To asterisk or not to asterisk?
By mustang6560 on 7/24/12
While I don't expect the USGA or R&A to ban anchoring as a style of putting, one question remains, as Geoff Shackelford pointed out, What will happen to the history books if anchoring is in fact deemed non-conforming? Will golf's historians add an asterisk next to Keegan Bradley's victory at the PGA Championship, Webb Simpson's victory at the U.S. Open, and Ernie Els victory at The Open Championship?
I don't have an answer for you. Rather, I'm simply pointing out a reality the USGA and R&A will have to deal with if they decide to ban anchoring. Either way, we should know the fate by the end of the year, according to USGA executive director Mike Davis. I for one am chomping at the bit to know as this is one of the most contentious topics in golf.
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Image via Flickr, Secret in the Dirt
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There will be no asterisk , just as there is no asterisk for tournaments won or lost because of balls not being marked on the green (a rule with variations up until marking was encouraged in the 40s). If they decide to make it illegal it's going to be a problem. It really is. The belly and long putters will remain and anchoring isn't going to be an issue. Where do you draw the line at anchoring. what if you're against a tree and you're choked up on the club and it's touching your forearm? there are ways around it, but don't expect it to be banned, especially since Scott choked and Els won. both were using long putters and anchoring. Theoretically they should have tied i guess if it gives an advantage.
It has already been stated that there will be no asterisk placed by the ruling bodies. The clubs, and strokes they used were legal at the time of their victory. The USGA/R&A are also in the final year of a 4 year rules cylce, which means that there won't be a change to the rule (according the stories I have read) until 2016.
@birdieXris is right about the lack of asterisks over a rule change.
If the R&A and USGA decide to create a rule against "anchoring", the rule will not go into effect until 2016. On that basis, people would have time to adjust their technique to comply with any proposed rule. I suspect that is why no action was taken as part of the 2012 rule changes. My guess is they will ban "anchoring" and give everyone 4 years to figure out what to do next. If they decide to do nothing, I can live with that too.
No asterisk. You don't see an asterisk for tournament wins that used the old grooves do you? Rules change all the time.
You'd only need to use an asterisk if they had won using a technique no one else was allowed to use (e.g. using a corked bat, or a banned performance enhancing supplement like steroids). Since the option is currently available to all the wins are valid.
Bryan K says:
And I personally think it would be absolutely stupid for the USGA to ban anchoring.
Matt McGee says:
When anchoring is banned (or not), and the asterisks applied (or not), can we then start a movement to change the rule that there is no relief from a divot in the fairway? Please?
@Matt McGee- +4
I heard them talking about Bobby Jones with CONCAVE irons etc, they were legal when he won, so that will stay like that... just like now, its legal so no problem with winning with it.
Its going to be interesting to see what they do.
I know its illegal to putt with a leg either side of the ball, and a few other things, I found that out when I met a pendulum putter (like the one in 7 days in utopia)... we had an interesting chat that day on the course.
joe jones says:
gpickin. The style in 7 Days In Utopia is called side saddle or face on putting which is the method I have been using since 1970 and is totally legal. .The method where you straddle the line of the putt was called Croquet Style and has been illegal for many years. When it was made illegal they didn't take away any of Sam Snead,s victories or place a * nest to his name so changing the use of long or belly putters should be treated the same way.As to anchoring.......That is the dumbest reason of all to ban the putters. I putt with a long putter and don't anchor anything, Only my hands touch the club.
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