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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Mechanics of the Upcoming Anchoring Ban

Since GC had their rules expert Kendra Graham and commentator Tripp Isenhour explain some of the finer points of the anchored stroke ban on Golf Central Monday, I thought I'd post the video here. This should really help you -- if you'll pardon the pun -- "get a handle" on what's going to be legal and what won't.

In case the video didn't embed properly, you can find the original at this link. The video is the entire Golf Central broadcast, but it starts when Graham and Isenhour came on. The part you need to see is only three or four minutes long.

Let me try to sum up the key points in a few words.
  • First, it isn't the equipment that will be banned -- just the way you hold it. Broomsticks and belly putters will still be legal.
  • It is illegal for the butt end of the club to be anchored against your torso, so you can't hold broomsticks against your chest or belly putters against your belly.
  • You can't use your clothing to help anchor the club. As Kendra says, it would be illegal to grip your tie against the handle.
  • The butt end of the club can't touch your body if that would make the butt end of the club into a pivot point, nor may your elbow act as an anchor point.
That last one may not be clear although Kendra and Tripp tried to illustrate it. It all comes down to whether the club and your arms are "swinging" the club rather than acting as a pivot point. Let me give you their examples with further explanation.
  • The butt end of a broomstick can't touch your chin because the club would swing like a pendulum pivoting from your chin.
  • The butt end of a belly putter can't touch your belly because the club would swing like a pendulum pivoting from your belly.
  • A less-obvious example: You can't hold a broomstick away from your chest BUT anchor your elbow. This creates a pendulum pivoting from your hand, and that hand is being anchored in place by your elbow.
Now let's look at the other four oddball examples that Kendra mentioned. First, the illegal one.
  • ILLEGAL: The belly putter with the butt end of the club touching your lead bicep is illegal because the butt end is anchored. How? Your lead hand is holding the club against your lead bicep just as firmly as if your lead hand were holding the club against your belly.
Now the three legal ones.
  • LEGAL: The broomstick held away from your chest AND the elbow held away from your body have no more contact with your body than holding a short putter with your elbows away from your body. Therefore, no anchor is created and no pendulum is created.
  • LEGAL: This one confuses a lot of people. The short putter held with both elbows anchored against your torso is legal because this forms the exact same kind of triangle as a short putter with both elbows held away from your body. (In fact, you can still swing your hands and arms independently of your body when you do it. Give it a try and see.)

    HOWEVER, IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL IF you anchored both of your FOREARMS against your body, since you would have completely locked both hands in position.
  • LEGAL: This one probably confuses players the most. The Kuchar method, where the handle is laid against the lead forearm and held there by the trail hand, is legal because there is no pivot point as there is when the belly putter is anchored against the bicep. The entire SIDE of the handle is laying against the side of the lead arm and not touching the lead arm above the elbow. Locking one wrist in position isn't the same thing as anchoring.
Hopefully this post and video will help you sort out the whole anchoring thing. It basically comes down to swinging the club VS pivoting the club.




  3. The amateur/charity revision will impact future Ryder/Presidents Cup points as well as other exemptions