Long putters given the short shrift

Golf’s governing bodies announced on Tuesday that they will ban the anchoring of putters from 2016 in a move which will please traditionalists but could lead to a split in the game among the professional ranks.

The ban was first proposed by the Royal and Ancient (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) in November. Players and the golfing community were then given 90 days in which to discuss the proposal.

The European Tour expressed its support for the idea but both the US PGA Tour and PGA of America voiced opposition.

“We took a great deal of time to consider this issue and received a variety of contributions from individuals and organisations at all levels of the game,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said in a statement.

“We recognise this has been a divisive issue but after thorough consideration we remain convinced this is the right decision for golf,” he added ahead of this week’s PGA Championship at Wentworth, England.

USGA president Glen D Nager said the new rule would uphold the “essential nature of the traditional method of the stroke and eliminate the possible advantage that anchoring provides”.

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