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Will The Ban Open A Can – Of Worms?

At least we’ll know and we can put all the not knowing and the comment period and the debates behind us and just finally, maybe even reluctantly, move on. Thank God. On Tuesday morning, USGA Executive Director Mike Davis and Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, will likely announce that anchored putting strokes will no longer be allowed under the Rules of Golf, starting in 2016. If they announce something different than that, it will be the biggest upset in golf since Y.E. Yang beat Tiger Woods head-to-head at the 2009 PGA Championship. The proposed ban was announced on Nov. 28 of last year, which now seems like a couple of years ago. The comment period ended on Feb. 28 of this year, which now seems like a million years ago. The bottom line is this: the rules-makers are afraid that what was the stroke of last resort will become the stroke of choice unless something is done to stem the perceived tide of young people taking up belly putters and 14-year-old Guan Tianlang comes immediately to mind. Adam Scott winning The Masters with a broom-handle putter – in a playoff, no less – didn’t help the cause of the proponents of anchored putting. If the coffin hadn’t already been nailed shut, Scott’s victory at the very least draped the casket. Make no mistake: This is not about statistical advantage because there is none. None. It’s because Davis and Dawson, et al, don’t like the way it looks. Period. End of debate. And we might as well end it now because there has been no budging. Which now brings us the biggest question that will remain hanging out there for the next unspecified period of time: What is the PGA Tour going to do?


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