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Proposed rule 14.1-b Anchoring the club - At long last, it's out

Poll Results: What do you think of the new proposed 14.1 rule?

 
  • 75% (9)
    In favor
  • 8% (1)
    Against
  • 16% (2)
    Don't care/May I have another adult beverage please?
  • 0% (0)
    Flawed poll
12 Total Votes  
post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

The USGA and R&A have coordinated to introduce a proposed rule change to ban the anchoring of clubs in a golf swing.

See this USGA web page to see the whole 9 yards or look at this graphic to see the short version.

 

 

I have submitted my concerns directly to the USGA but don't expect an answer to my questions any time soon through that route. I would appreciate comments from our golfing bears.

 

 

Quote:
Please clarify the definition of an anchor point caused by forearm contact. Where is the anchor point? If the anchor point is at the point of forearm contact with the body, then exactly how are the permitted and prohibited forearm contact graphics different? In both graphics the lower hand swings the club around (or underneath) the upper hand. Is the only difference between these two graphics a split hands grip vs a hands in contact grip, a close distance between the butt of the club and the body vs a large distance, or something else? 
 
Please clarify the definition of forearm. The dictionary definition of forearm is "from the elbow to the wrist". This includes the bone called the ulna. The infographic depicts anchoring the elbows against the body as permitted under the rule. However, the graphic clearly depicts the ulna in contact with the body. At what point does elbow contact become forearm contact? I currently putt with the side of my elbow in contact with my body. Would this be permitted or not? The side of the elbow is the bone called the humerus. This is not considered part of the forearm. However, it is virtually impossible to putt with the humerus in contact with the body without also having some small portion of the forearm also in contact.
 
Does the forearm contact need to be continuous throughout the entire stroke in order to be prohibited or does forearm contact at any point in the stroke to establish an anchor point at that point in the stroke become prohibited? 
 
It is clear that contact with loose clothing can not establish an anchor point. However, at what point does contact with clothing become contact with the body?
 
Will there be a means by which competitors can get their putting stroke methods "approved" to be in compliance with the new rule prior to competing?

 

I am against the proposal but believe it won't have a significant impact on my game so I'm not going to whine about it. It will be interesting to see how much constructive discussion will be generated by this proposal. So far (from the one other forum I checked) it looks like it will only be a small percentage. I will enjoy watching this process play out.

post #2 of 19

This is a ruling that is long overdue. There used to be a rule against "anchoring" the club and I don't know where it went, but I for one am happy with the proposed change, since I have always thought belly putters and long wands held to your chest were illegal.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Chip. I was surprised by the "note 2" part of the rule that defines an anchor point and prohibits that in addition to anchoring (having the club physically in contact with the body in addition to the hands).  I was initially thinking that anchor point meant a point on the body where the club was virtually anchored (i.e. where it would be anchored if the club was long enough to touch the body), but this definition would essentially outlaw any pendulum swing that includes body contact other than the hands on the grip. The way I read the note now is anchor point defines a contact point between a forearms and the body, but only when this contact is used to "establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club". The permitted graphics clearly show forearm contact that meets the first part of the definition of anchor point. So what constitutes "the gripping hand as a stable point"? If the gripping hand is not at the center of the arc of the swing, it is not a stable point in the sense that that hand is also moving. In this case the gripping hand is being stabilized by the anchor point, but this is not any different from the permitted graphics. If the swing is a pendulum stroke, then the lower hand is swinging the club around the center point of the arc, not the upper gripping hand. As best as I can tell, the intent is to prohibit forearm contact combined with a split hands grip. But why not just say that? I can see the need to close the loophole where the upper gripping hand is anchored to the body instead of the club grip (i.e. no space between the club grip and the upper body). But my reading of this rule is that in the attempt to close that loophole, the rule has become inconsistent in defining what is permitted and what is not. Granted, I am in no way, shape or form a rules expert. I'm just trying to understand this from a player's perspective and especially interested because my putting method appears to fall into a gray area between what is permitted and what is prohibited.

 

Imagine someone saying we all had to ski with our feet in a wedge to preserve the traditional character of the ski turn!

post #4 of 19

Let me know when the propose to eliminate "winter rules" ........ in Julyroflmao.gif

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

 

Imagine someone saying we all had to ski with our feet in a wedge to preserve the traditional character of the ski turn!

Ummm. We don't keep score in skiing?

