As you’re shopping for new putters this fall, remember that the Anchored Putting Rule takes effect January 1, 2016. This means that although you can own and play a belly or broomstick putter, you cannot use it in the way that most players currently do. No anchored swings means no anchored swings — for anybody.
Sometimes the USGA makes a move that not all players are on board with, but this particular move may affect a lot of weekend golfers, as well as a number of professionals. The decision was made in 2013, but the USGA gave us several years to get used to the idea — which most of us haven’t bothered to do in the hopes that it would just go away. For the belly putters who are still among us, this may mean picking up new clubs or learning to wield long putters in a much different manner.
Permitted Stroke Types
Exactly what an “anchored” putt is has been a point of confusion for golfers everywhere, so the USGA make a list of what’s permitted and not. Here are the stroke types you can continue to use, per their website:
Non-anchored. The putter isn’t braced against your body in any way, nor are your hands or forearms. You’re running your club much like a traditional putter, while still controlling the additional length.
Forearms held against body. Your forearms are against your body when you put, but you’re not using them as an anchor point. This one might get you in trouble if your intentions aren’t clear.
One or both elbows braced against body. Like with your forearms, as long as your elbows aren’t being used as an anchor point for your putt, it’ll still be ok to brace them against your body. Again, it feels like a very gray area.
Club grip resting against forearm. If your very long putter is running along your forearm or being supported by it in some way, this is ok. This configuration may prove to be a good alternative putting position for players who use long putters to help with the yips.
These are just examples that the USGA laid out for acceptable stroke types, but because the biggest deal with this rule is to get rid of anchored putting, there are bound to be other configurations out there that are ok. How the Anchored Putting Rule is implemented in practice will remain to be seen.
If you’ve decided to chuck your belly putter in favor of a more traditional putter, don’t forget that 3balls.com takes gently used equipment in trade for new and used golf gear. We have putters from all the top manufacturers, including Scotty Cameron and Odyssey. Check out all great putters in our inventory, listed at prices you won’t believe.