USGA 'pleased' with Tour's decision to adopt anchor ban

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Two days after the PGA Tour announced that it would adopt the anchoring ban, beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the USGA said in a statement Wednesday that it was “pleased with the decision” and that the “game benefits from having a single set of rules worldwide.”  

“The United States Golf Association is pleased with the decision by the PGA Tour and PGA of America to follow Rule 14-1b, when it goes into effect in January 2016, for their respective competitions,” the statement read. “As set forth in our report, ‘Explanation of Decision to Adopt Rule 14-1b,’ the game benefits from having a single set of rules worldwide, applicable to all levels of play, and the acceptance of Rule 14-1b by the PGA Tour and PGA of America supports the game in this regard.”

The second sentence of this statement dismisses Monday’s suggestion by the PGA Tour and PGA of America that the USGA extend the timeframe for amateurs to anchor until 2024. They had cited a similar course of action by USGA in regards to the grooves rule, which was adopted for elite play in 2010 but for amateurs in 2024.

But in the USGA’s final report on anchoring, released May 21, it wrote: “To create a (r)ule that enabled one set of players (non-elite amateurs), perhaps 30-40 times a round, to make strokes in a manner that is deemed to provide a potential advantage, while prohibiting another set of players (professionals/elite amateurs) from doing so, would be to start well down the road of creating two different games. This (r)ule is a central example of the importance of defining golf as a single game with a single set of (r)ules.”