Well, it looks like PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has decided to weigh in and give his thoughts on the ban on anchored putters that has been proposed by the USGA and R&A. The thing that really stood out to me about his thoughts on the matter was the timing of his announcement.
Finchem decided the best time to make his feelings known was during the final of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. Based on what he had to say, Finchem is adamantly opposed to the ban on anchored putters. I find it quite interesting that he is speaking out against this proposed ban. Said Finchem, “we hold the USGA in the highest regard as a key part of the game of golf. We don’t attempt to denigrate that position in any way whatsoever. It’s just on this issue we think if they were to move forward, they would be making a mistake.”
He may very well just be echoing the sentiments of the golfers that he represents. It has been reported that 13 of the 15 members of the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council opposed the ban. That council consists of PGA Tour pros. While it is clearly not a unanimous vote, and there are likely many PGA Tour professionals that support the ban, you can’t help but think that the advisory council speaks for the players. If the vote was that lopsided, it is likely that the majority of golfers do not support the ban.
I’m not at all surprised at Finchem’s stance on the matter. The majority of his golfers don’t want a ban on anchored putters and he is sticking up for them. However, it doesn’t mean that the PGA won’t go along with the ban if it is adopted by the USGA and the R&A.
There really is no empirical data showing that anchored putters provide any distinct advantage. Yes, some major championships have recently been won by golfers using anchored putters, but who can say those golfers wouldn’t have won even if they were using a more traditional putter? If anchored putters provide such a great advantage, why isn’t everyone using them? I also find it incredibly unfair to force someone to change from a piece of equipment that they have been using for the entirety of their professional career. If anything, it puts those golfers at a distinct disadvantage.
I’m sure we haven’t heard the last on this matter. Even after a decision is made, there will be plenty of discussion surrounding the topic.