Social media has been filled with video’s, pictures, and articles with allegations that Champions Tour players Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron have been violating the USGA rule 14-B that prohibits “anchored putting.”
Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee has been the most vocal, saying in an article on July 5th,
“It appears that the governing bodies in an attempt to soften the blow of taking the long putters away from the world of bad-back and flinch-afflicted golfers, at the very least provided a loophole and at the very worst abdicated the throne of governance.” Chamblee went on to say, ” I cannot believe what I am seeing on PGA Tour Champions, with regard to the putting strokes of Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron.”
With regard to the anchoring ban on the PGA Tour Champions,it's appalling,I have never seen such gross disregard for the spirit of the game.
— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 2, 2017
— Shane Gurnett (@gurngunja) July 1, 2017
I've watched both Langer & McCarron demonstrate what they are intending to do, not anchor. Those are top 2. In competition bottom 2 .Same? pic.twitter.com/NPbbJ5JHTk
— brandel chamblee (@chambleebrandel) July 7, 2017
After the online uproar, Langer met with USGA officials to respond to the complaints, and to get their official opinion on if he was putting with the rules of 14-B.
On Friday, Langer, McCarron and the USGA issued a joint statement in an attempt to put the issue to an end.
“I’m certain that I am not anchoring the putter and that my putting stroke is not violating the Rules of Golf,” Langer said. “On several occasions, I have been in contact with the USGA and rules officials on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, and each time I have been assured that my putting stroke is within the Rules of Golf.”
McCarron added in his statement,
“I’d like to emphatically say that I do not anchor my hand, arm or club against my body during my putting stroke,” McCarron said. “I have worked with the USGA and PGA Tour Champions rules officials to ensure that I am within the Rules of Golf, and I have extended many invitations to demonstrate and teach people how to use a long putter without anchoring. I have never competed dishonestly because I have the utmost respect for the game of golf, and I will continue to represent myself and the sport to the best of my ability.”
The USGA issued their statement clearing both players of any rules violations.
“We are confident that Rule 14-B had been applied fairly, and have consistently seen no incident of a player breaking the Rule, which does not prohibit a hand or club to touch a player’s clothing in making a stroke. Integrity is at the heart of the Rules and how the game is played worldwide, and this essential value has made the game enjoyable for all golfers.”
It is doubtful that this will end the controversy, as many players have expressed both publicly and privately their concern that the anchoring rule is being taken advantage of.