Tour meets Monday to discuss anchor ban


The PGA Tour's Policy Board met with commissioner Tim Finchem Monday morning at The Greenbrier to discuss the implementation of Rule 14-1b, which would ban all anchoring beginning in 2016, has learned.

There is a scheduled 2 p.m. ET meeting of the player advisory council at The Greenbrier, site of this week’s PGA Tour event, and it is expected that committee members will be informed of the details of the aforementioned meeting.

“We know what it’s going to be,” said one PAC member. “It’s a formality, in my opinion.”

The 'formality' is that the Tour will adopt the new rule.

“We'll have something to say after the meeting is over,” said PGA Tour vice president of communications Ty Votaw. “I'm not going to comment until then.”

A source told that the policy board began meeting Monday well before 9 a.m. and that the meeting was still in session at press time. Votaw did confirm that there would be an announcement some time after the meeting but that Finchem would not be made available for comment this week.

Anchored-stroke debate: Articles, videos and photos

The PGA Tour had opposed the initial anchoring ban proposal, publicly dismissing it during the comment period.

“I think the essential thread that went through the thinking of the players … was that in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring, and given the amount of time that anchoring has been in the game, that there is no overriding reason to go down that road,” PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said back in February.

If a formal decision is made, it would in effect create an anchoring ban at all four major championships, as well. PGA of America president Ted Bishop has vehemently opposed the impending rule from the outset, but announced last week that the organization’s board of directors had voted to comply by whatever rule was enacted by the PGA Tour.

“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,” Bishop said in a statement. “The PGA of America will continue to confer with the PGA Tour on the subject of Rule 14-1b.”

Still to be discussed is how the PGA Tour would implement the new rule, if ultimately it's agreed upon. While the USGA rule won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016, the PGA Tour's season would begin in fall 2015. The Tour would have to consider whether to begin the ban at the beginning of the 2015-16 season for the sake of continuity.