National Columnist

Technology ruins courses, but they're banning anchored putters?

The ban on anchored putters makes no sense to me. The need to be consistent throughout golf, and have the PGA Tour play with the same equipment as the USGA and the R&A? That makes sense to me. If they don't allow anchored putters overseas or at USGA events here, then they can't allow it on the PGA Tour. Makes sense.

But why ban the anchored putter at all? Makes no sense.

Either it's a putter, or it's not. Either the player uses it to hit the ball toward the hole, or he does not. Look, if a player wants to take out his putter, turn it into a billiard cue, lie down on the green and poke the damn ball toward the hole, why not?

I'm being serious. Why not?

Some players have the yips, and anchored putters help them. Some players aren't good with a 1-iron or a 3-wood, so they use a hybrid. Some don't like this wedge, so they use that one. And on and on it goes.

But the USGA and the R&A decided that "freely swinging the entire club is the essence of the traditional method of stroke ... anchoring is a substantially different form of stroke that may alter and diminish the fundamental challenges of the game."

The game was also designed to be played with wooden sticks and forged-iron club heads. It was designed to be played with balls made of wood, then leather. Over time, those things changed, and entire golf courses became obsolete. And the USGA and the R&A are fine with that.

But the anchored putter can "diminish the fundamental challenges of the game"?

Silly. The anchored putter has a blade. The blade strikes the ball. The ball rolls.

Golf and its rules ... anal doesn't begin to describe this sport.

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