PGA of America statement regarding anchored putting stroke decision

By
The PGA of America

Series: PGA

Over the past few months The PGA of America has taken a vocal and active position which reflected the strong viewpoint of our PGA Professionals in opposing the USGA and R&A's proposed Rule 14-1b that would ban the anchored stroke. Today, the governing bodies indicated that they will proceed with the formal adoption of the rule. 

We are disappointed with this outcome. As we have said publicly and repeatedly during the comment period, we do not believe 14-1b is in the best interest of recreational golfers and we are concerned about the negative impact it may have on both the enjoyment and growth of the game. Growing the game is one of the fundamental purposes of The PGA of America.

Although we do not agree with the decision, we applaud the USGA for its willingness to listen to our concerns and engage in meaningful discussions. In our opinion and based on our experience, the USGA treated the comment period for what it was intended to be -- a time to exchange opinions, concerns and potential solutions.

We should also note that our difference of opinion regarding 14-1b should not in any way detract from the healthy relationship we have had with the USGA for nearly a century.  Together, we have taken tremendous steps for the benefit of the game we both love and serve and we will continue to work together through the ongoing mutual support of Get Golf Ready; Tee It Forward; the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; the First Tee, Drive, Chip and Putt Championship; 9 is Fine; and critical pace of play issues. Let us not lose sight of the fact that The PGA  and the USGA agree far more than we disagree.

We also want to note that our conversations and meetings with the USGA over these last few months have resulted in our mutual agreement to engage in a leadership conference no less than once a year to discuss our strategies and concerns and see where and how we can continue to improve the game together.  In addition, we look forward to working openly with the USGA in order to ensure that on an ongoing basis, our inclusion in the Rules-making process is as meaningful as possible.

At this point in time, The PGA will digest the USGA and R&A's decision to proceed with Rule 14-1b and discuss this matter with our Board of Directors, PGA Sections and, of course, our 27,000 PGA Professionals throughout the country. Our Board will convene in late June during our PGA Professional National Championship and at that time, we will decide how best to proceed. In addition, we will continue to confer with the PGA Tour as they similarly digest this information.

In the meantime, we will immediately do what we do best -- teach the game.  Since the end of November, The PGA Instruction Committee has been working on a process whereby our PGA Professionals can help with the transition from anchored putters to a non-anchored stroke in anticipation of this decision. Our PGA Professionals have always embraced our role as problem solvers when it comes to making the game better and more enjoyable for those who play it.

Ted Bishop, PGA
38th President
The PGA of America

 

Comments

aandbc

I would like to take this thought in a different direction.
The USGA and the R&A are the governing bodies---they ARE NOT--the keepers of the Holy Grail.
I must confess that they seem to think that they speak for every golfer who walks. I give witness to the games we play amongst ourownselves.
I can see the need to be somewhat in agreement but their attitude gives lean to denying that.
If we are all about giving weight to some tournaments because they are conducted by these groups--then we must say that they are the keepers of the rules. Hogwash, is a term that means something in my neck of the words.
A major seems to be a minor in this process.
What are we protecting--the game or them.
They fall on their own sword at every turn in the development of golf. Technology has proven them wrong time and again. Now what they wish to maintain is the purity of something that is impure to begin with.
Men have developed swings that if they were pure in their original design would be illegal----going to the thought that a swing should be pure and owned by the individual as governed by the ROYAL AND ANCIENT whoever they are---most of them certainly not ancient and we have had a continuing battle with royality as being, in reality, ROYAL.
Golf is a game--purly and simply -- a game. No one owns the copyrights.
Change is a part of life and we must abide in change, whether we like it or not.
The USGA & the R&A has brought to a head a battle that, if they win, will contribute nothing to the game but only to their power. If they loose---and I think they have already---they will then loose any control over determining anything.
The may conduct their tournaments but they will quickly fall from the current definition of majors and importance. People determine importance and majors.
I agree that there are degrees of majors in importance but I think that that is in the mind of the individual. I give example of The Players Championship. It is a major to me. The old East & West were majors at the time and those that hold them may count them.
I really think the R&A & USGA take themselves far too seriously.
Not all rules are standard to any game I have played and I think this is a microcosm of the game as a whole.
Blessings

