With another turn in the saga of Rule 14-1b expected early next week, the PGA of America now appears poised to follow the lead of the PGA Tour in determining its stance on the anchoring ban enacted by the USGA and R&A and set to take effect in January 2016.
After a series of pointed comments, some of which termed the ban 'one of the most divisive issues that modern day golf has seen,' PGA of America president Ted Bishop released a statement earlier this week from the host site of the PGA Professional National Championship laying out the group's short-term plan.
'The PGA of America Board of Directors met on June 24 at Sunriver (Ore.) Resort, where we discussed Rule 14-1b, which the USGA and R&A recently announced would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016, as well as the entire rules-making process in detail,' the statement from Bishop read. 'As we have seen over the past few months, the Rules of Golf can affect recreational golf in addition to play at the elite level. The PGA of America will continue to confer with the PGA Tour on the subject of Rule 14-1b.'
The Tour's policy board is scheduled to meet Monday at The Greenbrier Classic, with Rule 14-1b likely topping the agenda of topics to be discussed. In ending his statement, Bishop reiterated that his organization will wait to act further until it sees what conclusions, if any, the Tour reaches.
'The PGA of America will reserve any public comments on this matter until after the PGA Tour Policy Board meets on July 1,' Bishop concluded.
Should the PGA of America agree to accept the anchoring ban as set forth by the USGA and R&A, such a decision would come in stark contrast to statements from Bishop as recently as March 2013.
'We feel the USGA and R&A have underestimated the impact and ramifications that Rule 14-1b will have on the overall state of the game,' he wrote as part of a response column from the PGA Conference of Leaders this spring. 'The PGA of America feels that there is no logical reason to proceed with Rule 14-1b.'