PGA Tour announces opposition to anchoring ban

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced on Sunday that the PGA Tour will oppose the R&A and USGA ban on anchoring putters.

"Where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think banning anchoring was in the best of interests of golf or the PGA Tour," Finchem said. "I would note that the PGA of America came to the same conclusion after consultation with their membership. Golf Course Owners Association came to the same conclusion as well."

In late November, the R&A and the USGA announced that "long putters and belly putters would not be banned, just the act of anchoring any club against a player's body during a shot."

The governing bodies noted that they will take comments from the golf industry with an expected final decision to come in spring 2013. If the proposal is upheld, the ban will go into effect with the next official update of the Rules of Golf in 2016.

"The essential thread that went through the thinking of the players and our board directors and others that looked at this, was that in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring and given the amount of time anchoring has been in the game, that there was no overriding reason to go down that road.

"Recognizing a coupLe of things -- one, an awful lot of amateurs use anchoring and two, a number of players on the PGA tour who have grown up with a focus on perfecting the anchoring method, if you will, did so after the USGA on numerous occasions approved the method years ago. For us to join in supporting the ban we think is a direction that is unfair to both groups of individuals."

The commissioner also tried to dispel any thoughts that this would pit the PGA Tour against the USGA.

"That's not really I think correct. The USGA did on multiple occasions look at this and come to one conclusion, 25 or 30 years later they've come to another conclusion," Finchem stated. "At least tentatively, they asked us to give our comments. All we're doing at this point is saying this is our opinion."