Anchoring ban: Major amateur events will comply
By Ron Balicki, Golfweek
Don’t expect to see any of the major amateur tournaments going against the U.S. Golf Association and its ban on the anchored stroke. These events have long played by USGA rules, and officials involved with the tournaments expect that to continue:
• Denny Glass, Northeast Amateur tournament director: “We wouldn’t oppose what the USGA mandates. As far as the Northeast Amateur, if the USGA says no (to anchoring), then we’re going to say no.
“On the other hand, my personal feeling is that it’s mostly about amateurs and their enjoyment of the game, so in that sense I think maybe there should be two sets of rules.”
• Steve Denn, Porter Cup tournament director: “I can see arguments from both sides. Personally, I don’t use a long putter and am not in favor of it. But a lot of amateurs do, and I can see how something like this might deter them from participation in the game.
“As far as Porter Cup, I haven’t sat down with our board to discuss this, but in all likelihood I’d say we would go by whatever the USGA rule is.”
• Buford McCarty, executive secretary of the Southern Golf Association, which runs a number of tournaments, notably the Southern Amateur: “We haven’t had any discussion about this whatsoever thus far. We still want to see what effect it’s going to have. However, we have generally followed what the USGA has proposed, and I would venture we would continue to do so.
“Personally I don’t like the long putter. I feel somehow we have to retain the tradition of the game. But as an association, we’ll look at it closely and I’m sure we’ll poll players and get their feelings and feedback.”
• Jay Fox, executive director of the Arkansas State Golf Association: “If it comes out as a rule of golf from the USGA, I can’t imagine the ASGA going against it. If it’s a rule of golf, we’re going to follow it. I have no reason to believe our board would go against any rule from the USGA.”
• John Kaczkowski, president and CEO of the Western Golf Association, which runs the Western Amateur: “As an association, we haven’t made any decision on anchoring. However, what we’ve done in the past is what the USGA does in its championships. So I would anticipate we would do the same thing concerning this.
“I think it’s going to be a big deal for the high-level amateur golfers because I see more and more young players, college players, doing it. The problems I see are, what happens to your so-called Sunday golfers? I think everyone needs to be thinking of how to get more people involved in the game and not possibly running some people off, which this rule could do.”