R&A confirms putter “anchoring” is under review

The legality of players “anchoring” their putting stroke is under active review by golf’s governing bodies, The R&A’s Chief Executive Peter Dawson confirmed today.

The move had been prompted by the recent upsurge in use of anchored putting strokes on Tour – not just among older players – but a final decision is yet to be made.

Any action that is taken would most probably be by amending the Rules on method of stroke rather than limiting putter length, with any change effective from 1 January 2016, when the next edition of the Rules of Golf is published.

Speaking during a press conference at Royal Lytham & St Annes, venue for this year’s Open Championship, Dawson said: “The use of long and belly putters, and in particular any anchoring of the club against any part of the player’s body, has been under review by The R&A and USGA for some time. The recent upsurge in use of anchored putting strokes on Tour has brought the subject into renewed focus.

“We appreciate that this is a complex and emotive issue that divides opinion. Any decision will be made with the best interests of the game in mind and introduced only after a lengthy period of notice.”

No specific length of time has been given for a decision to be made, with the final decision resting with the Rules committees of The R&A and USGA.