PGA Tour opposes putter ban

  • Last Updated: February 25 2013, 14:42 GMT

The PGA Tour has come out against the proposed ban of anchored putters from 2016 - but is not saying yet what it will do if the ban comes into force.

Tim Finchem: Says PGA Tour opposes ban
Tim Finchem: Says PGA Tour opposes ban

The rule-making Royal and Ancient Club and United States Golf Association are in a period of consultation at the moment, but the US tour's announcement will probably give them real cause for thought, especially as the PGA of America are also against the move.

Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said: "Our player advisory council looked at it twice. We had the USGA come in and make a presentation to a player meeting in San Diego and the USGA made a presentation to our board.

"We researched and looked at it and articulated our position at the end of last week to the USGA and shared that thinking also with the R&A.

"Essentially where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think that banning anchoring was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour."

Finchem also stated that 13 of the 15 players on their advisory council were against the ban.

"I would note that the PGA of America came to the same conclusion after consultation with their membership. The Golf Course Owners Association came to the same conclusion as well," Finchem said.

"I think the essential thread that went through the thinking of the players and our board of directors and others was that in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring - and given the amount of time that anchoring has been in the game, that there was no over-riding reason to go down that road.

"An awful lot of amateurs today use anchoring and a number of players on the PGA Tour who have grown up with a focus on perfecting the anchoring method, if you will, did so after the USGA on multiple occasions approved the method years ago.

"For us to join in supporting a ban we think as a direction is unfair to both groups of individuals.

"We have worked with the USGA over the last 20 years on a wide range of rules issues.

"I continue to hope that regardless of where this matter ends up that it gets there after a process that is good-natured, open and not contrary or divisive. That's certainly our intention.

"We hold the USGA in the highest regard as a key part of the game of golf. We don't attempt to denigrate that position in any way whatsoever.

"It's just on this issue we think if they were to move forward they would be making a mistake."

Asked what happens if the ban happens, Finchem added: "I don't know because we have, I think carefully and intentionally, avoided at this point getting into a discussion about that issue.

"We have not even begun that discussion.

"This is a very subjective area. Everybody has an opinion about it and we certainly respect everybody's opinion.

"The PGA of America has concluded that it will hurt the game with certain numbers of amateurs. We agree with that.

"One thing we know for sure on the professional side is the professional game globally is stronger than it's ever been today and that on the heels of having anchoring as part of it for the last 30 or 40 years.

"It certainly hasn't been a negative. You can't point to one negative impact of anchoring.

"Now some people might say I don't think you should anchor or I don't think you should do that or I don't think you should do that, but it hasn't translated into a negative thing for the sport.

"That's why we're having trouble with it."