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R&A chief no fan of anchored putting, unsure of changes

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At this month’s annual meeting, U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis suggested the American governing body of the game had been in discussions with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club about investigating the legality of long putters and their anchored stroke.

That is news, however, to R&A chief executive Peter Dawson.

'I wasn't quite sure where that came from, to be honest,' said Dawson in an interview with the Scotland Herald.

“So the R&A and USGA have been talking about this at length and we’re looking at it from the perspective as what we should look at it in everything, is what is good for the game for all golfers long term,” Davis said, describing a January meeting between the two bodies in New Jersey.

The bodies jointly issued guidance in 1989, blessing long putters and anchoring. The USGA has said it wants to collect data to see how much, if any, advantage there is in using an anchored putting stroke.

Dawson disapproves of the long putter and its place in the sport. However, the two-plus decades of its legality may be tough to overcome, particularly when compared to action taken against Sam Snead's form of croquet putting in 1968.

'That decision to ban croquet putting was taken very quickly. Had croquet putting been allowed for donkey's years, to then ban it would have been far more difficult,” Dawson said.

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