FORT WORTH, Texas – As expected, Tuesday’s news that the USGA and R&A would ban anchoring was followed by word that the new rule’s fate may be decided in a courtroom not on a golf course.
Speculation on Tour for weeks has been that a group of players, including Clark, were readying for a legal challenge if the USGA and R&A approved the ban. The group is expected to include five to eight Tour players and has already retained Harry Manion, a high-profile Boston-area attorney, to be their legal counsel.
Brian Harman, who has used a belly putter for most of his professional career, told Golf Channel on Tuesday he would consider joining the legal challenge, which will likely have to wait until after the PGA Tour decides if it will adopt the new rule.
“It bothers me that guys that have no stake in the game decide how guys are going to make a living doing,” Harman said. “I don’t see it (the anchored stroke) being a huge deal. We have no say in the way that they make those rules. I don’t see how that’s fair.”
Clark has been the ban’s most outspoken critic and rallied Tour support with an impassioned speech in January at Torrey Pines.
“A year ago, I thought I’d play well into my 40s,” Clark told the magazine. “You plan on stuff like, ‘Do you buy a house? Do you add an extension to your house?’ Then a year later they’re telling you, ‘No, the way you’re making a living isn’t going to be around.’ It changes your whole future.”