A new rule might change the way you putt in 2016
What you need to know about the anchoring ban.
Attention to anyone using an anchored putting stroke: Your time is almost up. When golf’s governing bodies –The R&A and USGA – jointly announced the ban on anchored strokes on May 21, 2013 (all anchored strokes, not just putting), the implementation date of January 1, 2016 seemed far away. Now it’s almost here. That means golfers who have got used to sticking a club against their chest, gut, chin, ear or any other body part to prevent the club from swinging unhindered are on the clock to find an alternative. This includes 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott (right), who was still anchoring his putter late in the 2015 season. Forget whether you agree with Rule 14-1b. You’re going to have to live with it. Because if you anchor, someone in your fourball is likely to stop you. Not to mention you’ll incur a two-shot penalty in stroke play or loss of hole in match play. ▶ Why did The R&A ban anchoring? They believed it ran counter to the spirit of what a stroke is: The club should swing freely. They also wanted to eliminate the perception that anchoring gave golfers an unfair advantage. ▶ If you want to continue to use a longer putter, that’s okay. But here are some things you need to know. If you accidentally brush the grip against a loose shirt, you’re fine. You’re penalised only if you intended to anchor the club. Going sidesaddle is also permissible. So is putting like Matt Kuchar, who braces the club against a forearm.You can do this because the club still swings without interference. Just keep in mind that if you brace your forearm against your body while putting sidesaddle or Kooch style, it’s a penalty. Still confused? Check out these examples of what you can and can’t do under the new rule.