One of the hotly debated issues in the world of golf going on right now centers around the anchored putter, and the United States Golf Association attempting to define the stroke on the putting green.
The anchored putters, or ‘long putters’ are nothing new to the game of golf. In fact, players have been using them for more than a quarter century.
But the recent trend of players switching to the anchored putter, and winning big tournaments has been chipping away at the issue of the putting stroke. So much so that the USGA has brought it under serious consideration to ban the practice of an anchored putter entirely.
We’ve seen recent wins from payers who use the anchored putter, such as Keegan Bradley and his 2011 PGA Championship, Webb Simpson winning the 2012 U.S. Open, and then Ernie Els winning the 2012 British Open.
All three use a variation of the anchored putter.
It’s opened the door for debate, and there are stark opinions on both sides of the issue as to whether or not the anchored putter provides an unfair advantage for those using them.
It’s difficult to declare the practice ‘unfair’ because as the rules currently state, any player can use this type of putter to make the stroke.
And what the USGA is attempting to do is not ban the putters, but to define the stroke on the putting green. A result of that definition would then make the use of an anchored putter illegal.
To label those who are currently using an anchored putter as ‘cheater’ however is quite inaccurate though, as they are well within the rules to do so. In fact, so are you or I. We can go out and use an anchored putter in an official tournament if we wanted to with no problem. So the unfair advantage simply isn’t there.
The debate comes down to how the USGA wants to determine the putting stroke should be made.
The PGA Tour has recently come out backing the player’s stance, stating that they are not in favor of a ban. In fact, even some of those players who do not use an anchored putter are backing their fellow players.
An issue that once appeared to be on the train tracks of becoming a ban, now might appear to have headway in the opposite direction.
In other words, don’t expect the anchored putter ban to take place any time soon, if ever.