Perhaps no player will be affected by the anchoring ban more than Tim Clark, who has a genetic condition that prevents him from turning his forearms and wrists inward.
Clark has anchored a long putter since college and for all his 13 years on the PGA Tour, but he admitted after winning the RBC Canadian Open on Sunday that the Jan. 1, 2016, deadline has affected his performance.
“I think that’s probably been on my mind for the last couple years, knowing that the change is coming,” he told reporters at Royal Montreal. “Every time I’m at home I’m tinkering with stuff, seeing what I’m going to do. I think that’s taken away from my play.”
Clark has been outside the top 80 in strokes gained-putting each of the past three years, and this season he is ranked No. 96. (He was outside the top 125 prior to his victory in Canada.) Last year, the diminutive South African was one of nine players who retained a lawyer to explore their legal options, though the anti-anchoring brigade seems to have disbanded.
In the past month, Clark said, he finally stopped worrying about the looming change and worked hard on the method that has proven successful for so many years. It paid off with his second career Tour title.
“I’ve kind of put it to the back now, and I’m going to just do with what I’ve got now and maybe give it more thought sometime next year,” he said.
That’s the same philosophy adopted by world No. 1 Adam Soctt, who said earlier this month that he hasn’t practiced with the conventional stroke at all since the anchoring announcement last May.
“I thought I’d worry about that when I have to change,” he said.