of play in this country. My last 2 times I played took a combined 10 hours and 45 minutes. And that didn’t include traveling to these places as well as showing up early to hit some balls and sign in.

With the modern driver and the modern ball, it has created a different course design. I personally do not have a problem with it. I’m a quick player by nature so I can get around. But most amateurs cannot handle the modern course designs. And the ‘better’ the course, the worse it is for them.

If it were up to me, golf would be like surfing. Beginners who don’t know what they are doing don’t get to surf the best waves. But in the meantime, they governing bodies need to do a lot more than some ‘tee it forward’ program and banning a putting stroke because DL3 and Tiger perceive it’s an advantage.


This is interesting, because recently I was giving a lesson here to a student from Germany, and he said that they actually have a similar thing to what you have described in their golf programs. You have to earn some kind of a card that allows you to play certain courses. A playability test, rules exam etc… to qualify you, just to tee it up on a golf course… and you literally have to earn your way onto courses. You can’t just show up, throw down the plastic credit card and walk out to the first tee.

To think there are places in the world where it is not always about dropping the greenbacks sounds enticing.
I guess there is something appealing about having a little bit of integrity.

Here is another good article from espn. Hopefully the USGA is reading these columns and starts to make some changes.
This should be a gimme
Haven’t golfers already voted for belly putters with their guts and wallets?


That was my initial, facetious reaction to the news that the USGA, together with the Royal & Ancient, wanted to limit the use of elongated putters. Where were they, I thought, when golfers started bringing Fisher-Price clubs to the tee box? Why do they care so much about 10-footers and so little about the 350-yard bombs that have turned tough par-5s into easy birdie-4s? Is the broomstick or belly putter really a threat to country club civilization?

Golf has always carried on this dual love affair with tradition and technology. The rules, for instance, distinguish between a hole dug by a burrowing animal such as a rabbit, where you get relief, and a hole dug by a non-burrower such as a dog, where you have to play the ball as it lies. P.G. Wodehouse would approve.

But not even H.G. Wells could’ve foreseen a golf ball designed by NASA, or the hybrid club you pull out of your bag to hit that ball out of that hole.

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Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Golf can survive and thrive with Phil Mickelson and others using belly putters.
So there is a certain irony in the notion that the most unforgiving of all the major sports also seems the most lenient when it comes to equipment. If the evolution of baseball’s tools of the trade mirrored that of golf’s, Miguel Cabrera might be coming to the plate with something that looked like a tapered cricket bat.

Then I got to thinking. The USGA is not MLB. It is an organization with millions of members, not 30. Although it has to preserve the essence of golf, it also has to answer to a marketplace built on improvement. Occasionally, the USGA makes mistakes: It caved when it came to the size of drivers (460 cubic centimeters is about 80 too many), and, as Jack Nicklaus has pointed out, it has to take the nitro out of the golf ball before courses become obsolete. But by and large, it strives to live up to its motto, “For the good of the game.”

Take the proposed recommendation on the long putters, a change to Rule 14 labeled 1b. It is not a ban on the clubs themselves but rather on anchored putting: “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 USGA and the R&A see the anchored stroke as unnatural, and they’re right. As Karen Crouse of The New York Times points out, they felt the same way when they made Sam Snead stop using a croquet stroke at the end of his career.

There will be resistance, particularly from the PGA Tour. Three of the past five majors were won by players with long putters, and 15 percent of tour golfers now use them. They’re big sellers in pro shops, although the latest news might depress Christmas sales.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about the joint proposal is its deliberate nature. Before making a final decision in spring 2013, both organizations are soliciting written comments and arguments on their respective websites ( or And even if passed, the rule would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016, giving golfers plenty of time to adjust their strokes or sell their putters at a yard sale. (Kind of like Burleigh Grimes getting 14 more years to throw the spitball.)

We’re in an age when hockey fans are powerless to stop the suits from ruining the game and the NFL risks its credibility with replacement refs, and baseball again has to face up to the fact that it looked the other way when the game drastically changed by internal means.

So it’s nice to know the guardians of golf are taking, ahem, the long view. By listening to their constituency, they’re being thoughtful, mindful and respectful.