The PGA Tour today settled the last remaining question about the anchoring ban – it will accept it effective Jan. 1, 2016.
The Tour issued a statement saying it will go along with decision by the USGA and the R&A to ban anchoring when the new rule goes into effect in 2016.
“In making its decision, the Policy Board recognized that there are still varying opinions among our membership, but ultimately concluded that while it is an important issue, a ban on anchored strokes would not fundamentally affect a strong presentation of our competitions or the overall success of the PGA Tour,”
Commissioner Tim Finchem said. “The Board also was of the opinion that having a single set of rules on acceptable strokes applicable to all professional competitions worldwide was desirable and would avoid confusion.”
Where does that leave Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson and any other adamant anchorets?
That remains to be seen. There has been talk of a lawsuit and the Tour’s announcement could lead to that if players feel strongly enough about the change.
Here’s the intriguing part about the Tour’s announcement: It includes a section suggesting the USGA and R&A allow amateurs more time before the ban goes into effect, citing the way the grooves issue was handled a few years back. The Tour Policy Board and the PGA of America have passed resolutions strongly supporting giving amateurs more time to adapt.
It seems a clear attempt by the Tour to take a more proactive role in rules making, a suggestion Finchem made in talking with players about the anchoring ban. In effect, he said the Tour can be more proactive rather than reactive in future rules issues. This seems to be one of those times.
The guess here is the USGA and R&A will say they appreciate the input and will stick with the 2016 ban for everyone.