Recently the PGA Tour and the PGA of America made the decision to honor the USGA’s ruling banning anchored (belly) putters. At this time both associations believe there should only be one set of rules for both amateur and professional golfers.
The anchor putter ruling will become effective on January 1, 2016.
This ruling will impact players using a belly or long putter if they anchor it to a part of their body. That means if you place the end of your putter into your belly, your sternum or your chin that would be considered a violation of the rule and you will need to change the way you putt.
You can still use a long putter. You just can’t anchor it anywhere against your body. The grip of the club may lay on your forearm, but it can’t go past your elbow.
For any of the professional tour players that currently putt with the club anchored against their body, it could have a negative impact on the way they make their living. Changing the way someone putts would be similar to making all Americans drive their car on the left side of the road instead of the right. It would be a dramatic and uncomfortable change in your routine.
So how will this affect you?
If you play competitively in an event or post a score for handicap purposes as an amateur, you will need to abide by the ruling. Start working on your putting now. Give yourself the time and patience needed to change your putting style and stroke.
What does this ruling mean for the recreational golfer?
Unless you are playing in an event sanctioned by the PGA or USGA, this may not affect you at all. As a casual, recreational golfer not posting a score, it won’t matter if you use a belly putter. It will all come down to your preference. So putt the way you want to putt. The most important thing is that you go play golf and have fun.
What are your thoughts on the ruling?