USGA's Davis: Plenty of time for players to adapt


The governing bodies have given anchorers more than 31 months to find a new method of putting before the ban is enacted.

The rule will be effective on Jan. 1, 2016, when the next edition of the Rules of Golf is published. 

But is that too much time? Not enough?

“It was appropriate because it was a rules cycle and because it gives those players – and it’s a small percentage of players that do anchor – time to adapt and find another thing,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said Tuesday. “We wrote this rule very narrow, so they can still use those long putters.” 

Anchored-stroke debate: Articles, videos and photos

If the PGA Tour eventually accepts the ban – in February, commissioner Tim Finchem announced the Tour’s opposition to the then-proposed rule – then it would have the option of enacting the rule before 2016, to spare the players from a potential distraction.

An estimated 18 percent of PGA Tour players anchor their putter, including four of the last six major winners. What remains to be seen is how an anchorer is perceived after winning a tournament.

When asked about the possibility of Tour players’ accomplishments being viewed with an asterisk until the ban is enacted, Davis said, “We can’t accept that premise. There is a long history of rules changes over hundreds of years, and whatever set of rules are in place for that given time, that’s what you’re playing by.

“In the next 2 ½ years, if we have players winning events using anchoring, they’re playing by the Rules of Golf. That’s OK. The change won’t happen until 2016.”