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TaylorMade CEO Mark King responds to anchoring ban

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In a response to a joint decision by the U.S. Golf Association and R&A to ban anchored putting strokes beginning in 2016, TaylorMade president and CEO Mark King released a statement. His response in full is noted below:

'Because the proposed change to the Rules of Golf bans the act of of anchoring the putter to the body, and not long- and mid-length putters themselves, we'll continue making them. Does it mean the demand for these kinds of putters would drop? Maybe. But at the end of the day I don't think we would sell one more or one less putter if the change to the Rules is made.

'It's definitely possible to use a broomstick putter without anchoring it, and I speak from experience. I use one and I hold my left hand in a stationary position a couple of inches away from my sternum. So I think we would definitely see players who currently anchor the putter who will find ways to use a long putter without anchoring it, so they can keep playing by the Rules.

'Yet I also think that there will be plenty of amateur golfers who won't give up anchoring the putter. Anybody who's played this game knows that good putting requires an extremely precise stroke, and anchoring the putter helps a lot of golfers do that. It will be hard to give up anchoring if your putting is a lot worse without it.

'However, golfers who continue to anchor the putter would be breaking the Rules, which would exclude them from holding a legitimate, USGA-sanctioned handicap, which means they couldn't compete in a tournament or event where the Rules of Golf apply. Because of that I think we would see a lot of golf leagues and golf clubs making their own exception to the anchoring rule, which essentially means that they wouldn't strictly be playing by the Rules of Golf.

'But the truth is that most golfers don't play strictly by the Rules of Golf when they play with their friends, anyway. I don't mean they cheat; I mean that they often go ahead and flatten spike marks even though the Rules forbid it. And how many golfers are okay with hitting a mulligan off the first tee? And that's fine, because the game is about having fun for 99 percent of the golfers who play it, not grinding out a score in tournament play.'

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