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

How many vertical feet did you ski today? How many inches of fresh? There are some who say that riding a chair up the mountain is cheating. Golf is a strange sport in that we keep score even while not competing, but there are some who manage to keep score while skiing (outside of a race course) any way. Golf is also strange in it's (some would say futile) attempts to maintain the integrity of the game. Have you seen the recent NFL proposal to eliminate kick offs?

post #7 of 19

I voted for the ban, but then I felt the cheating started with the big metal driver. Keeping a numerical score is the essence of golf. Having the most enjoyment is the essence of skiing.  We keep score even when playing alone, to produce a handicap that will even out the skill factor and have a match hinge on who's playing smarter, better and/or luckier than their opponent on any given day.  I can't think of any other competitive sport that does that. 

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

PGA Tour has called bogie on the USGA and the R&A. This is going to get interesting now.

post #9 of 19

I cannot wait to see how this turns out.

 

Go time.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

PGA Tour has called bogie on the USGA and the R&A. This is going to get interesting now.

 

But here's the interesting part.  The PGA does not govern The Masters, The US Open, nor The Open.  (and none of the WGC events either)  So there's a lot of influence outside of their control, since majors are... well, kind of important.

 

I'm in favor of the ban from a theoretical point of view, but I don't really care either.  Especially for amateurs.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

PGA Tour has called bogie on the USGA and the R&A. This is going to get interesting now.

Perhaps a sly move by Fincham. He can say he transmitted the tour players board view but when the European, Asian and other tours go along with the USGA as well as the R&A the Tour may be left swinging in the breeze. Then they will gracefully retreat "for the good of the game".

 

Interesting that the percentage of long/belly putters used on tour is declining a bit.

 

Not overly impressed by the negative knee jerk reaction of my organization either-the PGA. Which for those unfamilar with the golf world represents the club and teaching professionals not tour players.

 

For the record, I believe no anchoring and no bifurcation in sanctioned events or if you are trying to maintain an fair handicap index. An anchored sroke is not a swing controlled by your hands and arms. If you're just playing recreationally, do whatever and enjoy the game-just play quickly!!!!

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Mike,

 

When you say "no bifurcation" - do you mean no 2 sets of rules (e.g. pros and amateurs)? Don't we already have bifurcation?

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Mike,

 

When you say "no bifurcation" - do you mean no 2 sets of rules (e.g. pros and amateurs)? Don't we already have bifurcation?

Not really.

I'd be curious where you see differences in the rules. Maybe with some tournament specific conditions, e.g., T(emporary) I(mmovable) O(bstructions) or perhaps not allowing distance measuring equipment but since that is actually forbidden unless permitted by adoption of a local rule as allowed by the USGA  that wouldn't apply. Or the one ball rules which rarely impacts most play.

That is all assuming the rules are observed.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Pelz had a list - I'll see if I can find it. But the wedge groove rule comes to mind as the most recent example. Pros can't use the old wedges, but we can for x more years.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

 But the wedge groove rule comes to mind as the most recent example. Pros can't use the old wedges, but we can for x more years.

What is an "old wedge"?  The reason I ask is that I've used wedges made from the 50s-through the 90s, but nothing post Y2K yet.  What has changed with the groves other than the number per inch of face and the texture of the face material varying?

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

Old wedges have "U" grooves. New wedges and very old wedges have "V" grooves. This link has more info.

post #17 of 19

So, in beer league racing is the ratio of folks on cheater sidecuts similar to the ratio of fairly serious folks playing golf with "cheater" clubs?

 

 

Or, would you say recreational golfers try harder to stick to the actual competition rules?  I'd say it seems that they do more so than recreational ski racers do. 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

The 14-1B rule is final as of today.

The USGA has modified the graphic that explains the rule. Note 2 says "An anchor point exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club. This addresses 99% of my major complaint with the original wording of the rule and the accompanying graphic. 

 

 

But these questions remain:

When an anchor point is created by the forearm contacting the torso (and the putter is not in contact with any point of the body beside the hands), where is the anchor point?

Does note 2 preclude any swing with a split grip and any piece of the forearm?

(The ulna is part of the forearm. Most people would consider the upper end of the ulna to be part of the elbow joint. The permitted section of the diagram explains that bracing one or both elbows against the body is permitted).

 

I'm going to try make a video of different questionable swings this weekend and see if I can get a ruling.

post #19 of 19

Too bad they didn't just do this 10-15 years ago like they should have.  What a mess they've created.

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