AN­CHOR’S AWAY

A new rule might change the way you putt in 2016

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - News - By Michael John­son

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.

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