No ‘Grandfather’ Period for 2016 Anchored Putting Rule
March 5, 2014
If you use an anchored putting stroke and were hoping for some kind of temporary reprieve from Rule 14-1b — which bans the use of an anchored putting stroke starting Jan. 1, 2016 — you’re out of luck.
As PGA.com’s John Holmes reports, word has come down that PGA of America President Ted Bishop and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem’s proposal that the USGA implement a “grandfather” period to enable amateurs more time to adapt to putting without an anchored stroke has been denied.
In a letter to the PGA of America membership, Bishop explained the news:
“I am writing to inform you that the United States Golf Association (USGA) has decided not to extend the implementation date of Rule 14-1b (anchoring) for amateur golfers beyond Jan. 1, 2016. Last month at the USGA Annual Meeting in Pinehurst, N.C., PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and I outlined our proposal for a “grandfather” period.
“Both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR have consistently shared strong feelings about this matter with the USGA and we appreciated the opportunity to formally present our views before the USGA’s full Executive Committee.
“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.
“Indeed, PGA Professionals go to work every day knowing that we are the most respected instructors in the game. This is a new challenge and opportunity that we will embrace, and along with helping PGA TOUR players, we will assist golfers of all abilities in advance of the implementation date of Rule 14-1b.
“Finally, we believe that one of the profound outcomes that emerged from the discussion of “anchoring,” is that both the PGA of America and the PGA TOUR have a more meaningful seat at the Rules table for future decisions affecting the game. We strongly believe that such enhanced communication among our respected organizations is essential to the long-term viability of golf.”
In trying to help amateurs, Bishop and Finchem pointed to the ‘Grooves Rule’ which was instituted in 2009. That rule allotted a 15-year ‘grandfather’ period for amateurs to adjust to the rule.
Bishop told the PGA that his request for a Rule 14-1b ‘grandfather period’ was not intended to reignite the debate on anchoring and that the PGA of America had accepted the USGA’s decision to invoke Rule 14-1b in 2016.