Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

PGA Tour ends anchored putter ban opposition

July 2, 2013 -- Updated 1114 GMT (1914 HKT)
The
The "belly" putter has been used to win four of the last seven majors.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. PGA Tour ends opposition to the new ruling banning anchored putters
  • The long putters will be banned in competitions on U.S. soil from 2016
  • U.S. PGA Tour says a single set of rules will avoid confusion in the game
  • Adam Scott was the latest major winner to use an anchored putter at the Masters

(CNN) -- The U.S. PGA Tour has ended its opposition to a change in golf's rulebook by agreeing to adopt the ban on the use of controversial anchored putters from 2016.

The putters -- where the top of the club rests on the belly or another body part -- have been used to win four of the last seven majors,

Golf's governing bodies -- the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A -- made the ruling in May, but the PGA wanted more time before deciding whether to apply the new rule to competitions under its jurisdiction in the U.S.

But the PGA -- after a meeting at the end of June -- will now fall in with the ban to "avoid confusion" in the global game.

"A ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour," said Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

Belly putter changes proposed
The rise of the 'Belly Putter'
Justin Rose wins the 2013 U.S. Open

"Having a single set of rules on acceptable strokes applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion.

"In making its decision, the Policy Board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership."

Earlier this year after several months of consultation, golf's governing bodies decided to introduce a new ruling banning anchored putters .

They explained in a statement at the time: "In adopting Rule 14-1b, the USGA and The R&A have concluded that freely swinging the entire club is integral to maintaining the traditions of the game and preserving golf as an enjoyable game of skill and challenge."

The PGA's change of heart means it will now join the European Tour, the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour in introducing a ban on anchored strokes on January 1 2016.

However, the PGA added that it would likely delay the ban in the amateur game beyond 2016, arguing it would be "beneficial for golf participation and the overall health of the game."

The PGA Tour also stressed that it would not be afraid to oppose rule changes instigated by the golf's global rule-makers in the future.

Adam Scott was the latest major winner to use an anchored putter -- where the top of the club rests on the belly or another body part -- on his way to a sensational playoff victory at the Masters in April.

Read: Why Adam's Scott win caused unease in golf world

England's Justin Rose, who won the U.S. Open at the Merion Golf Club last month, used a regulation 37-inch putter after deciding the anchored devices were not for him.

American Keegan Bradley was the first player to capture a major using a long putter at the 2011 PGA Championship, with compatriot Webb Simpson, winner of the 2012 U.S. Open, and last year's British Open victor Ernie Els of South Africa following suit.

Professional players like Scott and Els will now have to adapt their game on the greens before the ban is introduced.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT