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USGA won't extend anchoring 'grandfather period'

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The U.S. Golf Association will not enact a “grandfather” extension to the anchoring ban beyond 2016 the association announced late Tuesday.

PGA of America president Ted Bishop and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem made the proposal to extend the ban on anchoring beyond 2016 for recreational amateurs at the USGA’s annual meeting last month.

“While we are disappointed with the USGA’s decision not to extend the implementation date beyond Jan. 1, 2016, I know that all PGA professionals are committed to helping amateur players choose a permissible putting stroke that will help them continue to enjoy the game well into the future,” Bishop wrote.

A USGA spokesman released the following statement, “After further discussion among our executive committee and leadership, the USGA's judgment continues to be that it is in the best interests of the game for Rule 14-1b to take effect for all golfers on January 1, 2016. The USGA is committed to working with the PGA of America and its members, as they will be instrumental in supporting golfers through the transition and implementation of the Rule.”

Reached Wednesday morning by GolfChannel.com, Bishop was clearly disappointed with the move but felt like it was time to move on.

“I can’t say I am surprised,” Bishop said. “I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt; it was about a month from the time we made the presentation and I felt like they gave it fair consideration.”

For Bishop and the PGA of America, the challenge now is to help recreational amateurs transition away from anchored putting.

“We commissioned a committee to start looking at alternatives to anchored putting,” Bishop said. “One of the new advents of technology is the new counterbalanced putter. I have a 38-inch counterbalanced putter, I don’t use a long putter, but I thought to myself if I was going to help someone transition this would be the ticket.”