Golf bans controversial anchor putters
The R&A and United States Golf Association today confirmed that the ban on anchored strokes will come into effect from January 1, 2016.
Golf's governing bodies proposed the ban last November and Rule 14-1b has now been given final approval after consideration of comments and suggestions made during the 90-day consultation process.
The European Tour supported the proposal but the PGA Tour and PGA of America voiced strong opposition, raising the possibility of different rules being followed in different events.
The R&A and the USGA have prepared a detailed report to explain the reasons for the decision, highlighting why "freely swinging the entire club is the essence of the traditional method of stroke," and why anchoring is a "substantially different form of stroke that may alter and diminish the fundamental challenges of the game.
"R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: "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.
"The report published today gives a comprehensive account of the reasons for taking the decision to adopt the new Rule and addresses the concerns that have been raised. We recognise this has been a divisive issue but after thorough consideration we remain convinced that this is the right decision for golf."
USGA president Glen D. Nager added: "Having considered all of the input that we received, both before and after the proposed Rule was announced, our best judgment is that Rule 14-1b is necessary to preserve one of the important traditions and challenges of the game - that the player freely swing the entire club.
"The new Rule upholds the essential nature of the traditional method of stroke and eliminates the possible advantage that anchoring provides, ensuring that players of all skill levels face the same challenge inherent in the game of golf."