With Adam Scott’s win at The Masters, players using anchored putters have won four of the last six majors. That streak may be coming to an end as the much discussed ban may be coming soon.
The U.S. Golf Association said Friday it will make public on Tuesday its final decision in the anchored-putting controversy. Nothing is official yet, but all indications are that the USGA and its international rules-making counterpart, the R&A, will push forward with the rule they proposed last November, to ban anchored putting once and for all time.
As I’ve mentioned before, the global ancient game of golf will be better off with a ban. For years, anchored putting has been a disruptive issue. For all those who embraced the stroke, many more felt it wasn’t a proper way to play the game. With hope, that debate now will be behind us.
A more important reason to support the ban, should it be enacted, is that it plants a flag in the ground that says: “This is golf, and this isn’t.” I don’t want to come across as a blowhard, an oldest-member type pulling up the drawbridge to protect the creaky rituals of another age. Many defenders of anchoring see themselves as part of a movement to rescue golf by making the game easier, less frustrating and more accommodating. I think they’re misguided on this issue, but I get where they’re coming from.
I don’t have a strong opinion on this, but people on both sides tend to be passionate about the issue. If the ban goes through, does it put a blemish on wins like Scott’s at The Masters? It will definitely shake things up for some pros like Scott. Anyone looking for an edge in picking winners will have to monitor guys like him closely before placing their bets on sites like bwin.com/en/golf. When you consider how unpredictable putting can be, that seems like a daunting task. And with such a great player like Scott who is still a young player, the effect this could have on his career could take years to play out.
Every sport goes through rule changes, so anyone fixated on golf’s traditions needs to keep this in mind. Technology and innovation affects every sport, and then frankly we all need to come to a consensus and collectively adjust. So hopefully the rules makers will finally come up with a decision so everyone can move on.