Golf

The Proposed Ban on Anchored Putters is Turning Ugly

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

I hate to break it to those of you who have been giving those professional golfers who choose to use an anchored putter a hard time, but they aren’t cheating. Give them a break. As of this moment in time, they are operating completely within the rules, and therefore, by definition, are not cheating. Before the ban on anchored putters was proposed by the PGA and R&A, it seems that nobody took issue with the use of anchored, or “belly” putters. If it wasn’t cheating before and the rules haven’t changed, it’s not cheating now.

It seems as if Keegan Bradley has been taking the brunt of the criticism.

“It’s been actually pretty difficult,” said Bradley. “Especially lately. I’m being called a cheater more than ever by fans, by some writers. . . . I can’t imagine how people can say that to me or to anybody out here. It’s been really difficult, and I’m sick of it to be honest. I’m ready for it to be over.”

This whole situation is getting wholly out of hand. Now, PGA Tour commission Tim Finchem has come out in support of his golfers and has said that he thinks a ban on anchored putters would be a mistake. This proposed ban is becoming an incredibly divisive topic in the golf world. Both supporters and opponents of the ban are steadfast in their beliefs and are seemingly unwilling to even consider the point of view of the other side.

Personally, I’m against a ban on anchored putters, but I do understand the other point of view. I feel that if a professional golfer has honed their trade for many years using a particular piece of equipment that has been legal for decades, they should not be forced to change that equipment. It puts them at a distinct disadvantage. Furthermore, any supposed advantage gained by the use of an anchored putter is purely conjecture.

The bottom line is that this situation is going to get worse before it gets better. It’s going to continue to gain steam and become more of a hot-button topic. Hopefully the fans and writers condemning those who use anchored putters can keep their opinions and statements civil. Just because someone uses a particular piece of golf equipment doesn’t mean they should be allowed to be subjected to unfair and disrespectful behavior.

Carl Conrad is the Golf Network Manager for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.