Golf: R&A hope for anchoring resolution

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GOLF’S rulesmakers will not be rushed into a kneejerk decision to the PGA Tour opposing its proposed anchoring ban despite conceding the possible disappearance of long and belly putters has proved “particularly sensitive in the United States”.

A 90-day consultation period over the proposed ban, due to come into effect at the start of 2016, came to an end on Thursday night and now the R&A and USGA are weighing up the opinions offered on the matter.

While the European Tour, the Ladies European Tour, the LPGA, the Sunshine Tour in South Africa and the British PGA have all essentially indicated support for whatever action the two bodies decide, the PGA Tour is opposing the change to Rule 14-1b and so is the PGA of America.

“Anchoring has been a polarising issue in our sport and despite having weighed the matter thoroughly before making the proposal, we believed it was important to give stakeholders the opportunity to air their views,” said an R&A spokesman. “Our consultation period generated a number of considered responses. We will take time to review and evaluate them.

“As we have throughout this process, we will work closely with the USGA in moving towards a final resolution.”

The USGA, which governs the game with the R&A, also issued a statement and pledged to continue working to find a “final resolution” on the matter. Its statement read: “The 90-day comment period on proposed Rule 14-1b has been very constructive. e received comments, questions and suggestions from recreational golfers, golf professionals and organisations representing many segments of the golf community.

“The discussion has been informative and serves as a strong reminder of just how passionate golfers are about the game – no matter their position on this specific issue. For well over a year, the golf community has engaged in a healthy and spirited discussion about anchoring, as well as other important issues confronting the game.

“As we have throughout this process, we will continue to confer with the R&A to reach a final resolution on this matter.”