aandbc

I would like to take this thought in a different direction.
The USGA and the R&A are the governing bodies---they ARE NOT--the keepers of the Holy Grail.
I must confess that they seem to think that they speak for every golfer who walks. I give witness to the games we play amongst ourownselves.
I can see the need to be somewhat in agreement but their attitude gives lean to denying that.
If we are all about giving weight to some tournaments because they are conducted by these groups--then we must say that they are the keepers of the rules. Hogwash, is a term that means something in my neck of the words.
A major seems to be a minor in this process.
What are we protecting--the game or them.
They fall on their own sword at every turn in the development of golf. Technology has proven them wrong time and again. Now what they wish to maintain is the purity of something that is impure to begin with.
Men have developed swings that if they were pure in their original design would be illegal----going to the thought that a swing should be pure and owned by the individual as governed by the ROYAL AND ANCIENT whoever they are---most of them certainly not ancient and we have had a continuing battle with royality as being, in reality, ROYAL.
Golf is a game--purly and simply -- a game. No one owns the copyrights.
Change is a part of life and we must abide in change, whether we like it or not.
The USGA & the R&A has brought to a head a battle that, if they win, will contribute nothing to the game but only to their power. If they loose---and I think they have already---they will then loose any control over determining anything.
The may conduct their tournaments but they will quickly fall from the current definition of majors and importance. People determine importance and majors.
I agree that there are degrees of majors in importance but I think that that is in the mind of the individual. I give example of The Players Championship. It is a major to me. The old East & West were majors at the time and those that hold them may count them.
I really think the R&A & USGA take themselves far too seriously.
Not all rules are standard to any game I have played and I think this is a microcosm of the game as a whole.
Blessings

pajones127707

I have used a long putter for twenty years. If it is so obviously cheating, you would think the USGA/RA would have dealt with it long ago (as for example they acted fast when Snead went to croquet putting). This is one golfer who is not going to spend his golden years re-learning something I - quite within the rules - gave up on twenty years ago. And if the "integrity of the game" is such a big thing, well, let's go back to wood "woods" and such. The modern metal over-sized driver; there is something that changed the integrity of the game and in the process turned lots of great golf courses into relics. For this golfer, life is to short for a short putter.

tdcid75

I don't understand how prohibiting an anchored putting stroke in any way diminishes from the game or the PGA's assertion this will hinder the growth of golf. Young players have better putting than older players. Teach a legal stroke. there is no more joy in the game than seeing a challenging putt made when you swing a putter freely. anchoring has always seemed like cheating to me. And by the time we are older players and maybe lose a few strokes a round because we can't putt the way we used to...who cares? We are already addicted to the game anyway. The opposition seems self-serving just for the touring professionals benefit. Please PGA...for the sake of the game...go along with this and do not adopt an exception for the touring professionals!

lndnbrg22

I am really confused as to the PGA Tours stance. Here is one of the leading bodies of professionals that obviously doesn't see how anchoring harms the very premise of the game...making a free arm swing at the ball. It's a crying shame that so many young players have grown up using this advantage. I feel the current tour pros using this method know they are getting away with something that shouldn't have been allowed in the first place and their victories should have an asterisk. This implemented rule will put everyone on the same playing field.

Joseph Gallina

We are here to grow the game. Being a putting instructor there is a high demand for putting instruction but not many PGA professionals teach putting. Here is a good teaching tool and solution that will help transition from anchored putters to a non-anchored stroke - take a look at the simple system called RST from Seemore Putters. 40% of your strokes during a round of golf is used with a putter but only 6% of lessons are given in this area.